The road to the moral high ground

Boris Johnson didn’t want a deal with the EU. His original plan was to force a no deal crash out, putting the blame for the resultant chaos on evil Brussels bureaucrats, the elite that he doesn’t belong to despite being an extremely wealthy former pupil at Eton and Oxbridge, remainer MPs, and uppity Scots. However the Commons tied his hands with the Benn Act, and that forced him to try and get a deal at the last minute. What he’s come up with, reeking with a faux triumphalism, is worse than what Theresa May negotiated.

This is a deal that rips up worker and environmental standards in the name of deregulation. It will take the UK out of the European model of high wages and high standards of social protection into a low wage low tax low public services model. Prepare to see more homeless people in our streets. Prepare to see more people stuck in low paying precarious gig economy jobs. Prepare to see the disabled, the chronically ill, and the vulnerable thrown on the scraphead. Prepare to see the elderly forced to work until they drop. Prepare to see American health corporations move into the NHS. Prepare to see your kids never being able to afford a home of their own. Prepare to see more and more people anaesthetise themselves with drugs and alcohol as their sole means of coping with the hopelessness of their lives. And you won’t be able to dream of escaping to a retirement home in the sun. Freedom of movement comes to an end. Except for the small number of the very wealthy, the Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnsons of this world. They’ll do just fine.

Look at the Tory party, and you can see the future. It’s a future of mediocrity, a future where compassion is a weakness, a future of hypocrisy and cant. It’s a future of small men and women with vastly inflated egos, substituting bluster for wisdom. It’s a future of cruelty, a future of greed and avarice. It’s a future which fetishises WW2 but which trashes the achievements of the post-war settlement that those men and women fought for, that they sacrificed their lives for. The message of our Tory masters is that it is glorious that the working classes die for the British establishment, but the British establishment owes them nothing in return except for a poppy and a parade.

For Scotland, this deal is especially bad. England voted to leave. It’s leaving, so it’s getting what it voted for. Wales voted to leave. It’s leaving, so it’s getting what it voted for. Northern Ireland voted to remain. It’s staying within vital EU institutions, so it’s getting what it voted for. Scotland, you can fuck off back into your shortbread tin.

The SNP has announced that it will not back this disaster of a deal. The Labour party and the Lib Dems have likewise said that they won’t support it. The DUP has refused to give it its backing because they no longer get a veto. And if the DUP won’t back it then the swivel eyed Brextremist faction of the Tory party, those for whom even Jacob Rees Mogg is a suspicious liberal, won’t back it either. There is every likelihood that the deal will not get through the Commons on Saturday.

There’s also a new legal challenge. The legal campaigner Jolyon Maugham is arguing that the new deal is unlawful as it breaks section 55 of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018. This section says that it is “unlawful for Her Majesty’s government to enter into arrangements under which Northern Ireland forms part of a separate customs territory to Great Britain.” He has started an urgent case in the Scottish courts.

The SNP is perfectly correct not to back this deal, a deal which looks dead in the water before it’s even set sail. It is a disaster for Scotland. It is contemptuous and disrespectful to Scotland. Agreeing to this deal in return for a Section 30 order or for the transfer of the power to hold independence referendums to Holyrood would be seen by voters in Scotland as an epic betrayal by a party which has sworn to protect and defend Scotland’s interests. It would be 1979 on steroids, and all in order to trust in the word of a man who’s notable only for his lies and deceit. Just how much can he be trusted to fulfil any promise to the SNP once he’s got his deal done and the SNP’s Commons votes are in his bag? About as much as you can trust him not to spill red wine on your new sofa.

Boris Johnson knows that if he gives ground to the SNP, he weakens his right flank. He’ll be accused by sections within the Tory party of breaking up the UK in order to secure his own position. One nation Tories who currently support him would desert in droves. The chances are that he’d still not get his deal through the Commons. The SNP would have sold its soul and the deal still won’t have passed in the Commons.

Yet even if the Tories agreed to such a proposal from the SNP, which is highly unlikely, by carrying out such a betrayal the SNP would destroy itself in the General Election that’s coming, and severely damage the chances of the Scottish Government being able to lead Scotland to a successful Yes vote. Because then the narrative would be, but Scotland doesn’t want a referendum, the SNP supported the Tories, the SNP betrayed Scotland over Brexit. And on those last two points the critics would be right. Then the Yes campaign would be fronted by a party which had just suffered one of the worst defeats in its history, a party which is about to face the further trials and tribulations of the Salmond trial. It’s an epically bad idea. It’s risking Scotland’s future on a long shot, a desperate gamble with a poor chance of success. Responsible and compassionate people don’t play poker with other people’s lives. Tories do that. And we are better than them or we are nothing.

There are no short cuts to independence. The path to victory for the Scottish independence movement is the path of honour, the path of compassion, the path of doing the right thing. We will not win the hearts of the Scottish people through betraying their interests on Brexit. There is only the long hard slog of proving to the people of Scotland that Westminster operates in a way that damages Scotland’s interests, that it consistently sidelines and ignores us. We cannot be complicit in the damage that the Tories wreak. If we are as cynical, as lacking in compassion, as driven by short term gain as they are, then there is no reason for independence at all. We’d only end up with an independent state governed by cynics and chancers who’d be prepared to sell out their granny for a short term advantage. We already have that in the UK.

The argument for Scottish independence is a moral argument or it is nothing. This deal must be defeated and we should all fully support the SNP in their efforts to do so. The only road to independence is the road to the moral high ground.

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119 thoughts on “The road to the moral high ground

  1. Very well said Paul, you are a wise man.

    From the wee bits that we can glean at the moment, it does indeed seem to be a far worse deal than May’s. But here we are, at the moment I don’t seem to know whether I am coming or going with this lot. I can’t see that they have the numbers to get it through the HOC, so where in the name of the wee man will that leave us. Rinse and repeat, or crash out, neither option seems palatable to me.

    I would be amazed if the SNP went anywhere near this deal, we would never forgive them, and rightly so. Nobody said that getting independence would be easy, but, boy is it a sair fecht. We have to do this properly, and, with our heads held high. I know that it is frustrating in the extreme at the moment, but be ready when we get the call. I’m not that happy with the SNP just now, but I will vote for them in any election that is called, that is imperative. Let’s get them back with an increased majority and take it from there.

    Thanks Paul, for helping to keep me sane, and enjoy your holiday with your husband.

    • I’m not saying the SNP should support this deal but I don’t understand this comment. Why would we not forgive them? What would there be to forgive?

      The SNP’s whole reason to exist is to gain independence for Scotland. Would you really vote against the SNP in the expected General Election, or against independence in another referendum if the means of getting that referendum was to grant England and Wales what they voted for in the EU referendum?

      We hate that England overrules us, what justification do we have for doing it to them? (I’m English born by the way – not anti-English at all.)

  2. Correct Paul.

    And for the schoolboy political fantasists: never, ever do deals with Tories. The only serious threat to the British State is the SNP, not Labour, not SF. If the SNP were to support Brexit, it would be the end.

    This has to play out. Scotland cannot be forced to become independent, it has to be done voluntarily.

  3. Just back from the city, saw this and wondered WTF? A quick catchup on the news and the penny dropped. Johnson spaffing everybody against a wall to save his own duplicitous skin.
    As to the SNP proposition, Petra mentioned that in the previous blog, and despite inviting SNP to commit electoral suicide, with it would go the trajectory toward Indy2. Since when were bloggers working on behalf of MI6 or Paul Dacre?
    For the life of me I can’t fathom how Johnson gets this through Parliament… 39 months ago Brexit was set to be the easiest most beneficial deal in history, 9 months ago we had the May-hem deal Tory extremists+DUPes scuppered, now we have the Hohnson&Hohnson counterfeit sticking plaster deal the extremists will support but the DUPes will reject, so just where the hell is this going? Another ruse?
    Excellent synopsis, enjoy your break, try not to fall downstairs, we need you back in the sanity ward… 😉

    • Another ruse, I’m sure of it’ It has always been a no deal Brexit these sickos want. They’re just stringing everyone along and playing for time. What happens when it’s defeated? I don’t know – I’m lost.

  4. Diplomatically put, Paul.
    I am sure that he is reading this, and will at last come to his senses.
    The SNP and Remain Scots would not tolerate any deal with a party that has already killed 130,000 UK Citizens during Willie Rennie’s successful austerity programme. (His words in Holyrood.)

    This Farce will end on Saturday.
    The Benn Act, a VONC, and a GE/People’s vote will follow during November/December; oh, and yes, Indyref 2 will begin.

    • “This Farce will end on Saturday” – Don’t you believe it, ITV have Brexit slated to replace Corrie as the longest running and most lucrative soap in history… Starring in various incarnations, Janus-Johnson, Smeagol-IDS, Wooster-JRM, CplJones- Mark Francois, and Jennifer Arcuri as the Ditch… 😉

    • Hope you are right Jack, but I see that they are at it again, by adding to their deal that it would mean no extending the date beyond Oct 31st. Never underestimate the Basterts, I have been saying since the EU ref that their aim all along has been no deal.

  5. Great article, and totally agree.

    Have read your stuff more and more recently, as another place sinks into a SiU style quagmire of egotistical nonsense, and thats the last i shall mention that particular topic, and find your postings much more in line with the sensible approach to the way forward.

    Sky News have desperately tried to promote Junkers comnents as claiming that: “its this deal or no extension” which is so far out of his (Junkers) remit at this stage, it is beyond parody.

    The EU council have not even voted on the deal, yet apparently its already decided it will pass and an extension will be refused.

    If (when) the ‘deal’ falls, of course there will be an extension granted by the EU, especially given that due to the Benn Act, WM is legally obliged to ask for one, and accept it when (if) granted.

    If at that point of extension request, the EU say NO, it hands Johnson his gift of blaming the EU for No Deal and all the coming ills to the uk population are suddenly THEIR FAULT nothing to do with Boris and co.

    He would cruise any GE after that, and drive an extreme right wing wrecking ball through the uk economy, designed to further fill the pockets of the rich, and telling everyone it was that bad EU who did it.

    The EU will never deny an extension, especially when the Uk gov MUST accept one.

    Anyone thinking otherwise does not know how the EU works.

  6. Hope you are right Jack, but I see that they are at it again, by adding to their deal that it would mean no extending the date beyond Oct 31st. Never underestimate the Basterts, I have been saying since the EU ref that their aim all along has been no deal.

  7. Well said. The Scottish Government are doing everything they can to protect Scotland from the insanity of the Tories and must continue to do so. The YES movement must back the SNP. Once we have independence then Scotland can elect the government it wants, not the government England wants.

  8. I’d really like someone to tell me WHO is going to stop voting for the SNP if they do a deal with Johnson to get a second indyref.

    – 1 million SNP voters, who want independence and have just been handed the thing they want more than anything else in the world, and which there is no other credible route to in the next several years at a minimum?

    – The 500,000 SNP voters who voted FOR Brexit and walked away from the SNP in 2017?

    Seriously, tell me which of those groups is going to desert the SNP and why?

    Fuck the moral high ground. I want to WIN.

    • You won’t win if you fuck Scotland over Brexit. Many thousands of people who are coming over to independence because of Brexit will be put off by a party which has facilitated Brexit.

      The end doesn’t justify the means. You need to remember that. Because voters certainly will.

      • Scotland is fucked if she exits the EU next week, Paul. If you think a future WM government is going to play ball with Holyrood over a second referendum, I fear you are badly mistaken. The writing was always on the wall and perfectly obvious by all the contempt demonstrated in parliament and the media towards the SNP and Scottish government.

        I appreciate the canny approach – but this is a deeply dysfunctional relationship with an abusive, controlling and belligerent partner who’s determined to have their way and hurt you even more. Scotland appears to be concurrently suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and a crisis of identity. She desperately needs to shed off her timidity and find some self respect before it’s too late.

        Why are we waiting for a second referendum, when we have the power to call a General Election in Scotland? Do it this week, make independence the principal issue and take no further part in Westminster business, including Saturday.

        England and Wales are leaving the EU next week. After the events in Catalonia this year, I’m not sure how I personally feel about membership of the EU – but it is an important issue for a significant majority in Scotland and more importantly, it can be the catalyst for independence.

        But its impact will weaken significantly if Scotland leaves the EU for any period of time. We have it in our power to gift the English people the future they voted for and desperately want. We have it in our power to make our own way in the world too.

        Let’s just get on with it.

        • Unfortunately not everyone in Scotland prioritises independence like you do. They don’t. If there was a huge and commanding lead for independence in the polls, I’d agree with you. But that’s not where we are. Unless we can take those wavering voters and soft yes voters with us, we are lost.

        • If Scotland holds an immediate Independence Election at Holyrood and a majority vote in favour, it heralds the end of the UK. That makes Irish reunification a certainty and ‘unionism’ obsolete at a stroke. I understand what Mr suggests is contentious – but it is simply tactical voting and one could argue democratically and politically advantageous. If recent polls are correct and there is now a narrow majority in favour of independence, denying the democratic will of the electorate in one plebiscite, might come back to haunt Scotland in the not too distant future.

          Brexit = Scottish Independence + end of UK + united Ireland

          The people of England secured the first part of that equation. We’re next. The only people trying to stop that happening are about 500 soon-to-be unemployed knob-heads in London. Including a few who should know better.

          • Before any independence referendum there’s going to be a UK General Election. If the SNP facilitates Brexit, it will be severely punished in that election. It could well end up losing a significant number of seats and votes. There will be great public anger at the SNP’s perceived betrayal over Brexit. Even if the UK govt has agreed to transfer control of indyrefs to Holyrood, they WILL use that defeat as an excuse to go back on their word. And even if they don’t, we’ll have an indyref with a weak and debilitated SNP which has lost a huge amount of credibility amongst those very voters – the soft yeses, the undecideds, and the wavering no voters – that we must persuade to vote for independence. It is an epically bad idea.

          • “Before any independence referendum there’s going to be a UK General Election”

            It hasn’t been called yet. The Scottish government could call one on Monday. WM have no powers to intervene. That’s taking decisive action. The “deal” may very well pass on Saturday, even with SNP opposition – either way, the UK will leave the EU next week. The following week, there may be a motion for a General Election – and then, with all respect, it’s too late. The moment will have passed – and the momentum will be in a different place.

          • Sorry, didn’t see your reply before I posted the above. It should read ‘Mr C’ in the first para.

            Yes, I onderstaand that perfectly. I’m at a loss when I visit family or see any Scots in Lancashire, most are implacably opposed to independence, but when you ask them why, it’s simply because they hate the SNP/Salmond/Sturgeon. They have no real arguments. I’m not sure you will ever be able to convince them through rational debate and logical persuasion. They inhabit a different world.

            Maybe Scotland needs a different voice – someone not in politics, but with the ability to inspire and connect with every man and woman (and whatever else you care to call yourself) – and just speak some common sense and passion from your head and heart. Big job. Maybe too much for one person, but you and Mr C would make a formidable and immense contribution if you both get your act together.

            I’m sure plenty would second that proposal.

          • Not something that I would second Mark and by the looks of it many others are beginning to think that way too. When we get our Independence Paul Kavanagh will find himself at the forefront of our SBC.

          • Sure hope so. But it takes all kinds, especially those that make your hackles rise – providing they’re playing the same tune. Cream were stratospheric, but away from the music, a complete nightmare. Stu certainly has some of Ginger’s traits and Clapton only has a little of Paul’s brilliance – but think of their words as lyrics and notes and there’s more than a little harmony.

            Just find Jack Bruce and we’re sorted.

          • “If Scotland holds an immediate Independence Election at Holyrood and a majority vote in favour, it heralds the end of the UK”

            You cannot be serious. The end of the uK was already heralded the minute Scotland voted by a 62% to remain in the EU while the Kingdom of England voted for brexit. Yet, do you see any moves from Westminster to make that end of the UK official? No, quite the opposite, in fact. They increased the pro-union propaganda several notches to the point that we have now 24/7 propaganda on a loop. Not just that, we are also now witnessing in sickening disgust how 13 spineless individuals in Westminster plus 30 something in Holyrood elected as legitimate representatives of Scotland where not a single constituency voted for brexit, and aware of just how toxic for Scotland a no deal and this fudge of a deal is, have completely abandoned their constituents, have ditched their ethics, their credibility, their reputation, their morals, their dignity, their reason to hold the seat and have proceeded to lick non-stop the boots of a self-important, self-indulgent, arrogant buffoon that is nothing more than a puppet of ViP taxdodgers, tax havens, foreign interests and hedge funds.

            Why on earth should the current Scottish gov give up on almost 2 years of mandate left? No disrespect, but giving the current state of affairs and the enormous stake the English establishment has on this, such strategy is as negligent as it is ridiculous. Such move is not going to bring us independence. That is going to do the exact opposite. It is going to open the back door for the colonialists to take control of Holyrood, ruin our mandate for a referendum and trash our independence prospects, because this is what they have been desperate to do since the EU referendum result was published.

            They failed spectacularly to throw the SNP in 2017. Hell, we have seen how in the last GE of 2017 the English establishment threw the house and a half throughout the window to push that mandate for indyref away and they failed in their quest. They drowned Scotland in dark money, yet the electoral commission did nothing. We saw how the 3 political arms of the English establishment colluded to unseat the SNP by bottom of the barrel tactics, yet the electoral commission did nothing. We saw how some of those parties run paper candidates in some constituencies while the electoral commission did nothing. We saw how some of those parties threw buckets of money (where did it come from?) to some constituencies and the electoral commission did nothing. We saw how the leader of labour in Scotland encouraged tory votes and yet the electoral commission or labour itself did nothing. We are witnessing how around 3000 civil servants are being brought to Scotland to act as a shadow, unelected Scottish gov. We are witnessing how they are targeting very high profile pro independence figures. We are witnessing how the “national broadcaster” has been reduced to the pathetic level of an embarrassing mouthpiece. We are witnessing how buckets of public money are thrown to the propaganda machine spinning in Scotland’s office at full blast. All those dark forces are waiting to pounce on Holyrood at the minimum opportunity, no rules and of course the electoral commission looking the other way because it is Scotland and to save the “preciousss”, and more importantly, to keep control of Scotland’s assets, everything is in order.

            So no, no and one hundred times no. The way to independence is to use that mandate for indyref and to use it BEFORE the colonialists have a chance to gerrymander our elections to take over OUR parliament, which they will giving them the minimum chance.

            We should not be opening doors for the colonialists to get in, Mark. We should be shutting every bloody door right on their noses.

            “Brexit = Scottish Independence + end of UK + united Ireland”

            I disagree with that observation. If Scotland’s MPs vote for a brexit deal against the interest of the people of Scotland and give Scotland’s consent for brexit by the back door, Brexit will never equal to Scotland independence. Therefore, I prefer this one:

            ‘End of the UK by forcing the Kingdom of England to choose between brexit or preserving the UK’= ‘Scottish independence’ + ‘united Ireland’ + ‘a Kingdom of England free to leave the EU’.

            “The people of England secured the first part of that equation”
            The people of England did not secure anything, the VIP taxdodgers, hedge funds, foreign interests and tax havens hope they did. But the UK is a political union and therefore Scotland has as much right as its equal partner to decide the trajectory of the UK. I am convinced Brexit will not happen unless Scotland agrees to it or the kingdom of England dissolves the union so it can leave the EU on its own.

            “The only people trying to stop that happening are about 500 soon-to-be unemployed knob-heads in London”

            That I do agree with you. The only people that is stopping Scotland and the Kingdom of England to get what they want are over 500 Kingdom of England MPs who do not have the backbone to run a referendum in England and let the people choose between

            a. preserving the UK by remaining in the EU or
            b. dissolving the UK so the kIngdom of England can leave the EU.

            The UK is a bipartite union. It only takes one of the 2 equal partners to dissolve it. The Kingdom of England can take the initiative, Scotland does not need to hold its hand for every bloody step. What is stopping them, then?

            What has always done: they want their cake and eat it and they are not prepared to compromise.

        • “England and Wales are leaving the EU next week”

          Not if Scotland can help it. if England and Wales want to leave the EU next week they will have to dissolve the union first. Scotland is not a possession of the kingdom of England.

          “We have it in our power to gift the English people the future they voted for and desperately want”

          The kingdom of England has in its power to gift the Scottish people the future they voted for and desperately want. Do you see them making any willing move in that direction? I don’t, quite the opposite in fact. So why on earth should Scotland be always the one that has to give in? Not this time.

          The Kingdom of England has in itself the power to gift its people the future they voted for and “desperately” want. The only thing the Kingdom of England’s legitimate representatives have to do is demand dissolution of the treaty of union or run a referendum in England to decide if

          a) the UK is dissolved so England and Wales can leave directly the EU
          b) the UK is preserved by remaining in the EU.

          “We have it in our power to make our own way in the world too”

          Indeed we have and that is by forcing England to make a decision on what it wants more: the UK union or brexit.

      • I’m with you too, Paul. On all your comments here.

        Scottish people haven’t, in the main, been infected with the extremist mania that has taken over so many down south, most of us still accept that other people can have different opinions to us without turning into a frothing mouthed zealot. It is good to remind people that are already pro-independence that just because we know it’s the logical and sensible move, there are still many others, the maybe majority, that might have a different opinion. They need something different to convince them of the sense of independence, and brexit is likely to send them over to the side of enlightenment. And brexit isn’t going away. Whatever the SNP do, brexit isn’t going away.

    • “I’d really like someone to tell me WHO is going to stop voting for the SNP if they do a deal with Johnson to get a second indyref.”




      1. voting for that deal is capitulating to the English establishment and effectively giving Scotland’s consent for brexit by the back door – in other words, you are flushing down the toilet the main reason for calling that referendum: “against our will” is the key question here. If our legitimate representatives vote for that deal, then it is no longer “against our will”.

      2. It would be undermining Scotland’s vote – we did not vote for brexit, we did not ask for brexit and we have not given consent for brexit, any kind of brexit. Why should Scotland’s vote be secondary to that of England? Why should Scotland give in? Why cannot England give in instead?

      3. I do not believe for a millisecond that the tories would stick to their part of the bargain because:

      a. It is quite clear the taxdodgers, hedge funds and foreign interests behind de Pfeffel and behind brexit see Scotland’s assets as bargaining chips to be part of the offer to be presented to the vulture USA corporations as part of that toxic USA-UK deal. If that was not the case, the orange tinted american version of de Pfeffel would not have put those tariffs against Scotland’s produce like whisky. Do you see the disgusting tories letting Scotland’s NHS, Scotland’s potential for fracking, Scotland’s whisky, Scotland’s renewables, Scotland’s food produce, Scotland’s water, Scotland’s land etc to get off the hook from that deal? I don’t.

      b. Scotland owns the biggest share of the UK natural resources without a doubt. Those natural resources will be needed to prop up a tanking pound after a brexit that will only benefit taxdodgers, hedge funds and American corporations. Do you seriously think the tories are going to let the “buffer funds” that will put a plaster on the cost of their brexit fiasco slip through their fingers? I don’t.

      c. Scotland, the same as Wales is a market for England to shift its own produce. Scotland, the same as Wales, is kept deliberately as a consumer market to avoid competition with England produce. Allowing Scotland to go away will be a massive hit for England, who will also be hit by the lack of external trade agreements after brexit. Do you really see the tories giving away happily England’s share of the market in Scotland? I don’t. As a matter of fact, and I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed this, the share of Scotland’s market for England produce has been increasing for a while. The hole that EU produces are leaving because of brexit is not being filled proportionally with produce from Scotland, Wales, NI and England. So far, every single product I have come across that was a year ago from the EU it is now from England. Do you seriously think that after the tory crooks stole our 24 devolved powers allegedly “to generate an adequate framework” for the “UK internal market”, they are going to let the entire England share of the Scottish market go ? Not a chance.

      d. The tories didn’t even bother including Scotland’s name in the EU trade agreement because they see it as a possession of England. Do you seriously think they are going to give even a second of thought to the prospect of seeing their grouse shooting grounds, and their nuclear waste landfil go? I don’t

      e. Scotland was denied a seat at the brexit negotiating table. Why? Quite possibly because they did not want any legitimate representative from Scotland that could fight to protect Scotland’s interests and Scotland’s assets at the table. Why? Because if that would have happened, Scotland’s assets could no longer be used as bargaining chips. Do you seriously see the tories letting those bargaining chips leaving their sticky fingers? i don’t.

      f. The tories told us many times that the UK would leave as a unit and there would not be a special deal for any part of the UK. They clearly lied. Do you seriously think you can trust a liar? I don’t.

      g. If Scotland dissolves the Treaty of Union, what happens with the UK seats at Nato, UN, etc? Do they go so England has to request a new one? Do you seriously think the tory power junkies are going to let those seats go without a fight? I don’t.

      “there is no other credible route to in the next several years at a minimum”
      Sorry that is absolute garbage. Delays of brexit are not innocuous. There will come to a time where the UK will start to see serious loses and when those tax avoidance laws will have to kick in. The USA Corporations are not going to be waiting forever for this toxic deal either.

      As I mentioned to you before in some other blog, I can see a much better and actually credible, palatable and safer route in front of me:

      By rejecting brexit, by using every tool in the box to delay and delay brexit until the point the EU threats immediate implementation of the EU tax avoidance laws and by making it clear to all those VIP taxdogers, foreign interests, hedge funds and powers that be south of the border that unless they ditch Scotland they will not ever see their brexit. How do you get independence using this route?

      1. By forcing an independence referendum in England or instigating a demand for a direct dissolution of the treaty by all the VIP taxdodgers, hedge funds and foreign interests as the only way to escape EU tax avoidance laws and regulations and protect the tax havens.

      2. by waiting patiently for the moment a desperate tory gov that is being poked and prodded from all directions by increasingly impatient brexit interests makes a rushed and irrational decision, makes big mistake so we can pounce on them by dragging them to the courts and

      a. Delay brexit even further
      b. Dissolve the union alleging an illegitimate and irreparable breach of the treaty of union.

      “The 500,000 SNP voters who voted FOR Brexit and walked away from the SNP in 2017?”

      Since when the minority rules in a democracy? Why on earth should 500,000 sNP voters be more important than the rest?

      “I want to WIN”
      So do I, but I am convinced we will not win by

      a. cutting a deal with monumental liars who laughed at us for 5 years while they broke every single promise they made, without consent destroyed our devolution settlement and the status quo that gave legitimacy to our vote in 2014, that proceeded to steal 24 of our powers, that denied us a seat at the negotiating table and ignored us for the last 3 years, that denied us a veto and a properly democratic vote and that got the monarch to unlawfully prorogue parliament to avoid democratic scrutiny.

      b. Undermining Scotland’s vote and tell the Scottish people that Scotland’s needs and wants are less important than those of the English ruling elite.

      c. Giving consent for brexit by the back door and by doing something as stupid as that, destroying the best reason to hold that refererendum and dissolve the treaty.

      If Scotland want others countries to respect it, it has to start respecting itself and that begins by saying NO to the toxic and unreasonable demands of England, its ruling elite and the interests behind it.

  9. Another great article Paul from a Scot who knows exactly how his fellow Scots tick. We’re in the end game now. Not long to go now, after 312 years of subjugation and exploitation, so folks just keep the heid as Nicola Sturgeon would say and of
    course support them. Stand up for them. Join the party to send a clear message to Westminster, donate to enhance their ability to effectively fight this battle, campaign to convert others and vote for them when the time comes (GE and Indyref2). We will get a Section 30 Order, one way or another, and Indyref2 will be won next year in a way that will be welcomed by the International community.

    There are no shortcuts to achieving Independence now, especially any that are deemed to be morally unacceptable, such as the SNP supporting the ever so trustworthy Tories, of all people, to obtain a S30 Order. The very thought of it is a recipe for total disaster and why anyone would even suggest doing such a thing is beyond me. It would probably be beyond the 62% of Scots who voted to remain in the EU too, who if such a scheme was to backfire would find themselves shackled to Westminster for all time coming with the blame falling squarely on Nicola Sturgeon. Not of course the perpetrators of such kamikazi plan.

    Worth a read.

  10. “Agreeing to this deal in return for a Section 30 order or for the transfer of the power to hold independence referendums to Holyrood would be seen by voters in Scotland as an epic betrayal by a party which has sworn to protect and defend Scotland’s interests”


    1979 on steroids right enough and 1979 wasn’t even solely due to the SNP as the LibDems also voted no confidence but they haven’t had it cast up to them for the decades since. I’ve been critical of some of the SNP’s decisions recently – particularly on self id – but I will back them to the hilt in voting against this deal.

  11. If it doesn’t get through the Commons on Saturday the result will be crashing out without a deal…the EU say no more extensions…so that will be that and Boris gets what Boris wanted all along

  12. Noises from Westminster are that Wales is not happy with the ‘deal’ either – a fact echoed by the Labour First Minister:

    “Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP has demanded that official impact assessments must be released alongside the legal text of Boris Johnson’s deal with the European Union.

    Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “The Westminster Government must now release the impact assessments of their so-called deal. It is only reasonable for us to see the effects of what we will be voting on.

    “This deal will define our economy, society and children’s future for generations – to vote on it blindfold without any idea of its impact would be deeply irresponsible.

    “If, as has been rumoured, a border down the Irish Sea will be created the Welsh economy will take a significant hit – especially in places like Holyhead.

    “Fundamentally, what the last three years has shown is that the latest manifestation of Brexit is nothing like that which was promised in the 2016 referendum. For the sake of our democracy, economy and constituents, it is only right that this deal is put back to the people, alongside the option to remain.”


  13. Words of wisdom, the SNP would be betraying the people of Scotland if they facilitated Brexit on behalf of Johnson and this Tory party. This “deal” will cost UK GDP a minimum of 5% and I’m absolutely certain that the hit on Scotland will be significantly worse.

    No way can an SNP led Scottish government vote to put 10’s of thousands of Scots on the dole and watch business go to the wall, no way can they support rising prices and reduced workers rights. This deal is a right wingers dream come true and there will be a race to the bottom over regulations and standards.

    This deal will fail to get through Parliament on Saturday with the SNP voting against it as they rightly should on behalf of the people of Scotland who told them clearly that they wish to remain in the EU.

    • “This deal will fail to get through Parliament on Saturday with the SNP voting against it as they rightly should on behalf of the people of Scotland who told them clearly that they wish to remain in the EU.”

      Whether the government’s ‘deal’ is upheld on Saturday or not – the UK is leaving the EU on 31/10 – as it should. The 2016 EU referendum was a UK wide vote – not country specific. There wasn’t a clause to say regardless of the result, your country’s vote would also be upheld. If you took part in the vote, you endorsed its terms.

      Voting down the government deal will result in the UK leaving with no trade or custom agreements. It will imperil many Scottish jobs, impoverish millions of its citizens and may well lead to bloody chaos in Ireland again. If Parliament vote the deal down this weekend – there will be no extension. The EU will only grant a further delay for administrative arrangements, if the deal passes. That should be clear by now. We can’t “stop Brexit” – but we can make it a whole lot worse.

      The Scottish government (and people) just need to accept the reality and make their own choice – before it’s too late.

      • If the withdrawal plan is rejected WE DO NOT CRASH OUT!!!

        The Benn Act immediately comes into play.( When and if Boris refuses to comply.)

        Vote of no confidence and a General Election.


        • I fear you may be rather disappointed – but if that scenario did unfold, a UK General Election would increase the English nationalist representation at Westminster, even assuming the SNP wiped the board in Scotland.

          • And if Johnston, better still Farage (or wee coalition), wins via a GE that’ll push up support for Independence, Mark. That’s all we need. A majority of Scots supporting Independence and a Section 30 Order. Neither are out of the question, that is unless, in relation to the former, we pursue the latest crazy LBJ deal idea. And well it’s Thursday night so Nicola has to sort all of this out tomorrow. Hahahaha. You know get some kind of a legal document drawn up to ensure that the Tories don’t shaft her as the Scots will do if she touches it with her barge pole.

            Meanwhile James Kelly points out that if LBJ agreed to “bequeathing” the SNP a Section 30 Order his own MPs would dump him defeating the so-called purpose of the doolally, or more than likely deliberately subversive, exercise.


          • It’s just a game, Petra – and one where the odds are always stacked agin you. Chuck it in and start another. Make the case for independence now – if you wait for events to support your cause, the argument will have already moved on.

          • Thing is Mark we don’t have to wait much longer now. The Union is in its death throws and we Scots are ready to finish it off … humanely. Call it a long overdue case of euthanasia. Three hundred years overdue.

  14. I remember when it used to be nice and quiet here on the BTL section of this blog.

    A tranquil wee place where you could pull up a chair at the fire (there was always a space) and enjoy a convivial chat with like minded chums whilst partaking of a wee glass of stout or whatever took your fancy.



    • Well it’s not quite the fire and brimstone, come depressing, scenario being experienced on some other sites, uno mas and just think when we win Indyref2 we’ll have some really rowdy rave up parties and then things will settle down for a time. Then we’ll all sit around the WGD fire and reminisce about the battle /s that we faced and won. And then Paul will no doubt move onto pastures new and hold a key position in our Independent Broadcasting Service where he’ll continue to enlighten the Scots. He may even decide to become a politician? Who knows?

      Let’s face it Robert the Bruce and his followers must have longed for a wee chair to sit on, time to partake of a drink (and a meal) and convivial talk in front of a fire, instead they experienced torture, death and deprivation. In light of all that’s gone on before, over the last 300 years, I say how lucky are we (most but not all) who are no doubt sitting in the safety of our own homes in front of our own fires tonight. What we do now is going to have a massive impact, one way or another, negatively or positively, on the poorest and most vulnerable in society. That’s the people that I’m fighting for, in the main. Sites like this are now at the forefront of winning that fight, imo.

      • I’ve discussed this with Callum Baird, the editor of The National. We both think that the morning after a yes vote for independence we’ll wake up and think “Fuck. Now what will we do to fill up our time?”

        As for wanting a career in politics. No. No. A million times no. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I would rather poke my eyes out with rusty knitting needles.

        • Oh my…. Until I realised how it read I was about to post the following as a stand alone comment…

          Rusty Knitting Needles is it?
          Wait till the next time I see ye on the Wings Stall and I’ll put ye straight…

          Now you can confirm this with Ronnie as a conversation from weeks ago…

          I was speaking of your decision not to enter Scottish Politics !
          Initially because of the historical significance of the first few years of Indy especially the framing of our Constitution needs recorded.
          We will be negotiating assets and liabilities, obviously won’t get everything we imagine we should, and you are trusted.
          But Mainly Because
          You are first and foremost a writer….. You would be able to pen the definitive account of this part of Scotland’s Story from inside the room.
          Your work would be required reading in Scottish High Schools for generations to come!
          That’s quite a legacy.
          The US has Jefferson and Scotland could have Kavanah….
          Don’t ye fancy being a Founding Father?
          Jist sayin… You shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it?

          But I mainly explained now because it highlights how easily I could have been misunderstood……. We all need to stop picking people up before they faw as we’ve a Country tae win….. And a future to organise..

        • Okay politics is out, lol. I get the message loud and clear. No one wants to see you wandering around with a white stick Paul, (throw the rusty knitting needles away), with that darling wee dug leading you astray. Getting his own back on you for dragging him through the rain and numerous muddy fields over many years in the quest for Independence.

          People like you and Callum have no fear of being out of a job, rather you should feel extremely excited by the future, say, by being at the forefront of our Scottish media, radio and / or television. We need folks like you and Callum. Bottom line people just telling the bl**dy truth. Can you imagine having the ability, the power, to inform ALL Scots totally unhindered? Cover all previously suppressed subjects? You’ll be working 24×7 for years to come. Make sure you sort out your overtime rate, in advance.

          Expect some fall out of course when some Scots are absolutely shocked into oblivion when their belief system is shattered due to a lifetime of being brainwashed by the BBC et al. Advise them then to sue the BBC, as should all Scots (5 million of us) whose mental health, such as suffering from depression and anxiety, has been adversely affected by them. Professor John Robertson could provide the evidence to help us (5 million of us) win our cases. Can you imagine it? The Scottish Independence, highly informed and well educated, clique working Better Together? No end to what we’re capable of doing, can get up to, in an a Independent Scotland.

        • “We both think that the morning after a yes vote for independence we’ll wake up and think “Fuck. Now what will we do to fill up our time?””

          If the EU referendum is anything to go by, day 1 after a Yes vote will just be the beginning of the political battle to actually ensure the result is implemented.

          Whether you agree with Brexit or not, I’m not sure the post-referendum political reality bodes well for any equivalent Scottish independence win. 3 years of parliamentary deadlock, 2 PM’s post-Cameron, at least one and potentially two GEs, talk of “people’s votes” or “confirmatory referendums”, parties with revoke policies etc.

          I think it’d be naïve to say it will be different for us just because, well, it’s different, we’re not the UK Government or UK Parliament. We’ll still have to deal with Westminster, and I doubt they’re going to make it easy, I doubt the opposition parties in Holyrood are going to make it easy. Even stuff as potentially simple as trying to drag on the negotiations long enough to cross over into a new Holyrood election, which they could then use as a rationale to say things have changed if it delivers a different result.

          If we have a very close result it could go a similar way. I don’t doubt that there’ll still be a job to be done post any Yes vote.

          • The opposition parties we have at the moment are all London branches and therefore “foreign” to an independent Scotland, so we will need new Scottish opposition parties

  15. Like others, I have abandoned what I believed to be a must read blog which supported the independence for my country of birth. That blog, and others, are now being infested by ruthless opponents to Scotland’s right of self determination. The only way to defeat this infestation is to completely ignore them and not allow them air by responding to their comments. This pestilence is a deliberate strategy to divide and conquer the ever growing movement towards independence, a lesson learned from the UK elites of colonial rule. I am glad Paul is not falling for the immoral path suggested by a resident of England whom postulates otherwise.

    • Yeah well I’ve found the “U-turn” (say no more) to be pretty well nearly heartbreaking, devastating and totally depressing, especially as someone who posted on a practically daily basis for years. A drip, drip, drip over the last two years, imo, has now lead to this, and there’s surely more to come. However then you have to say to yourself move on and continue to fight the good fight elsewhere. More than anything I thank God that we still have a decent, influential, and utterly pro-Independence “elsewhere” to go to.

    • sadly, I, too, am taking time out from what was hitherto my ‘must go to’ site. I hope the proprietor snaps out of it. Nice company here, tho’

  16. How about a scenario where the Tories offer Scotland the right to remain in the single market and the customs union with a hard border at Gretna and Stranraer in exchange for supporting Johnson’s deal? Those in Scotland that support both unions would no longer be forced into choosing between them and the unionist’s could argue that the mandate for another independence referendum no longer exists if Scotland remains in the EEA. Furthermore, the chances of unionists winning any future indyref2 would be increased because those that support both unions would no longer have to make a choice. How would the SNP respond to such an offer? It would be difficult for them to turn it down given the stances on Brexit and indyref2 that the party has taken since the EU referendum but it would diminish the odds of a Yes vote in any future indyref2. There’s a sizeable faction of gradualists in the SNP and the wider independence movement who might welcome such an approach but others would find it abhorrent.

      • Not necessarily Petra. Scotland would remain a part of the UK and would be subject to Westminster rule for all issues that are not currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament. It might be reasonable to assume that devolved powers would be extended to enable Scotland to administer all aspects of our relationship with the EU as a result of remaining in the single market and the customs union but it wouldn’t surprise me if Westminster retained a right of veto and, as a result, constantly interfered.

        There’s no guarantee that the Scottish Parliament would get control over oil and gas, electricity, many aspects of transport, foreign policy, defence, broadcasting, media, pensions, welfare, corporate taxes, national insurance, constitutional affairs, electoral law, and countless other things. It would also leave Westminster with the power to unilaterally amend devolved powers and even abolish the Scottish Parliament. Scotland would remain subject to the jurisdiction of the UK Supreme Court.

        The arrangements necessary for Scotland to remain in the single market and customs union while remaining part of the UK would need to be very carefully negotiated between the Scottish and UK governments, otherwise it could become a dangerous trap where the UK mendaciously, vexatiously and continuously undermines support in Scotland for devolution, independence and the EU, amongst other things.

  17. Brexit will never happen. Even under this ‘deal’ alignment will be with the EU for four years. Longer than a two year transition period. When people can campaign to remain. People can change their mind.

    It will go around in circles, until the Tories can engineer an election they can lose. The Westminster unionists do it all the time. 2 or 3 terms. They create the biggest mess. Then they lose. From crisis to crisis. Others have to sort out their mess. Especially the counties in Europe having to clear up the mess and pay the cost.

    A GE and then an IndyRef. One campaign at a time,

  18. Can anyone tell me definitively?
    If the Benn act comes into play and there’s an extension from the EU
    which goes beyond January 31st 2020.
    Does the new tax laws and powers become British law ?

    • So far as I’m aware, unless a deal is concluded by HoC and EU, even under transition EU Law would remain an obligation and thereby applicable….
      That is why the current shenigans are curious, Jolyan Maughan may in his latest case be pulling the rug from under JRM’s own 2018 confection of a fire-exit for he and his clients by challenging the deal as unlawful…

  19. WGD
    If you can’t weaponise your truth so it cuts brutally – you will lose to the believable lie.

    SNP have become waffle and deliverers of empty threats.
    Over the 3 years of Brexit how many times has NS said she will lay out her road map…how many time as an MP said Scotland will not be taken out of the EU against its will?

    Sure, Scotland has the moral high ground…the moral high ground doesn’t mean you win. In fact it loses constantly. Brexit showed that a weak message loses brutally to the believable empty lie…then watch out because liars are brutal in victory because they move to quash dissent before they are found out.

  20. Tol time for you to go over the “facts” of the last three years. If you do you’ll find that the “road map” has been changed on a practically weekly basis by the Unionist “wafflers.” A most ridiculous and extremely challenging situation that Nicola Sturgeon has had to contend with. Nicola Sturgeon who didn’t ask for Brexit to happen.

    Check out the SNP site for updates and you’ll find that holding the moral high ground can and will lead to winning. Nicola Sturgeon has never diverged from anything at all. She’s always said that she’d state her case when a Brexit deal was clarified and that hasn’t happened yet due to the Westminster debacle, not her.

    Nicola Sturgeon at the end of the day has had to contend with doing the all consuming day job, dealing with (and finding the finances) for a Brexit that she didn’t ask for and also fighting for Independence in a country where around 50% of Scots don’t want it.

    And what empty threat are you talking about? Do you really think that the SNP will lose Indyref2 next year? They won’t if people like you vote for it. Better still find the time to covert another.

  21. Oh and I forgot to add, Tol, Nicola Sturgeon on top of dealing with the day job, Brexit and Independence (et al) has also had to deal with her MANY enemies. Totally surrounded by them, imo.

    Her enemies? Westminster, the MASSIVE British Establishment network, the Holyrood Unionist clique, the BBC, STV, Unionist newspapers, online Unionist sites, Scottish Unions controlled from England, people behind International dark money and now some so-called pro-independence sites that have clearly been infested with subversive Unionists.

    And add to that being threatened with rape, torture and murder (and worse) online on a daily basis. That’s not something that you can just brush off when you’ve been deemed to be the most dangerous woman in Britain. Tells you that thousands or even millions of people detest you and it only takes one to …..

    Are you working your butt off, 24×7, like her on OUR behalf, Tol? She could dump us all and make a real fortune elsewhere. Are you worried sick that you and any one of your loved ones could be assassinated for fighting for independence? Time for people like you to get real and support her, Tol. Help us all to quash the liars and set Scotland free, as Nicola Sturgeon is doing her utmost to do.

    • I am with you Petra, Nicola has to be very patient and having the enemies you have listed I admire her strength of being able to cope with it all. I am afraid like most the people who are throwing advice at her, I would jump in with both feet and make an arse of it, better just leaving it to her.(one of the best politicians in Europe never mind the UK).

      • In support of your First Minister. Heaven knows she needs it considering, as Petra says, what she is up against. Further, and I would hope no one here sees this as sexism on my part – my intention is, of course, the exact opposite. We have to remember also that she is a woman, and consequently is more open to misogynistic and other comments which many of her baiters would level against a man in a similar situations. Shows them to be exactly what they really are – in my language, ‘cachgwn’. Look it up, but don’t rely on Google Translate; it’s far more than what is presented there.

        Nicola has always been kind to me on the few occasions we’ve met or exchanged pleasantries at Conference or via email correspondence. I have no problem nor hesitation in commending her as an efficient, intelligent and noble leader of Scotland and its National Party.

        For her, and for you, the true devotees of independence, and for your country, from a Welsh admirer of all three.

        16. (of 20.)

        The Scot Nat’s Prayer

        Our leader,
        Who art in Holyrood,
        Sturgeon be thy name.
        Our independence come,
        In Scotland, as in all other normal countries.
        Give us this day our daily sustenance.
        Forgive us our trespasses on ignorant unionists,
        As we struggle to forgive their trespasses against us.
        Lead us into the temptation of independence,
        And deliver us from Westminster.
        For thine is the leadership,
        The power and the glory of a free Scotland,
        For ever and ever.

        [With acknowledgements]

        Songs and Lyrics for the New Politics

  22. As an English observer/indy supporter who’s been reading & supporting both WGD & ‘the other blog’ since 2014, I’m convinced Paul has this right. ‘We will not win the hearts of the Scottish people through betraying their interests on Brexit.’ – exactly!
    Yes, there’s a harsh machiavellian logic that says Brexit would guarantee Scottish independence, therefore Brexit should be regarded as a Good Thing, but since when was Machiavelli a role model for a modern liberal state? Scotland is better than that, & so is the SNP.
    Fingers crossed for Saturday…

  23. Paul, I’m sorry but this is just self delusion. I understand the need to think in comforting terms, but it just comes across as denial to me.

    Electing 56 MP’s in 2015 didn’t bring about any recognition of Scot’s right to self determination by Westminster. Nor did it in any way affect their open contempt for the SNP. Your premise that they will change their tune after the next election, even if we swept the board, is wishful thinking. Particularly in a Westminster led by Johnson and Co. Counting on a Corbyn government is just as absurd. Labour will never give up the delusion that the Scot’s will embrace them again.

    It’s a pointless diversion anyway. Westminster doesn’t do the honorable thing. It never has. It never will. I know you know this. Yet you propose we follow the same strategy as in 2015 and expect a different result. I believe this is commonly understood to be the very definition of stupidity.

    A recent poll still shows that 68% of over 55’s reject independence. Let that sink in. Two out of every three people you meet, outside your own bubble, of over 55’s, oppose independence. Despite being frequently and publicly humiliated for three years now, and counting.

    You will never ‘persuade’ these folks to embrace independence. They are inherently spineless. Or completely conditioned. Probably due to do 55+ years of being told they are too wee, too poor and too stupid. They believe it. They actually believe a fictional 10 billion pound deficit is the end of the world. When you point out the UK has a two trillion pound debt it means absolutely nothing to them.

    They fear for the future but want others to tell them what to do. They disregard their fellow Scot’s advice and embrace Johnson, Farage and Mogg. Trying to reach these people with rational argument is a waste of time and effort. The UK is their security blanket and they will never give it up. Even when it is demonstrably killing them.

    Did they budge towards independence when Westminster completely ignored the Scottish Government after the EU referendum? No. Their own government reduced to getting its information on Brexit negotiations via the media, with all of their efforts to contribute binned out of hand. Meanwhile ten DUP MP’s virtually dictated policy for all of the UK. And through all of this, our over 55’s confined themselves to complaining about late trains.

    Did they embrace independence after Ms. Sturgeon’s Schroedinger’s S30 gambit was condescendingly dismissed by May, in March of 2017? No. But the over 55’s did turn out to elect a shower of unionist trolls in the following election. Despite a completely abysmal campaign by May herself. One policy is all the Conservatives offered the Scottish electorate in 2017 – no indyref. The over 55’s voted for them in droves.

    Did they move towards independence when Westminster undermined the competence of our devolved Parliament in 2018? No. The over 55’s, if they even paid any attention, witnessed the undisguised disregard of Scotland’s interests in the EU withdrawal debates. They didn’t even raise a whimper.

    Now they are confronted with being the only “Nation” on this island to get completely shafted by Brexit. They will eat this too without a whisper of complaint. In fact, I am convinced they will blame all ills from this catastrophe on the SNP. It is their nature. Of course, the BBC and “union press” will continue to play their part. Abetted by the troll farm setup by Mundell and Union Jack.

    Their final humiliation awaits them as Holyrood will indeed be reduced to a parish council, as Tony Blair intended – and they will cheer its demise. The intended consequence of course will see them having to pay for their prescriptions, and no remediation of the bed room tax. To align with the UK.

    For myself, I have come to the conclusion that Ms. Sturgeon’s Fabian strategy is entirely based on waiting for these people to die. That is the only way I see independence moving towards her 60% support milestone. John Curtice himself supports this conclusion. Only this demographic change will bring Scotland its independence. We should all just get used to this overwhelming fact.

    Given that the majority of the deluded English, and our own useful versions of same here in Scotland, have decided to completely destroy all our hopes for prosperity for the foreseeable future, it is likely that ten years will probably see off half of them anyway, as the Brexit bite kicks in. A bite that will be particularly brutal for the Scot’s.

    Investment will now flow out of Scotland into Northern Ireland. Poverty will sky rocket. The Barnett Formula will be abandoned as Westminster pursues its advantage. It is as inevitable as night follows day and our zombie pensioners will still continue to cheer them to the rafters.

    I know what I have written may come across as harsh to many. But truth can be quite painful. We should face it stoically. We should not sugar coat it.

    I challenge anyone to refute what I have written as being anything other than the plain and simple truth.

    • Being the eternal pessimist, I fear you are correct John. Once England’s Brexit is done and dusted, they will all but attempt to shut down Holyrood, until a compliant Britnat party can be installed at the helm. The Britgov are not going to play nice, especially after Brexit. Since the Brexit vote, it’s been quite clear that the English right wing private schooled elite, and their emboldened slapping fodder in Scotland, have every intention of dismantling the Scottish parliament.

      Look at how they have treated our SNP MPs, with utter disrespect, contemp and ridicule. They have sworn at our MPs, and walk out when Ian Blackford stands up to speak. If that’s not bullying I don’t know what is. Bullies stay as bullies, especially of the type in the English parliament.

      Look at Gove, (rather not!) what a nasty little squirt he is, he’d sell his own mother. We know where he is headed as well, to the unelected, totally undemocratic HOLs!

      Scotland is in great peril, and really is up against a monster, especially looking at those calling the shots at Westminster now, how terrifying!

      Nicola Sturgeon has a monumental job on her hands. I don’t know what the solutions are at the moment, voting for the deal seemed a good idea to me, but I can completely see how that is morally and ethically abhorrent and could also backfire spectacularly. A no deal Brexit hardly bares thinking about, and any Tory DUP deal is also abhorrent.

      One thing though, the English will NOT thank Scotland for stalling or stopping Brexit. ( SNP will not be able to stop it imo).

      We are very possibly totally royally screwed.

      Let’s see what happens Saturday, a miracle might happen.

      I fear for the future of this wonderful country of Scotland. As I say, the eternal pessimist. The spats going on between bloggers has been very depressing, I hope it can be resolved soon, we have such good people countering the full on 24/7 British nationalist media lies re Scotland and especially the SNP, and long may that continue!

    • I find that over 55s are turning to yes, in fact in that group myself and all of my friends have been pro independence since 1979.

      In addition tory voters are increasingly saying they will not vote for a party that has left them and they no longer recognise. Some are not ruling out supporting independence.

      Nicola’s strategy is paying off with support increasing and in reality it will be well over 50%.
      As a recent poll showed, a majority now think economically Scotland will be better off as an independent country in the EU.

      Things are changing, do you do door step canvassing to base your assumptions on?

      • The preponderence of evidence strongly points to one conclusion Jack. I face the facts how I find them. Not how I would like them to be.

        As a scientist, I would agree that “truth” is a subjective term. But when you eliminate all other alternatives, what is left is likely to be objective reality – if I may para phrase Conan Doyle.

      • My apologies UDS. I was responding to Jack below. Hit the wrong reply button.

        I rub shoulders with many in my field of study.

        They are quite openly disdainful of independence, the SNP, and harbour a deep and abiding resentment of the First Minister, in particular.

        When I point out how the National Party she leads has protected them from the worse excesses of Westminster, it only deepens their rage. They see it as a plot.

        They are completely unreachable.

        • You would think that scientists, of all people, would be aware of the massively negative impact of leaving the EU on their field of endeavour. More so that Nicola Sturgeon has been fighting tooth and nail to keep us in, unlike many other politicians such as the Tories. Surprised to hear that they’d rather remain in the Union. The Union that has no time for many foreign scientists living and working here in the UK.

          Oh well you at least, as a scientist, seem to support Independence John and if I’m correct on this Legerwood is another. Plus some on Wings. All is not lost, it would seem.


          How they must detest Joanna Cherry, lol.

          Taken from the Nana’s Links site. Check it out.

          • Petra – Brexit is beautiful. From the terms in the 2016 referendum, it was obvious there would be an irreconcilable constitutional conflict should there be a discrepancy between the UK and individual nation preferences. All of what is unfolding was entirely predictable – and the only reason I voted for Brexit in that referendum. Had I been in Scotland, my vote would have been remain for the same reason.

            That constitutional conflict can only be resolved by the dissolution of the United Kingdom – or England’s independence from that Union too – leaving Scotland, Ireland and possibly Wales to retain membership of both the EU and the UK. The logical conclusion to both these scenarios would be the reunification of Ireland.

            That said, we have a way to go yet. On QT last night, a young man from England pondered just that – why doesn’t Ireland become one country again? All the problems with Brexit seemed to be around the Irish border issues, so why not let Ireland become one country outside the UK? There were groans and boos from the audience and then the chair asked Philippa Whitford whether the SNP supported this view “No, of course not, we put in a compromise…” and then went on to explain what the SNP’s compromise was. It is to remain in the UK, outside the EU but in a customs and trade arrangements with the EU – similar to what NI has now.

            I’m mystified by Philippa’s response. Perhaps she was influenced by the audience reaction, but as a senior SNP MP, that was an invaluable opportunity to set out the stall and provide a desirable direction for everyone in the process. The UK was fatally wounded in June 2016 and has been on life-support ever since. Those responsible for its demise are perfectly content to see it die, yet its others who previously craved independence, who are doing their level best to keep it alive. Why? Because it doesn’t suit their own agenda? Or timeframe? Because they’re scared that some in Scotland might not agree? Life isn’t like that – politics sure isn’t. It’s about assessing all the facts objectively, dispassionately and with clear focus. Then acting with determination at the most appropriate time, especially when events dictate the pace and circumstances.

            Waiting for a s30 order is a complete nonsense. The FM could call a Holyrood election at any time and make independence the principle issue. A clear majority in Holyrood would represent a significant shift of public opinion and give the mandate for an immediate dissolution of union. That would end the Brexit conundrum – and give what the majority of readers on this blog desire most.

            But you want to wait and see…. Why?

          • I watched QT too, but reckoned that at that point in time she, PW, was pointing out that Nicola Sturgeon had, initially, attempted to keep Scotland in the SM and CU as is happening with NIreland, now. Highlighting Westminster hypocracy and unfairness. On other occasions she made it clear that we want Independence.

            To my mind it wouldn’t matter if we got a clear majority in Holyrood or not, Mark. The key issue is to show that we have a majority of sovereign Scots supporting independence. Can you imagine how the sovereign Unionists would react to an “immediate dissolution of the Union”? They’d be out in the streets creating absolute havoc and their miillionaire / billionaire leaders would hit the ScotGov and /or Nicola Sturgeon with one lawsuit after another.

            I don’t think that getting a S30 Order is going to be the big deal that some make it out to be either, even if we have to resort to (National / International) Court action. LBJ (et al) will be well aware of what we can do, especially as he’s had a taste of cases going to the Courts and him losing. We’ve waited for over 300 years for this, so why not just wait a few short weeks longer? Waiting for it “a complete nonsense?” I doubt the International community would agree with that one.

        • You get a better quality of debate on WGD, the Hyperion of all discussion forums, prompted by the rich prose of WGD, and its able man servant, Paul.

          I was a Sherlock Holmes nut in my formative teens, John Burrows, and was minded of the Cathcart/Klein spoof by your reference to eliminating alternatives to arrive at the truth.
          To lighten the mood, I quote via the wonders of Wiki, this wee gem:-

          “Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. “Watson” he says, “look up in the sky and tell me what you see.”

          “I see millions of stars, Holmes,” says Watson.

          “And what do you conclude from that, Watson?”

          Watson thinks for a moment. “Well,” he says, “astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

          Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

          Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.

          Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.

          Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignificant.

          Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?”

          “Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!”

          In this darkest of weeks, laughter may indeed be the best medicine.

          As a man of science, and champion of imperial evidence, John, I remind you of the ultimate truth paradox.

          When I declare, ‘I am a liar’.


          I sense you flagging spirit, especially the angst engendered by the apparent intransigence of over 55’s in your immediate sphere.

          As Holmes observed,

          ‘Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”

          I am 72, retired, and buck the trend? I doubt it.

          I conjure up Sherlock’s rallying call.

          “There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.”

          We are about to be assaulted by every form of Establishment Better Together propaganda, lies, and threats, which they can muster.

          I agree with Holmes.

          There is nothing more stimulating to the cause of Independence than refuting the impression peddled by the Brit Nats in the media and beyond that everything is going against us.

          • I once travelled sixty miles in a 14 ft zodiac, off of the British Columbia coast, in a raging rip tide, during a powerful squall, just to recover my copy of the Seven Percent Solution, which I had stupidly left on a rocky outcrop.

            I had stopped on it for lunch and to read a chapter or two.

            I devoured Holmes’ tales in my youth like candy. They were a fine apprenticeship for a budding scientist.

            I would be profoundly moved if my peers would embrace an independent Scotland. But slaves are often the last to surrender their chains.

            It is counter intuitive, but sadly, often the case.

          • Although our school library held the hard back copies, I bought the paperbacks, which I still have to this day.
            The Red Headed League and Dylan’s Freewheelin’. We were spoiled rotten..
            A gang of us Young Blades once clung to the cliff face on Howth Head in our mid teens as gulls buzzed us because they were nesting there.

            We were taking a ‘short cut’ to the Fairground.
            Our goal was local girls, not literature, but equally as compelling and death defying a journey, I’d venture.
            meanwhile BBC News Channel was on the streets of Barnsley which voted Leave 68%, interviewing elderly bitter Leave voters, the message being, ‘Get on with it; good on Boris.’


        • I posted a lengthier reply, John, which was moderated out, probably for good reason, but no matter.

          There is a ‘middle class’ buffer zone, on whom the Elite depend to vote for the Establishment, no matter what.
          Salaried, well paid, good pension, job for life, God Save the Queen and all who sail in her.

          The present sytem works for the.
          Not the five million or so not in their exalted ranks.
          I generalise of course.
          Many ‘professionals’ are energetic Self Determinists. Thee, me, for starters.

          Their progress in their professions relies on them being part of the Establishment.

          They believe in a hierarchy, dog eat dog, Free Markets, model of ‘Capitalism’ as Johnson boomed at Conference, are content that the poor will always be with us, and so on.

          They want the present system to remain because they actually do very well out of it. It’s as straightforward as that.

          You will never change the minds of the dyed in the wool ‘professional class’, who love their queen, live in Great Britain, and consider London the capital of their ‘country’, erm, ‘Britain’ or the ‘UK’, and if they are really being honest with themselves, when they get right down to it, ‘England’.

          It is reported that 300k of the 400k English born now resident in Scotland voted No in 2014.
          I’d imagine Brexit will sway many of the Nos to Yes next time.
          When we vote YES as we surely will, shall we witness a mass Exodus South?

          On the question of plain and simple truth:
          as a scientist you are aware of the truth paradox:-

          ‘I am a liar’.

          Nobody ‘gave’ any of England’s colonies their independence. They took it.
          And so must we.

          • I trust your moderation implicitly, Paul.

            It wouldn’t be the first time that you’ve laid a calming hand on my sleeve.

            A beautiful piece of writing, Paul.

            There is nothing wrong with the moral ‘high ground’ ; compassion and assertion are mutually compatible traits.

            We win nothing by double dealing.

    • ‘The plain and simple truth’.

      I envy your clarity of vision, John.
      Some would argue that ‘truth’ seldom, if ever, appears to be either ‘plain’, or, for that matter, ‘simple’.

      I have detached myself from England’s version of the truth for a spell, hacking back the bushes and hedges chez nous, preparing for ‘bleak December winds ensuing’, battening down the hatches, the profusion of berries on my neighbour’s rowan tree foretelling a long harsh winter.

      This will be our ‘winter of discontent’, of that there is little doubt.

      Many of our fellow citizens will suffer and perish, by Government edict.
      We can wait no longer.
      The Road to Self Determination starts now.

    • If you focus on the 55+ ‘s John you will feel disheartened, although I’ve noticed some changing tack recently. However that’s probably the group that includes the stalwart Unionists many of whom we’ll never shift. What about focusing on the younger generation? Better still the fact that the stats show that we’re moving in the right direction.

  24. Scotland has always gone through the Ballot Box since 1928 and will continue to do so. The doomsayers predictions will not succeed if people vote against it. That is a given. Vote out every unionist. They will not be a position of power to create trouble. A S30 can be obtained through the Courts. The right to Devolution was won through the International Courts. The arguments can be made again. If people vote for it.

    Brexit will never happen. Or the voters will vote the Tories out and voters will vote to rejoin. When the economic situation becomes worse. Voters will vote the Tories out.

    If people in Scotland continue to vote for a Ref. It will happen. It can be done through the Courts if there is any resistance from Westminster. The legislation is going through Holyrood now. To commit to another Ref, Westminster will have to agree or be taken through the International Courts again. The right to self determination, self government is a human right protected by International Law. If people vote for it.

    People who support Independence should vote SNP/SNP. Get one other to vote as well. Vote for Independence. There will still have to be negotiation. Just as is going in now. Devolving various powers.

    Blair and Davidson in cahoots. The mass murderer who caused all the mess.The illegal wars causing poverty. The cause of the worst migration crisis since the 11WW. The Westminster unionists running away from the mess they have made. Killing and maiming millions of people. Refusing to put any funds into any relief. The European countries having to clear up the Westminster mess. It is costing them £Billions.

    The Westminster Tory/unionists are trying to trash the world economy. Thatcher caused the banking crisis. Brown accelerated it. Brown thought keeping interest rates at 5% stopped boom and bust. All the banks were over lending on inflated property value.

    Thatcher had interest rates at 17%. High unemployment. Took Scotland’s revenues illegally and secretly to fund London S/E. Left Scotland in increased poverty. Thatcher established tax havens. Thatcher was got rid by the Tories because they wanted closer ties with the EU. Geoffrey Howe. It was only closer ties with the EU that improved the UK after the Thatcher devastation, especially in Scotland.

    Westminster unionists cannot Brexit. There will have to be a GE they can lose. To get out of the mess and shambles.

    Could the SNP Gov give something to the Waspi women re pensions. If they have the power. It could let pensioners, older folk see they would be better off Independent. Reassure people they would get their pensions,

    (UK) Gov Pensions/welfare benefits in Scotland are paid out of the taxes/revenues raised in Scotland, £6Billion. £10Billion? Welfare benefits. Scotland could easily pay another £2Billion into (Gov) pension away from welfare benefits. From £63Billion revenues raised. Not paying for illegal wars, financial fraud, tax evasion, Trident, HS2, Hinkley Point. A total waste of money.

    Westminster mismanagement. Oil & Gas, fishing, farming sectors all mismanaged by Westminster. Losing Scotland revenues. If Scotland gets better off, so does the rest of Britain,

    Cutting back on Westminster squander. Putting (Gov) Pension up 25% £200? In Scotland. It would be cost affective. Less admin and top up costs, Any surplus would be got back. Pensioners pay tax.

    The Glasgow women’s equal pay was achieved after set backs. The SNP policies increase revenues. Glasgow economy will benefit from equal payments, More money invested in the area to the benefit of the women. Other Councils settled up long ago.

    The SNP have great plans for Scotland. An international sea hub at Shetland East/West world trade interchange. Trade links and facility at Prestonpans. Increased trade links on the Clyde with Europe. Avoiding the congestion of London S/E.

    Thatcher built Tilbury Docks. 26Miles of container port. Closed or decreased all the port facilities around Britain, especially in Scotland.

    The Westminster unionist must realise. The illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion will increase the UK population for a limited time. Until the world stabilises after the commitment of such devastation. The refugee crisis was caused by US/UK France. They should be doing more to sort it out. Not running away from it. Brexit another Tory/unionists disaster. The sooner they are gone the better.

  25. The Tories utter shambles. It is being realised and acknowledged that more people want to stay in the EU than leave. Voters have changed their mind. A natural part of human kind. The ability of folk to change their mind.

    The Tories now completely out of the loop. What a dilemma. Trying to push through a policy people do not want. The Tories have been found out. Liars always get found out.

    Ditto Labour/LibDem/Green. Now causing havoc and dissent. Liars getting found out.

    Roll on Independence. When people vote for it.

  26. Sigh. Here we go again. So many people frustrated wth the slow pace towards independence. I’ll let y’all into a secret – the pace is NOT slow, its all relative. With BREXIT things are moving so fast, with the entire British establishment upside down and fighting like rats in a sack, of course it seems that the SNP are doing nothing. But they have been working hard, and still are toward the goal.

    The SNP and AG can only proceed at a pace acceptable to the soft NOs (who are slowly coming over to YES). Why the heck are some people still trying to force the issue? Another glorious highland charge, to what? Another glorioys defeat? No thanks. We must take the people with us (or at least a clear majority, which we still don;t have – despite a couple of opinion polls). Just sayin, like. 🙂

    • I cannot understand those who keep on about the ‘slow pace to independence’.

      How many people thought on that September morning in September 2014 that within 5 years we would be on the brink of another independence referendum and likely to go into it with the polls showing a majority for independence?

      As you rightly say this is not the time to force the issue.

      It is the hallmark of the failed generals throughout history that they prepare their troops to fight the campaign that has gone before not the one ahead. Ms Sturgeon has not made that mistake but has used the changed circumstances to good effect in the pursuit of Independence.

      • Yes, after 1979 it took another 18 years before we got devolution. In 2014 I assumed we would be looking at another long-ish spell before we get independence.

        Though I also thought that demographically, it is inevitable.

        It is just unfair on those supporters who have dreamed of the Scots running their own affairs since the 1960s or 70s who may not be around to see it.

    • Aye. The sense of urgency is a strange cry – ‘it will be too late!’ – too late for what? For any brexit suffering, it was already too late back in 2016, and it’s already too late now. If it’s too late for taking advantage of brexit to change views on independence, then no it’s not too late and won’t be anytime soon, and waiting until it happens is what will truly turn opinion. Causing it to happen (an impossibility, but let’s imagine the attempt), is not going to change opinions to thinking an independent Scotland would be any better to Westminster rule.

      With a certain majority of people in Scotland supporting independence, a whole raft of options will open. While we are a minority we can only ask nicely.

      I cannot see any of the logic behind the ‘urgency do it now’ ideology. We are where we are, and indeed we can only go as fast as the slowest soft Noes changing to Yes. And the SNP contingent at Westminster are making the biggest impact there at the moment. Whether or not we agree with their strategy, it’s working.

  27. Thank you for saying precisely what I’ve needed to hear. I’ve been internally struggling with the writings of a certain blogger whose polling shows that SNP voters would forgive such an action of alliance with the Tories, but as you always say, we’re not the ones who need convinced so what difference does it make? We’d lose the soft Noes and the Remainers, and those now on the side of independence whose loyalty to the idea is tenuous, and we need to win this thing by being good, positive and honourable, just as we were the last time.
    People seem to forget that while we may have lost in essence we gained so much in spirit and heart – only a fifth of us wanted independence when it was introduced in 2012, and that 20% brought in 25% more in only 2 years, and that was without the shocking state of political affairs we now live with. If we keep the same message of hope and good, that’s a much bigger army we have to fight with, under much more favourable conditions for us. I often think of Norway’s independence vote and the fact that it was a landslide somewhere in the region of 90% – if we also won by a landslide what a wonderful way to start a new country where the vast majority voted for it.

  28. The best way to support the Independence cause is for people who support Independence to support the SNP. Not to vote for unionists parties.

    People who support Independence vote for unionist parties. Unionist parties do not support Independence. Why people who support Independence vote for unionist parties is a mystery. These Parties do not support Independence.

    Vote all the unionist parties out in Scotland. Scotland will be Independent. There will be no unionist politicians to oppose it. It is just a case of calling an IndyRef. The more people vote SNP the greater support is shown for Independence. That is happening. SNP/Independence support is rising

    Scotland is nearly over the line. Nearer to Independence than ever. Scotland has never been better run. It could be better still with more powers. There would still need to be negotiation.

    Why dissenters start an anti campaign is not helpful or productive.

  29. Absolutely spot on Paul. Scotland voted 62% remain, which means no and yes voters got together and agreed we do not want to leave the EU. If the SNP made any kind of deal with the Tory government to achieve ‘their’ Tory Breixit after having spent the last 3 and a bit years attempting to keep Scotland in the EU they would in effect have completely reversed their stated mandate of ‘not dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will’.

    We yes supporters are not the only Scots that our government are protecting, we confirmed our EU stance at the EU elections, the ends does not justify the means…and…they, the SNP gov would be wiped at the GE for this huge act of self harming Scotland.

  30. Thank you Paul I agree with everything you’ve said. Sae tired with the short sighted divisive clamourings from within and without the SNP.
    Yer final paragraph had been greetin sae upliftin.
    again thanks made ma day.

    • The pivotal point of Ruth’s piece is “what gives anyone the right to refuse Scots the choice?”, but can equally be extended to, “or ANY other”. The London elites may still have the upper hand but are under no illusions tomorrow is a different day..

  31. Horrified that some who support Independence actually suggested SNP should support Tories on vote re this new truly awful Brexit deal. If they did that they would have no credibility with the electorate in Scotland. and I could not comtinue to suport them if they did this.Even if Boris promised a Section 30 order as payment for SNP support who could be so niaive to actually believe he would deliver this the man is a proven liar after all. We have no choice but to continue to support to SNP in their present course no other party has a hope of delivering Indy

  32. The BBC’s political editor in Scotland, Brian Taylor, is an absolute disgrace. Better known as Toodleoothenoo. When everyone knows that the Scots have been royally shafted and that this latest deal will be absolutely catastrophic for Scotland, what does he have to say about it! What’s he doing to enlighten Scottish readers? Bl**dy-well nought. I for one can’t wait for us to get our Independence and say Toodleoothenoo to a large number of these despicable con artists.

    • In Toodle Oo The Noo ‘s world Scotland is a ‘territory’.
      He uses the impersonal pronoun ‘One’ be ause he is caught in Middle England time warp during the Lucky Jim ‘sixties.and has just written the most boring piece of Brit Nat tosh I’ve read this millennium.
      He ‘congratulates’ Johnson for getting a deal at the beginning of this tiresome rehash of ‘the story so far’, and again at the close of the dullest collection of words which you’ll come across in relation to Scottish Independence ever.
      Time this tired old war horse stood aside.
      Surely there are younger SNP Badders on the staff at BBC Plantation Quay’s Ministry of Truth?
      One merely asks.

  33. If Labour rebels enable Johnson’s deal today,the party is utterly finished in Scotland. If Corbyn had any a spine he would have any rebels expelled. Johnson did it and now it looks like he might get away from it. Three line whip followed by expulsion. Its the only way to keep cowardly Labour MPs in line. Sadly I think Corbyn will try to please everyone and the deal may well go through. So sad.

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