The BBC : enablers of British nationalist authoritarianism

The BBC has always insisted that it is politically neutral and unbiased, even as it broadcasts a debate programme from the independence supporting predominantly working class city of Dundee with an audience that seemed to be mostly composed of middle class Brexit supporting Conservatives with English accents. Allegations of pro-government and anti-Scottish independence bias in the BBC are even more numerous than the allegations of Conservative sleaze to which the Corporation pays remarkably little attention. To give just one example, the BBC ignored the allegations about the business dealings of Conservative peer Michelle Mone until they were headline news in various newspapers and were dominating the news agenda. Compare and contrast with the BBC’s hounding of the SNP’s Michelle Thomson over allegations of sharp business practices which were later proven to be unfounded.

However in recent weeks the BBC has lost the plot and its claims to political neutrality have been left as credible as Boris Johnson’s protestations of honesty and moral probity. We can begin with the BBC’s claim that there is nothing untoward with the appointment of Richard Sharp, a Conservative party donor and friend of Boris Johnson to the position of chair of its board of directors just days after he allegedly helped to facilitate a personal loan of £800,000 to the former Prime Minister. This positively reeks of cronyism and if it had happened in any other country the press in the UK would have no hesitation of calling it out as corruption. But Sharp appeared before a committee of MPs and pointedly refused to apologise for what the committee described as ‘significant errors of judgement’ and continued to insist he had not ‘facilitated’ any money changing hands in the weeks before his appointment was announced in February 2021, nor had he gained from it, saying he had instead ‘ensured due process was followed’. To which an outside independent observer can only retort that if this is ‘due process’ there is something seriously awry with the process.

Last week it came out that not only did Johnson nominate his pal as the chair of the board of the BBC, he has also decided to give a knighthood to his father Stanley Johnson, who was alleged by his ex-wife, Boris Johnson’s mother, to have assaulted her and broken her nose. If nothing else this proves that Boris Johnson bases his decisions on personal considerations and not on the individual’s appropriateness. When the subject of Johnson giving a knighthood to a wife beater was raised during last week’s edition of BBC Question Time, host Fiona Bruce, who is rapidly gaining a reputation as a shameless apologist for the worst excesses of the Conservative party, replied : “Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one off.”

It’s like complaining about being called a cannibal and protesting that you only ate human flesh just the one time. It’s hard to believe that Fiona Bruce or any other prominent BBC presenter be so quick to excuse an alcoholic on benefits living on a council estate who had broken his wife’s nose ‘just that one time’. In fact Stanley Johnson’s ex-wife alleged that Stanley Johnson had a pattern of violent, controlling, and abusive behaviour throughout their marriage.

Last week however, the eagerness of the BBC to placate the worst behaviour of the Conservative party was most clearly illustrated by its response to a tweet by sports presenter Gary Lineker condemning the cruel and inhumane asylum policy of the government which trashes international human rights laws and heaps further misery upon already poor and desperate people, all in order to pander to the worst racist instincts of the right wing press and the frothing British nationalist wing of the Conservative party. Lineker had denounced the policy saying : “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.” He was not wrong, the language used by Suella Braverman is cruel and dehumanising, but his tweet was immediately followed by the performative outrage we have come to expect from the Conservative party and its apologists as the people who habitually rail against ‘cancel culture’ sought to have Lineker cancelled. In Conservative Britain it’s a far worse sin to call someone out for taking a leaf out of the fascist playbook than it is to actually act like a fascist.

Of course the BBC bowed to Conservative pressure and took action against Lineker. The Corporation notably took no action against The Apprentice presenter Alan Sugar who regularly uses his Twitter account to rail against trade unions and who recently dismissed the majority of people who work from home as ‘lazy gits.’ It’s only Conservative sensibilities which need to be protected and platformed.

An analysis of Laura Kuenssberg’s flagship politics and current affairs show and the guests on BBC Question Time backs this up. In the six months that Kuenssberg’s programme has been broadcast the show has followed the same pattern as BBC Question Time in disproportionately featuring right wing figures. Tory MPs are twice as likely to be invited on as Labour ones and commentators with right-wing connections are also much more likely to feature than those with links to the left. A count of panellists on BBC Question time finds that 29 right-wing media figures compared to 4 left-wing media figures have appeared on the show since the start of last year. There have been 14 employers but only 6 representatives of trades unions. It’s all drearily predictable, and that’s before addressing the issue of audiences seemingly composed of G Beebies viewers.

Last week the Guardian alleged that one episode of the upcoming David Attenborough series on wildlife and nature in the British Isles will only be available online and will not be broadcast on terrestrial television along with the rest of the series because the BBC fears that the episode, which deals with the destruction of nature in Britain will provoke a backlash from the Conservative right. The BBC has denied the report, claiming that only five episodes were ever intended to be broadcast on TV and the sixth was only ever going to be available online, which sounds very like special pleading and the same kind of ‘due process’ that Richard Sharp follows. Why is it that an episode focussing on issues which are likely to attract the ire of Conservatives was, uniquely in the series, ‘never intended’ to be broadcast on BBC1? The BBC doesn’t say.

The truth is that the BBC is an agent of the British state and is too timid to stand up to the political party that governs in Westminster. The Corporation has been on this tajectory for some years, giving Nigel Farage a platform out of all proportion to his importance and creating an Anglo-British nationalist monster which now demands to be regularly fed. The BBC is now a creature of the right wing forces which have captured a British state with few effective democratic checks and balances. Every inch that the BBC concedes to the forces of anti-democratic right wing anglo-British nationalism only emboldens them to push even further. Fascism does not march up on a country proclaiming itself to be fascist. It sneaks in, in smart suits, proclaiming itself to be the friend of the ‘common man’ against a demonised and stigmatised minority which is depicted as a threat to decency and our way of life. It claims like Suella Braverman does, to be decent and law abiding. And the BBC will not only let it tell its lies, it will give it a platform to do so.


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240 comments on “The BBC : enablers of British nationalist authoritarianism

  1. yesindyref2 says:


    Fundamental British Values underpin what it is to be a citizen in a modern and diverse Great Britain valuing our community and celebrating diversity of the UK. These values are Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect and Tolerance, Individual Liberty.

    So the BBC is anti-British.

  2. davetewart says:

    No comments in the media about the financing of Concentration Camps, one in France for completion within 3 years at a cost of £500m and includes the 500 jobs to support.

    The cleverly was asked why he was against the convertion of an old RAF base as a camp in his constituency, seems he wants to get elected again and the locals don’t want it there.

    The Brexit benefits include providing jobs in the EU.

    The Chinese car manufacturer, BYD, say they will build their cars in the EU.
    Jaguar request £500m to continue building cars in englandland or they will move to Spain. The company are owned by TATA..

    Reports of Essex water in trouble negotiating new loans and not able to increase the cost of water to the South.

    That’s now 3 USA banks reported to be in trouble due to loss of confidence by the depositors wanting their cash back.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    When the BBC or the Westminster government speak of “fundamental British values” they mean whichever set of *rules* they decide are *values* to employ on any given situation that arises but ends in their favour

    Let’s hear it for the reinvention of next weeks *British values*

    Thank goodness I’m not Brit ish, I’m a Scot, not Scott ish

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Ah well you see, you say “I’m a Scot”, and they say “You’re a mascot?” and you say “eh?”.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Dictionary corner.

        ‘Mascot’ (noun) The matriarchal representation of the Scottish nation (cf. the Disunited Kingdumb’s Britannia, France’s Marianne) and wife of Jock Tamson. Sometimes written as two words, ‘Ma Scot’ and hyphenated, ‘Ma-scot.’

  4. Welsh_Siôn says:


    La Bruce is stepping down as patron of Refuge (but not it would seem QT or AR)

    Fiona Bruce to step down as Refuge ambassador over Stanley Johnson comments

    Question Time presenter faces claims she made light of domestic violence on last Thursday’s show

    The BBC Question Time presenter, Fiona Bruce has said she will step back from her role as an ambassador for the charity Refuge after claims she had trivialised domestic violence during a discussion about Stanley Johnson during last week’s programme.

    In a statement, Bruce apologised that survivors of domestic abuse had been distressed by her comments, which she said she had been legally obliged to make, but said they had been “mischaracterised” by a social media storm.


    ‘mischaracterised’ … that’s a new one on me. (I usually hear, ‘I was quoted out of context’.)

    • ST says:

      See how Bruce subtly plays the victim card. Apparently subject to online abuse after her comments.
      Still it’s better than getting your lights punched out by your abusive partner.
      Watch the BBC develop the victim narrative as they attempt to direct attention away from her offensive and tactless comment.
      An organisation out of its depth supporting a presenter who is out of order.
      Compare and contrast with Lineker

  5. Handandshrimp says:

    The BBC has been subject to 13 years of steady erosion, pressure, funding threats and political placements. It is perhaps unsurprising that it is now in the place that it is. It was a Bette Noir for the right for years, seen as a bastion of the intellectual left and antipathetic to the right. There was perhaps a touch of truth in that criticism although it might be argued that the funniest satirists, most talented actors and most lucid broadcasters tended to lean to the left…notwithstanding Jim Davidson et al.

    Broadcasting is moving on, I doubt things will return to as they were before.

    • Golfnut says:

      I have difficulty in closing that particular circle. Goebbels identified the bbc as the role model to follow in the distribution of propaganda to the masses and that was in the 1930’s. Posh voices hid the manipulation of the minds and attitude. It is and always has been the tool of the establishment, not necessarily the government, but those who control the government. Right now, you just happen to have a government completely in tune with the establishment in a way that Harold Wilson could never have been. It’s world renowned reputation is as mythical as it’s impartiality.

  6. perthcol says:

    Add to your own observations the fact that in discussing the Illegal Immigration Bill (aptly named), Tory spokespeople insinuate into the descriptor of the purpose of said Bill the word ‘compassionate’.
    George Orwell is alive and well and working in the Cabinet Office’s speach-writing bureau.

  7. Capella says:

    Ironically, there is a George Orwell quotation next to his statue outside the BBC:

    • keaton says:

      In fairness, I didn’t want to hear that it’s ok to smash your wife’s nose in as long as you’re posh and the father of the Prime Minister, or that immigrants deserve to be fucking drowned. But every day the BBC fearlessly presents us with these hard truths

  8. Handandshrimp says:

    I see the voting emails are out. I have cast my votes and now the await the outcome. Regardless of whether my choice succeeds I hope the winner pulls the party together and we press both towards the prize and good governance…because we will get precious little of that from Westminster.

    • Dr Jim says:

      I see SKY news are claiming a UGuv poll puts Scottish independence down to 30 something percent
      That’s Nadhim Zahawi working hard for his yoonyawn

      • Handandshrimp says:

        Is there still such thing as Sky News?


        • Dr Jim says:

          Well this poll has arrived right on time for the newsy people to throw it at the candidates tonight, independence is dead naebdy waants it whit ye gonnae dae?
          Not predictable at all are they

        • davetewart says:

          It’s more like Sky History, they repeat every hour on the hour.

          • raineach says:

            Is it not the case that it was 39% with the undecideds left in, and when the undecideds were removed it was a no-change poll? So, essentially, it’s the Sky/Fox/Murdoch liars saying that Trump won

      • scottish_skier says:

        Yougov shows Yes to ‘plan-free, currency-free’ etc indy if a snap referendum is held tomorrow in ‘a leaderless Scotland in crisis’ on 46%; same as they got 3-4 weeks ago.

        It also has support for the SNP / SNP + Greens up and, within error, on the same as 2019 for Westminster.

        So Blow for Forbes / Yousaf [delete as appropriate] as poll shows SNP due to crush unionists if snap UK election held, and that’s with the SNP leaderless and ‘in the midst of a crisis / civil war’ (so the BBC etc like to inform us).

        This is also with non-standard weighting methods only used in Scotland (weighing to not the most recent referendum, but to one nearly a decade ago) all but guaranteed to be giving the unionists / No a legs up.

        Just imagine what it will look like when the new leader settles in for their honeymoon period (the last SNP leader had one of these that lasted 8 years).

        This is why they won’t let us vote. 🙂

        • grizebard says:

          The perennial flip-flop from “civil war” to “cult” has long passed its sell-by date, and now just self-identifies the teller as a propaganda peddler.

    • Tatu3 says:

      I’ve got my email too, but having difficulty accessing the voting site. I’m wondering if it’s just really busy

      • Handandshrimp says:

        It was OK when I voted about an hour ago but I guess there may be a lot more people picking up that the email is there now.

      • Capella says:

        I voted OK – probably about two hours ago just after my email arrived.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Plenty of votes going in now, no problem accessing the site
        Isn’t responsibility and choice a joy to have

        The Yoonyawnists will be working hard on their three different scathing replies to whomever we elect

        Labour Tories and Lib Dems each with the same remarks but with full stops and commas in different places to make them appear like they’re not head office instruction so we don’t suspect they’re all the same party

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Dont forget your validation code Tatu.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Voted about 15 mins ago or so. All went smoothly. Nicely they reorder to put your choices how you’ve numbered them before getting you to confirm.

        • benmadigan says:

          anyone feel like revealing how they voted?
          just to give us an idea of how it might be going?

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            That’s between me and the ballot box.

            Whoever wins will have my support as the new Leader. The prize of independence is worth far more than one individual – and we should constantly remind the MSM and others that the pursuit of independence is not the monopoly of one political party nor one person.

            This is the true, ‘we are all in it together’ and we are in it to win it for ourselves, our future generations and for our nation. In my case, I am fighting for the freedom of two countries.

            We can do far, far better than what is currently available at Westminster. And we are not going to fall into the unionist trap of decrying who will lead us merely because our preferred candidate did not win. Commonality, perseverance and unity of purpose will see us through. ‘And we will be free nations, again!’

            Tros Gymru / For Scotland.

    • deelsdugs says:

      They seem to have ‘forgotten’ to send mine

  9. bringiton says:

    The Tory right have been trying to privatise the BBC for years until they realised it’s propaganda value.Lose that and the calls will be back again to sell it off.
    A public service it ain’t.

  10. Ken says:

    £6Billion for the BBC nonsense.. £Billions to keep up the estate. What a total waste of monies.

  11. Izzie says:

    I have grave concerns about what is best for Scotland (not the SNP who are just a vehicle) I wish that the candidates could demonstrate a willingness to reach out to the wider movement. Not words but actions.

    • Dr Jim says:

      To be fair to them all they’ve each repeated that every night they’ve been asked about it as part of their strategy

      • grizebard says:

        For some folk, though, “reaching out” is simply doing what they want (and can’t get by themselves because nobody much else will vote for it).

  12. Golfnut says:

    Well so far my party has managed to allow the election of our next party leader to be controlled by just about everyone bar the party and it’s members, and they lost it the minute they decided to hold the election before the special conference. None of the contenders are well prepared, they didn’t get time because of the NEC’s stupidity. I don’t think I have heard one original proposal.
    Disappointed, you bet.
    Kate will get my vote.

    • Dr Jim says:

      The Humza troops are threatening a rebellion in the ranks if their candidate doesn’t win, it appears there are some in our democratic party who don’t care for the members expressing that democracy if it’s the wrong democracy

      I’m really dischuffed at this now, if I can live with whoever’s selected then so can they

      • yesindyref2 says:

        After the ref and when Sturgeon took over as Leader, and with the GE coming up the next May, she was attacked from all sides, in the vain hope of destroying the SNP and Indy. I think her hubby did what hubbies should do – look after their wives. You could see him on twitter, doing the right thing. Perhaps he put that above reorging the SNP to cater for 125,000 members from 25,500 (and rightly so). And perhaps with all that attack, there formed a very close protective group around her, and as always with these things, who do you trust – those you know you can trust. And now with this leadership contest they just can’t let go.

        Hopefully after this the needed reforms will get in and the old SNP will come back again. As a result though, perhaps the SNP and Indy are alive and kicking whereas otherwise they’d be dead as a dodo.

        That’s my take for what it’s worth 🙂

      • Old Pete says:

        I agree.

      • Capella says:

        I think the only answer to that sort of blackmail is, “Go ahead and jump”. It’s amazing how bigoted and intolerant some “progressives” turned out to be.

  13. JP58 says:

    Stephen Flynn called Boris Johnson a proven liar on Laura Kuensbergs Sunday morning programme. Any review of Johnson’s track record shows this to be an indisputable fact but LK intervened and challenged what SF said presumably to prove BBC impartiality. This demonstrates why impartial reporting is no substitute for factual reporting and why Tories primarily demand BBC impartiality.

  14. Hamish100 says:

    I see the several hundred ALBA and labour supporters are demanding how many members are in the SNP.
    Mind your own business unless you want to provide how many are in your own parties.
    I see Angus mcNeil is doing his own stirring the pot too.
    I demand to know how many points are on his driving licence— what won’t say? Conspiracy, how many text messages has he sent to Joanne Cherry? What won’t say- conspiracy’s all around.
    Here’s a question I do want an answer too.

    Whoever wins the leadership will you support them, snipe from the sidelines, resign and join another party?

    Here’s some votes tories and labour don’t like from 2021

    Constituency vote SNP 1,291,204

    MacNeil will probably stay- he likes the status and money.

    • Chicmac says:

      I think I’ve said before, my wife and I both agree, if Humza wins, we will leave the party and I have been a member for 56 years.

      • scottish_skier says:

        I hope that LGBT folks won’t leave the party if Forbes wins! That would be silly. After all, even if she did have bad intentions here (which doesn’t seem to be the case) the FM has no ultimate power – they are not a president. Likewise, if a leader alienates members / MSPs etc by trying to set their own agenda without the backing of the party, they’ll get nowhere and likely be replaced in short order. They’ll go the way of Truss!

        Personally, I’ve never voted for Salmond, and never once voted for Sturgeon either. I thought Salmond was ok, but always worried he was a bit full of himself (which is fundamentally what got to him in the end). I preferred Sturgeon as leader.

        My vote has always been a mixture of local MSP/MP and overall party policies / direction. Which party is best placed to lead Scotland to indy is key. If the SNP put in a leader that was really bad and the party followed that, it could see me leave. However, why would I not vote for my local MSP if I really liked them (which I do), liked the overall policy platform of their party, but was not overly impressed with the temporary head? That doesn’t make sense to me.

        Humza and Kate are like chalk and cheese. One e.g. inexperienced overly / naively honest, the other more experience / polished to the point of potentially coming over as not being truthful – certainly when people start suggesting that. It’s why I think they’d actually make a decent FM/DFM team and I don’t have any preference.

      • Chicmat,I do not want Humza to win either and I am not a gradualist. However,while the support for independence is broader than the SNP,we need them to win.For that reason,I will stay with the SNP,since members leaving is just a gift to the unionist parties.I do believe that Kate Forbes has fantastic potential and is greatly feared by the unionist media.That is why they are attacking her.I hope that she wins,but whatever the outcome of this election,I do believe that her contribution towards the independence cause will be immense.

    • Eilidh says:

      Allegedly he would get kicked off Barra if he jumps ship to Alba. Never watched the debate. No vote for me so have lost interest at the moment. Someone wake me up when new Fm is announced

  15. Old Pete says:

    Humza was so bad tonight and obviously lying. Did someone advise him that it would work ?
    I dispare, these tv events have only been bad for him and Ash.
    Finally voting and it won’t be for him not after that tonight.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    We suffer from fake polls asking fake questions of fake people that end up with fake answers so the media can quote the fake results at us

    A percentage of people polled didn’t like a word that was reinterpreted by the media to mean something else that JK Rowling didn’t like, and she’s an important figure, what do you say to that?

    This is the way the media in Britain works, they insult the population to their faces with stupidity then laugh at their stupidity for swallowing it

    Mediasplaining on behalf of the nation

    If there’s someone in your family who’s not, well let’s say speedy in the brainpower department, you help them out as much as you can to understand what’s going on
    Ultimately everybody’s our family in that way, so the question folk could ask themselves is, do the media have no family or consider the population of Scotland not to be their family by deliberately twisting and distorting the truths and facts to gain advantage over them?

    I think the media are not sociable people, they are not the friends of anyone and see themselves as a breed apart in the same way the Westminster English rulers see themselves as more than the rest of us, better, arrogantly smarter, the kids in school that were bullied as being wee clipey shits that caused trouble in the playground between others, and they’re still doing it

    Except there’s no one can give them a slap in the coupon for being Arseholes now that they’re big, and there are always the slower folk who think they’re OK because they never got smarter as they got big

    Sometimes it’s easier for the slower people to believe media and establishment stuff because it’s just too hard for them to understand what’s really being done to them

    Every family’s got one

    • Kate Forbes by a country mile.
      Yet again the Sky inquisitor demanded when Kate Forbes stopped beating her husband.
      I am sick fed up of the LGBT+ debate.
      I can’t believe that this has been allowed to dominate the discussion on independence.
      One in four children are starving….
      The pink baseball bat wants to destroy independence…
      There, I’ve said it..discuss.

      • Capella says:

        Spot on.

        • When asked what she would need to put in place to introduce a scottish currnecy Regan’s eyes glazed over as she blurted out, ‘our own Scottish Bank’, then stuttered to a halt.
          She had nothing..and blustered on about setting up a commission…again.
          The terrified look of ‘god, they’ve found me out’ in her eyes was enough for anyone with any sense.
          She has a plan for independence without begging WM?
          Jaisus wept.

          This woman clearly hasn’t a clue, about anything.
          Humza is just a tired old tub thumper, boasting about his opinion polls ratings.
          Forbes may be raw, and will need a strong mature team around her.
          But the other two?
          God help us all, including Brit citizens, if either succeeded.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Agree wholeheartedly Jack, this ridiculous bunch of minorities have decided to use minority status to blackmail the rest of us by insisting they won’t vote for independence if they don’t get the candidate they demand

        Well you see the candidate they demand is only that, a candidate, even if they do become FM that also has absolutely hee haw to do with the principle of independence which is what these minorities are using as a weapon, and it makes them no different in their intolerance than the damn Tories or Labour

        They are insisting on adherence to whatever they want now as the reason they’ll vote for our country’s freedom without even considering the fact that FMs change, politicians change, policies change, but one thing all SNP supporters do not change and do not disagree with is our country’s independence

        These groups therefore demonstrate they are not Scottish independence supporters they’re just a bunch of blackmailing noisy children stamping their feet at the sweetie checkout demanding that Humza Yousaf be their Mammie because he appears to be the softest touch and they’ll get their sweeties

        I put Humza last in my vote because of this and his mansplaining bully attitude towards both women candidates, I of course put Kate Forbes first

        The reason I placed Ash Regan second is because she hasn’t a snowballs of winning anything, but quite honestly I’d rather have Ash than a man who’ll agree to anything to get himself elected but was unable to hide his arrogant smirky attitude to his women colleagues in the process

        I hope if Kate wins she gives Humza a job he richly deserves

        • Old Pete says:

          I totally agree with you in almost everything you have stated only difference is if Humza wins I won’t be renewing my membership in October. I will still vote SNP 1 and SNP/Green 2 and hopefully we might still succeed under his leadership. Voted Kate 1 and Ash 2.

        • scottish_skier says:

          this ridiculous bunch of minorities have decided to use minority status to blackmail the rest of us by insisting they won’t vote for independence if they don’t get the candidate they demand

          This is of course exactly the same as someone saying they won’t vote SNP and/or leave the party if their favoured candidate doesn’t win! It’s a bit unionist talk IMO, i.e. making it ‘cos Forbes / Yousaf’ as it was ‘cos Salmond / Sturgeon’ before.

          My support for indy is basically unconditional. My support for a political party is not about its leader, but it’s collective action / stance.

          If the SNP veers too far away from my politics, then that would have me questioning my membership / voting intention, but a leader change won’t do that. Ash Regan is my least favoured candidate, but I’d still be looking to vote SNP with her at the top if they remained a moderate centre-left liberal pro-indy party key to leading Scotland to indy. Forbes has some person views quite opposed to my own, but if she governs for all, then that’s ok with me. I appreciate the SNP is more a broad church movement than a party.

          The one who will come out top in the contest will be the one that’s convinced the most members that they’re the person for the job. If they’ve attacked other candidates rather than be positive (and all have some guilt here), they’ll have lost some support as a result of it. The most positive and capable one should win out.

          If folks are angry at the outcome, it means they are angry not at ‘the party machine’ or suchlike (most people just don’t do what politicians tell them, and Scottish indy supporters are very much of independent mind!), but at the other members who’ve made their minds up all by themselves in a fair contest. That’s who people will be attacking if the result doesn’t go their way and it’s worth remembering.

          When confronted with a (nice enough) but mouthing off British/English nationalists in the apres ski bar, I remained calm, reasoned and positive. As a result, the DKer wanted to talk to me about the subject, not them. 🙂

          • ‘this ridiculous bunch of minorities have decided to use minority status to blackmail the rest of us by insisting they won’t vote for independence if they don’t get the candidate they demand.’

            This is of course exactly the same as someone saying they won’t vote SNP and/or leave the party if their favoured candidate doesn’t win! It’s a bit unionist talk IMO, i.e. making it ‘cos Forbes / Yousaf’ as it was ‘cos Salmond / Sturgeon’ before.
            There is no equivalence, as you well know,
            Among the LGBT ‘community’, (what a strange catch all cosy collective noun) there are rabid Red Blue and Yellow Tories, sado-masochists, fascists, ban the bombers, Up Ra Workers, anarchists, Marxists, and Flat Earthers, rapists, crooks, fiddlers, skivers, philanthropists, and so on, just like in the general population, as a matter of fact.
            Yet for some reason, being LGBT is being framed as being in a virtuous state, cloaked in a shield of invulnerability, whose opinions are beyond criticism, and whose rights are being constantly undermined by the laws of the land.
            It is tiresome, and rankles.

            The prize is independence; The SNP/Greens is the political wing of the Movement, whether you like it or not.
            The issue id not buffer zones or aversion therapy.
            That’s what SKY BBC and the Brit Dead Tree Scrolls want to talk about.
            And you play right in to their hands by your comments above.
            No matter who wins, we carry on, refreshed and determined.
            I am done talking about LGBT, and Kate Forbes’ religion.
            I caution others to stop giving our enemies any more ammunition.
            Not all gay people are virtuous civilly responsible self determinists.

            • scottish_skier says:

              I agree (about all groups having their bad and good eggs, including LGBT) and I think my point was missed Jack.

              I was just saying I think there is some equivalence between going in a huff if your chosen leader isn’t picked, and doing the same if your version of independence isn’t the one to happen immediately.

              In some ways I’ve been glad I didn’t find myself overly drawn to a particular candidate, as that can lead quickly to you getting defensive of them, and before you know it, lost in BTL translation comments can lead to wee blogheid rammies etc.

              The polling data shows that while Forbes seems to be out in front by a decent margin, among target voters / party members (SNP, Green, Labour supporters/leaners to indy), they are closer. That means a sizeable proportion of the Yes / potential Yes vote is not going to get the one they want. We definitely don’t want to send them off in a huff! 🙂

              So we should always focus on the positives of the candidate and give whoever wins a chance to prove themselves. That’s what I’ll be doing anyway.

              • S-S, you are pushing against an open door here.
                I think that we can all agree that we get behind the winner, no matter what.
                Just like Dross and Baron Jack backed Truss? Ahem.
                It is not clear cut, is it?
                There is an establishment party machine backing Yusaf, and the Alba Common Weal weight supporting Regan; There seems to be little doubt that there are no backroom goings on in the Forbes camp, s’all I’m saying.
                You know my views on persecution of any sort. This woman has been religiously persecuted for 3 weeks now.
                That can’t be allowed to happen unchallenged.

        • Golfnut says:


  17. scottish_skier says:

    Quite happy to say I went with my plan and since it seems Fobres is most likely to win, I put Yousaf first to simply even things up, with Forbes 2 and Regan 3. I don’t really have a preference other than just don’t see Regan as a serious option (not helped by the fact she got the kisses of death from Salmond, Murray, Wings etc).

    I really hope that it’s a very close contest, as I think that’s the best outcome for unity when we have a case of chalk and cheese like we do.

    I’ve done my best to be as balanced as possible in my posts on the contest, particularly when looking at the realties of polling data, and would have tried to do so even if I’d had a preferred candidate, much as that can be hard. After all, if we start attacking those we don’t like, we are just doing exactly what the British nationalists want us too. We also hurt our own case, as many people are like me; negative campaigning drives them to the opposite camp.

    It was Sturgeon haters that convinced me she was to be trusted. It was GRR haters that swung me from unsure/concerned to backing the bill firmly. Tory brit nats hating Yousaf has been a factor in my final numbering. I mean if they really don’t like the guy… 🙂

    Negative campaigning always fails in the face of a more positive opposing campaign. Worth keeping in mind when posting on leadership race! Ironically, Salmond used to understand this and highlight it – seems he’s forgotten that now, hence where he’s ended up.

    I’ll be happy when it’s all done and dusted. Whoever wins will need to next win over the backers of their opponent. Do that, and they can successfully lead the SNP for a good number of years to come! Don’t try too, and their term in office will be short lived, to be replaced by someone who is a unity candidate.

    If some stomp off in a tantrum simply because their candidate didn’t triumph, it’s probably for the best. After all, I think e.g. Alba folks are better in Alba than the SNP.

    Certainly, as a liberal voting in a PR system, as I’ve said before, if the SNP did change direction by shifting a bit right or more authoritarian, I could just vote SNP + Green to shift the outcome back again, as many others would. I’ve done something similar here with my leadership vote under STV – balanced the chalk and the cheese based on perceptions of who has the edge. Thank heavens Scotland’s parliament is not British FPTP, and neither is the SNP leadership ballot! That would be divisive. By contrast, PR fosters unity as no progress can be made without that.

    • Golfnut says:

      Landslide victories tend to demonstrate collective agreement, close run fights tend to maintain division, at least it does on my planet.

      • scottish_skier says:

        If the landslide actually has democratic backing, i.e. unlike the Tory 2019 landslide! As noted elsewhere, among SNP members and also target Yes voters (Labour yessers and leaners), Forbes and Yousaf are very close. They also seem to be mutually liked too, even if people have a preference.

        There is no evidence one is going to win by a landslide – I think it will be quite close. Even 60/40 is very close. I do hope in that case, my last sentence above applies and people are quite like me in being willing to give whoever wins a chance.

        • Golfnut says:

          I didn’t say one or other would win by a landslide, I was challenging your assertion that a close contest fosters unity which is nonsense.

          • scottish_skier says:

            You don’t get landslides under PR (e.g. the STV system being used). A simple majority is unique. I’d say PR generally favours consensus, unity and ultimately policy with cross-party support (see GRR and the huge cross-party support it had), while something like FPTP delivers massive landslides but instability, division and weak policy.

            A party leader candidate winning e.g. 65% of the vote seeing that as a mandate to ignore the 35% is going to cause serious division in a party. A candidate getting 52% knows they are only just over the line and they need to bring the other side with them or they might not last long.

    • keaton says:

      Quite happy to say I went with my plan and since it seems Fobres is most likely to win, I put Yousaf first to simply even things up, with Forbes 2 and Regan 3

      I dunno, every indication seems to be that this is Yousaf’s to lose.

      He’s been well ahead in the bookies’ odds throughout. Maybe that’s not a particularly reliable indicator in an internal contest, but being ahead is still better than being behind.

      More importantly, he had quite a lead in first preferences in the only members’ poll that was carried out, leaving Forbes needing to rely on second preferences, which carries an inherent risk as at least some portion of the votes which should have gone to her will be wasted due to people not understanding the system.

      What gives you the impression that Forbes is the likely winner?

      • scottish_skier says:

        What gives you the impression that Forbes is the likely winner?

        I need to look at the latest polling, but she’s doing well here, even when you take out the Tory/Brexiter votes who want ‘anyone but a, erm, you know, one of them’ in charge. She does seem to have picked up a wee lead in the past week or so.

        But then of course that’s not a poll of SNP members! Need to have a look to see if there’s anything new here.

        Mrs S_S still has to make her vote, so we can cancel out mine if it looks like Yousaf is storming ahead! 🙂

  18. bringiton says:

    As previous commentators have said,it was a mistake to invite the media into what should have been an election for SNP members only.
    They then set the agenda which usually benefits those who control the media and has little to do with public interest.

    • I did warn you all.
      When will we ever learn?

    • scottish_skier says:

      Aye, said the same myself. Why should our Scottish leaders be putting themselves in the spotlight on a the media of an aggressive, foreign country (Britain/England)?

      Incidentally, when skiing last week, my wee Scots group that coalesced (one nat/me, one in the middle, one unionist) were talking to an English couple from Huddersfield. The lady was nice enough, but when unionist brought up Sturgeon, the former couldn’t help but say how much she hated her.

      I didn’t interject as I found this great for helping the don’t know Scot in the group on the right path, just as Mr unionist was doing. After all, how rude would it be for me to meet a group of e.g. French people, only to haughtily tell them how much I hated Macron – a politician from another country that had no impact on my life…

      So keep in mind that the British/English media attacking Scotland/Scots/our politicians has helped get us to where we are – on the brink of indy. Might be hard to watch at the time, but the effect is more likely ultimately in our favour.

    • Old Pete says:

      Yes it was a big, big mistake by the party agreeing to all these tv grillings.

      • Old Pete, it wasn’t a ‘mistake’.
        There are those in the SNP who crave the chance to appear on the telly, popping up in the ‘papers, and getting a platform to demonstrate how wonderful and persuasive they are. In their eyes.
        High profile, bigger bucks.
        Ash Regan definitely falls in to that category.
        She clearly hasn’t a clue about anything.
        Sadly, Humza Yusaf has been convinced by others hiding behind the curtain to take on Forbes…the rolled up sleeves, just in from a hard day at the office look was a disaster.
        Why do they fear her?
        Cherry Swinney Lynch Black are clearly upset that the Times They Are a’ Changin’.
        Out with the old, in with the new.
        They’re going to need a bigger lifeboat when they abandon ship in a fortnight.

        Forbes will have the Herculean task of clearing the Augean stables in a single day.
        They fear that Day of Reckoning.

    • deelsdugs says:


  19. scottish_skier says:

    Aye. The British nationalists do like to tell us we’re at war with ourselves! It’s just a wee leadership contest. All parties do this. We’d better get used to it if we want to be independent; part and parcel of being an indy country! 🙂

    Stephen Flynn: There is no existential crisis in SNP

    STEPHEN Flynn has rejected claims the SNP is facing an “existential crisis” amid perceived infighting within the leadership contest.

    The SNP’s Westminster leader appealed to Nicola Sturgeon’s replacement to unite the party when the race ends in two weeks.

    Like his views here.

    Oh and remember where this is coming from:

    A Sky News poll released on Monday found 44% of respondents think Mr Yousaf would be a bad leader, compared to 39% for Ms Regan and 36% for Ms Forbes.

    It’s not those who support indy or might be persuaded too that don’t like Yousaf at all; it’s the British nationalists that can’t stand the guy for reasons we can all imagine.

  20. Bob Lamont says:

    I heartily recommend reading and digesting Stewartb’s post from yesterday, then see if you can find any mention of it on any of the media.

    Remember the huge fuss made on HMS James Cook etc about Dr Loughrey’s “avoidable deaths” in Scotland’s NHS ?
    Not a cheep now from your “impartial” media…

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Politicians come and go, policies come and go, the one thing that stays right where it is is the country, as long as we keep accepting and joining in with the arguments of the English government who use the media to keep asking us those same stupid questions to distract us from the really important question, Scotland won’t move an inch

    Scotland has no self determination, that is both the question and the answer
    Scotland has the grass, England owns the lawnmower and refuses to let us buy our own

  22. raineach says:

    My own reading of last night’s branch meeting is that Forbes has a very slight lead amongst those members who turn up to meetings

    • Dr Jim says:

      From what I’ve seen and heard my patch favours Kate Forbes as well, but there’s a wee way to go so y’never know

  23. yesindyref2 says:


    Here’s a nice thing to end your reign as FM.

    There’s a gated memorial garden opposite Glasgow Cathedral, if you’re lucky enough to get parked in the square. It’s worth a visit.

    As well as kids we had miscarriages. You never forget.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    Even though the Tories new immigration bill may not comply with ECHR law and has been described by voices in Europe as Britain returning to its days as slave traders, all of the Scottish Tories voted for it without question

    Gary Lineker never went far enough, the English are selling immigrants now

  25. Tatu3 says:

    Well I’ve finally voted. It took a while and several emails over yesterday and today, but it all got sorted and I got to vote. So pleased.
    I wonder if any others had problems and if they persevered to finally get there. I do hope so.

  26. Golfnut says:

    Great article Byline Times

    I don’t pretend to understand everything in this article but it looks awfy like to me that the EU and Cameron were upto their oxters in preserving UK tax havens prior to
    and beyond brexit.

  27. Bob Lamont says:

    By way of follow up on the role of media and the Tory connection, just listen to this from the regulator Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom – Melanie’s shit-waffle doesn’t even reach the fan of John Nicholson before breaching Ofcom’s published rules are highlighted, and to which she responds “I’ll get back to you on that…” 🙄

    • Golfnut says:

      There you go, the CEO of Ofcom doesn’t know the rules, how very tory. I think I read somewhere that they now classify news programs as shows, maybe that will be the excuse.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Indeed you did read somewhere that news programmes now classify themselves as shows which gives them license to *interpret* the news for the benefit of the mindless uneducated and moronic (they mean us the viewer) who doesn’t understand the intricacies and definitions of what words phrases and sentences and such like actually mean

        And aren’t we all so grateful not to have minds of our own or gosh we might arrive at different conclusions to the *experts* who do it all for us

        • Hamish100 says:

          John Beattie refers to “his” listeners as the audience. How very twee.

          No Mr Beattie, I ain’t part of your audience I am listening in, to see if the M8 road is blocked.

  28. Leadership Farce BBC in Edinburgh in an Auld kirk tonight chaired by Stephen Jardine with an audience, not exclusively of SNP members, but a ‘mix’ of members and plants who are agin independence.
    Glenn Campbell was previewing the Stitch Up on Distorting Scotland.
    Well, we know what’s going to happen, don’t we?
    Instead of members being allowed to quiz the candidates, we will get the usual SNP Bad political attack from BBC Jockland and the Pringle sweaters of Morningside and Corstorhine planted in the audience.
    A&E waiting times, drugs deaths, the ferries, Education in crisis, crime and Polis ‘criticism’ the SNP breaking up into feuding factions, Kate Forbes and her religion, ..I could go on.
    Who the feck in the SNP Management team agreed to this nonsense?
    There is more than one viper in the bosom of the Party, that’s for sure.
    They have allowed BBC Scotland to trash the campaign…
    What fools.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah but they did get their poll out in good time for it, and bugger all previous polls showing the opposite

      No questions about England now, let’s keep it nasty SNP bad
      I’m not watching the damn thing, Mrs Doc’s doing it for me, she’s a lot less violent
      I just get myself into life taking mode, it’s bad for my menta helf

  29. bedelsten says:

    Not having a TV licence, or a TV (depending how one defines ‘TV’), I suppose I am just an onlooker is the debacle and it shouldn’t concern me overmuch. Many years ago, after Thatcher was interviewed by Brian Walden and it was clear she was on her way out, the BBC suddenly became less deferential to the government of the day. A short-lived experience in the life of the BBC. Would that it would rediscover that backbone. And, for viewers (and the occasional listener) in Scotland, actually provide a proper service.

    Meanwhile, I see the thread has wandered into discussing the hustings and the three candidates. Some observations:
    1. Broadcasting the hustings may have showed non SNP supporters that the SNP has real people in charge, not the husks and golems of some other parties.
    2. There is no harm in normalising the concept of independence – which the broadcast hustings may have done.
    3. The questions at the SNP sponsored hustings were generally a bit softball compared to broadcast ones (three streamed SNP hustings and the STV and Sky ones – watched online)
    4. Ash Regan generally waffled and didn’t have much of a clue.
    5. Humza Yousaf tried too much to be liked – maybe the correct approach for some. Possibly good managerial material – but leadership?
    6. Kate Forbes showed the same grasp as detail we are now used to from Ms Sturgeon. Will her socially conservative views hold back the SNP’s generally socially progressive agenda?
    7. Will whoever is chosen be a stop-gap candidate until someone more talented but currently stuck in the big hoose by the Thames becomes an MSP?

  30. Dr Jim says:

    According to Mrs Doc Kate Forbes shone like a beacon and you know when the others are panicking because they steal your lines
    Both Humza and Ash were pinching Kate Forbes phrases all over the place

    Well that’s according to Mrs Doc anyway, I was too angrified to watch it because I don’t believe they should have done all this and I can’t stomach the BBC or any of the wee pretendy journalists on it

    It’s over, so phew! and thank the powers that be we can get on now

    • We had pink Pringle jersey man, a rotund silver haired chap who boasted accessing private health care, in a unit which was staffed with 18 consultants, who were not moonlighting from NHS duties, who accused NHS nurses of going off sick for no reason and increasing the burden on colleagues in hospital.
      We had bowling club badge man who blurted in a rage that the SNP had been in power for 15 years and Scotland was shite. We had crumpled rugby shirt middle aged man with the tell tale ‘professional’ Scots accent who reeled off the usual Education, Health Scotland Bad SNP riff.
      Jardine picked them out to ensure that an SNP members hustings would be trashed.
      He allowed these rants to run their course.
      How were they selected to appear on this members husting?
      By BBC Jockland’s production team of course.
      At least that’s the roadshow over.
      Kate Forbes shone.

  31. Calum says:

    Trouble is, too many of the SNP hierarchy think the BBC are just fine. I know this for a fact in the case of one of them.
    They(SNP) never call them out and ,sadly, probably never will.

  32. Chicmac says:

    HTF does a continuity candidate become the candidate for change over a three week leadership contest?

    • Dr Jim says:

      He’ll be stealing Kate Forbes’s dress and repeating the word *ensure* in a highland accent and adding them to his CV of imagined of triumphs that Nicola Sturgeon did the homework for him to scrape through his political apprenticeship

      Haha now that it’s over I can say what I like, oh no! he still might win, Ach I don’t take any of it back

  33. Scottish Baker says:

    Oh dear. I was persuaded to watch the leaders debate by a fellow SNP member. He had watched the previous episodes and had found them helpful. So, this morning I flicked through the programme with a sick bucket by my side. Why oh why did my party agree to this nonsense. Clearly rigged with plants (I think they were turnips) in the audience. May be it was my bad luck but as I flicked through I seemed to land on one of the turnips. As JackC pointed out, the smirking baldy who asked about ferries is clearly not an SNP member, nor the guy who referred to the curriculum of excellence as the curriculum of excrement. If either of these turnips were active members they would have prefixed their question with “I have raised these issues with my local……….” and then moved onto the point they wished to raise. In my view an own goal from the SNP and the EBC will retain their position as the mouthpiece of the scumservatives.

    On the plus side it did confirm for me that my vote has gone to the right person. Having said that I do not really care who wins. I just want the winner to get us out of this sewer before I go underground!

  34. JackCollatin says:

    BBC Scotland is, and has always been, a tight sectarian Unionists Royalist unit, whose staff are overwhelmingly members of a narrow religious sect which invites the Queen and Margaret Thatcher, to name but a couple, to their Annual Jamboree.
    I repeat, how many Catholics have posts of any influence at Plantation Quay.
    The answer is none, of course.
    Like ‘Coconut Cabinet’ Macwhirter, they get away with blatant sectarian bias, because Scotland’s legal, judiciary and police have been dominated by this sect for centuries.
    Yet, they number in a few hundred thousand in 21st Century Scotland.
    The SNP will have its fair share of the sect in their ranks.
    I ask, how many Catholics, Jews, Muslims, hold positions of influence in BBC Scotland.
    I could list the personnel by name, if you prefer.
    They don’t like it when I play the religion card, do they?

  35. I was disappointed that it wasn’t chosen by Google as its featured event today.

    Who is it in the press that calls on me?
    I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
    Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
    Beware the ides of March.
    What man is that?
    A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.”

    The back stabbers will be out in force today, that’s for sure.
    Now that Dross has voted for the Tories Boats Final Solution, on a day when Scotland’s population dropped by 16,000 as more of us died than were born last year, and Europe is closed to us by Baron Jack of Tent Hire, I look forward to Dross at FMQ screaming about the invasion of criminal gangs and rapists overwhelming our hospitals, schools, and BBC ‘invited’ audience members.
    Has he managed to get the gypsies turfed out of Moray yet?
    Happy Ides of March, Duggers.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      “Infamy!…Infamy!…..They’ve all got it in fae me! ”
      Et tu … ya bankie bawbag!…:-)

      • Proud to be a Bankie, Tam.
        We can always rely on colourful language from the Tail O’ The Bank.
        Is Morton having a charity match for their namesake in Drumchapel?

        • Tam the Bam says:

          Dont think ” The Rolls” are officially relegated yet Jack.
          Might be wrong.

          • They got their jotters today, Tam, although there is hope of a takeover.
            Hunt slapped a 10.1% tax hike on whisky to day…and it passes almost unnoticed by the Jock press.
            That’s another £600 million a year looted from Scotland for England’s coffers.
            Douglas Ross Sub Lieutenant, (RN Failed) Andrew Bowie and David Pasta Shapes Duguid stand by silently as the Aberdeen council close 6 libraries to ‘save’ a quarter mill…
            Scottish labour stand arm in arm with their Blue Tory partners burning books.

            We are in the end of days for Brit Jock colonials.

    • John Boyd says:

      Cultural transmission, imaginative expression, and emotional release.
      Wonderful Jack, keepie uppy.

  36. Dr Jim says:

    Too early in the campaign for independence we allowed the English government to set the terms of the argument for it and the basis on which they could argue against it

    Independence has sod all to do with finance money or economy, because if it was 65 other countries would never have done it, so why did they? and the answer is self determination, the ability to decide how you want your country to be governed, how you want your country to progress and how you want your country and the people in it to be recognised in the world as equal to others

    65 other countries did this and not one of them is worse off than they were before they did it, nor are they on the phone to the English begging to come back, ask the Irish why don’t they want to return to English rule and you’ll be all the way to the end of the street with those people still kicking your Arse

    Scotland is half full of racist sectarian morons who would never vote for independence even if England told them it would be good for them, most of them have never set foot in England, the country they think their lovable monarchy lives in and cares for them, except for a trip on a bus to somebody else’s football ground then they ate a Kebab on the same bus back to Scotland

    If you proved conclusively that every Scot would be £5 per week better off with independence the answer from them would be “och it’s hardly worth it then” then they’d shift the dial to “aye but whit aboot defence”

    The English will always come up with these kinds of arguments to do the same job, and that job is to undermine Scotland, it’s government and the people it seeks to blindfold into not understanding that they mean them too
    The English government are not just against those of us who desire independence they’re against all of us or they wouldn’t lie to the supporters of the union with the same stupid argument that they are in fact morons who’ll believe whatever England tells them

    The day the morons find out that they’ve been lied to and used by England will be the day independence begins to happen

    So there you are Scotland our fate is in the hands of a toothless shaven headed moron with a flare between his gums who bravely declares to the world he’ll die for his football team, God save the King, because that’s a religion you know and just as insane as the lunatics in other countries who’d like to come here and blow us all up
    Except in Scotland they’re allowed to dress up in uniforms and practice their hatred legally, they have bands marching and singing about bringing death to those they don’t like
    No other country in the western world would sanction this open hatred of other groups, but England says it’s the law and Scotland must obey

    We’re up to their knees in our future, and for those folk in the north who think they don’t have that problem the same as in central Scotland, you just haven’t really looked at the buses on Saturday mornings travelling from where you live to where I live in the moronisphere where they demonstrate their true natures then hide them when they return home to leafy Perthshire and beyond where they’d clutch their pearls in horror and deny such people exist there, Oh no certainly not here, as they smirk at each other over coffee dressed in their tartan twin set or pink Pringle golf jumper and wait for you to leave

    We must stop England comparing an independent Scotland to a third world country full of dirty water and starvation that needs their money to survive
    The morons are scared, and they’re scared of the rest of us normal folk proving that if independence is better for everyone else in the world why shouldn’t it be better for Scotland

    Mostly because that might bring about the end of the moronisphere that’s their world

  37. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, following recent a wee discussion with Keaton…

    I had a look at what polling data there is on the leadership. We have a series for all Scots voters (left) and within these, can assess the thoughts of SNP 2021 voters from cross-tabs. We only have one poll of SNP members (the ultimate decision makes, and shown in both graphs). How these were sourced is not clear, but interestingly, the results do seem to match that of SNP voters for the same time period, which might make a lot of sense.

    The data for the three candidates is plotted as % preference of those giving an opinion. The % of respondents giving such an opinion is also plotted for reference. Only 20% or so knew enough to do this in the beginning, rising to >60% for all 2021 voters and >70% for SNP 2021 voters recently.

    Ignoring effects of variance and differing methods, in both cases, Kate Forbes starts out in front, but then drops away, I think we can assume due to what went wrong around early comments on personal views. Interestingly, she seems to have lost support not to Yousaf, but to Regan, NET at least.

    Yousaf’s support seems to have stayed the same throughout. He has remained at around 32% of all Scots giving an opinion and around 46% of SNP 2021 voters.

    Forbes remains out in front with all voters, but, as noted, this is partly because she is getting backing from Tories, leavers etc. Not because they like her (she’s a ‘bloody nat’ after all), but because the idea a Yousaf FM horrifies them for reasons I’m sure everyone can work out (there is other evidence for this).

    Among those not afflicted by such prejudices, such as SNP 2021 voters (right), and Labour to similar extents if you go looking, Forbes and Yousaf are actually in close contest. After the initial fall then stabilisation, Forbes has averaged 45% – identical to Yousaf amongst SNP 2021 voters.

    If we imagine SNP voters quite well reflect members, as supported by our single poll of these, then it’s a tight race.

    However, given the apparent shifting between Forbes and Regan, it may be that Forbes supporters are more likely to put Regan 2nd, which could mean she takes it under STV.

    So my balance voting seems supported by the evidence.

    Also, if it turns out 54% Forbes vs 46% Yousaf, then Forbes and supporters will need to put their arm around Yousaf supporters and find a consensual way forward. Otherwise, her term will be short lived. Same applies the other way around should Yousaf win out.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If Forbes wins she must bin Yousaf, if Yousaf wins he daren’t bin Forbes, if Salmond wins, Oops! I mean Regan, then the SNP will lose many thousands of members and the next election

      • scottish_skier says:

        If Yousaf gets e.g. 46% of the vote, dumping him wouldn’t be wise at all IMO. That would be dumping 46% of members in effect.

      • raineach says:

        When Salmond became FM in ’07 he filled his cabinet with his supporters and rivals and it worked well. The winner of this needs to do the same. It settles the party and allows all to focus on the prize. The SNP is a coalition and needs to remember that

      • yesindyref2 says:

        If she was daft enough to appoint Yousaf to any post in Government he’d spend all his time creating splits and working against her. Brutus would be envious.

        • scottish_skier says:

          So if Yousaf wins, he should dump Forbes and anyone close to her? You know, to erm, unify the party? 🙂

          It looks like it’s going to be close. They’ve each made some silly digs at each other, and that will have hurt them both rather than helping them.

          A broad church means everyone finds something in it for them. Sturgeon understood that and how to unify all the different parts of the SNP, from the more right leaning / conservatives to the left liberals, giving a nice moderate party in different respects. It’s why she hand picked Forbes, Yousaf and Regan for her cabinet. She wasn’t stupid and should be learned from.

    • Handandshrimp says:

      I agree, if Kate wins she will need to demonstrate she is a unifier and commands a big tent. Humza will, I believe occupy a senior role in her cabinet and vice versa if Humza wins.

      Will Ash figure in cabinet again? Quite possibly.

      • Dr Jim says:

        First there was President Salmond then President Sturgeon because there were no contested views for so long, now we have differing approaches and styles like a regular political party, for the SNP to achieve the two purposes of protest party and party of government this now becomes more difficult if like the Tories and Labour in particular there are obvious public disagreements

        For a long time in Scotland the SNP were envied by the other parties for their collective solidarity which the other parties could not seem to achieve hence the name calling of party drones etc, but they couldn’t break the SNP

        Total single mindedness is desirable when you’re a protest party but now the SNP have to appear to be all things to all people also, and I think that’s what’s got them into trouble in more recent years
        Nicola Sturgeon tried her hardest to be the person that was acceptable to all and in the end it defeated her, she spread herself so thin to give everybody a slice of bread that it finished up with folk complaining about not enough butter on their particular slice of that bread

        Nicola tried her best, the next leader cannot follow the same path that ground her down
        The next leader I believe will have to be less accessible, much more firm and decisive and ignore the bleatings of the media and the minority focus groups who serve no purpose other than to detract from the majority who at the end of the day are the voters we actually need

        It’s time to prioritise the majority as equally as the minority, you just can’t please everybody so stop trying so hard not to displease some, clearly nothing seems to work with the some, they threaten not to vote for you just as much as the everybody anyway

        • scottish_skier says:

          We had Sturgeon and Salmond because the consensus was they were the best for the job, so were not challenged, which they could have been at any time.

          But then they both did well to unify the different wings of the party. Sturgeon learned from Salmond on this, adding her own style. So they were not challenged. They were unity / continuity candidates.

          If whoever wins can’t do this, SNP will have a new leader in the next year or two.

          If the winner dumps their opponents acrimoniously, giving the media the chance to bang on about ‘civil war’, there will be champagne at downing street / pacific quay. That’s the simple truth of the matter.

          At the same time, the onus is on the loser to be gracious too and see to help the winner move things forward.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Seems you are, like me, a unity backer rather than, dare I say it, in one of the 2-3 ‘cults’ (joke! 🙂 )

      • scottish_skier says:

        I personally see myself as a ‘continuity S_S’ if anyone’s asking.

        Will be the same old me whoever wins! 🙂

  38. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Just voted. 🙂

  39. Dr Jim says:

    If only Kate Forbes when she said Humza was pretty useless had qualified that by saying he was still better than Westminster it wouldn’t have allowed Rishi Sunak to quote her words back at the SNP today

    • scottish_skier says:

      Also, everyone knows Forbes decides how much Humza gets to spent on his brief.

      Sure she’s working with what pocket money Westminster gives us once it’s helped itself to a healthy share of our taxes to spend on ‘British’ [sic English] stuff, but as local purse string holder, she holds a high degree of collective responsibility alongside Yousaf and Sturgeon. Finance secretary is second only to DFM/FM in terms of top jobs. Been in that role for over 3 years now.

      She will have been closely involved in all recent pay negations etc.

      • Dr Jim says:

        John Swinney was doing Kate’s job, she only came back for this FM contest because some MSPs asked her to, and presumably she wanted the job also or but for Nicola’s resignation she might still have been on leave

        • scottish_skier says:

          Ok, forgot that recently Swinney was acting in her stead. Still, she was full time at it for over 2 years before he took over and she retains the official incumbent. I imagine Swinney probably consults with her a times on key matters as her deputy.

    • Capella says:

      They have all committed to working with each other after the leadership is decided. We should take them at their word and do likewise.

      There are, however, “progressives” who are threatening to throw ALL of their toys out of the pram if a certain person wins. They should leave now. Nobody who tries to blackmail the SNP members is committed to independence.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Well, if Forbes wins she could appoint Yousaf as the Communications Secretary:

        “What do you want to hear me say?”.

        • Capella says:

          Now now – try to resist the temptation 🙏

          • yesindyref2 says:

            I know!

            To turn that into a positive I did post straight after this started about his great speech in George Square at the National + Sturgeon rally.

            He’s a great inspirational speaker, and perhaps some role could be found for him there. It’s amazing the difference between “OK I suppose I’ll get on with it” and “I can’t wait to get on with it”.

      • Dr Jim says:

        It never ceases to remain the same about the new tolerant societies intolerance to others who won’t do as they’re told by the tolerant

        Those progressives who are demanding things are demanding more things, and they’ll keep right on threatening as they’re doing right now by demanding Kate Forbes use their words because apparently her words are the wrong sounding words
        Patrick Harvie’s inclusive tolerant progressives can’t bring themselves to include or tolerate Kate Forbes unless she reads from their script

  40. yesindyref2 says:

    “She added: “There is a major rearmament going on in the Pacific which is aimed at, China puts it in terms of ‘encircling’, but it’s certainly aimed at a greater military presence facing China.”

    Has she looked at China recently, with its fleet that is bigger than the Yanks? Maybe Australia should go over to China and come back waving a bit of paper “peace for our time”. Which turned out to be “peace for the time being”.

    And none of it’s new, Australia has Collins submarines they want to replace, they were doing that by the French denuclearising their nuclear powered subs but it hit design problems – a very very very rare thing in military ship design (/sarcasm), so back in 2021 having taken the decision to change their policy on nuclear propulsion, they already made this deal. Which is to replace their existing old diesel electric subs with modern and less visible and noisy boats. Having already done deals with Spain over surface warships to modernise their navy.

    Oh wait, what’s this?

    “And German said Britain’s geographic location meant it should have no involvement in Pacific”

    Yup, Britain should have said that to the Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and American volunteers who were allies in the second world war: “Back I say, get back to your Pacific”. The Poles and their Hurricanes shouldn’t have won the first half of the Battle of Britain. They should have stayed in the Baltic. Well, near it! And of course Britain should have had no involvement in the Med and in North Africa where the oil was.

    Yes, that would have worked. We’d all be speaking German.

    It needs pacifists to keep the balance and put a different perspective on things, but it would help if they lived in the real world.


  41. Dr Jim says:

    Jeremy Hunt smirks as he announces funding for a project in DRoss’s seat
    Lucy Fraser, remember her, she’s the one who said she wished she could bring back the days when they could deport Scots at will to the farthest colonies
    Anyway, Lucy Fraser thinks the whole clever avoidance of funding to Scotland is hilarious

  42. davetewart says:

    The generosity of hunt, an extra £200m to fill pot holes in the whole of the big isle.
    Must have carless jackass as a mentor. Think that works out at £10 a mile.

    Remind me when the next election is due.

  43. Capella says:

    The only way to resolve the suspicion and rumour is to publish this information. Transparency matters.

    Ash Regan and Kate Forbes ask SNP chief Peter Murrell for membership data

    ASH Regan has written to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell asking him to release key information about the party’s membership and the leadership ballot.

    Regan, in a letter which was sent with the backing of Kate Forbes’s campaign team, said that the information was “necessary for ensuring a fair and transparent leadership election”.

    The two campaigns asked Murrell to detail:

    The total number of paid-up members currently within the SNP.
    The number of digital voting papers that have been sent out to members.
    The number of physical postal voting papers that have been issued…

    SNP accounts published by the Electoral Commission in August 2022 stated that the party had 103,884 members in December 2021.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Beat me too it. Should be shared with candidates for sure, but no reason to give it to the British/English. It’s none of their business.

      • Capella says:

        I want to know. I’m a member and see no good reason to keep this information a secret. Political parties should be obliged to publish membership totals. Even your local bowling club would do that.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yep, the candidates need to know who their voters are, how many and why they voted for particular individuals

    • keaton says:

      Has the party given any reason at all as to why they won’t release the figures? Interesting that even “establishment” types like Blackford and Yousaf are apparently saying they should do it

  44. scottish_skier says:

    Don’t see the need to publish this info as per the request of the British / English. It’s private party matter. This isn’t an election.

    But it should definitely be given in confidence to the 3 candidates in the interests of fairness and transparency.

    Ash Regan and Kate Forbes ask SNP chief Peter Murrell for membership data

    …While not a signatory to the letter, The National understands that Humza Yousaf’s campaign have also asked the SNP for membership figures to be published.

    As for this on the BBC, how do we know he’s Scottish? What passport does he have – a pantone 300 Scottish one? Plenty of folk in Scotland don’t see themselves as Scottish, and well, all the far right parties in the UK are British. Could be he’s not Scottish at all.

    How come Andy’s a Brit (when winning), but this guy’s a Scot?

    • Capella says:

      As a member I believe I have the right to know how many people are being balloted. Are we to be sent an email telling us who has won without any indication of the numbers or percentages? Will the media be sent a press release with one sentence announcing So and So won the leadership election and is now FM?

      There is no reason to keep this information secret from the public either.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Yes, I don’t have issues with members knowing, or at least those who are eligible to vote. That’s fair. It’s just not the British media’s business. I suppose if the members can know, then everyone will, including the foreign British / English media.

        Personally, I’m happy for just the candidates knowing in the first instance. I guess I trust them to raise any concerns if they have any.

        Otherwise, you get annual membership data with the accounts.

        • Eilidh says:

          Here is a question does everyone who has been in the party for over a year get a vote. My brother joined last March he renewed membership before it expired on 4 March this year but doesn’t seem to have got ballot paper. I think his membership is over 60s membership not sure if he is eligible for a vote

    • keaton says:

      The health of the party is a relevant issue in a leadership election. The failure to release the figures has meant the candidates couldn’t talk about this.

      • Capella says:

        I would argue the health of democracy demands it too. Apply this principle to referendums. NO won. How much? None of your business. Oh OK.

        In 2014 the SNP had around 20,000 members. After 2014 membership soared to 120,000. After the MPs walked out of Westminster it soared another few thousand. If it has fallen why shouldn’t we all know?

        When Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour party it had 400,000 members and was the largest political party in Europe. What is the membership now? No idea.
        Around that time the SNP were close to overtaking the Tories in membership.

        This ridiculous secrecy has to stop. It feeds conspiracy theories.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          Really ? The “health of a democracy demands it” 😲
          – When in the last century was democracy enhanced by knowledge of membership of ANY party whether they won drew or lost rather than the number of votes cast on the day north OR south of the border ?

          For the membership to know I understood – Have regular updates been changed ?

          • Tam the Bam says:

            What regular updates?
            I have never been informed of membership numbers either at branch or national level.

          • Capella says:

            Yes democracy – you know, that political system where the people VOTE. The votes get counted and the one with most votes wins. Secret counts of secret numbers isn’t democracy.

            In ancient Athens, birthplace of democracy, eligible voters put pebbles in a jar. Black pebbles or white pebbles. After the vote the pebbles were counted. But if a Tyrant had carried off the jar to count in secret he would have been a deceased Tyrant pdq.
            Tyranny is bad.

        • Hamish100 says:

          The branch I was with pre ir1 was around 90. Went to over 400 then is now at 200+. As long as folk vote for Independence I am not really bothered. I have always been suspicious of the individuals who flit from one party to another then another.
          It’s more about their careers I think. SNP should learn.

        • stewartb says:

          ‘It feeds conspiracy theories.’

          Perhaps, but candidly there appears to be an huge abundance of other feedstock for conspiracy theorising available to and exploited daily by too many in the Yes – I am tempted nowadays to add the prefix ‘so-called’ – Movement.

          ‘Conspiracy theorising’ is becoming our national(ist) sport. It may soon overtake football! And then we might find it amusing to name our player of the year, our top team, the ‘best’ theory. Nominations for 2023 winners now open? Goodness knows I need something to lift the spirit when watching the ‘performances’!

        • Pogmothon says:

          Then it has to be a level playing field. and a mandatory requirement for all.
          Not just the ones the britnats, establishment helpers, and people who have mistakenly taken up the demand. I am not a member, I don’t get a vote, but I definitely think the SNP should not lead the way on this.
          The simple answer should be “Yes let’s all do this, you first, then we’ll do the same”

      • scottish_skier says:

        You can’t judge the health of a party from its membership numbers though as membership costs money.

        Right now, the cheapest form of membership for the SNP at £1/month could buy you 1.8 kg of spaghetti at Tesco, feeding you for a good few days, so avoiding a humiliating trip to the foodbank just before your next income arrives.

        Alternatively, it could also keep the lights on the house for a while and/or cook said spaghetti. This is where we are right now for huge sections of society. Even the better off are cancelling Netflix to save a few quid. In lean times, anything you can live without is cut, and party membership is that. After all, you can still vote. That’s free (which is why the Tories want to make it cost money via needing an id).

        The SNP are the party of the working classes too. More than half their vote comes from C2DE; measurably greater than any other party. So they will be disproportionally affected by the cost of living crisis. My ghast would be flabbered if they had not lost a lot of members to this in the past year or so.

        If you want to see health, looking at % of total electorate voting for a party is a more reliable indicator as that’s free.

        We don’t know what would happen right now, but I remember being told how ‘the SNP had lost 1000’s of members’ back before the 2021 election. Mind you, it was an English blog saying that I believe… 🙂

        • Capella says:

          If you check the HoC briefing I linked to you will find a graph showing that the SNP membership is 2.5 % of the population. That’s way head of the other parties – Labour 0.9%, Tory 0.4%, Lib Dem 0.1%.

          BTW, since GCHQ are involved everybody in Britain who wants to know will get to know. We might be the only people who don’t know.

          • scottish_skier says:

            Yes, per capita, their membership is huge compared to other parties. That’s likely to result in greater relative fluctuations as they have way more members than e.g. their ‘base’ level, meaning things like cost of living crisis are going to affect them more.

            That’s before we have the simple fact that e.g. ‘SNP lose 20,000 members’ would of course be the same as ‘Party X lose 1000 members’ if these had 120k and 6k respectively to start with! But the former makes a way better headline as it sounds bigger, even if the % change is identical. 🙂

    • Golfnut says:

      I see the 5 arrested in the north of England belonging to the same group were refered to as ‘people’, no ethnic label.

      • Golfnut says:

        That was a comment for SS at 3:51.

      • scottish_skier says:

        Yes, my point exactly. Why not a headline ‘5 English men arrested for…’

        All too common. Same happens to people from Wales and N. Ireland. They could be 100% pure British, and the headline will be ‘Welshman arrested for…’

        Pretty much all the ‘Northern Irish unionists’ you hear about are not Northern Irish, they are British (only) as per the census; 40% of the population! Yet ‘Northern Irishman arrested for involvement in drug smuggling / terrorist plot’ etc.

        Englishman does this and it’s ‘Man arrested for…’ as you say.

        Subtle but insidious.

    • scottish_skier says:

      Seems the NEC need to give the ok for the detailed level of data requested. Which seems fair enough.

      A tenet of democracy is that political party membership is secret. It protects members and parties from authoritarian crackdowns.

      This isn’t an election and won’t decide who will be FM. It is entirely matter for the party and its members, who are deciding their party leader. It would be anti-democratic for parties to be forced to reveal too much information on membership.

      If a member feels they don’t trust the process, they can leave and vote for a different party. Democracy is fully protected by this.

      That said, it would be good to have the stats known internally, certainly for the candidates, so that members are happy that all is in order to avoid yet more wild conspiracy theories on former British Ambassador / southern English blogs. But I agree that these can’t be released on a whim by e.g. Murrell without the permission of the party / proper internal rules being followed. He doesn’t own it.

      • Capella says:

        A tenet of democracy is that political party membership is secret Really?
        Do you mean data protection i.e. identity of individual members? Or are you suggesting than nobody should know how many members a party represents?

        • scottish_skier says:

          I mean personal membership of a party is private and key to democracy.

          I also think it would be perfectly ok for a party not not reveal how many members it had. That could put it under great threat potentially. Imagine, e.g. a new party opposing Putin gathered steam, and he demanded info on how many members it had (so as to decide whether it presented a threat). Should it be forced to reveal these?

          This is not a simple issue.

          In the end, how many members a party has is irrelevant. It is a private matter and has no effect on free and fair elections for government as a general rule in democracies. If people are suspicious of how leaders / candidates are elected, they can simply not join or vote for that party. Nobody is forcing anyone to vote SNP.

          But again, that said, if you want people to join and vote for you, being as transparent a

          • scottish_skier says:

            Nobody is forcing anyone to vote SNP… and the parliament could easily block a new SNP FM. Democracy is not in trouble here. That trouble is coming from the UK stopping Scots freely voting on the basis that they are Scots.

          • Capella says:

            I think you are referring to the secret ballot. That is key to democracy. In previous centuries it was common to have a show of hands. This intimated people who didn’t want their employer or landlord to know how they voted. The principle of the secret ballot removes this fear of intimidation.

            • scottish_skier says:

              Basically yes. The SNP have revealed how many members they have, but if someone asked for a list of these to prove it, they could not do that as membership is a secret matter for many members. The SNP can tell people they have me as member XYZ, but they don’t have permission give any information to prove that to anyone. No information beyond my member number can can be revealed. The only people with legitimate purpose to know my details are those dealing with admin of this.

        • scottish_skier says:

          s you can makes a whole lot of sense. Or maybe not if your country is ruled by a foreign aggressive state that won’t let you vote freely. Like eastern Ukraine and Russian Scotland and Britain/England.

          I have no issues with SNP members knowing how things are looking in terms of numbers, how many voted etc. My problem is with the British/English imperial state wanting to know all this will not letting me vote because of my nationality.

      • Golfnut says:

        The SNP is the largest party numerically as well as per % of population in Scotland by a country mile, the tory’s England/ uk on the hand may well match the SNP numbers but as a % of population don’t get anywhere near them.

  45. Dr Jim says:

    I see we’re back to Labour calling the SNP Tartan Tories again because of Kate
    Oh how I remember this when the SNP hammered the Labour party out of power, Alex Salmond was a Tartan Tory then as well

    What will they call us if Humza wins? the Bangra Tories?

    Imagine the Labour party calling anyone Tories, they are the British Brexit Tories

  46. Eilidh says:

    Well I greatly look forward to the end of the great Snp bun fight aka leadership election. It has amplified in spades the reasons why I will never ever join a political party. If minority groups within the Snp membership don’t want to vote for a particular candidate because of that candidates views on whatever that is up to them because that is democracy after all. Some people vote for the Snp because they like their policies on various issues not just Independence and some even vote for them even though they do not support Independence. I know 2 people like that. Loads of folk here seem to think the hierarchy of the party have stage managed Humza as the favoured candidate. Can anyone explain how this could possibly be enacted because I am struggling to imagine Peter Murrell or Nicola dressed like the Godfather going round all the Snp Mps or Msps threatening to put a horses head in their beds unless they vote for Humza. I greatly look forward to the result to bring an end to this contest and whoever wins getting us Independence by Christmas (sarcasm mode engaged)

  47. Golfnut says:

    Just recording this here for those sick to death hearing about ferries, not that we don’t already have a fairly long list but
    Astute class submarines 1 to 3, five years late and 53% over budget.

  48. Ken says:

    The Labour Party lost lots of members when Starmer took over.

    Westmibster are spend8ng £13Billion decommissions Nuclear, a year, forvten years. Yet are building more subs £5Billion. Threatening China now. Australia biggest trading market is China. Annoying 1.4 billion people. Australia 25million people.

    China have not invaded anywhere. China has been invaded by British and Japan. Opium wars.

    • grizebard says:

      China invaded Tibet in 1950-51, actually.

      (Then argued afterwards that despite all appearances it wasn’t an “invasion” because they asserted they owned it at some time in the past anyway, and to hell with any fancy notion of self-determination. Such sophistry is the hallmark of all imperialist regimes (whatever they call themselves). They just had a bigger army. The follow-up only too predictable: violent suppression of the native population and ongoing dilution of them by forcible mass immigration of non-natives.)

      • Ken says:

        Tibet and Hong Kong (99 year lease) were handed back by the British. UK & US are the bigger invaders, especially after WW2.

        The Balfour agreement 1917. Britain and France carving up the Middle East. Refusing the vote.
        After support in WW1.

        Israel now in disarray. Protests all over. Totally corrupt.

        • Alec Lomax says:

          Tibet was invaded by British army under Younghusband. Oh yes, in 1949 Tibet succumbed to that great humanitarian, Chairman Mao.

  49. Tatu3 says:

    Lesley Riddoch writing in The Guardian saying SNP membership only at 78,000

    “especially one so large that eyebrows were raised this week when “only” 78,000 voting cards were reportedly dispatched – if true, this would be a 30% drop in SNP membership since 2014.”

    I voted online and did not receive a voting card (as many btl also said), but she makes no mention of online SNP voters. She should get her facts right

    • UndeadShaun says:

      Yes i read thought the 78000 must be for members who will not be e-voting from email link.

      Not total membership, it would be a waste of money to print voting cards that are not required.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Nor do many of the so-called pundits often include those of us Members who live outwith Scotland and also vote.

      I saw in Cappella’s earlier post that the House of Commons link “assumes” that all Members of the SNP live in Scotland.

      Not all of us …

    • Eilidh says:

      I like Lesley but I noticed in her article in The National today she says the new Snp leader and probable FM should fire Petet Murrell. Didn’t realise Snp leader could do that but if that happens they better be careful on what grounds they do it and not just because he is married to Nicola Sturgeon otherwise any resultant ahem Employment Tribunal could be very interesting. Plus what other mug will give them 100k short term loan

  50. Tatu3,new SNP members were not allowed to vote.In my case,my membership lapsed because Brexit forced me to move my banking to a Dutch bank.As a consequence,my direct debit to the SNP expired,and thus my membership.Since I was in the processs of moving back to Scotland and had suffered a bereavement,I did not get around to renewing my membership until very recently.If I had known that a leadership election was coming,I would have acted faster to maintain my membership.A pity because I would have liked to have voted for Kate Forbes.My point is that there are SNP members who are not included in the 78,000 quoted by Lesley Riddoch

  51. UndeadShaun says:

    List of chinese invasions, which in recent times includes tibet ans seizing of vietnamese, malaysian and philipean islands…

    Dont be fooled that China will not be a future threat to world peace.

    Though unlike Russia, for now at least, it has a leader who is not unhinged.

    • Anonymousey says:

      Hardly a “threat to world peace” when you need to go back 600 years to come up with a list of invasions! How would Britain fare under the same exercise? You’d need a series of books, not a web page!

      No nation ever formally recognized Tibet as independent and therefore by definition they were not. Calling that an “invasion” and “annexation” came decades later as a part of cold war Realpolitik rhetoric. It was a civil war.

      Territory disputes aren’t much of a sign of wanting world domination either, they are pretty common around the world, we have disputes with Iceland and Ireland. Canada has a huge one with the US over their claim over the Northwest Passage. Yawn.

      There’s a hell of a lot to criticize China for but it’s mostly down to the shitty way their treat their citizens.

      Nations like Russia and America are both actively destabilizing the world to such an monumental extent that including China in the same list is just embarrassing. Sorry.

  52. Roddy Anderson says:

    WGD’s “Anglo British nationalism” = English supremacy. If you accept ‘British’ rule in Scotland then you accept Scottish inferiority.

  53. Capella says:

    Maybe yes and maybe no. The NEC will meet and decide whether to publish membership figures. That’s very gracious of them. Otherwise we can “extrapolate” the number.

    SNP rebuff calls to publish party membership numbers

    A spokesperson said: “Candidates have already been made aware that responsibility for the leadership election does not rest with any member of staff.”It is understood that the party plans to publish the number of votes cast, the percentage share, and the turnout of the leadership election after the ballot has closed.

    That data should allow for the number of paid-up members of the SNP to be extrapolated.

    Later reports suggested that the SNP’s ruling National Executive Committee is to meet and decide on whether or not to publish the figures.

    If the NEC votes to release the data, it is understood that they will be published on Thursday.

  54. Capella says:

    Another instance of the Great British inability to identify a country.

    Allan Dorans: Media generalises about Scotland from UK figures

    IT was reported in The Guardian this week that more than 1500 UK police officers accused of violence against women in six months and less than 1% have been sacked, according to new figures.

    At no point in the report does The Guardian clarify that these figures apply only to England and Wales…

    In 2021, Police Scotland launched a Code of Ethics for Policing in Scotland based on the central importance of human rights.

    In November 2021, Police Scotland was praised for its application of the above values in its policing of the large COP26 events in Glasgow and, on one occasion, prevented a “battering ram” raid on a squat housing “environmental activists by officers from other parts of the UK”.

  55. yesindyref2 says:

    I think the membership figures should be published – but not right now. A large number of members will have voted already, and release of those figures should wait until the rest have voted and voting closes, otherwise in theory at least, the members who have already voted could challenge the result: “If only I’d known”.

    So they should be published at the same time as the detailed result.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Oh and yes, Murrell is the Chief Executive, the buck stops there so even if it’s not his direct responsibility, it needs him to say what’s happening. He can’t just hide away from it all it gives fuel to conspiracy theories!

    • scottish_skier says:

      As per my post below, they can release numbers but not any details of who is member. So they can only produce a blank list here for public scrutiny. Otherwise, the DPA is broken.

      Only way is to have someone from each campaign team / independent auditors have a look if they are bound by the DPA to just say ‘Yes, there are X members able to vote’ etc.

      Furthermore, only the number of those eligible to vote should be seen by those scrutinising the process as the total number of members is irrelevant to the election. That way, total membership can remain confidential from our aggressive neighbour who won’t let Scots vote freely.

      I want to be just a blank number that nobody can see any details of apart from those administering membership and the ballot process.

  56. Dr Jim says:

    The word *British* was an old English word spelled *Bryttisc* from the original “Briton”
    The English redefined it respelled it and imposed that description on whoever they decided was a part of their realm by force of arms

    Like all popular dictators they never asked permission or co operation

    Some say history doesn’t matter and let’s move on, that of course is a winners argument and we can’t ask peoples that question retrospectively as they’re no longer here, again the winners strategy of continuous winning without resort to conflict
    Except Jewish people, who’s history is well documented

    It’s a difficult argument to prosecute that Scots Welsh and Irish are not British by acclaim when Scots in modern times have not challenged any legal case against being absorbed as a nationality by the self redefined England English British Bryttisc regime

    We can call ourselves whatever we like but our legal passport identification to the world say we belong to the British UK country, the country that is not a country but a state

    In America we even have a “British” accent??? whatever the hell those folks think that is
    Most other countries in the world merely ask if we’re *Ingles* or variations of that word, the mere association rankles like hell doesn’t it

    Try telling an Irishman he’s still British whether he likes it or not, I’ll stand well back

  57. Ken says:

    US Defence spending $800Billion. A third of all world spend. 340million pop.

    China $293Billion pop 1.4Billion.

    Russia $65Billion. 150million pop.

    UK $68Billion. 67million pop

  58. Dr Jim says:

    Mrs Doc still is unable to vote in this election despite endless calls to SNP help and Mi-voice and endless people assuring her her email voting will be sent to her

    Are there others who are experiencing anything like this?

  59. Tatu3 says:

    Politics Joe has a good interview with Stephen Flynn. He came across very well. Except for when asked his views on the SNP leadership. He confirmed he was a Yousaf fan (fair enough), however when asked about his thoughts on Kate Forbes ideas on LGBTQ, gay marriage, baby’s out of wedlock etc, he seemed to go along with the media and not what Kate herself has said that she would not let her religion interfere in politics. So I found that disappointing tbh. Otherwise he had some good things to say

    • Dr Jim says:

      Kate Forbes is a different animal from the normal politician whose job is to politic, other politicians I think find Kate Forbes straightforward honest approach uncomfortable, I personally like it, a refreshing change from distraction diversion detraction and dastardly devious doings

      • Tatu3 says:

        I agree, I think she would make a good FM because of her honesty

      • Eilidh says:

        How will she make a good FM her and the Alba candidate aka Regan are now calling for auditers/monitors to be brought into the leadership election process. What evidence have they got such a thing is neccessary. I am at the stage now that I am wondering whether they and Humza are out to destroy the Snp. How is any of this neccessary. Were previous Snp leadership elections audited are other party leadership elections audited. What the hell is going on. Didn’t help that I just saw that creep James Cook, Glen Campbell and smarmy Sally Magnusson who could barely keep the smirks of their faces that the Snp allegedly has lost 30000 members in a year. If that is true where did they go. It seems to me that every one of the 3 candidates have went out of their way to cause more disunity than NS and AS put together ever did. How the heck that is going to help us get Independence is utterly beyond me. To say I am totally scunnerred is a severe under statement. At the moment in no way will I support any of them as FM. Whether I will change my mind in the future is doubtful

    • Legerwood says:

      Tatu 3
      There have been quite a few leading lights in the SNP who have responded to KF based on the partial reporting of the media. You would have thought, nay hoped, that they would have been sufficiently media savvy by now that they would have resisted coursing after the hare that the media set running. Better if they had spoken to her directly to seek clarification of what she actually said after all she is a colleague and some of those reaching instantly for the vitriol have shared a platform with her.

      • Dr Jim says:

        It’s a puzzler for sure, because they all know her well and were all delighted when she was selected by the FM to be finance secretary, and full of praise for her when she delivered the best most collegiate budget the devolved parliament had ever delivered since its inception, so now for some to portray her as something entirely different from the FMs original assessment of her ability or her personal entirely separate beliefs from what would be her role in government is indeed more than a complete turnaround from these very people’s opinion of her

        It makes me wonder what has changed about them and not what has changed about Kate Forbes, the only thing different is that she was on maternity leave, did something happen that the rest of us don’t know about? does one become less competent post birth, does Kate Forbes walk talk or wear her hair in a strange and different fashion that has led folk to believe she’d now be bad at a job she was previously tipped as being perfect for if the occasion ever arose ?

        The occasion has arisen they said she’d be perfect for and now she’s not?

        It’s an odd situation when politicians use the same arguments that they would normally excoriate in others, of religion bigotry and homophobia, which are the tools of the extreme groups

  60. raineach says:

    Well, my vote is in. I voted for all 3 candidates but I shall be coy about the preference save to give this clue:
    I to the polls will lift mine eyes, from whence cometh the seats
    You might not understand that if you come from south of Perth [and that’s another clue]

    • Dr Jim says:

      My daddy liked that hymn, I’m an atheist but I do like a good tune

      • raineach says:

        it’ a psalm [and so is in the bible and can be sung] and not a hymn [which isn’t in the bible and so is heretical and can’t be sung. Welcome to the world of northern calvinism. BTW, I’m an atheist too. But you can take the lad out the kirk….

  61. Ken says:

    The Defence spending shows who are the warmongerers. The US spends the most causing trouble everywhere,

    If Scotland was Independent it would not have to pay for Trident and too much on Defence. Or pay loan repayments on monies not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Scotland has to pay a share but gets little back. EU shared Defence bill kept costs down.

    Putin did not go along with Cameron against Scottish Independence. 150 million achieved self governance and self determination with the collapse of the USSR. Perestroika and Glasnost.

  62. scottish_skier says:

    See this membership number thing…

    So, Ok the SNP can say ‘We have 100k members eligible to vote’. However, how do you actually prove that without providing a list of these with names, addresses, emails, joining dates etc, so breaking the date protection act?

    I don’t approve of any details of my membership being released to anyone apart from my local branch administrator / those managing this for the party, which will be bound by the DPA to keep this confidential.

    I don’t want my details released to other members in general as it’s not their business just as I don’t feel it’s my right to see theirs. If someone wants to turn up to local meetings or tell me they’re a member and who they are fine, but otherwise I’ve no right to such information and nobody has a right to divulge details on me.

    Happy for say an independent auditor to check all’s well and for candidates to see anonymised basic data such as total number of members, number eligible, turnout etc, in the same way parties can monitor election counts. That’s more than sufficient for ensuring fairness and transparency.

    That said, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, and the attempt to suggest the vote might be rigged is just unionist nonsense as far as I’m concerned. That would be far too grand a scheme not to be easily rumbled (just one person speaking out gives the game away), so ruining things for the party and the schemers. It’s why only those out to mislead peddle such stuff.

  63. Capella says:

    Commons Library graph of SNP membership in 2018 showing it had more members than the Tory Party. This was tweeted by Peter Murrell in September 2018. So it was OK to publish membership figures back then.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Indeed, numbers of members have nothing to do with identity sharing
      My own thinking is that through natural wastage (deaths) (Covid) expectations of individuals and general affordability, the numbers are probably at present less than desirable, and maybe that’s what’s at the heart of the reluctance to disclose the numbers, as this gives the opposition and media a platform to have a pop at the party as though members have left due to dissatisfaction, which will be correct in some cases but as we know not all, but that’s how the opposition will frame it

      Like the ferries being a couple of years late and over budget they’ll pummel it into the ground while the SNP will make no mention of the fact that the UK have been building nuclear submarines that will be 6 to 8 years late and ££billions of taxpayers money over budget that Scotland doesn’t want and doesn’t vote for and has no rights to complain about

      How much £££ is deducted from Scotland’s budget for nuclear weapons or even normal defense ?
      We have absolutely not a scooby, we are not told

      But hey! islanders and ferries, it’s like comparing the cost of a couple of Mars bars to the value of the whole Nestle company, or whoever makes those tasty heart killers

      Other chocolate bars are available

      Oh, and Mrs Doc apparently exists on the SNP database but is invisible to the Mi-voice voting company no matter how many attempts people in both organisations attempt a resolution to sending her a voting email

      Surely she cannot be the only one in the Scottish universe who’s in this position

      • Capella says:

        I think Scotland hands over c £65 b and in return gets a £35 b block grant. So that means we spend c £30 b on defence – or thereabouts. Overseas embassies come out of that too I believe. It used to be called Imperial Services back in the 1900s.

        That must make us about the top defence spender in the world – bristling with deadly weapons. Don’t you feel safe?

        Could Mrs Doc not just get a paper ballot sent to her? How difficult would it be to check that against her membership?

    • scottish_skier says:

      Yes, I don’t see why they can’t publish the numbers, or at least those eligible to vote / who have been balloted. The latter might be much smaller than the total members given the year rule (I understand).

      However, that won’t get around the calls for them to ‘prove it’, which they can’t do for everyone without breaking DPR. If they say 100k, the media will be ‘provide a list’ knowing fine well that’s not possible. All they can do is produce a list with all details redacted.

      I am sure DPA would allow for candidates to access summaries of the data ‘for legitimate purpose’s, but me as a random member has no legitimate purpose for seeing the actual list of members with details, which is the only way to ‘see for myself’ if it’s true or not.

  64. scottish_skier says:

    Ok, so numbers out and the SNP are 5.1 times the size of the UK conservative party (Sept 2022 figures) per capita. 1.3% of Scotland’s population are members, compared to just 0.26% of Brits being in the Tory party.

    They are twice the size Labour were in 2021 (0.64% of UK population), which was well before the cost of living crisis began.

    That’s f’n massive, even with the SNP being the party of the working class, so most likely disproportionally affected by said crisis.

    So we can now move on agreeing that the SNP are more than twice as popular as Labour and 5 times as popular the Tories. 🙂

  65. Old Pete says:

    Stephen Flynn was very good on QT. I was very impressed, would like him as the party leader. Hope Kate wins.

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