The urban myth of the GERS figures

Recently The National newspaper had a week long series looking at the infamous McCrone report and Scotland’s energy potential, which successive Westminster governments have sought to minimise and downplay. As anyone who has paid even passing attention to the Scottish independence debate know, the McCrone report was commissioned by the British government in the 1970s and examined the economic potential of Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas reserves. The report found that Scotland’s fossil fuel reserves would give an independent Scotland almost embarrassing wealth and cause its currency to be one of the hardest in the world. But Westminster hid the report for decades and spent the ensuing years lying to the people of Scotland about this country’s true wealth. Then they squandered Scotland’s resources and now have the unmitigated gall to insist that Scotland has an unsustainable deficit which makes it too poor to be a successful independent nation.

The McCrone report was commissioned decades ago and Westminster has burned through most of Scotland’s oil wealth. We are now in a very different era where the energy future lies not in fossil fuels but in renewable energy, and yet again Scotland is blessed with a massive potential for energy production which opponents of independence do their utmost to minimise and trivialise. Yet the McCrone report retains a real and important relevance to the independence debate, because it proves that Westminster has a track record of lying to the people of Scotland in order to paint the economic prospects of an independent Scotland in as poor a light as possible. They still have the same motivation for lying, as they did when the McCrone report was commissioned, arguably more so given Scotland’s enormous potential for renewable energy production and the fact that the independence debate is now not only mainstream and normalised but dominant in Scottish political discourse in a way that it was not in the 1970s. Diminished as it is by Brexit, the stakes for the British state are so much higher now, and with it the motivation to lie about the true economic potential of an independent Scotland.

Opponents of independence base their economic arguments against independence on the Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) figures, which purport to show that Scotland is burdened with a massive deficit and is supposedly dependent on a huge transfer of funds from Westminster. As has been pointed out on this blog on several occasions in the past, the GERS figures were introduced by Thatcher’s Conservative Scotland Secretary Ian Lang in the early 1990s as a political tool to use against those who were arguing in favour of greater Scottish self-government. 30 years later they are still fulfilling the exact same political purpose. GERS forms the bedrock of anti-independence economic arguments despite the fact that even the most vociferous opponents of independence have been reluctantly forced to concede that the GERS figures tell us nothing about the financial position of an independent Scotland.

However new research threatens to destroy British nationalist claims that the situation depicted by GERS represents the economic starting point of an independent Scottish state and to dismiss the deficit claimed by GERS for Scotland as an ‘urban myth.’ There is a similar set of figures for Wales, which as in Scotland are used by opponents of independence to claim that Wales is an economic basket case which is too poor to flourish as an independent country.

Last year, Dublin City University Professor John Doyle, the Vice-President for research at the university was commissioned by Plaid Cymru to examine thr true financial position of an independent Wales. He found that the fiscal gap – the difference between raised revenue and government expenditure – in the early days of an independent Wales would be a small fraction of what has previously been cited for the country by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Figures from the ONS are often quoted as suggesting the deficit in an independent Wales on day one of independence would be £13.5bn, a huge sum for a country with a population of 3 million. However Professor Doyle – who looked at the figures for the financial year 2018/19 – found that the true deficit of Wales upon attaining independence would actually be £2.6bn when taking account of the fact in that a few central UK costs, such as UK debt charges and historic pension liabilities, which are typically lumped in with the Welsh equivalent of the GERS figures, would not be transferred to an independent state.

Leading Welsh economist Dr Edward Jones, a lecturer in Economics at Bangor University’s Business School, said he was surprised at the magnitude of the difference between the ONS figures and Professor Doyle’s findings but added that it supports the growing evidence that Wales is neither ‘too small or too poor’ to be an independent country.

Speaking about his findings Professor Doyle said: “It is not for me as an Irish academic to advise the people of Wales on their future constitutional choices, but the figure of £13.5bn, frequently quoted as representing the UK government annual subvention to Wales, is a UK accounting exercise, and not a calculation of the fiscal gap that would exist in the early days of an independent Wales.”

You can read the full report by clicking HERE

What he says about Wales applies equally to Scotland.

Now the methodology used by Professor Doyle in his study on Wales has been applied to Scotland. Robin Thompson – who worked in economic development with various Scottish councils has applied the same methodology to the GERS figures for the same year of 2018/19 in order to look at whether an independent Scotland really would inherit the gigantic fiscal burden that opponents of independence like to claim it would. The GERS figures for 2018/19 suggested the deficit in Scotland was £12.6bn, or a huge 7% of GDP, but Robin Thompson concluded that in reality an independent Scotland could inherit a surplus of £2.7bn. Even in what he regards as the “worst-case scenario” – where Scotland had to pay 100% of pension costs – he concluded the deficit would still only be £6.3bn or 3.4% of GDP, this is not too far off the 3% deficit which is a prerequisite for Euro membership.

Professor Doyle’s methodology assumes that historic public sector pension liabilities would be the responsibility of the government that made the commitments to retired and current employees and so would not be an inherited liability of a newly independent state, which would only bear the cost of future pension commitments. Scottish workers paid National Insurance to the UK in expectation of a pension and the UK does not get to simply walk away with these funds without compensating those who paid into the system. This figure is therefore not included within the estimate of the post-independence budget deficit.

The methodology also concludes the UK’s national debt would be a matter for the UK Government and cannot be assigned to a newly independent state. The UK Government itself accepted this point in January 2014. The methodology notes that defence expenditure post-independence is a decision for a future government to make and is not an inherited liability. It is vanishingly unlikely that an independent Scotland would choose to maintain spending on nuclear missiles or ruinously expensive aircraft carriers.

Whoever wins the SNP leadership contest should commission Professor Doyle to do a similar study for Scotland and to publish this annually when the GERS figures are published. We must stop allowing the British state to hide behind its lies and deceit


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325 comments on “The urban myth of the GERS figures

  1. John says:

    “3.4% of GDP, this is not too far off the 3% deficit which is a prerequisite for EU membership.”

    No, no, no! That’s what unionists parrot all the time, and it’s wrong! The 3% deficit is a prerequisite for joining the Euro, not the EU itself. There is no deficit value quoted for joining the EU, just something like “not excessive”.
    This is all on the EU’s own website, have a poke around there.

  2. Phil says:

    Thank you, once again, for laying a veneer of truthful reality over the continuous applications of lies British Unionists smear our Scottish position with. It is also worthwhile to keep a watching brief on the blog “Tax Research” presented by Richard Murphy. He is an economics specialist, educator and commentor who has a realistic take upon Scottish aspirations for independence. Relevant to this post from ‘The Dug’ is a search of Prof Murphy’s blog ‘Tax Research’ using this, or a similar, internet search:

    Many of Richard’s posts have analysed the Scottish economic position and frequently include GERS. He is unrepentant in explaining criticisms of GERS and many positive aspects of Scotland becoming independent.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    Well there is one candidate who said she would sort out the so called GERS figures and publish the correct figures for Scotland

  4. yesindyref2 says:

    Something I wrote years ago, but it’s well out of date:

    Devolved “deficits”?

    There’s a basic principle here, which that we are expected to believe that GERE = GERUK – (GERS + GERW + GERNI) when all of these are based on estimates, withing a 95% confidence interval.

    But any numbers person will tell you that it is incredibly stupid estimating a large number on the basis of one large number and 3 small ones – specially in this case, if it turns out that with the main one (GERUK) being negative, a basically invalid equation results in the largest one of its contributors being positive, whereas all the others are negative.

    So much for “fiscal transfer” from England to the other 3 of us.

  5. Billdavidson says:

    Hi, was reading your post & don’t know if you’ve seen this before? It’s bloody excellent & I’ve used it on many occasions now to silence raging yoons! Let me know what you think. Cheers

  6. yesindyref2 says:

    results in the largest one of its contributors being positive, whereas all the others are negative.

    I think for that last part I was thinking of another year – should have read my own article 🙂

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Didn’t explain the “large versus small” number thing very well. So 10% is 10%, right? Well …

      Just to make it simple if the UK was just England and Scotland, with England having 10 times the population, if the UK spends £110 billion a year on spondoolicks, and Scotland is given a population proportion of the cost, that’s £10 billion for Scotland and £100 billion for England.

      Now, if it’s decided that Scotland spends 10% less on spondoolicks, then that’s £9 billion for Scotland and £101 billion for England. They’re not too fussed.

      And if it’s decided that England spends 10% less on spondoolicks, that’s £90 billion for England and £20 billion for Scotland. Eh?

      And if it turns out that spondoolicks is code for England flags …

  7. 1stop Graphics says:

    Congratulations and well done the wee ginger dug getting articles published by the National Newspaper.

  8. Capella says:

    Getting the facts about the true economy of Scotland is essential. This is the issue which most voters will be concerned about. Whether it’s the cost of living crisis, pensions or a fair and equal society which we all want independence to deliver. Whoever becomes the next FM and their cabinet team must focus on this priority.

  9. Colin Milne says:

    Good article Paul. Whoever was the last FM had 8 years to produce these facts about Scotland’s true economy. Why was Leslie Evans not ordered to get her Scottish Government civil servants to provide these facts instead of wasting time and money on a biased and unlawful investigation?

    • scottish_skier says:

      Aye, the investigation into Sturgeon was a huge waste of time and money. And all for what, to confirm she hadn’t broken the ministerial code; something nobody ever produced any evidence for in the first place. Was always ‘Trust us (unionists), we have evidence from SNP insiders, we just can’t show you it! But English blogs and former british diplomats are correct!’.

  10. Coinneach says:

    Agreed: GERS isn’t worth the paper it is written on and is most assuredly not worth the money which the Scottish Government has paid to have it produced year after year. It is farcical that the Scottish Gov has continued to endorse an annual work of fiction which paints an entirely fallacious picture of Scotland’s and provides the unionist media (i.e. pretty well all the UK media) with ammunition to falsify Scotland’s economic position. I can see no evidence of a legally binding requirement to produce an annual GERS report.

    The first thing to understand is that GERS is NOT an accounting document: it doesn’t deploy double entry bookkeeping and no balance sheet is produced, so there is no evidence that debits and credits balance each other out as they must do. That means that figures can be inflated or deflated to suit the purpose without such tinkering being evident.

    Secondly only a very small proportion of the figures are drawn from confirmable actual figures for Scottish income or expenditure: the overwhelming bulk are estimates or allocations of UK-wide figures with Scotland’s “share” being arrived at by using other data such as population. My background is in accounting and a number of years ago I carried out an analysis of that year’s GERS figures to see what proportion of total expense and income derived from firm probative data with a demonstrable audit trail. The figure (from increasingly dodgy memory) was about 4%, so 96% of all GERS data did not meet acceptable audit standards for accuracy.

    Even some devolved tax income fails to meet audit standards: Income Tax is supposedly devolved, but Income Tax deriving from unearned income (interest on savings, investment dividends etc) is still reserved to UK and it’s not clear whether the matter of personal domicile has been satisfactorily resolved. Likewise VAT is supposedly devolved, but there are no separate VAT Registration numbers for businesses trading Scotland, so it too is no better than a guess. This results in corrections in subsequent years which are themselves estimates and in turn cause timing differences and distortions in budgeting.

    You get the drift: it’s a pointless exercise which tell us nothing about the real costs or income of being in the UK, never mind a picture of an independent Scotland’s economy. God forbid that we ever have to suffer a Tory Scottish Government, but it would be interesting to see how it explained its GERS performance.

    • stewartb says:

      A detail: VAT is not ‘devolved’.

      From Scottish Government website: ‘With VAT assignment a further 15% of Scotland’s budget will be based on VAT revenues raised in Scotland – although the power to set VAT rates will remain reserved to the UK Government.’

      So an agreed ‘assignment’ but not devolved power.

  11. Ken says:

    Leslie Evans was a unionis supporting. Cost £Billions.

    Scotland has to pay repayments on debt not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Too much for Trident and the military. Loses £Billions on tax evasion, Losing £Billions on Brexit. Scotland cannot borrow paid for by growth. Westminster loses monies on Hickley Point, HS2 and other worthless projects. Over time and overfunding, The monies would have been better spent improving rail services in the north of England and Scotland. Improving journey times and services,

    Scotland raises £69Billion. It could easily raise £80Billion, like Norway etc, without Westminster colossally interference.

    Westminster spends £13Billion a year decommissions nucleur. Over ten years. Scotland in surplus in fuel and energy and nearer the source, pays more. An absolute scandal. Westminster mismanaging and misusing Scotland revenues and resources.

  12. UndeadShaun says:

    Appologies for pposting these links again, they are useful.

    This one breaks down to national and regional use for south/north scotland and all english regions.

    Currently we still are using less wind/hydro and more gas produced energy.
    But on average we are at least 85% only renewables/non fossil fuel for majority of year. And somtimes we are at 100%.

    England is never anywhere near that figure, ever in a year.

    This link shows interconnects data and total demand for the uk.
    And even now with lower reneables generation we still are exporting just under a GW.

    If we introduced an export tax on per KW or MW exported, this would be an income source for an independent Scotland. With proceeds either offsetting energy for Scottish consumers or going into a renewables fund, similar to the oil fund Norway has.

    And there is another 10 to 20 GW renewables being added over next decade along with another 2 interconnects to England with at least 8 GW capacity.

  13. Dr Jim says:

    So worried at the prospect of having to face Kate Forbes as FM the Tories are now publicly supporting her bid in the hope it puts voters off her

  14. Neil Lovatt says:

    Doyle’s work was widely ridiculed at the time.

    The pensions assertions have been widely debunked some time ago.

    Just google “Scotland ex-pat fallacy”.

    There is no consistency between secession and moving house. There is zero moral or legal basis for rUK paying iScotland or iWales pensions, so why would rUK do Wales or Scotland a favour?

    This line has been debunked time and time again and when the SNP ever venture close to it they are forced into humiliating retreats.

    Why then give it any further consideration?

    • So, what you are saying is that when we achieve self Determination, those English retirees who had the good sense to retire to Scotland, will no longer be entitled to a UK pension, unlike silver ex pats who moved to Spain, France, Canada, USA,New Zealand, Australia?
      Scaremongering nonsense, of course.
      Those of us who paid in to a UK scheme, are still entitled to receive said pension from UK DWP.
      What you are declaring is that ‘English’ pensioners should vote NO, otherwise they’ll lose their pension?
      My late brother’s pension pot was made up of years ‘earned’ in the UK, and Canada.
      Go away.

    • UndeadShaun says:

      Sorry I and others, including a uk gov minister who are more knowledgable on the subject of pensions think your wrong.

      “Asked by Labour MP Ian Davidson at the Scottish affairs committee whether people could be assured that their pensions would be secure if Scotland votes for independence in September’s referendum, Mr Webb answered: “Yes, they have accumulated rights into the UK system, under the UK system’s rules.”

      He added that the money would be paid out at the pension age decided by the UK government, rather than any future Scottish government.”

      • Ah, Ian Davidson, who urged his Brit thugs to ‘bayonet the wounded’ if a No verdict were returned. Lovely man, who of course got booted out on his neck in the 2015 Labour massacre.
        Like Alister Carmichael, who actually visited Portsmouth and promised that if Scotland voted YES, then he would actively lobby BAE to shut Govan and Scotstoun, and move the frigate contracts to the South of England, Davidson demanded that the BAE contract include a ‘codicil’ in the contract, that if we voted YES, the frigates should be built in England.
        These men (warning read no further if of a sensitive nature) are fucking Scots born.
        What treachery is worse than this?

    • Alec Lomax says:

      So, when Scotland becomes independent I’m not going to receive the state pension I’m due from the rUK DWP, even though I’ve been paying NI since I was 15 ? I know people who live in France and Spain who still receive their UK state pensions.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Utter nonsense.
      Let me direct you to a YouTube recording of a meeting of the then Scottish Select Committee (Tory/LibDem coalition) chaired by Iain Davidson (Lab) interviewing the Pensions Secretary Steve Webb (Lib Dem).
      I’m afraid I dont have the link if anyone else could oblige?

    • Pogmothon says:


    • Golfnut says:

      Pensions liability is the very least of of a new independent England’s problems, just think of the stushie when Scotland demands reparations for the theft of her resources.

    • grizebard says:

      The most that can be said, I suppose, about that load of boll… propaganda, besides what has already been debunked very authoritatively, is that the wonderfully “flexible” rUK, with the full majesty of its rotten absolutist “monarchy-in-parliament”, could breach all its previous norms and rights and become an even bigger international pariah, and decree that not a bent penny would go to iScotland’s paid-up pensioners regardless of the consequences.

      But who with any degree of self-respect would allow themselves to be blackmailed so overtly like this by these self-proclaimed “masters” and their craven local proxies? Let alone economically, they aren’t even morally fit to rule over us.

  15. Bob Lamont says:

    GERS is but one of many urban-myths in circulation – Yet let’s not kid ourselves lies over government finances are a Tory monopoly, Westminster administrations of both persuasions have lied to a gullible public over government finance since forever.
    Most damning of all has been a media complicit in playing along, just as they are today – Do you hear the HMG nonsense of “we can’t afford pay rises” being debunked by any of them ?

    Setting up new institutions for the independent Scottish State will require external borrowing, but unlike Estonia which began from zero, Scotland will be up and running a surplus pretty much from the get-go.

  16. bringiton says:

    The grocer shop “book balancing” economic nonsense spouted by Thatcher and her disciples may chime with ordinary voters but nonsense it was and still is.
    Westminster does have a magic money tree which it can shake any time they like in order to satisfy their political choices.
    It is all about political choices.

  17. Hamish100 says:

    I think the balancing book should look at cmal/calmac in Gourock. One of my old mates who used to work on the Gourock Dunoon run was telling me about one of the senior managers brand new top of the range porche’s. Of course maybe the guys granny died but if not, the bonus system needs a relook at this nationalised service while home care workers get a 5% increase on a basic wage.

  18. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
    Doubting Thomas, one of my heroes.
    I wanted to call my son Thomas, but bowed to universal pressure.
    Thomas gets a bad press; but he was bang on the money.
    Never believe reported speech unreservedly.

    One of the bounteous joys (and occasional burdens given the massive tribe of in-laws into which I married) of being married to a Belfast lass (I can still be ‘gender specific in this instance? Jail me.) is that we cross over the Irish Sea 2 or 3 times a year, mainly for family events, like weddings, baptisms, significant birthdays, silver and golden anniversaries, and, sadly, on occasion, funerals.

    Over here, we have been fed the English Brit /DUP version of the Protocol crisis..Crikes, it sounded bad.

    I expected to be delayed for hours at Cairn Ryan, and at Belfast harbour, and then anticipated a strip search at the Newry crossing, by a vigilant Irish EU Border Force, seeking out illegal contraband, like ,Paracetamol, square slice sausages, and the wee plastic bag of tea bags and powdered milk which I carry everywhere when travelling.

    The guy in the luminous yellow jacket at Cairn Ryan checked our ticket, asked if we were carrying anything which required a licence, then ushered us forward when I blurted ‘No’.
    I was tempted to quip that I had required a licence to hook up with my Everlovin’. but wisely, I bit my tongue.
    I often fall back on my attempt at humour when I am in a tense situation.

    So much for the ‘border’ between ‘GB and Norn Irn which Donaldson and Paisley have been chuntering on about.

    They are ‘British’, they declare, and the Protocol stops them being British, apparently.

    Disembarking at Belfast Lough, was as effortless. No checks, no Border Force checking my boot for Syrian refugees.

    We spent a night in Belfast, had dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.
    We had passed through the usual hot sign of the rabid violence threatening posters featured regularly on Brit TV.

    The protocol was not a topic of conversation at our table.

    Norn Irn seems fine with their dual citizenship, as far a we could see.

    We crossed ‘the border'( there is none) at Newry, the dual carriage bypass segueing seamlessly from UK road markings and signage to Republic EU markings.
    No customs posts, no green lane red lane…

    We visited relatives in Swords, broke bread, yet the issue of the protocol didn’t rear its ugly head.

    Then on to a Christening in Blanchardstown, Dublin.

    A picture post card church packed with young couples, their friends and relatives, gathered to celebrate the Baptisms of 4 wee dotes.

    Seems that Christianity isn’t as dead as Ricky Gervais touts.

    A wee do in The Bell function room thereafter.

    No one mentioned the protocol…
    It really doesn’t feature in the man on the Howth omnibus’ list of things to chat about with visiting relatives from Jockland.
    It seems that the ordinary folk on the island of Ireland are perfectly happy with the arrangement. The best of both worlds..dual citizenship…freedom of movement throughout our continent Europe..a status which Dross Baron Jack Alistair Carmichael and Ian Murray, all Scots born, seek to deny their fellow citizens, backed by the power and military might of their English paymasters.
    An excellent piece on the nonsense that is GERS, Paul.
    If Doubting Thomas read a Gers report, I’d imagine that he might murmur, ‘Aye, right’.
    It is a fiction, a wheeze dreamt up by the Thatcher Tories..yet every Scottish journalist and broadcaster uses this Too Poor guff as gospel to frighten Scots into believing that benign England will take us under their broad shoulders and do right by us.
    They would just love Scotland to descend into its own version of ‘The Troubles’, wouldn’t they?
    England will never ‘allow’ Scotland Independence.

    We know this by now.
    Now’s the day…not next year, or never.
    Our return journey was a s straight forward as the outer trip, btw.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Pre 2014 referendum Gordon Brown along with bussed in Labour activists from England went around the doors of Scotland’s pensioners armed with leaflets insisting an independent Scotland wouldn’t be able to afford their pensions because there was no obligation by the UK government to pay pensions in Scotland

    Labour Tories Liberal Democrats, there’s no difference between them, they are the one and only English imperial party, and those in Scotland who serve them are no better than vampire familiars keeping guard over their masters coffins in daylight

    There are no political differences in Scotland, there’s only them and us, they will drink our blood then tell us we’re no good at making enough of it.

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    So basically speaking, the fallout from the “frank and robust exchange of views” (my quotes) on the STV leaders debate seems to be summarised by this from the National:

    DR asks did NS expect to hear such criticism from Kate Forbes.

    NS: I am very aware that for DR mediocrity is a dizzy height he’s never come close to achieving


  21. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Unelected Lord Awfulrd has spoken – so you can’t talk about indy anymore.

    • grizebard says:

      Does this badly-frightened self-privileged tosser think this is Russia (or the BBC writ large)? I would dearly love to see the UK try to put the FM or any other SG minister on trial for daring to speak out abroad about the large constitutional elephant which (as everyone knows) fully occupies the room. The ensuing stooshie would bring independence the very next day.

    • Golfnut says:

      That’s the latest wheeze then, independence referendums illegal and talking about independence is illegal.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The Union party are piling in on this already, there’ll be a *stop Scotland talking* bill any minute now
        No gatherings of more than five, no badges ornamentations or symbols bearing Saltires to be worn, use of the Scots language will be verboten, sorry, forbidden, shops or other building displaying separatist messages in their windows will be smashed by UK Security Services and owners arrested and questioned by the SS, access to passports for Scots to be removed

  22. wm says:

    Like every Insurance/Pension scheme, the NI scheme will be invested in the world money markets. This means that the Scottish workforce has been paying their NI payments into the NI scheme since it started, and therefore Scotland becoming independent could claim its share of the scheme allowing the Scottish Gov. to pay all pensioners there OAP, that is what I think.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      NI payments were and are just revenue as far as the Treasury is concerned, and the Basic State Pension is paid out of current taxation. Meaning that today’s taxpayers are paying the basic state pension of all pensioners.

      Additional pensions due such as for workplace pensions or earnings related pension payments during the working life may indeed be in some sort of fund, and Scotland will be entitled to a proportional share of that fund.

      Scotland is not entitled to a future share of any form of taxes paid in the future by taxpayers of England, Wales or Northern Ireland, in exactly the same way as the UK is not entitled to taxes gathered in any part of the EU.

      • Golfnut says:

        Nonsense, and if you think the English taxpayer is currently paying for those who qualify ( non domiciled ) for a UK state pension your sadly mistaken. Pensions like every expence serviced by the UK gov is paid from the consolidated funds made available by the BOE.
        Qualification for a state pension is determined by the number of yrs of contribution, not how much you have contributed.
        I think that the newly independent English state will agree a lump sum settlement with the SG.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Best thing to do is just google this:

      how is basic state pension funded

      • davetewart says:

        I have 2 brothers in Australia who get their uk pension paid into their banks.
        The downside is that they don’t get cost of living rise each year, their pensions are fixed from the date of retirement.
        Some countries do get cost of living increases.

        • Legerwood says:

          My sister married then immediately emigrated to USA. She has lived there for 64 years. She gets a UK pension albeit a small one but still she qualifies for a UK pension based on the 5 years or so that she paid into the scheme before emigrating.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Another article which covers these things:

        Though it’s kind of funny that it talks about the UK Government.

        When Scotland leaves the UK, the UK ceases to exist. What it calls itself I don’t know, but the UK will cease to exist. (Forsyth in the House of Lords 2012).

      • Golfnut says:

        Not really, but it’s a bit late to go over this.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    Some polling. From WST site.

    Do you think X would do a good or a bad job as First Minister of Scotland?

    Average of latest polls from Survation and Ipsos:

    Kate Forbes
    29% Good job
    20% Neutral

    20% Bad job

    Humza Yousaf
    24% Good job
    22% Neutral

    36% Bad job

    The neutrals can be grouped with the positives, as these people clearly don’t have issues with the candidates as thing stand.

    We don’t have earlier data for Forbes to gauge changes, but Yousaf is clearly making personal headway based on Ipsos.

    Humza Yousaf Ipsos 7 Mar with changes on 16 Feb
    29(+9)% Good job
    22(-2)% Neutral

    36(-2)% Bad job

    I think this is overall positive for both leading candidates. Data suggests that people are not reacting negatively to the contest / candidates, but positively.

    Humza will take a big hit in the ‘bad job’ due to racism from the British nationalist camp, making it hard to compare here with Forbes, but these folks will never vote Yes anyway, so the focus should be on those giving positive / neutral views. Statistically, they both look on a kind of even keel for now with the Scottish public.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      The neutrals can be grouped with the positives

      No they can’t! That poll gives:

      Forbes: +9%
      Yousaf: -12%

      • scottish_skier says:

        I’m not sure what your point is. If people are neutral on a candidate, it means they know who they are and think neither positively or negatively about them. That’s good for Yes / the SNP. It means they are willing to give the candidate a chance, and are not listing to the British media which wants them to dislike all.

        As noted, Yousaf will take a hit from the 30% or so of the population who admit to being racist, from mild to extreme. If you want to use the views of these people to give the edge to your prefered candidate as you have done, ok, but I would not like to do that. Tory/UKIP/BNP types etc not liking Yousaf is a good thing for me. That’s who is helping with the negative for him without question.

        I have no preferred candidate. Hence my post favoring neither, and just noting general positives for both / Yes.

        For me, I want whoever wins to be a good FM and popular with the electorate. It makes no difference to me who is FM or even which party is in power. I have never voted for Salmond nor Sturgeon, only SNP.

        If we had a Tory led coalition right now, I’d still vote Yes. I’m Scottish, not British. Scots should decide their government as is normal, because another country’s government ruling us is never going to act in our interests. 🙂

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I’m not sure what your point is

          it just isn’t done that way, like, ever. It’s about the nett rating of each person. Which in this case is Forbes +9, and Yousaf -12.

          And you can’t make presumptions about the who or why, unless there’s actual polling data for it.

          • scottish_skier says:

            I get that you back Forbes. 🙂

            I think results are looking quite good for both, and that’s what matters to me.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              If it ha been Yousaf +9 and Forbes -12, I’d say that – it’s the truth that’s important, not messing with statistics to make them support one side or the other.

          • scottish_skier says:

            To be clear, I hope the Scottish public end up thinking whoever wins is a decent FM. That’s what I was trying to say the polls were suggesting, even with the unionist onslaught and attempts to divide.

    • grizebard says:

      Does every BTL, whatever the headline article, have to be turned into an obsession with the SNP leadership contest…?

      • scottish_skier says:

        I agree. As per my post above, I have no preference from the top two.

        Some people do have a favourite. They should keep in mind though that no matter how hard they try to sell that favourite in their BTL comments, they will make no difference at all. 🙂

        At most, they might just end up in a pointless blogheid rammy arguing with their compatriots, or with themselves!

      • Dr Jim says:

        I haven’t noticed that today, however it still is the most consistent news topic of the day whether a SNP voter or member or a union party member or even member of no party at all

      • Handandshrimp says:

        But according to the media we are all locked in a bitter civil war so I guess we ought to mention it in passing.

        In an effort to show some willing in this epic “to the death battle” can I throw in a quick…

        How very dare you!


  24. Capella says:

    I think it’s quite hard to ignore the SNP leadership contest. It’s the talk of the steamie and will be for the next 3 weeks.

    BTW SGP has an interesting series of polls on the topic for those who like polls

    • grizebard says:

      The online “steamie” of the chatterati, no doubt. But of ordinary people, who like me aren’t members of the SNP and have no choice in the matter, I very much doubt. It’s just turning into another media circus for the likes of C4, who tonight sent another English TV journo north to assert without any obvious sign of self-awareness, let alone an appropriate sense of shame, that England just says “so” and thereby implicitly declare that democracy here has, to all intents and purposes, ceased to exist.

      I have my own preference (one that as it happens is shared by a significant majority of the Scottish public), but I’m confident that whoever of the likely two leading candidates is chosen for the top job, while no doubt putting their own personal stamp on their administration, will serve all of us well. (And as everyone well knows, light years better than the {ahem} pretenders from all the other parties.)

      And when I do next have an opportunity to exercise my vote, I surely will, and it will be for them. Not least to tell English journalists sent to lord it over us, they can иди на хуй.

      • I looked Krishnan Guru-Murthy up on wiki.
        His parents were well of Indian professionals.
        Yet this man repeatedly declared that the English parliament has the right to say No to the democratic will of the Scottish people in this Union of equals.
        He kept repeating it like an obedient little servant of empire, gloating in his mockery.
        How easily he forgets the struggle of his parents place of birth to free themselves from hundreds of years of English tyranny.
        Yet another ‘faithful retainer’ in the white man’s Empire.
        I said that this would happen if we let the Brit media in to what is basically and SNP membership contest.
        They are laughing at our independence movement now.
        well done, the SNP hierarchy. Not.

        • grizebard says:

          “Gloating” was a word that came to my mind at the time also. But I don’t believe his smirking arrogance demeaned the SNP or the candidates, it demeaned the exceptionalist interloper and his TV channel.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Yes, and what is vital right now, and what I’m looking for in polling, is that the public see whoever takes over as a decent FM, trying their best for Scotland.

      Tentatively, this seems to be happening, with candidates becoming more popular as people learn about them, which is what we want to see.

      • Dr Jim says:

        WE have to remember not to mention independence again though as Westminster wants to make that illegal
        Just shows you even a popular English ex footballer knows when his government have now publicly virtually admitted they’re 1930s Germany Nasties

        Loyal BBC commentator Gary Lineker is now in trouble with the BBC for saying that, which is funny considering when the world cup was on in Qatar he was encouraged by the BBC to point these things out in that country

        Yes indeed, the Bashir Broadcasting Corporation and Saville Thatcher protectorate are up in arms against their favourite footy guy for telling the truth

  25. yesindyref2 says:

    Yay! Snow! We rarely get any here on the coast.

    Mmm, seems to have stopped already though 😦

  26. Capella says:

    Well what the BBC is talking about right now is “small boats”. They aren’t talking about Gary Lineker who is going to be “spoken to” by the management. But small boats are a sign that criminals are trying to invade England using small boats.

    Personally, I find the small differences between Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf more pertinent to our future escape from this dreadful state than almost anything else.

    • One of the early crises facing Independent Scotland will be turning back the small boats making the treacherous crossing over the Solway Firth as tens of thousands of English refugees flee the rogue state, England.
      They’ll be greeted with mugs of steaming black tea and bacon sannies.
      As Nicola declared;
      ‘There’s plenty of room in Scotland; all are welcome.’
      Ash Taylor is so out of touch that she admitted that she hadn’t read or heard of Lineker’s Leftie tweets, but declared that the BBC should issue him with a ‘red card’ during tonight’s Channel 4 ‘Debate’.
      Regan would bring Salmond, Tommy Sheridan, Kenny McAskill, and Robin McAlpine into her ‘team’ if she became FM.
      Here’s your coat, Ash.
      Humza kept placing his hands on his chest, the body language of a twister, in a constant, ‘don’t take my word for it’, and referring to e mails and feedback he had received from minority groups and SNP members attacking Kate Forbes.
      Krishnan Guru-Murthy clearly had a go at Kate Forbes, a clear indication that she is the FM they most fear,
      Forbes came over well, despite Guru-Murty accusing her of being the Scottish Liz Truss…she slapped him down rightly for this outburst.
      Forbes is winning it.
      She talks sense, with authority.

  27. Thanks for this information Paul

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    Okey-doke, well grizebard has told us all off for mostly ignoring the article and as probably a serial attender, sorry, serial offender, some thoughts. The Doyle study is here: .pdf?1664447377

    and I’ll reply to myself as oft times before.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      remove the space from that by the way. And here’s a similar report but for an older year, looks like it’s the last GERW from the uni of Cardiff.

      Similar figures though, GERW seems to use ONS data.

      Anyways, my first thought is that, that being down to page 6 of Doyle, there is this for instance: “Non-identifiable expenditure” which is a relatively large figure for Wales. For Scotland it is now relatively lower.

      As far as I can see though, the Welsh Government have had little input into improving the analysis in the Cardiff Uni GERW or the ONS data – whereas the Scottish Government has constantly been getting improvements in GERS.

      That means expectations for any Doyle analysis should be modified to a lower yield as GERS is likely better related than GERW. Still very much worth doing all the same.

      As far as I can see so far though, without finishing, there is no consideration of the economic multiplier of spending within an economy rather than “on behalf of it” outside that economy, where moving the expeenditure home would increase the revenue, increase the GDP, and hence doubly decrease the deficit in terms of actual money, and the percentage of GDP.

      Using a very quick and dirty estimate, if of the £4.6 billion spend “on behalf of Wales” turned out to comprise £4 billion outside and £0.6 bn inside Wales and the £4 bn would be spent in Wales after Independence, the nett cost of that £4 billion might actually be just £1.5 billion – so the alleged deficit could be £1.5 bn lower than even Doyle calculates.

      Sorry this is badly written, if I had time I’d totally rewrite it!

    • grizebard says:

      (Sorry, guilty myself tonight after watching that particular broadcast and nearly igniting in the process…)

  29. Dr Jim says:

    I’ll say this for the campaign for FM, it’s attracting all the best and worst of people
    The media’s selective sound bite *news* is hopefully a wake up call to Scots everywhere that you can’t trust a word they say anybody actually said

    I watched the media play a question to one candidate, then they replayed an answer to a different question from a different candidate as though it was the original question, it wasn’t, this is how the media lie using conflation suggestion and mischaracterization

  30. Ken says:

    Scotland pays £20Billion for UK pensions/benefits. £6Billion for pensions. Scotland raises £69Billion. Gets back, on average, £30Billion Block Grant. £20Billion goes on UK pensions/benefits. There is no pension pot.

    UK Gov Accounts £240Billion on UK/pensions/benefits. People in Scotland die slightly earlier. Scotland pension payments could be increased.
    The administration costs £200Billion. If pensions were increased there would be less administration costs.

    Scotland loses £Billion on Westminster wasteful projects HS2, Hickley Point, Trident etc. Scotland loses £Billions on Brexit, tax evasion

  31. Skintybroko says:

    O/T but will DR and AS be asking their WM colleagues to ask for the transport minister to resign given the snow delays. Stupid question!!

    Starting to enjoy the hustings on YouTube though why Ash is still standing is beyond me.

  32. ‘Morning, all.
    Let’s hear it for the boys.
    One glaring omission from Nicola’s list of achievements is a failure to recruit and promote young men.
    I’ve just checked the 108 MPs MSPs list and photies.
    The vast majority of male SNP politicians are middle aged to border elderly old stagers.
    The much vaunted gender balance strategy which was one of NS’ proud boasts seems to have hindered the elevation of young men to positions in her governments.
    I am too much of a gentleman (how stereotypical, I hear from the amorphous but loud ‘minorities.) to draw a similar age disparity among the female SNP group.
    But it’s there.
    There are too many tired old veterans hunched over their Holyrood lecterns at FMQ these days.
    Kate Forbes is a breath of fresh air.
    She exudes an almost naive enthusiasm and energy, determined to break free of the mediocrity which has enveloped Holyrood since we staggered bruised but not bowed out of the pandemic.
    Humza is a young man, but has decided to sell himself as a safe pair of middle aged hands; the continuity candidate indeed.
    It is why some elderly MSPs and MPs are backing Humza.
    He’ll keep them in a job.
    Independence kicked down the road for another decade.
    A cosy symbiosis has developed at Holyrood. Them and Us just like WM.
    Douglas Ross is an absolute idiot, yet leads the Tories in Scotland. He’s coining it in, with no responsibility or power to govern Scotland.
    He knows this. That’s why he was laughing his head off yesterday at FMQ. He doesn’t attend WM at all now.
    I’ve checked PMQ over the past two weeks…apart from Baron Jack of Tent Hire, the Blue Tories Up Here are absent in WM but still pick up the wages.
    Anas Sarwar is a nobody who got the job nobody else wanted.
    Look at the Labour bench.
    Jackie Baillie has been there since Holyrood opened. Richard Leonard still pockets a wage.
    I’m rambling.
    The Scottish political class needs a good boot up the arse.
    Sturgeon perpetuated the status quo.
    Her benches looked tired and worn out yesterday.
    Regan would bring Salmond Macaskill and Tommy Sheridan back in to the limelight, and Humza is actively promoted as the ‘continuity’ (mediocrity) candidate.
    The prospect of a 32 year old as leader of the party has clearly upset the Old Guard.
    More men please. More young men.

    • Eilidh says:

      Sorry Jack I don’t agree with you. I don’t have a vote so what I think is meaningless I suppose. Derek McKay was tipped to be NS successor until he totally lost the plot and sent some weird text messages to a young person. In no way could I support Ash Regan who is clearly being worked from the back by AS and his Alba cronies. I don’t rate Humza much at all. I think Kate is probably a nice person but she is niave and lacking in media experience,she did not have to go into such great detail re what previous legislation she would not have voted for because of her faith. Nor did she need to trash the record of a colleague and fellow leadership candidate sitting next to her as well as that of the government she is a minister in. I am not convinced about any of the magic plans from the three of them about a strategy to get us Independence. A lot of what Kate has said I like but I do think at times she sounds too technocratic. I know a lot of people who work in finance and they are generally really good at their jobs but in my experience many of them are not near as good with people and I fear Kate might be that way too. I have seen no sign of the common touch from Kate that has made Nicola and Alex Salmond before her so successful. Essentially I don’t think I could vote for any of the 3 candidates but not a member but my brother is and he doesn’t fancy voting for any of them either

  33. Capella says:

    I see Prince Edward has been made the Duke of Edinburgh. What century is this?

  34. Capella says:

    Apparently, we’re not allowed to talk to foreigners about our future. We will have to have “minders”.

    UK diplomats to be ordered to keep an eye on SNP overseas trips

    BRITISH diplomats are to be ordered to keep an eye on SNP ministers when they take trips overseas for fear they may spread the word about independence, reports say.

    According to the Scottish Daily Mail, Westminster is becoming increasingly concerned about Scottish ministers meddling in reserved matters, including the constitution.

    Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is now apparently preparing to write to ambassadors around the world to highlight these fears and will ask them to make sure SNP ministers are always accompanied by UK diplomats.

    • Just like in Russia, North Korea, China, Iraq, and other totalitarian regimes.
      They’ll be banning tartan and Gaelic again, soon.
      I can still mange to chant ‘mouth music’ at home?
      Send Sturgeon forth to announce to Europe that Scotland is back, and feck the rogue state on our southern Border.
      The idea of a junior embassy dogsbody accompanying oor Nikla around the EU armed with a recording device is comedy gold.

      Dammit England conquered Scotland and colonised the place.
      Who do these Uppity Jocks think they are?
      That’s the message from High Command.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The ever more Cleverly Tories are going to be tying the diplomatic corps in knots –
      First the FM was not to be provided consular assistance with transport
      Now an ambassadorial minder will be obliged to follow the taxi at a discreet distance in the Embassy car, having previously found out from Intelligence who is being visited, and forced them under duress to invite the minder officially….
      – Welcome to the Paranoia Olympics… Timely that this appeared on Richard Murphy’s blog

    • Naina Tal says:

      Then of course it’ll be “sorry you can’t visit fulfil this foreign visit because no staff are available to accompany you”. You can see it coming. Paranoid? Moi?

      • Dr Jim says:

        Another straw placed carefully and Scotland’s back is creaking
        There will be another and another until England arrives at what they will have considered most carefully and concluded that Scotland must be stopped or prevented from asserting claims of rights (in the opinion of the (UK) England government) to that which is not theirs to claim

        The Supreme court of (UK) England appointed by the (UK) English government to decide the law and it’s application in the nation of (UK) England and its territories will continue to interpret and apply such law as is laid down by the government of (UK) England without detriment to the nation of (UK) England

        Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are territories of (UK) England

        There is no such thing as free speech and never has been, only now when unrest within the territories of (UK) England has heightened are laws that hitherto were unused are now being used and deployed to curtail the facade of democracy

        The worst and most dangerous unionists in the UK are the Scottish unionists
        England will always give in to pressure from its own population, but that pressure point has not yet been reached because the English government controlled media will protect them for as long as they can until it becomes no longer possible financially or feasible to do so, or a breakdown in society could occur which is not in the financial interests of those who ultimately attempt to enforce the rule of law and continuation of the British state as is (the British state of course being England and its territories)

        Two elements the (UK) England fears most, Trade loss on an international scale and civil unrest within England
        England does not care one jot whether the entirety of Scotland Wales and or Northern Ireland murders each other on a daily basis as long as that unrest stays outside of (UK) England, the moment England becomes affected is the only moment that effects change
        As long as the facade that (UK) England has maintained can be maintained, nothing else matters

        As per usual with regards to Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland nothing will happen unless the population of (UK) England decides it will happen
        There is no parliament, no law, in Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland that cannot be overturned blocked voided or reversed by (UK) England government

        The transfer of power and authority from English Monarchial rule to (UK) English parliament was and is absolute

        The facade of democracy is the most successful achievement in English history

      • Dr Jim says:

        I spoke to an Irish woman when I was out shopping at ASDA is that OK? is she the right or wrong kind of European foreigner?

  35. Capella says:

    Kate Forbes backs reopening the ferry link from Rosyth to Zeebrugge. Can she do this without talking to foreigners? Will the ambassador have to be present?

    Kate Forbes to move on ferry link from Rosyth to Europe if FM

    The SNP leadership hopeful said she would reach out to the government in Flanders, Belgium, about re-establishing a link between Rosyth in Fife and Zeebrugge, according to The Courier.

    The route was last open to freight in 2018. At the time it was operated by DFDS, but a fire on board its ship hastened the end as the company could not find a replacement and “lost all hope” of turning around losses.

    The ferry last carried passenger services in 2010, eight years after it first began sailing.

    READ MORE: SNP MP makes trip to Copenhagen to discuss ‘vital’ ferry link

    Kate Forbes said: “I will always seek to increase trade and investment from Scotland.

    “If elected first minister, I will be happy to engage directly with the Flanders government.”

    SNP MP Douglas Chapman, who has been involved with the talks aiming at getting the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry back online, said it wouldn’t take much to get a deal over the line.

    • They’re gonna need a lot more fire extinguishers this time.
      I’d be using the service. Short cruise then a wee break on my continent Europe.
      Vote winner if I were a member, which I am not.

      Groucho’s quip when he was allegedly refused membership of a Hollywood golf club because he was a Jew comes to mind:-
      ‘I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member’ applies in my case.
      I’d be more bother than I was worth.

  36. Re., The Lineker ‘fiasco’, on the Arched Eyebrow’s Toryfest QT last night Robert Jenrick reminded the audience that his children’s grandparents were victims of Nazi Germany. He was outraged that the Football pundit dare compare his government to Hitler’s Reich.

    What Lineker actually wrote was this:-
    ““Good heavens, this is beyond awful,” he said, then added: “This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s…”

    I repeat, ‘In language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30’s.”

    Check out the following ‘language’.

    “In economics he undermines the states until the social enterprises which have become unprofitable are taken from the state and subjected to his financial control.

    In the political field he refuses the state the means for its self-preservation, destroys the foundations of all national self-maintenance and defence, destroys faith in the leadership, scoffs at its history and past, and drags everything that is truly great into the gutter.
    Culturally, he contaminates art, literature, the theatre, makes a mockery of natural feeling, overthrows all concepts of beauty and sublimity, of the noble and the good, and instead drags men down into the sphere of his own base nature.
    Religion is ridiculed, ethics and morality represented as outmoded, until the last props of a nation in its struggle for existence in this world have fallen.”

    The above is the language of ‘Mein Kampf’, Mr Jenrick.

    Hitler is talking about you, as a Jew.
    Your parents were subjected to this evil ‘language’, in the 30’s.

    6 million died primarily because of hate filled language.

    Suella Braverman speaks of an invasion of ‘illegal migrants’ run by ‘criminal gangs’; most are fit young men, with plenty of money to pay criminals to ferry them to England, according to Jenrick on last night’s QT.

    Braverman argues that there are billions who want to invade England.

    The Far Right fascist press report tales of dusky skinned criminals leaking from the concentration camps, sorry, holding pens, and terrorising the locals.
    A hotel sheltering refugees was torched.
    And yet it is Lineker who is the villain?

    England is a fascist far right state now.
    The Blue Tories realise that no matter how badly they run the economy, they can always rely on xenophobe England to vote them back in.

    The Tribe That Lost Its Head.

    Thank the Chief that we are leaving their Union.

    • ST says:

      The utter Hypocrisy of Jenrick. His parents, and my great grandparents, wouldn’t have been allowed into this country if Braverman’s immigration policies were in force.
      It’s Jews like him who make Jews like me ashamed !

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    The SNP supports and is proud of its youth wing, and rightly so, young people are our future but also have the raw energy to chase issues, open minds to consider all views. And if there is a burning issue for some, there may well be more apparent for that issue than you’d expect proportionately – for instance, for trans issues and the GRRB. That’s the way activism works.

    But it’s obvious to me that that’s not all they are about, there are plenty of others who have other issues they care about. For that reason I think Regan made a big mistake not replying to a survey from them, and one she should rectify as soon as possible. THIS comment from the National article shows that they are well able to make general assessments:

    Forbes was, however, deemed to have given “genuinely good answers” to questions

    the article is interesting, as always the National headline writer should be told that they are losing subscribers and are dooming the National:

    • Agreed, YIR2.
      There’s something fishy going on over at the National.
      Yousaf would be a disaster as leader.
      He lacks presence, magnetism, authority, and a long list of similar synonyms in Roget’s Thesaurus.

      He oftimes looks that he is trying desperately not to break wind live on the telly.
      The strain and stress of live interrogation is clear on his face.
      Cruel ad hominem? No doubt; but this is too serious for mediocrity to triumph.
      I’m confined to quarters because of this cold…I’ll shut up for a wee while now.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Looking at the Alba advertising thing, it seems that the political party pays for “adverts”, and gets some interviews as return for their payment.

        If this is the case, I wonder who in the SNP makes the decisions about “advertising” in the National, how many Yousaf supporting politicians they get to get interviewed for the budget, and which Yousaf they support for the Leadership?

        I think I should go and lay me doon amongst my conspiracy theories.

      • Pogmothon says:

        I personally think Humza Yousaf will make a very good FM when he is elected leader of the SNP.
        I also think that he is not the man of this hour.
        He will make a very good following act when Kate leaves the stage, or when whoever the follow on act is, leaves the stage.
        I have no doubt that he will be FM.
        However it is my belief that he will be FM after we restore our independence when a continuity candidate is exactly what we need.

  38. andyfromdunning says:

    The Newsquest company has decided to ban all adverts from Alba in all its papers. Also stop Tashmina writing articles. The ban on adverts is censorship and must be avoided. I had hoped the National would be above the bias of the U.K. msms but apparently not.
    Even if you hate Alba you must agree this is wrong.

    • andyfromdunning says:

      I was going to add.
      After buying every copy of the paper since issue one I had decided not to renew my subscription after 15 March. I was swithering about this decision when I found out about an Indy party being censored so that made me stick with my original opinion.

    • Capella says:

      It’s ALBA that is stopping all adverts in The National. They are protesting about an apparent ban on any Alex Salmond interview and Tasmina Ahmed Sheik’s column being terminated. Sounds draconian to me.
      Story here:

      • Dr Jim says:

        My question became redundant when I read your post Capella

      • andyfromdunning says:

        I am regrettably required to bring to your attention what seems to be a clearly inequitable stance against our Party by The National newspaper.

        Earlier this year, we were engaged in discussions about a new round of advertising in The National, as we have done quite successfully over the last few months. You will be aware that we have regularly highlighted the case of independence through national billboard campaigns and newspaper advertisements. This was not only a considerable contribution to boosting general independence support, but also served as a good means of engaging with members of the public to help develop policies that reflect the needs of the people of Scotland.

        The National offered a number of interview spots for ALBA candidates, but specified that “Alex Salmond can’t be among the … interviews”. We asked for clarification and were told it was an “editorial decision” by the paper. We attempted to discuss this informally with Newsquest senior editorial staff but were rebuffed with explanations which could best be described as fatuous. At no stage did the editor attempt to reach out directly to us in order to clarify or apologise for the offence that had been created. At no stage was there any suggestion that the position would change.

        Simultaneously, the editor then discontinued the long-standing column of our Party Chair, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, despite the fact that it is regularly one of the best read feature columns in the paper. Any editor has the right to choose their columnists, but to remove ALBA’s only columnist with the paper to be replaced by new columnists who have zero track record of supporting the campaign for independence, is bitterly disappointing.

        Thus among the myriad of columns featured in the paper, not one will be written from the ALBA perspective, despite ALBA clearly having a distinct role in the independence movement. ALBA are the only pro independence party that puts urgency on the necessity of restoring Scottish independence. ALBA are the only pro independence party that believes in a vibrant future for the North Sea as part of an energy strategy that unleashes the vast bounty of Scotland’s renewable potential. ALBA are the only Parliamentary pro independence party opposed to the controversial Gender Recognition Reforms that are a risk to women and girls across Scotland.

        We have led calls for an independence convention to bring the independence movement together to unite behind a strategy that can bend Westminster to the will of Scotland, and importantly actually deliver independence.

        We are unashamed of our position that Scotland should have an elected Head of State, underlining the principle that in an independent Scotland all citizens will be equal.

        Our voice is not only one that should be featured strongly in any pro independence publication, it is one that represents on many of the above issues, the majority opinion of Scotland.

        Instead, as is obvious from recent editions, the editorial direction of The National seems to be heavily invested in the fortunes of one particular candidate in the SNP leadership election and indeed, on one side of the Section 35/GRR debate. This narrow bias comes at a time when there is a great desire across the national movement to find a mechanism of working together.

        Supporters will understand why we feel compelled to withdraw all our advertising from the paper until it is prepared to offer a fair platform to all points of view across the national movement.

        Instead, we will continue to offer press releases and comment in the same way as we do for the rest of the mainstream media.

        Unlike The National, ALBA do not attempt to censor points of view and our supporters are free to buy this paper or not as you wish. However, I thought it only fair to acquaint you with these facts which may help inform you in making any such decision.

        Yours for Scotland,

        Chris McEleny
        General Secretary

        • Hamish100 says:

          McEleny has caused enough disruption over the years and apart from a few folk is viewed less than favourable by the folk 0f Inverclyde.
          As for the National I find it lightweight and much prefer the Sunday National as a paper.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Did they offer a reason as to why they took their decision?

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Andy, as Capella says it’s Alba pulled the advertising, not the National. I saw this story this morning via Bell’s twitter and thence barrheadboy (I’m not a fan).

      But yes, I agree, the National is wrong. And it’s all because it’s been taken over by the GRRB special interest activists and lost Independence as its priority. It pushes Yousaf like it’s going out of fashio, nearly ignoring Regan, and promoting mostly, anti-Forbes articles.

      I feel sorry for the journalists and columnists who are let down by the editorial stance.

      • Eilidh says:

        Sorry until recently The Natonal was a hive of Alba stuff and it’s trolls as well the pretendy Indy ones/Unionists still haunt the BTL comments like a bad smell. I as an Snp supporter was getting seriously pissed off with some of the Alba stuff and I don’t believe Tasmina’s column was particularly well read. Was banning articles from AS a good idea don’t know but care even less. I am guessing their stance against GRR didn’t help them with some of the younger readership of the newspaper. I do think it has gone a bit weird since new editor took over. Before NS resigned it seemed very much like a get at Nicola/Snp paper and had a more tabloid vibe to it.

  39. Bob Lamont says:

    Torches and Pitchforks…

    • 2% torches, 98% pitchforks, Bob.
      Salmond is electoral poison.
      If Regan were to prevail, Salmond, MacAskill and Common Weal, and now we hear, Tommy Sheridan would form part of her kitchen Cabinet at Bute House.
      They’ll need to build a bigger drinks cabinet for all that late night ‘fumbling’.
      See what I did there…anticipated the tsunami of MSM Salmondgate revisited trash.
      Alba is Salmond’s vanity project.
      They have one policy; ‘What do we want? Independence! When do we want it? Now! Oh Yes, and keep the oil pumping.
      The man is political poison.

      • Dr Jim says:

        She’ll be shot alang wae the craws she flys wae
        Ash didn’t read the SNP members room, she read the commie meal propaganda sheet
        Humza’s doing no better, he’s been caught out stuffing the hustings with his own followers

        The thing about Scottish voters is they don’t mind sneaky being done to others, but they don’t like sneaky if they think it’s being done to them
        At the moment it looks like honest Kate will win the day with her *here’s the facts* no fluff and nonsense approach

        According to the Yoonyawnist media the SNP are about to lose oodles and oodles of seats at the next election so we’ll soon see the headlines that we see every year
        “The honeymoon’s over for the SNP” and every year they’re wrong

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    I see Starmer is again showing his complete ignorance of Scotland and our agriculture. From the Herald:

    Starmer accuses SNP and Tories of leaving ‘Scotland’s spirit of innovation hamstrung’

    No idea of agriculture in England, but what this idiot doesn’t seem to realise is that there are probably 10 times as many lambs and sheep in Scotland as pigs, and more beef and milk cattle than pigs as well. Yet the population of pigs is actually rising in Scotland due to world prices.

    And if he came to Ayrshire of course, he could get himself some Ayrshire middle cut bacon and it might actually come from Ayrshire not Poland.

    “Hamstrung”??? What an ignoramus! It’s not strung unless maybe sausage links, it’s not even hung, drawn or quartered, it’s cured.

    *shakes head*

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    For those with a few spare minutes, I found this, and there are others on the left links (or squares):

    You’d have thunk Starmer would have googled before gargling his tonsils in public.

  42. Hamish100 says:

    I see Linneker is to step back as a football host on the bbc, a David Dimbleby programme is being withdrawn from the bbc so not to upset the right wing and Fiona Bruce defends a wife beater on bbc and remains.
    Democratic principles and decency are again trampled by the right wing junta in England.

  43. Handandshrimp says:

    Stunned that the BBC are too nervous to show an Attenborough programme on wildlife and habitat loss in the UK. Attenborough is a national treasure.

    If any evidence were needed that the BBC has lost its way that is it.

  44. yesindyref2 says:

    Good grief.

    I’m gobsmacked. That’s a coup for the National, but as long as it is both sides of the debate. Trade Unions are important, and so is the STUC.

    … I’m delighted to take up my role as a columnist within The National, giving a platform to our movement and speaking directly to members across all sides of the constitutional debate.

  45. yesindyref2 says:

    What? What? From the National from the SNP defence spokesperson:

    “Over 13 years the Tory government has decimated the UK’s conventional forces and capabilities while closing or downgrading bases across Scotland and elsewhere. Infantry numbers in particular are at their lowest point since the war of the Spanish Succession more than 300 years ago.


    Does Doogan not realise that that was basically an English interest, with Scotland basically ON THE OTHER SIDE with France? And that it was one of the reasons for the forced Treaty of Union, and Scotland being forced to take a share of England’s war debts?


    • Dr Jim says:

      Well they have been told by the Americans that the *British army* in its current state wouldn’t even have the capability to defend the Alamo against the cannons and muskets of general Santa Ana’s forces, so we know they’ll just spend ££billions upgrading the final nuclear solution weapons, the *British defensive* kind of course

      If Scotland decides we’ve had enough of them all we need do is dig our swords out of our haystacks and let them have it

      If anyone is short of one all they need to do is email me at and I’ll sort that out for you

  46. Dr Jim says:

    Gary Lineker out, Ian Wright out, Alan Shearer out, David Attenborough out, in case of *offence* to Tory MPs

    David Attenborough? offence*?

    Every Jewish person in the world knows how this starts, how it continues, and how it ends, plus half of Scotland has been pointing it out for years

    This is your Labour Tory Liberal Democrat England kids, and the worst offenders are right here in Scotland who lied and persuaded folks to vote against their own freedom in 2014

    They knew this was coming just like they knew Brexit was coming to give England the freedom from justice to do just what its doing now

  47. Capella says:

    Watched the Edinburgh hustings (I’ve missed the TV and the other hustings). There were a couple of plants in the audience with “get Kate” questions but she handled them very smoothly. I thought Humza was a bit shouty but then I’m not a fan. It went very well I thought. No sign of the famous civil war. Has a ceasefire been declared?

  48. Alba Laddie says:

    Just in from the hustings. They all acquitted themselves well to be honest, and it was all very civil at the top table.

    I was leaning towards Forbes for various reasons, but IMO Yousaf came across as the most polished and personable out of the three of them.

  49. scottish_skier says:

    Latest poll is 52% Yes. From Findoutnow.

    Pasting my comment from the national…


    The forces driving this are just a little bit bigger than a single politician that will serve as FM for a number of years before we have someone else take over. It’s not like such things don’t happen in independent countries.

    Meanwhile, good on the English match of the day presenter team etc. BBC being shown up for what it is.

  50. Hamish100 says:

    Question to panel tomorrow
    Should wife beater johnson get a knighthood and Fiona Bruce be sacked by the bbc?

  51. yesindyref2 says:

    Headline in the National: “SNP leadership candidates to be grilled at The National and trade unionist hustings

    Kind of reminds me of a TV advert somehow:

    “How do you want yer eggs, fried or boiled?”

    “I’ll have them grilled, please”.

  52. yesindyref2 says:

    Yousaf: “If we cave in, if the first act of a new first minister is to cave in to that, they will come after bill after bill after bill and we just can’t allow it. So I give you an absolute unequivocal guarantee that if I’m the first minister of Scotland I’ll stand up and I will challenge that Section 35.

    This sounds great and fine and dandy, but has he actually remembered the purpose of the GRR Bill – which is to make thinks easier for transgender people?

    The probability of success of that challenge lies somewhere between 0% and 100%, and legal advice would start at 50% and work in either direction depending on various arguments. So in court the same would happen, and it could take months for the first hearing to start and end, say in the Court of Session, even if the Inner House, then an appeal by either party to the UKSC. And maybe even further.

    Unlike the referral under S34 for a referendum planned on a specific date, with months needed to achieve that date, there is no particular reason for any court to treat this as urgent – it’s about a Law from 2004, 19 years ago. So it could be a lot of months, even years.

    Meanwhile, the transgender people have got – nothing.

    I don’t think this thing has been thought through with their interests as a priority, I think it’s more like trying to stick it to Westminster and the Viceroy. I’m all in favour of that, very much so, but NOT at the expense of the very people the Bill was designed to help.

    Get the GRRB back in Holyrood as an emergency Bill, cut it right back to the SNP 2021 manifesto, pass it, preferably with zero votes against, and THEN put it back for Royal Assent.

    • Golfnut says:

      It depends, and it would be very much my preference, just how dirty the SG were prepared to fight. If they were prepared to put before the court that the bill’s primary function was to restore the rights removed by the courts( in secret) to protect the rights to male hereditary peerages and the rights of male succession to the throne by labelling transgenders mentally ill. Now, it may well be that the court would decide that certain changes to the original bill were required but that wouldn’t be the SG or the Scottish parliament backing down and it would be a bloody nose for westminster. The media would have some serious backtracking to do.

    • Legerwood says:

      What does “cut it right back to the SNP 2021 manifesto” mean?

      This whole process started with an investigation into the workings of a House of Commons Committee into the workings of the GRA 2004. Based on the evidence they heard the HoC Committee recommended reform of the Act and a system of self-Id was one of their recommendations. That was in 2016.

      Both the SG and UKGov, at the time T May was PM, started the process based on some sort of self-Id system.

      The UK Gov under Johnston changed tack and all they have done by way of reform is reduced the cost of getting a GRC to £5 but left the stressful, undignified and prolonged process in place.

      Defending the GRR Bill through the courts is not a case of ‘sticking it to Westminster’ but of defending the rights of the Scottish Parliament to legislate AND defending the rights of trans people to have a fairer system for making legal changes to their gender something on which Westminster has clearly reneged.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        For clarity, EVERY country worldwide who had enacted GRA legislation had agreed on the need for reform including the then UQ, but for context Ireland enacted these legislative reforms in 2015 – And yet, in Ireland almost nobody noticed the Law being passed nor frankly cared, possibly because RTE still do journalism. eg –
        – The Irish Parliament considered all the repercussions and enacted the Reforms.
        – There were no rapist victimhood stories paraded daily if not hourly on RTE featuring wailing and gnashing of teeth from opposition politicians.
        – There were no phone-in shows by Kay (without an E) Sheehy encouraging people to feel upset.
        – No women only spaces were intruded upon without a short delay before transfer to A&E (as it’s always been) with absolutely no witnesses the Gardai could find (as it’s always been), life pretty much continued as normal.

        Compare that to the King James version a la BBC in Scotland.

        It’s not just Westminster we will be challenging but the entire corrupt enterprise including it’s ever attendant flunkies in the media – Abusing decency toward a minority for purely political advantage is immoral.
        Small boats anyone ?
        Is it worth it ? Hell yes.

  53. Hamish100 says:

    Why? It was passed by the Parliament already.

    Join the tories and undermine Parliament.

  54. Golfnut says:

    Fantastic rant by James O’ Brian.

    Pity though he can’t manage the same outrage at how the media and establishment treat Scotland, because the same applies.

  55. Skintybroko says:

    Isn’t it strange that the BBC comments and complaints sections are no longer operational.

    Kudos to the football pundits but for the BBC to be fair they would need to censure 90% of the pathetic quay mob – don’t see them giving us the critique on GERS unless it’s the blue variety.

  56. Dr Jim says:

    This morning the BBC radio Scotland interviewed SNP MP John Nicolson on the subject of Lineker, the interviewer got into slight difficulty because she mentioned the appointment of the BBC director general, which gave Nicolson the opportunity to clarify the political position on that
    The moment she did it she or her producer realised she shouldn’t have given him that opportunity and began to attempt to shut him up
    Someone must have said as much off air which was of course unheard, but the interviewer accidentally clarified it by forgetting to mute her mike and could be heard audibly replying “I tried” which could only have been a reply to whoever told her to shut Nicolson up

    But sure, the Bashir Boris Corporation is clean as a whistle, no doubt about it *NOT*

  57. davetewart says:

    Whilst the local media are leading with Lineker, they divert from,

    £500m extra to France to employ 500 extra officers.
    No returns policy on asylum seekers or bottles.
    Slow Speed two will not get to Birmingham or London.
    TWO USA banks go bust last week.
    Sewage dumped into englander’s rivers.
    Transport minister not asked to resign due to the M62 being blocked.

  58. Pogmothon says:

    More than a bit OT but a thought occurs with the MOTD situation should not the current question be,
    “Which football team/s and their fans will back the MOTD presenters, by refusing to play or appear on the BBC, until they are unreservedly re-instated”.
    Yup that’s wright(sic) NONE it makes no difference what the fans think or want.
    Their clubs are controlled by tory money. Which will support braverman, the BBC, and the rest of the fascist thugs.

    One other question…..
    Did Gary Lineker just become the Jesse Owen or the Tommie Smith of the current age ?????

    • James says:

      BBC not getting any interviews from PL players and managers and lower-league clubs are also starting to say they will not give interviews.

      Not surprising really, and at the end of the day Lineker was one of the best and most highly regarded players of his generation, no surprise that players/managers both current and past as well as clubs are going to back him.

  59. Capella says:

    The National reports on the latest poll showing YES in the lead.This was a poll by James Kelly so SGP also has analysis.

    Scottish independence support in the lead in latest poll

    Kelly compared the results of the latest survey to those which put Yes in the lead following the Supreme Court’s judgment in November.

    In his analysis of the poll for The National, Kelly suggested that the reason Find Out Now and Ipsos are finding pro-Yes majorities while other firms are not could be down to how the results are calculated.

    He argued that the difference could be down to neither Ipsos or Find Out Now adjusting the findings by how respondents voted in the 2014 referendum.

  60. Capella says:

    James Kelly’s own article in The National on his latest poll results.

    The latest polls could be missing a steady pro-independence majority

  61. Pogmothon says:

    I know completely OT however all things effect all things (butterfly effect and all that) on the subject of Mr Lineker should the current question not be,
    “Which football team/s and their fans will back the MOTD presenters, by refusing to play or appear on the BBC, until they are unreservedly re-instated”.
    And the answer, yup that’s wright(sic) NONE it makes no difference what the fans think or want.
    Their clubs are controlled by tory money. Which will support braverman, the BBC, and the rest of the fascist thugs.

    Or will history look back on the Lineker/Attenborough indecent as the catalyst that started a movement. Has Gary Lineker just become the Jesse Owen or Tommie Smith of the present age ??????

  62. Dr Jim says:

    Sir Kier Starmer in Wales telling the people of that country they’re not a country they’re Britain, but Britain’s Westminster is bad for them by keeping all their Brexit money from them and managing the economy badly
    Now when Sir Kier Starmer comes to Scotland he says much the same thing except that he tells us that Westminster devolution is good for us, and we have all the powers of devolution but the SNP are wasting them and ruining the economy

    So which is it? Is Westminster bad for Wales but good for Scotland, or is Sir Kier Starmer just another liar in a long line of Labour liars?

    It’s why in Scotland we have Anas Sarwar, yet another Labour liar following a long list of Labour liar leaders selected by Westminster imposed upon our Scottish parliament

    Did you know that the most popular by polls Labour leader in Scotland since devolution was never in fact appointed as leader, but was interim leader until Westminster selected their leader for us, (Rupert Limpwrist) and that non most popular leader was Alex Rowley who when he was deputising saw the highest increase in support for the Labour party in Scotland

    So why didn’t the Labour party make him leader in Scotland? well, he actually was Labour, and that made him totally unacceptable to lead the Labour party in Scotland

    Labour have one single MP in Scotland and yet they still insist they should rightfully own the place because all the voters are stupid for voting SNP
    Labour never consider that the voters got smarter after realising Labour thought they were stupid in the first place

  63. Handandshrimp says:

    I see Stephen Flynn is backing Humza. I’m still not convinced that Humza will spread the tent wide enough to lead both the SNP to victory and to broaden the Yes vote. Of course I have some reservations about Kate but on balance I think she would make the best leader. Ash has improved as the campaign has progressed but I’m not sure she would unite the party.

    That said I’m not going to take my ball and go home if Ash or Humza win.

    • Dr Jim says:

      It’s the Goldilocks dilemma, which porridge is just right, and of course none of them are because they’ve had no time to build up to this situation, and neither have we, so we have to pick the one who we think is going to taste the best giving a little bit of time to bed into the job
      Because they’ll only have a little time, the media and the opposition will be laser focused on naming and blaming and general destruction of their character immediately
      So who is the strongest? who is the most resilient? who can look them in the eye and put them straight?
      For me it’s an easy choice as to who’ll get things moving for the country, she has no fear and is incapable of lying

      Was that a clue? Big one eh

      • Handandshrimp says:

        Yes, I get why each of the candidates has a selling point and it is just that thing of hitting the right note with not just SNP voters but the wider Yes and soft No voters.

        With so long to the next Holyrood elections I guess whoever wins will have plenty of time to establish themselves…or crash and burn.

  64. Hamish100 says:

    I think all MP’s MSP’s in a position of responsibility should keep quiet. Fed up listening to them. I’ll make my own mind up.

    As an aside all the furore over Lineker allows Fiona Bruce’s disgusting comment on QT and supporting Johnson’s old man to be overshadowed. Nice work Tory party and news media.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Isn’t it always the way, the Britnats with the most Scottish sounding names ( Fiona Bruce) hate Scotland’s people the most
      Could they be jealous because they’re not considered Scottish anymore? like Gordon Brown

    • Legerwood says:

      I am not sure FB’s comments have been overshadowed at least not on Twitter. Many of the Tweets supporting GL also mention the disparity in his treatment compared to FB’s treatment by the BBC. The clip from QT is also getting plenty of views.

    • stewartb says:

      ‘I think all MP’s MSP’s in a position of responsibility should keep quiet.’ Why?

      These MPs/MSPs are people who have been tested at the ballot box, whose constituents once, twice or more have given them their trust based on assessments of their judgement, their work ethic, their values as well as their party affiliation.

      Being an MP and an MSP IS a position of responsibility. Having been accorded further responsibility – as a minister in government, a shadow spokesperson, a parliamentary committee member or chair – all extends knowledge and experience, and potentially, brings other insights.

      And certainly, unlike me, MPs/MSPs are more likely to have direct experience of the candidates in terms of their intellect, critical thinking and creative skills; their work ethic; their personal values including in terms of policy as well as how they operate with colleagues/teams and towards others who may need to be influenced behind the scenes in parliament – and probably more. And yes there is ambition to be part of the next lead team.

      All in all, I’m happy to take others’ views into account alongside what I glean directly myself and from my network of acquaintances.

  65. Capella says:

    More polling data from James Kelly. This is a Panelbase poll he commissioned to find out which of the leadership candidates the voters and the SNP members prefer. Interesting results. The voting starts on Monday.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I’m only just back from my skiing jaunt, and have to catch up, but this sentence from Kelly is important to understand more fully. It relates to what I was saying to Yes2 the other day (which sadly seems to be borne out by the reported arrests of people re Yousaf).

      Incidentally, she [Forbes] also has a mammoth 69% to 19% lead over Yousaf among No voters from 2014, which is arguably even more important, because those are the people we need to win over.

      This is coming from Yousaf being absolutely hated (vs Forbes) by Tory and Leave voters, which I had suspected, then found was totally the case in Ipsos data (was looking at this as your post appeared, and we can expect the same in Kelly’s Panelbase).

      These are absolutely not going to be won over to indy by a Kate Forbes FM. They are made up of mainly people of a British national identity – that’s their country. They naturally would much prefer her over Yousaf when asked, but that won’t help the cause one bit unfortunately.

      That said, I don’t believe whoever becomes FM will actually influence indy support measurably. Sturgeon had no effect and nor did Salmond. If the FM is totally sh*t, that’s going to likely slow movement down and cause splits, but all that’s actually required to keep things moving towards indy is that they come across as decent and are trying to do a good job. As we all agree, it’s not ‘cos Salmond’ nor ‘cos Sturgeon’ and it won’t be ‘cos Forbes / Yousaf’ either. It’s only British nationalists who delude themselves. What is driving support for indy is far more fundamental, fuelled by long term and external factors pretty much entirely outwith the control of Holyrood and our government.

      It seems positive support for both candidates, and those holding neutral views (‘will to see how they do before judging’), is actually quite similar, but for British nationalist right wingers, a liberal left of centre Muslim Scottish nationalist of Pakistani family history origins (ergo of a certain skin colour not classed as British) could not be more of a horrifying prospect.

      I need to dig through and see who e.g. Labour voters prefer. If a new FM can oil things a bit in terms of winning people over, this would be a much better pool to go fishing in!

      On this topic, one of the guys I met skiing that I mentioned – the one that voted No 2014 but wanted to talk about it all as he was unquestionably Scottish but worried about economics etc (not the other one who was a defo britnat) – was a Labour supporter who had lost all faith in them. This is who we need to be working on.

      He actually said to me ‘Why don’t the SNP work harder to show how energy rich Scotland is!’. Clearly something he’d been reading up on and a factor he saw as positive for indy.

      Will dig deeper on ipsos and Kelly’s panelbase to see what can be discerned…

      • scottish_skier says:

        Actually, to be totally clear, Tory / leavers are not specifically flocking to Forbes (of course not, she’s nationalist!), but they are saying they absolutely hate Yousaf, which makes Forbes look much more popular relatively, in net terms etc.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Here we go. A picture speaks a thousand words.

        Remain 2016 voters have statistically no real preference between Forbes and Yousaf. But OMG do leavers not like the latter. It’s quite incredible, and, sadly, can only realistically be explained one way. It’s what has people being charged with criminal offences as we speak.

        If voters did just think he was crap at his job, it would be seen in Remain voter preferences too.

        The devil is, as always, in the detail.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Pants, tired post-travel typo in a couple of graph values, but makes no difference to conclusions.

  66. yesindyref2 says:

    Mmm, “Referee Douglas Ross weighs in on Kate Forbes leadership campaign

    “Help me Rona”, he said.

  67. Ken says:

    The Polls leave out 25% of people who never vote, except in a Referendum. 85%. GE 60%.

    People who support Independence need to turnout and vote every election. To vote the opposition out.

  68. scottish_skier says:

    I am in agreement with James Kelly on this. Weighting to 2014 is nuts. The electorate has changed massively since then, never mind false recall.

    The latest polls could be missing a steady pro-independence majority

    If you just do standard, industry norm weighting, such is applied for UK polling, Y/N looks a bit like this:

  69. Dr Jim says:

    It appears the folk who don’t favour Kate Forbes are the so called minority groups who have greatly exaggerated conflated and inflated every word she mostly never said
    then ignored all the words she mostly did say, and the thing about these groups is they do it “””DEAFENINGLY”””!!

    This whole thing has developed just as nicely as the media wanted it to, juicy division with some bitter hatred and the fall of the SNP empire
    Hate to disappoint the media and the enraged outraged WTF***ers but the latter isn’t going to happen, the roof won’t cave in, the sky won’t fall and the heavens won’t open to bring death and destruction to all, no matter who is chosen by the SNP members

    The election should have been kept where it was supposed to kept, inside the party for the SNP members to decide, and if there are those who feel that would have been unfair, the members pay their own money into the party for certain decisions to be made by them, if anyone wants a say in choosing who says what then join a political party and pay for that opportunity

    If folk want to demand order blackmail or overrule without being a part of the making of those rules then they might as well be England, that’s what they do

    Maybe Alister Jack will do certain groups in Scotland a favour and issue a section 35 order and change who we in the SNP decide to elect as FM by adding in his own criteria for Scottish FMs in an effort to assist in the desires of all mankind’s wants and needs

    Applicants must be gay secular trans childless androgynous green android with no ambition and posses the ability to answer yes to everything
    Alive dead and undead candidates may apply under the normal disability arrangements, under no circumstances will what is known as majority mainstream humans be considered

    Terms and conditions apply

    • scottish_skier says:

      From what I can see, both Forbes and Yousaf are about equally popular with the electorate (the target electorate anyway – forget the Tory/UKIP/BNP types), SNP voters, and members, so the outcome is just as good either way. Each have their good points, and less good points, with the former outweighing the latter. Going to be a close race.

      The focus should be on a positive vision. Any personal type attacks on other candidates will not help the contenders, so they should resist all temptation.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        From the poll and Scot Goes Pop:

        Regardless of which party or parties you intend to vote for in future elections, which of the three candidates do you think would be the best First Minister of Scotland? (Scot Goes Pop / Panelbase, 7th-10th March 2023)

        with don’t knows stripped out:

        Kate Forbes: 53% (+5)
        Humza Yousaf: 30% (-)
        Ash Regan: 17% (+3)

        That’s not equally popular at all.

        • scottish_skier says:

          I said ‘the target electorate’. What possible benefit is it having Tories, UKIP etc prefer Forbes to Yousaf, as per my earlier posts? It goes without saying that these sorts of voters will pick Forbes over Yousaf. After all, they are asking to pick between two people they really don’t like, but one is white Christian and won is an Muslim of south Asian ancestry.

          But having a Forbes FM won’t get the Orange Order, BNP etc rallying to a more liberal, pro-EU, social democratic Scotland.

          Let me go and look at who labour voters like as they are more open to indy, pro-EU etc, but I suspect it will be broadly equal, as it is for Yessers, Remainers etc.

        • scottish_skier says:

          Here we go and as expected.

          Among Labour 2019 voters, Forbes and Yousaf are statistically equal. But OMG the Tory voters don’t like him, and I think we can understand where a big part of that is coming from! That is giving Forbes apparent boost when you look at figures for all voters.

          But Forbes is getting a boost from people who would never vote Yes. The 30% of so that are rock solid British and not for turning. It’s not that they actually like her – I’m sure they’ll loath her for being a ‘bloody Scot nat’ – but when given a forced choice (they are going to get one of the two in the end) between her and Yousaf, there’s no hesitation.

          So just take care when looking at polls here. You don’t want to be lauding your candidate for their support (albeit inadvertent) among Tories! 🙂 Among decent, moderate (Lab, Remain etc) voters, the two are pretty much on an even keel, which is good for Yes, as either winning should not do the cause harm (subject to how they perform in the job of course!).

          I will note again that ‘neutral’ is a good response. It means people are giving SNP candidates a chance.

          Think of it if you were asked about Sunak and Starmer as PM? Would you say you were ‘neutral’ on Starmer, or thought they were both bad? See – that’s what I mean here. 😉

          The neutrals don’t dislike the candidates, and are willing to see how they get on. That’s a positive for both.

          I will have a look at panelbase, but as Kelly talked about in his latest National article, unlike Ipsos, it’s 2014 weighted, so likely less accurate, favouring unionism, and so more pro-Forbes for the reasons talked about here. But the overall patterns will probably be similar.

    • Eilidh says:

      I watched most of the Johnstone hustings from a few days back on YouTube today as well as all of the Glasgow one from this afternoon. Ash Regan seems to want to form a committee for nearly policy issue but a wider gathering to promote Independence. Kate had some good ideas. Humza spoke better than I thought he would but I still don’t particularly rate him. The problem is Kate shot herself in the foot by going into far too much detail about her religious views in regard how she would not have voted for equal marriage if she had been there then compounded things by having a go at Hamza record in government and the achievement in general. In so doing she really hasn’t helped herself. She may be the best candidate but she has managed to alienate members of the party and quite a lot of Msps and Mps so no surprise they are expressing support mostly for Humza. One thing I agree withb Humza on is the S35 order must be challenged As I understand it there is nothing in the rules to stop them supporting a candidate so I don’t understand why people are getting so wound up about this. It is exactly what happens in other parties If people vote for a candidate because their local msp supports that person then they are really clueless in my opinion.

  70. Hamish100 says:

    Was at the Stuc site in Glasgow hustings run by the SNP TU Group.

    All candidates were respectful to each other. A few planted sorry selected questions from councillors and tu reps which was fair enough. J. Cherry there, clapping ( gently) ‘for her preferred candidate although out of her depth.

    Aberdeen tomorrow apparently.

    • Capella says:

      I watched this hustings. Thought it went well but no spectacular policy announcements. Odd to see them all perched on high stools in front of the audience. Agree that Ash isn’t as polished in getting her message out.

      Will watch Aberdeen tomorrow then on to the voting next week to see who GCHQ thinks should be FM – only kidding, well not really 🤞

  71. Hamish100 says:


    • Humza, (not ‘Hoomza’) wrestled awkwardly with bunch of crumpled A4 sheets and an SNP yellow clicky pen, Ash, went all retro pre-filofax with a clunky Four Ring binder, and Kate hugged an Applemac note pad to her bosom, while snuggling her bottle of water in the crook of her right arm like a substitute wee babby.
      The medium is the message, but presentation is everything else.
      Forbes, modern, IT savvy; The others, relics of the ‘nineties.
      Forbes is youthful, articulate, knew her brief without notes, and clearly is the most seasoned public speaker.
      She knew her target audience.
      She rat tat tatted the bullet points relentlessly; Poverty, fair wages, just transition, disabled workers, affordable housing, Land reform, tax the Big Boys….
      Workers rights, the care worker, the nurse, the bus driver, and the vital role of Trades Unions…what’s not to like if you were in that room, with a vote.
      She’ll win.
      Whoever thought it was a good idea to perch the candidates on bar stools needs talking to, National.
      It was a cosy gently amateurish production, as befits the intimacy of a membership hustings.
      Regan hasn’t a clue about anything. She will bring experts in on every aspect of Scottish life to make decisions for her.
      Hoomza, sorry, Humza, is a good foot soldier, not a general.

  72. yesindyref2 says:

    This is actually very sad, having met the guy once.

    DEPUTY First Minister John Swinney has announced that he is backing Humza Yousaf in the SNP’s leadership contest.

    Michelle Thomson: “Given how close we are to the vote opening, many party members will look upon this 11th hour intervention rather cynically. They don’t need to be told by party HQ what to think or how to vote.

    Indeed. But at least the National did a bit of balance.

    • Capella says:

      Comical really. Anyone who wants a change in direction knows who the continuity candidate is. I agree with Michelle Thomson.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        So far my MSP and MP have backed nobody,

        I hope they stay that way, regardless of who they’d go for. It’s totally the correct democratic thing to do.

        Imagine someone as highly respected as Swinney not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Just checked their twitter and facebook. Clean as a whistle. It actually makes me proud, I thought I was a bit more cynical and hardened than that. Almost makes me want to rejoin the SNP. I did say “almost”.

        • Eilidh says:

          If it is not in the party rules that Mps or Msps must not mention who they are supporting how is it wrong. Other party elections it happens the same way as was seen by the Tory Mps voting for Sunak whilst most members voted for Truss. I am also sure that the same thing situation happened on a much smaller membership scale and with little media atention when Salmond was elected Snp leader

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Yes Eilidh, it’s how the UK Tories do things.

            Is that a good thing for the SNP politicians to copy?

            • Eilidh says:

              It is not just the Tories, Labour party and Libdems do exactly the same and it happens that way in American elections as well as countless other elections in democratic countries across the globe. The amount of conspiracy stuff about this election because a lot of elected members are expressing support for Humza is ridiculous . Do you actually expect them to not express an opinion. It is not outwith the rules to tell folk who they are supporting. Are you saying they should not have any free speech. Well they ain’t freelancing for the BBC as far as I know so I don’t get why people are going mental about this. If you don’t like the rules about this vote to change them at the next conference. Thank god I never joined the Snp.Can we just get this bloody election over with so Nicola can escape and so more other mug can be become leader. I am beyond caring who it is

    • scottish_skier says:

      Has Swinney actually told people how to vote, or has he just said who he will be supporting and maybe why? Quite a few names have come out for Forbes too. I don’t see them as acting ‘undemocratically’.

      I note lots of people on here are saying which candidate they prefer – is that them telling others how to vote? Or is it just them saying who they’re backing, just like MSPs, MPs, councillors are free to do in a democracy? 😉

      It’s kind of insulting to imply folks are sheep and will just back whoever they’re told to by the next MSP/MP that says they’re going for a specific candidate. Also that a particular candidate is a ‘continuity’ one. Has there been some sort of independent, apolitical assessment of all 3 that concluded this? Or is it just folk’s person opinions?

      All three candidates are or have recent been party of Sturgeon’s cabinet! Kate Forbes was deciding how much money Yousaf could have for the NHS – after that is, England had gone through our pockets and given us some of our own money to spend! I imagine she’s working closely with him on pay deals here too – they’d need her ok. Recent NHS performance is on her shoulders just as it is all the cabinet / wider government. They’re a team and should show collective responsibility. MSPs seeing it that way get brownie points from me. All in it thegither!


      Anyhoo, TBH, I’m quite enjoying not having a favoured candidate (other than I will be putting Regan 3rd). What I’m most pleased about is the Yes vote is not falling as unionist dreamt it would (unsurprisingly), and both top candidates seem to be doing well among the target wider electorate. Bodes well as noted in earlier posts.

      • scottish_skier says:

        In terms of ‘continuity candidate’, Sturgeon couldn’t have been more of one, and I think she did a very decent job as FM. 🙂

        I think a Forbes FM would be very wise to keep experienced cabinet ministers such as Yousaf close, in addition to bringing in some fresh faces. She has tripped herself up a few times, showing her inexperience here. She’s got the baws (intentional pun), the personality and the enthusiasm, but needs maturing. She might end up as the FM of a newly independent country in a relatively short space of time. For this, a team of seasoned politicians used to diplomacy with other governments etc around her would be vital.

        Personally, I think a narrow victory for the final choice is needed here for unity. If they win by too large a margin, they might get too big for their boots (hence my cunning plan in previous post). They need cross party support to get anything done. Here, Sturgeon excelled at herding the cats. Scotland is PR, without consensus in your party, and the ability to bring others on side (e.g. the Greens), you’ll get nowhere.

        A Yousaf FM would be wise to do the same re Team Forbes. Her as DFM would be an obvious approach to seriously consider. And aye, even a post for Regan to please her camp, just as sturgeon understood.

  73. Dr Jim says:

    It’s gotten silly. Humza’s claiming racism now, there’ll be aliens next

    • Eilidh says:

      Two people have been arrested for making racist threats against him. That would not have happened unless threat was substantiated.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Yes it’s shocking, really shocking. But:

        Both appeared in Dundee Sheriff Court on Monday February 27, 2023. A report was submitted to the procurator fiscal.

        Any reason why the National would wait till 11th March – 2 days before the vote opens – to break the story of something that happened over 2 weeks ago, and actually was publicly known by the court action 12 days ago?

        • Dr Jim says:

          Exactly my point

        • Capella says:

          Did The National report on the stalker who targetted Kate Forbes with threatening messages? Case was reported in The Sun on 23rd February but I haven’t seen other news reports.

        • scottish_skier says:

          I don’t think either being the subject of such attacks would come as a surprise, nor will it affect how members vote either.

          And I don’t do conspiracy theories myself. I personally don’t find the National telling me how to vote here. Seems to be giving decent enough coverage to all. I suspect that’s because I’m basically neutral, so not subconsciously looking for / worrying about bias; something that I know happens with e.g. my support for the SNP.

  74. yesindyref2 says:

    OT – I totally missed this news, delighted to see it:

    “Arran Outdoor Education Centre saved from council budget cuts”

    Our kids went there. It needs more of them, not less.

  75. Ken says:

    Suing a nursery is not a good look. Muslims (2%) are equally represented.

    Women are not. Women (the majority) who co habit do not have equal rights. Abused women cannot get away. They do not get legal aid. They get legal aid in England.

    Women are 1/3 under represented,

    • Old Pete says:

      Finally decided, after present leadership siding with Humza I will vote for change. I will vote for Kate.

    • Eilidh says:

      Ken I work as an advice worker some of what you are saying is not factually correct. How any woman or man gets Legal Aid in Scotland is based on an financial assessment carried out by a solicitor they have instructed. Most women in that situation have very little money so the vast majority of women fleeing domestic abuse in Scotland can get legal aid. Please tell me where you have seen decision re that is different in England. Additionally women in Scotland have the right under Homeless legislation to be rehoused to other permanent accommodation if they are fleeing domestic abuse even without reporting the issues to police . Homeless law in England is not near as good for this group of people or Homeless people in general

  76. Ken. says:

    Skipper jailed 5 years. For threats to Nicola and trying to arrest and sitting on a sheriff. Weird.

  77. Pogmothon says:

    You know.
    I told myself repeatedly that I was not going to be upset or angry about the change of leader in the SNP. It was just the natural way of things.
    And since it is a long time since I was an SNP member I have no say in who takes over, so should hod ma tongue as much as possible. You all knew that a However was coming.
    However when intelligent people say dumb things, for me it’s like nails on a blackboard ( oops to dated an analogy), a fork scudding oor a plate, and unfortunately Humza you have managed to make a statement that produces the response “what the F*CK are you talking about” often accompanied with “Ya Muppet”.

    So if elected you will create the position of Minister for Independence and appoint someone of your choosing to the position.

    Hmmm, kimeer son ur ye listening, I think you’re missing the point here a bit.

    By the fact that they have been elected by JTB every SNP, MP/MSP are all ministers for independence.
    This is their primary reason for being elected in the first place.
    Appointing a cabinet minister is simply a wastemonster trick to hold up a scapegoat and kick the can down the road.


    Get on with the primary job you were elected to do.
    Before you were elevated to a cabinet position, before you became FM. If you’re elected to be.
    I said before that, I think you would be an excellent FM after we re-instate our independence.
    Thank you for supporting my previously considered opinion.

    • scottish_skier says:

      it was just the natural way of things.

      Aye, independent countries change their leaders on a regular basis. We’d better get used to this if we want to be one!

      Seems British nationalists don’t get this and somehow think a change of FM ends support for indy. Not very worldly such folks. Need to get out more.

  78. Hamish100 says:

    Interesting front page for The Sunday National with Yousaf announcement of a minister ( offer them cake moment) for independence. At the hustings this promise one of many made missed my ears and it’s not worthy of a front page. Inside the National the set up question by a councillor is photographed in I must admit I thought “ here we go again” moment as the anointing process and pushing others forward takes place. Do political parties never learn. Speaking to a friend there they said that my question was never going to be asked so folks “ when will we get a Independence referendum or independence “ will remain in the ether. Like old Pete above tha announcements from John Swinney and Stephen Flynn (wasn’t he to be radical??) probably means Forbes will get my vote.

    I don’t like this manoeuvring in business or in life generally. I came to the hustings open minded but I’m a bit deflated by the OBN’s and shenanigans. I know im a dreamer….🎶🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇪🇺
    SNP must not go the labour road. Sorry ALBA but you are in the same pot.

  79. Dr Jim says:

    BBC Scotland’s smirky Martin Geissler smirks his way through an interview attack on Humza Yousaf to the point of threatening him about the Gary Lineker story
    that a BBC presenter might come out and publicly attack independence and would that be OK with him Nya Nya Nyaa

    How very typical of the BBC and Geissler to conflate and confuse the viewers with three different things there
    Firstly, Gary Lineker is a free lance presenter who presents a programme on the BBC so his social life and social opinions need not conform to BBC views
    Secondly, Gary Lineker did not express his own views while on air presenting his show
    Thirdly, The BBC actively asked him to point out his personal views on Qatar when they asked him to present the World cup in that country

    I won’t be voting for Humza for a bunch of my own reasons, but in terms of integrity Humza Yousaf flushes more of that away than Geissler and the BBC have ever possessed

    All three of our SNP candidates will and have said lots of stuff, but they are in a contest to win the top job in the same way an athlete will try to win a race over his best friend
    These three people are not enemies, they just want to win the prize, it’s up to us to judge who we want to award that prize to, not based on TV or newspaper drivel, but on what we as people discern between the lines of what we know, what we think each may avoid, tone and tenor, even down to facial and body language
    Because there’s no running or jumping to cross a line before the other contestant here, so we’re stuck with the human personal preference judgement and we live with it after we’ve done it, that’s unfortunately our flawed and very human democracy

    So take yer pick and don’t feel guilty, isn’t this what we want in our own country?

    Just think if it were Tory Labour or Lib Dem, England would just decide this for us, there are people who voted for that option in 2014 and look at what they did to Scotland

    Pay no attention to media, none of it is on Scotland’s side, they’re on their own and or England’s side

  80. Hamish100 says:

    And of course Geissler and the bbc are absolutely neutral on all issues on Scotland🤭

    • Dr Jim says:

      I remember the beginnings of BBC Scotland TV when there was barely a Scottish sounding voice on the thing, then the BBC made the choice to employ as many Scottishy sounding voices as they could so we in Scotland would *trust* them

      That’s how English Nationalist the BBC is that they thought the sound of an accent would persuade us to trust them when they lied to us
      It didn’t even occur to them to understand that we were smart enough to spot a liar no matter what accent they did it in

  81. Hamish 100,thankyou for the video of the trade union organised hustings.Kate Forbes was outstanding,I can see why the unionists are trying so hard to undermine her.She must win this contest,but I am disapointed that so many prominent members of my party are not supporting her.If she does not win,we are giving a gift to those who oppose independence.I respect the other two candidates,but I think that Kate Forbes is the leader that we need to convince those who are not yet convinced about the benefits of independence..

  82. scottish_skier says:

    Since I’m basically neutral, I think what I’ll do is wait until to as close to the closing date as possible, then vote for the one of the top two that appears to be behind, so doing my best to make it a draw.

    Aye, that sounds like a plan.

  83. Calum says:

    I knew very little about Flynn before elected but I know enough about him now. Why come out in support of HY instead of staying outwardly neutral ? After all he will have to work with whoever wins .
    He is either showing extremely poor judgement or he knows for certain HY is going to win….
    It’s quite clear the SNP is being hijacked by devolutionists and special interest groups for their own benefit. Independence used to be the priority above all else and rightly so. Then people could go their own way politically and decide what kind of Scotland they wanted.
    I only hope KF wins and I would like to see AR as her deputy.

    • scottish_skier says:

      The onus is on whoever wins to unite. It’s not like Forbes is being all neutral in her campaign. It’s a leadership contest. People take sides. All perfectly normal and democratic. I don’t mind at all who goes for who.

      As just noted, the new FM will need to unite, or they’ll not last long. If they can’t unite, it means they’re a rubbish leader so should be replaced in short order.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Mmm, he supports Yousaf.

    • Handandshrimp says:

      I think he has a point though. The demographic tide is moving inexorably in favour of independence. I get the impatience for those of us who are older and would like to see this happen in our lifetimes but it won’t happen unless the votes are there. There will come a point when No are never in front in the polls and the weight of Yes is such that even a bit of gerrymandering around the edges won’t make any difference. (I’m still not sure I really believe that 85% turn out figure.)

      It may well be that in the future the remaining unionists will look back and blame May and Johnson for lack of courage to grant a section 30. If we had a lost a second referendum even if only narrowly we could have faced a Quebec style generation in the wilderness and possibly never regain the momentum we had.

      What we need to ensure with this election is that we, those of us with a vote, select the person best placed to lead the country and maintain that momentum.

      If I’m honest I think this would have been better after next year’s GE but we are where are. Likewise, there are candidates I wouldn’t have minded seeing throwing their hats in the ring. Again, we are where we are.

      So on balance I’m going with Forbes. I would like her to be mindful that our momentum is with the young and that she needs to listen to their voice but otherwise I think she is someone that could unify us. Humza has charm and is popular within the party but I worry he might be too easy a target for the MSM. I think Ash is just too left field at this juncture. However, she hasn’t done her future prospects within the party any harm. Indeed she may well return to the front bench.

      • Golfnut says:

        Personally, I think anyone advocating a gradulist( isn’t that what we have been doing) approach, isn’t paying attention to what’s happening South of the Tweed. Time is no longer on Scotland’s side with a Labour party barely distinguished from the Tory party in either ideology or morals means virtually no change in attitude to Scotland’s democratic preference.

        • Handandshrimp says:

          The thing is not so much the concern and urgency of those already committed to independence it is conveying it to those who only consider politics occasionally. It is one thing to lead a charge but it is essential that one isn’t charging alone.

          • Golfnut says:

            Fortune favours the brave Handandshrimp, just ask any of the country’s that have dumped westminster rule.

    • Hamish100 says:

      True, never heard of him!

    • This man should have the whip withdrawn.
      he’s on a nice little earner in London, and wants to extend that for a decade or so.
      He is of course, a Labour Plant.
      Let’s ask Anas permission?
      Fecking idiot.
      I’d rather let King Herod baby sit the kids than let this man anywhere near SNP policy or strategy.
      WE are not hanging about any more.
      He is lying of course.
      Scotland is a modern well run country…the building blocks are in place to run the country from day one.
      In this, I am certain, because it is fact.
      I know about these things, unlike this chancer.
      That’s all we need…he needs to be ostracised by the movement immediately.
      He’s feeding this Brit Lie to the news outlets too. Why? For his own gain, not Scotland’s. He better not pop in to my local watering hole and preach this too wee too stupid now is not the time sh!te.
      If I were on his local branch committee…Jeez.
      There, I’m getting riled up.
      There are some of the WM lot too fat happy and debauched methinks.
      And he’s backing Humza?

  84. Welsh_Siôn says:

    From today’s Observer – Comments open.

    The SNP may face disaster after Sturgeon. But the flame of independence still burns
    Neal Ascherson

    Whoever takes the reins in Scotland, statehood is surely an irresistible force
    Sun 12 Mar 2023 07.30 GMT

    ‘Ane lecherous and bluidy Tyrant, slain be his nobillis in the viij yeare of his reign.” So the old chronicles record about quite a few Scottish kings. Succession to power has not often been a smooth business in Scotland and the competition to succeed Nicola Sturgeon, though bloodless, is happening in a landscape pitted with uncertainties.


    • Dr Jim says:

      But, but we’re uniting the clans, they’re coming down in their hundreds, and thousands, do not flee!
      It’s time for the English to be putting their heads between their legs and kissing their own Arses and apologising to every Scot in every village on their way back to England

      Huv a taen that too far?

    • scottish_skier says:

      The author seems unaware that Scotland is ruled by England. English rulers have never found this easy, and when the Scots didn’t want them in charge, they always successfully kicked them out.

        • scottish_skier says:

          Fair enough and I admit to just scanning the intro – never judge an article by this S_S…

          But TBH, it seems to me the ‘SNP civil war part Deux’ is all rather manufactured. So far, I am seeing very little effect on polling. I mean the worst one at the lower end of variance using 2014 weighting which favours No has 45% ready to vote for planless, ‘currency-less’, ‘nae pensions’ etc indy tomorrow and all while Scotland is technically leaderless, with potentially no government in control (stories of Greens walking away etc). That’s actually f’n disaster of finding for the union, particularly given standard polling approaches (weight to only the most recent elections or not at all) have yes in majority for 2 years now.

          Likewise, the SNP doesn’t rule Scotland, England does as noted – hence the poor comparison with days of old. Once we are independent,then we’ll start fighting each other again, as we always did aifter joining forces tae kick oot the inglish! 😉

  85. Capella says:

    Just watched the Aberdeen hustings. I thought Kate Forbes was by far the most credible candidate. She is a natural at engaging the public and is on top of her brief. I like Ash Regan and admire her courage but feel she is not able to express her ideas clearly. Humza Yousaf is a good public speaker but resorts to empty cliche too much – “no ifs no buts”. His annoying fan club clap in the middle of the cliches too which is extremely irritating, “with every CLAP CLAP CLAP WHOOP! – fibre of my being”. When he does “nail his colours to the mast” it’s on something I disagree with – going to court over the S35 order for example.

    So that is the last of the hustings. There are two TV hustings to go but I won’t be watching them. Voting starts tomorrow.

  86. Bob Lamont says:

    You do have to wonder IF the media will ever get back to reflecting public concerns rather than attempting to dictate them on internal political instruction as in modern times
    – eg Without HMS James Cook’s relentless bombardment over ferries, A&E waiting times, or of late who backs who or said what in the SNP contest, etc., etc., would any actually give a toss over something they have no say in or control over and rarely make use of ?
    eg – Ditto the Gary Lineker tweet over similarities between HMG rhetoric and that of 1930s Germany – Was it worthy from a sentient being expressing a personal opinion privately ? Yep. Did that observation merit the entire confected stooshie over it from media and politicians ? Nope. Did it confirm a deeper problem ? Yep.
    A uniquely British obsession – Diverting “public attention” from the issues which principally concern them has now become a lucrative UK-wide industry, and guess what, we’re paying for it all.

    Good luck to each of the 3 final candidates in the SNP leadership contest – I’m sure the members will arrive at a cogent decision despite the proffered ministrations of James Cook, Glenn Campbell, etc., etc..

    • Handandshrimp says:

      As an aside I’m sure I saw something come up on my Facebook that the Herald photoshopped a Bible into the hand of Forbes on their front page. Anyone know if this happened. If true then the Herald might as well decamp and move to Russia or some other country where truth is incidental to the news.

      • Dr Jim says:

        If it did I’m sure you can…….

        Read all about it in the Humza Herald, written by the Humza party in Humza font

      • Legerwood says:

        It seems to have been true. Copious Tweets about ot last weekend

      • scottish_skier says:

        That’s the same as photoshopping a Koran into Yousaf’s hands.

        A British nationalist somewhere has probably already done that.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        If true then the Herald might as well decamp and move to Russia *or some other country* where truth is incidental to the news.

        How about down here? (HINT: I live in England.)

  87. yesindyref2 says:

    Oh well, a game of one half.

    • scottish_skier says:

      I’m going to keep quiet about my other nationality this evening in the interests of Yes unity.

      Still, Scotland were not humped, but the better side won. No 1 in the world last time I looked.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Oh and before the blame game starts, no W_S, I didn’t watch it! 😉

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Brings to mind that meme doing the rounds on the 11th “Very proud of England for refusing to show up for this game in solidarity with Gary Lineker #ENGvFRA”…

  88. yesindyref2 says:

    Forbes: “We need a first minister who will lead us to independence, and it’s coming sooner than people think.

    So – a Holyrood election on 19th October 2023 then?

    I’ll drink to that 🙂

  89. Chicmac says:

    Remember SNP folks, it is an STV style vote. In a three horse race it doesn’t really matter that much if you put your favourite first and your second favourite second even if you think your favourite is not going to win. What really matters is that you put your least favourite third.
    i.e. vote 1,2,3. NOT 1 blank blank or 1,2 blank.

  90. Tatu3 says:

    So I don’t live in Scotland. I don’t really understand this 1, 2, 3 vote. I’m an SNP member and I’d like to vote for Kate Forbes for leader.
    Honestly I would be unhappy with either of the other two being elected.
    Could someone please explain that if I should/have to make 2nd and 3rd choices then what is the best order for those that would make my first choice (Kate Forbes) count? Many thanks

    • grizebard says:

      Well, in your case it’s definitely 1-blank-blank then. And nothing essentially wrong with that. Since Kate is well in the running, and no other preference you give can alter her standing, that would work fine for you. (OTOH, if your 1st preference were Ash, that would be a big mistake, since she’s likely to be the first to exit the reckoning.)

      Leaving any further options blank essentially says you don’t care between all those still in the running after your favourite preferences drop out (if they do).

      But if you’re more unhappy (say) with “B” than with “C”, then it would be 1-“C”-blank. You thereby give “C” the edge over “B” if your favourite is no longer in contention.

      [And since there are only 3 candidates here, that is the same as 1-“C”-“B”, it just saves a little writing!]

      • Tatu3 says:

        Thank you

      • Chicmac says:

        Yeah I could have been clearer. In the locals for example, I never indicate a preference for the Tories.

        In the likelyhood there is no outright winner, i.e a candidate with 50+% 1st choice votes and if your favourite is the one who is eliminated with the lowest 1st choioce vote then he or she’s second choice votes will be reallocated to the remaining two candidates to decide a winner. Obviously if you do not indicate a second choice then you will have no say in which of the two remaining candidates win.

        Most folk will have a second preference or at least a worse preference and will need to indicate it or simply leave it up to everyone else.

        All moot if there is an outright winner but it is more likely that the winner will be decided on the reallocation of second preferences.

  91. One_Scot says:

    Reading a lot on Twitter about the SNP stepping back from Independence.

    Worrying times.

    • scottish_skier says:

      For unionists yes, hence these types of stories in the North Britain on Sunday etc.

      If you use standard polling methods, such as those used UK-wide (weight to the most recently election, maybe the most recent referendum too, or don’t do any past vote weighting at all), you find a consistent majority for indy going back 2+ years now*. This ties in with >50% voting for Yes parties for the first time in a Holyrood election in 2021.

      Bricks are being pooed as this pattern has not been impacted by recent FM events.

      And because of demographic drivers, it’s unstoppable. Hence the panicked no to an S30 while they desperately trying to work out what to do.

      *When averaged out:

      • Chicmac says:

        Again I suggest that the party name be changed to ‘The Scottish Independence Party’.

        First to perma-remind all party members why it even exists.

        Second to inform all voters without recourse to dissemination of manifesto wording, what exactly they are voting for at each and every election.

        Third it will be extremely interesting to see which ‘patriots’ decide they cannot live with that name, whether closet Us, closet Brit Nats or MI5 coerced golems.

        • ‘Vote for separatism; SIP with the devil’?
          Hit the woodwork, Chicmac.

        • grizebard says:

          Nicola hersel’ agreed with you on that one, and has publicly mused that the party name adopted all those many years ago was, in hindsight, suboptimal politically. But it’s hard to do a rebranding well, as many commercial outfits have found to their cost, both financially and reputationally. It only becomes relatively easy – desirable even! – after a PR disaster of some sort. Which none of us want, do we?

          (But how about the party doing a public consultation on it, just for fun, like…?)

          • Chicmac says:

            Sometimes disasters are thrust upon us.

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            Agreed – as Adam Price has found.

            One of his selling points to become Plaid Cymru leader was to organise a discussion which would lead to rebranding the name of the Party to its original name of Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru (i.e. Welsh National Party).

            Upon his election, the idea was quietly kicked into the long grass and nothing more has been heard of it since.

            Whisper it, too of course, that there was an intention that in adopting the name the Party would return to its roots (b. 1925 – and therefore older than the SNP) and also mirror the name of its sister Party (and the latter’s electoral successes and the obtaining of Indy Ref 1) by being called PGC, which non-Welsh speaking Welshies would see as WNP. Neat, perhaps – but the idea (currently) has died a death.

            Whisper it too, of course, that ever since PC has appeared on the scene that the *real* plaid Cymru (i.e. lower case for the meaning, ‘the party of Wales’) has essentially been the “Welsh” Labour Party.

            We haven’t voted Tory since the time of the 1st War of Indian Independence in the mid 19th century, which meant that from circa 1857-1922, the main party in Wales were the (Non-coformist) Liberals and Labour thereafter.

          • Old Pete says:

            Guardian article states the opposite. I can’t wait to long, otherwise I’ll be dead and gone before we even vote on it. Don’t trust Humza and Ash ?

      • denmylne says:

        in 2021, snp + sg votes were 49.5% of the constituency vote and 50.2% of the list vote. I understand that we stand a better chance historically of winning 50%+1 in a holyrood election than in a general election. 16/17 yos vote etc. folding holyrood and bringing forward the next HE to this autumn has an appeal, ie we get a chance to vote sooner rather than later. but you need to weigh up the pros and cons of such an action. sunak will have to call a ge in the next 12 months, if the polls narrow he might opt to jump in autumn 2023. however, the scores on the doors in scotland show a tory wipe out. good. how they vote in england is an unknown, not all remainers will vote for sir Kieth the snnnnnp would remain the largest party in scotland, could also hold the balance of power and if we only get 48% of the vote we can simply say, “better luck next time” allowing the natural cycle of elections to continue, since WM has blocked the referendum route, allows us to use all elections going forward as defacto plebiscites. folding holyrood is a pretty drastic thing to do, voters dont like such radical actions from political parties, it risks turning such a HE in autumn into a one off event. It also would give the unionists an excuse to boycott it. its much to risk simply to bring forward the chance to vote by 6 months?

    • Since I blurted out my first reaction to this idiot giving the Brits so much ammunition, I have checked his wiki entry, scant as it is.
      At 16, he was Malcolm Chisholm’s dogsbody, then joined the Labour Party; he left in 2003, over Iraq, and joined the SNP two years later.
      Was chosen from a list of 10 to stand in the Lothians seat for the SNP in 2005, on the recommendation of Alec Salmond, and won the seat from Labour when Malcolm Chisolm retired.
      He has a degree in politics and philosophy, and studied law,somewhere, working briefly for a law firm in Edinburgh.
      I have more expertise in running big deals lurking in the dirt under my fingernails than this man has had in his brief and uneventful SNP career.
      Trust me.
      Sack him. He is a Labour/Salmond plant.
      He knew what he was doing.
      Trying to destroy the SNP.
      His branch should be calling him in.
      As I said earlier..there are some in London who don’t want independence..the money’s too good.
      It is a massive lie to suggest that we are not ready, now, to become an independent nation.
      Once independence is established, there shall be Transitional arrangements, but from Day One we shall be independent.
      I’d rather sup with a Dumbarton supporter than have anything to do with Labour, who stole the wealth of our country and gave it to England for all those years.
      I demand that this nonsense is dealt with harshly.
      Politics and arse.

    • grizebard says:

      Worrying because this kind of commentator simply hasn’t faced up to the raw truth that their magic-thinking can’t happen while the country is still so divided in itself. The result of three centuries of institutionalisation. Whatever scheme, whether a legit referenduum or full-frontal UDI, just can’t work when support is where it currently stands.

      With mainstream media virtually universally antagonistic towards independence, the one advantage a referendum provides is that both sides have to get equal access for the duration, and a full airing of the realities would likely give indy the win. Which is why hypocritical Unionists these days insist that we’re in a voluntarily Union but somehow never can say just how our {ahem} “free will” can be exercised. Because they know what will happen.

      Absent a referendum, the essence has to be to convert more people to indy, despite all the pressing distractions of busy lives and in the face of a relentless barrage of Union propaganda.

      The SNP has largely done the “good governance” thing – not least during the pandemic – despite all the consequent desperate Unionist (and other!) mud-slinging attempts, so now we need to find some additional means to engage. Not easy, not satisfying for the zealots, but essential nonetheless before anything else can happen.

      • grizebard says:

        One way would be to find a suitable “cause celebre” that would unite the country and put Unionism in the public dock. (Alas the GRA was most obviously not that cause, because it “achieved” the very opposite, resulting in a bitter and intemperate wrangle of divisive minority identity politicking about which the public-at-large was largely indifferent but which gave the Unionist media an undeserved opportunity to make mischief. All of which Nicola herself, for all her political nous, failed to see coming. As I suspect she herself now recognises.)

    • yesindyref2 says:

      When Sturgeon resigned, I did say that despite what others in the Indy movement said, she was clearly wanting Independence – but that perhaps some of those around here didn’t really care and she wasn’t getting the support.

      Well, look what’s been happening since, and look at this, and elsewhere Pete Wishart saying that if they are stepping back from Indy, perhaps they should tell the SNP party about it. And that they should go for “Independence in the UK” – yes, that’s what he says. Or a “Scottish EU Protocol”.

      Yes, we’re going to need more vomit buckets.

      • grizebard says:

        I’m unclear what you’re claiming here. If it’s merely that the SNP should be open with the public about where it is heading, that’s surely a desirable thing, no?

        But if Wishart in particular {sigh} is back to his “sometime, maybe” old theme, he – or far more importantly, those actually setting party policy going forward – they had better have a better idea than that. “Good governance” is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Political parties may be like sharks in many ways, but certainly in one respect: if they don’t keep moving forward, they die.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I can’t actually work out what you’re asking.

          It’s Pete Wishart not me, effectively saying that if they (whoever “they”) have dumped Independence as a policy they should be open and tell the SNP.

          Wishart: “I said earlier this week that if we are now de-emphasising independence as a short term priority we must be honest with the party about it. It now looks like that ‘honesty’ is on its way.

          he also seems to be sneering at the idea of “honesty”.

          It’s the wrong way around of course; in theory at least it’s for the SNP members to tell THEM what policy is, and dump THEM as parliamentary candidates for the next election if they don’t toe the line

          • Eilidh says:

            If folk bothered to read all of that thread of tweets from Pete they would see he is not advocating deemphasising Independence but he thinks others may be

            • yesindyref2 says:

              I’d already read his blog before I posted, Eilidh. He’s actually not very clever with words, but this in itself is fairly clear, even though conditional:

              For all the acknowledged problems with a de facto referendum, there is frankly no other way to show the UK and the international community that Scotland wants to be an independent nation. If this is to be abandoned we have to be honest with the party and acknowledge that independence is more or less off the table in the short term future.


              But it also needs to be considered with other things he’s said – he seems to be a “go to” for a lot of things for some odd reason.

              • scottish_skier says:

                He’s certainly correct that if you remove the threat of a defacto vote, then the pressure on the UK government reduces drastically.

                However, ultimately, as I’ve said so many times, it is only pressure from Scots voters that ‘deliver indy’.

                I think there is very good reason to believe yes is in permanent majority. If you use the standard methods pollsters apply to the UK (no past vote weighting at all or most recent election +/- most recent referendum, i.e. 2016) to Scotland (Ipsos, Findoutnow / electoral calculus), you get a consistent average Yes majority since 2020, in line with the trend since 2011. It’s only when you start applying non-standard approaches (weighting to a referendum nearly a decade ago), so assigning the past vote of a very different electorate to the current one, does the situation look more 50/50. while it hangs around this, the UK government will resist, trying to buy time.

                We may, in time, find pollsters do what they did ahead of 2014 and stop such silliness. There, weighting to a previous election (2010), not the most recent one (2011), was creating big errors. Not for Ipsos, who were not doing that…

        • Dr Jim says:

          Pete would like to retire as the fondly remembered Harry Lauder of the SNP, the man who made the English laugh at us, never with us

          • Eilidh says:

            How so Dr Jim ?

          • scottish_skier says:

            TBH, I don’t really follow what individual politicians say, but some very unpleasant ‘apparent’ indy supporters (TBC) seem obsessed with him, which would suggest to me he’s a decent enough guy, even if it’s not exactly clear what he’s meaning sometimes.

            A good rule of thumb I use is that of WoS hates someone, they’re important to have on the Yes team. I find this rule very reliable.

  92. Hamish100 says:

    When are the re-election of MSP’s/MP’s and councillors? From my viewpoint some of the elected will say the right things at the right time to get in- be it labour, Tory, snp, Lib Dem, Green. They are chameleons or is it comedians?

    • Dr Jim says:

      The problem became a problem a long time ago when being a politician became a career instead of a calling

      Why should there be universities that teach politics? there used to be right, and there used to be wrong, now everything’s a grey area in the middle that requires the teaching of how to avoid the choice between the two, while keeping the public quietly hoping for the day the promises made will be the promises kept

      Like doctors and nurses they tell us we’ll be out *soon*
      The public in other countries suss when soon becomes never and do something about it

  93. Golfnut says:

    Kate Forbes quoted by the National as saying that independence will happen sooner than we think.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If anybody can be believed I have to believe her more than most, I don’t believe that young woman is capable of lying, her upbringing, nature and way of life compels her to try to do as she says she will

    • Legerwood says:

      Yet some on Twitter saying she said it might be years.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        On the other hand, Q5 from BfS to the 3 candidates:

        5 How will you refocus the SNP and Scotland’s political agenda on the opportunities of independence?

        Forbes: “… We need to focus on preparations for independence. For example, we should be defining what the regulatory framework is that will serve honest businesses the length and breadth of the country.” etc.

        This is correct, and was missing last time.

        • Eilidh says:

          There she goes again bannging on about businesses. We don’t need businesses to support Indepence we need the Scottish people to support it. Every time she says this sort of stuff she sounds like a technocrat. That sort of stuff is meaningless to the ordinary voter

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Without business, without money to drive the economy, “social democracy”, “social justice”, “social solidarity” are just so much waffle.

            With the finances ALL are achievable.

            • Eilidh says:

              I still don’t agree with you on the Pete Wishart tweets but can’t add to your last reply on that due to the daft wordpress works when the thread becomes too long and I don’t agree with you on this. If she is banging on about businesses when she is elected as FM a fair part of the electorate will lose interest and not vote Snp then where will be.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Without businesses and the attraction of business to our country there’s no work, without work, and so on
            If we achieve Independence England will try to do to Scotland what they did to Ireland, they’ll try to economically starve us to be dependent and controlled by them
            Irish Whiskey for example at one time was bigger than Scotch

            • Golfnut says:

              They are already actively engaged shutting Scotland down, which is why getting out of this union is a priority not some aspiration which may someday be allowed by England’s uk gov.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Twitter is the place where truth and honesty go to die along with the zombies zealots and zoomers that inhabit it

      • keaton says:

        Does anyone on the planet think we’re going to be independent within two years?

    • scottish_skier says:

      On this I would agree with her. I think the final rush towards it, triggered by yet unknown events, could happen very suddenly and almost ‘by surprise’. This is all so very common in history when it comes to such things. The end of the USSR… fall of the berlin wall…

    • scottish_skier says:

      If they keep doing this sort of thing, independence could be here within just a year or two.

      UK government poised to block Scottish bottle recycling scheme

      SNP request for trade exemption set to be rejected in latest clash after gender recognition row

      They seem to be getting a taste for it, but keep it up and it will break the union camel’s back. Even when you try to maliciously lead them as much as you can in polls to say abandon it, they still say overwhelmingly that they want the GRR bill pursued (either as is or preferentially with amendments). That’s coming from respect for their parliament / democracy.

      In the end, the No 1 reason people gave for voting Yes in 2014, and by a country mile, was nothing to do with economics, prosperity etc, but simply ‘That Scots voters should decide how Scotland is governed’, which is of course the reason for the independence of all countries.

      England undoing Holyrood bill after bill destroys the unionist’s devolution, and makes indy the only choice for Scots. Less than 10% want direct rule, which S35’s are.

  94. yesindyref2 says:

    Good grief, I must have missed this at the time.

    David Simpson is a former Professor of Economics at Strathclyde University and founding director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. He is currently working on an economic project aimed at identifying the “Price of Dependence”

    I looked him up because of Forbes’s answer to Q9

    It is not only the fact that GERS cannot predict the finances of an independent Scotland, but GERS also does not give an accurate indication of the current situation. As Professor David Simpson has long argued it is an illegitimate approach to understanding Scotland’s economy.

    and the second part of her answer is what I was waffling on about the other day (maybe elsewhere I forget!). Financial modelling in other words, but a bit more than the usual input output model. One which is constructive and can as she said before, give some kind of 10 year plan. And note – that’s a plan, not a budget.

    In my role as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, it provides no value in policy development. What I want to see is a focus on producing data that assists the Government in the task of robust development of policies.

  95. Golfnut says:

    This is very powerful commentary on England’s uk gov refugee legislation.
    Apologies to those who can’t access.

    Remember this same England’s uk gov is doing exactly the same to us, the Scots by denying democracy, the right to benefit from our resources, the right to protest and by gaslighting the people of Scotland the right to make free and informed choices

  96. Ken says:

    SNP Constitution

    a Independence for Scotland.

    Instead the boats coming over the Channel why don’t the Westminster warmongers put monies into Iraq, Syria andAfganistan. To rebuild the devastion they caused with the illegal wars. Instead of increasing Defence (attack) £5Billion. Increasing Nuclear subs and spending £Billions on the munition industry laundering taxpayers monies through Ukraine into politicians pockets in the West. 20 years after Iraq, they never learn.

  97. UndeadShaun says:

    Alistair Jack wabts to continue his run of blocking Scottish Legislation

    Im not sure he understands that it will just increase support for independence.

    In words of Obi Wan, “strike me down and ill grow more powerful than you can possibly imagine”

    • Dr Jim says:

      If only Scotland were like the movies, but we’re in reality not, we’re a subjected and subservient colony of England that’s had 300 years to do something about it and we never have
      We tolerated the Labour party lying to us forever about protecting Scotland and fighting the Tories when the whole time they were actually working for them to keep Scotland right where it is, owned by England
      The only reason we voted the Labour lot out was because the SNP got stronger and promised to do what Labour didn’t, then when the time came to put our money where our mouths were we fell for the lies because it was easier than taking a risk, even though we knew it really wasn’t a risk, because that would leave us with only ourselves to blame, and the fear of getting it wrong loomed large so we bottled it
      Scotland has gotten used to having someone else to blame, we’re in the habit of it because it’s easy

      Alister Jack and his type will just go right on doing what they want in the pretty certain knowledge that all Scots will do is moan and look for somebody else to blame and that blame will fall upon the SNP no matter who’s the FM, then Alister Jack and his cohorts will laugh at us even louder until they dissolve the Scottish parliament right out from under us

      65 other countries extricated themselves from London England empire rule and every one of them had less than Scotland

      The English will say British rule, but that’s not remotely true because the English supreme court has just ruled that Scotland cannot democratically leave their union without permission from England’s government, effectively stating that since the act of union Scotland ceased to be a country, so this British nonsense they speak of has sod all to do with Scotland because we were never British, we were and are a colony of the later named British England, the whole British identity is just another fake English ploy to pretend to the Scottish Welsh and Irish that they’re part of something, it wasn’t true when they did it and it’s not true now

      Right now the only reason the North of Ireland gets any attention from England is because of the American involvement and the fact that the Irish are quite prepared to take other action against the English if they don’t come to an accommodation

      Scotland is in the last chance saloon now, if we the people of Scotland don’t give our support to being free of England and do it now, it’s over done kaput and England will “take back control”

      If Scotland isn’t unpleasant to England’s government they will just continue to be unpleasant to us, they’re used to doing it

      All of the above of course excludes every one of us that supports the independence of our country
      It’s all pretty black and white to me, you either want to run your own country or you don’t, I’ve no time for folk ( the undecideds) who claim they don’t know because of this reason or that reason, these are miserable copout excuses for not making a decision, how can you not know whether you want the freedom to choose or not?

      If a surgeon said we can save your leg but you might limp for a while, or we can cut it off and give you a comfy wheelchair, it wouldn’t take more than a nano second to make that choice, you’d limp to the pub and look forward to the day you could run

    • Pogmothon says:

      Shssss stop giving him clues.
      I sincerely hope he continues in his smug, superior, arrogantly entitled ways. If we’re lucky his self perceived correctness will encourage him to be even more bold.

  98. Capella says:

    The Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp Q & A for the leadership candidates which YIR2 referenced above.

    Business for Scotland’s 10 questions for SNP leadership hopefuls

    GORDON MacIntyre-Kemp, the chief executive of the pro-Yes group Business for Scotland put 10 key questions to the SNP leadership candidates, seeking out their positions on a number of issues.

    He asked about the SNP’s relationship with business, whether the Sustainable Growth Commission should be left in the past and how exactly the candidates planned to achieve Scottish independence.

    These are the questions and response in full.

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