I support Nicola Sturgeon

isupport
I support Nicola Sturgeon. I support her because even if I lie in bed at night worried about that lump in my breast, that twinge of pain in my leg, or that constant urge to pee, I don’t have to worry that if there is something wrong and my most serious health issue is not hypochondria and I do need medical treatment, then I will not have to face financial ruin as well as the trauma of illness. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that I can rely on her to fight until the last breath in her body for the right of the NHS in Scotland to remain free from privatisation and safe from the rapacious depredations of American health corporations. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because I know that she will never cease in her efforts to ensure that prescriptions remain free. I support a party that works to make sure that no one in Scotland will ever know the stress of my American relatives, who constantly have to worry whether they can afford their medications. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will strive ceaselessly to prevent medicine poverty, where people have to choose whether they eat or warm their homes, or whether they buy the medications that they depend upon to remain well or to get better. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to prevent us all losing our European citizenship. That burgundy passport gave me the right to settle and work in Spain, to love and live in another language and another culture, to learn that we are all the same under the skin, to reach out and make connections. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I have an honorary nephew and niece who won’t speak to me in English because they know that I speak Spanish too. It’s thanks to that European citizenship that I met a couple who became and remain amongst my closest friends, who count as family. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she too sees the value in that.  Porque reconoce el valor de un pasaporte europeo, apoyo a Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she wants a Scotland that is open to the world. She seeks a Scotland of tolerance, of kindness, a Scotland that welcomes people from Europe and the rest of the world and tells them that they’ve come home. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she campaigns to support our EU citizen friends, relatives, neighbours and colleagues.  I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights against an oppressive Home Office that demonises and criminalises our neighbours, our workmates, our friends, our family, and rips them away from their Scottish home to cart them off to detention centres before deporting them to far off lands. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands in solidarity with migrants, with asylum seekers, with the vulnerable. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that the best thing, the only thing, that we should tell someone fleeing war or oppression is “Welcome to Scotland. Welcome home.” I support Nicola Sturgeon because she supports those values which mark the best of us.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she fights for our human and civil rights against an uncaring Conservative government that demonises the poor and blames the sick and disabled for their own poverty. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she shares our disgust and horror at a Westminster that casually tosses our young onto the streets. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that a society can only function as a cohesive whole when it looks after those who are least able to look after themselves, that it treats them with compassion and love. Walk past that young woman begging on the street and remember, there but for the grace of a pay cheque go I. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that if we do not support those who are unable to support themselves, there will be no one to look after us when we suffer the same problems. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes and condemns austerity.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she will fight tooth and nail to defend my human and employment rights. The Tories seek to remove us from the EU in order to trash those rights, to make the UK a paradise for corporations offering zero hours contracts, with no workers’ rights, no holiday or sick pay. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she stands against that and resists it with every fibre of her being.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she opposes the obscenity of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde. She seeks the removal of this horror show which sits a few miles away from the largest city in Scotland. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she has no truck with the nuclear viagra of a faded empire, because she supports a Scotland that walks in peace.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she defends the right of the people of Scotland to have a strong parliament which cannot be diminished or reduced at the whim of Westminster. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she calls out the hypocrisy of anti-independence parties which claim that Scotland is a partner in a union but which treat Scotland as a possession and refuse to allow the people of this land the right to determine their own future. I support Nicola Sturgeon.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because she is determined to navigate a path towards independence, a path that builds consensus, a path that builds a majority. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she understands that Scotland will never break free from Westminster unless a majority of the people of this country are in agreement, and that means that they agree to alternative strategies in the event that a Section 30 order is refused. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she knows that Scottish independence will not be won on social media, it will be won in hearts and minds, in conversations between friends, relatives, and colleagues. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she believes in the power of persuasive argument, of passionate debate, and because she is the most articulate and compelling public speaker out of any politician in these islands.

I support Nicola Sturgeon because all paths to an independence referendum must cross the bridge of next week’s General Election, and it is vital to our movement, to the hope of this nation, that the SNP do well in that vote. Because if they don’t, we won’t be hearing from the British press that people in Scotland haven’t voted SNP because of disagreements about self-ID, because of disputes about internal party handling of accusations of anti-semitism, because of arguments on Twitter about the best way to get another referendum. All we will hear is that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum, and the independence cause will be lost. I support Nicola Sturgeon because I want to keep the flame of hope alive. I support Nicola Sturgeon because it’s the only way that we can bring about that better Scotland of our dreams.

I’ll be voting SNP next week. If you want a better Scotland, a Scotland that determines its own path, a Scotland that walks towards compassion and kindness, you will vote SNP too. I support Nicola Sturgeon.


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161 thoughts on “I support Nicola Sturgeon

  1. This popped into my inbox at 6:21pm, local time. With you, after 1am.

    You just couldn’t get to sleep until you got that off your chest, could you?!

    I’m glad you did.

    I have been increasingly worried, no not worried, downright feart, reading other blogs and the responses by some people.
    Never mind trolls, it seems that some have been “sleepers” waiting in the shadows to foment unrest and bring all the hard work by you and so many others, down.

    I watched The Outlaw King last night ( Netflix) and was reminded of our history. Clan against Clan. Pulling Scotland asunder for English favours.

    IMHO that’s being repeated now.

    No claymores no flaming arrows.
    Something more insidious, social media, rumour and innuendo.
    You can pull a flaming arrow out of the thatch. It’s harder to get it out of your back.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, the goal is in sight. Hing thegether!

    Paul your impassioned piece should be Everywhere.

    Front page of The National on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    If this doesn’t stir the hearts and minds and make them ALL realise what they have, god knows, nothing will.

    I will forward it to everyone I know, with a vote. I wish I had one.

    Thanks Paul, now get some sleep!

    • Well said to you and of course to WGD and especially his last two paragraphs.

      However, I do hope there is not a cost or too much fallout from the mosquito type issues currently within the movement. I would hate that this might spoil our progress to Independence, as I would like, selfishly, to see it in my lifetime.

      • Grumpy,
        I am praying, beseeching, imploring even, that 2020, the year I am 75, is also the year I see Independence for Scotland. Like you, let’s see this in our lifetime.

        I am scunnered reading the nasty jibes, snipes, etc., against Nicola, on other blogs and in the comments section of The National.
        How she has the energy to keep forging ahead daily, is remarkable.

        Nicola, one of the best things that ever happened to Scotland!

        • I completely agree with you. I will also be 75 in 2020. The past few days have made me worry but WGD and you have helped put my mind somewhat at rest. I can’t remember a GE like this one where I have been so worried about the future of Scotland.

    • Sure stirred my heart and brought tear to my eye. NS is head and shoulders above any other leader. I hope she can lead us to Independence…..

  2. This needed saying tonight – thank you.
    As an English outsider, I’m deeply jealous that you have a party leader of the calibre of Nicola Sturgeon & appalled that some are seeking to undermine her at this late stage of the election campaign, with *no* suggestion of who might better serve the cause of independence & social justice.

  3. Ditto, likewise Paul. I know you have worked hard in this election. We had a small turnout in cold weather for the Annual John MacLen rally last Sunday and I conveyed your apologies on. Let’s hope this election is finally decisive for Independence and we can all move on. Anyone who does not vote, or support the SNP does not hold Indpoendence as a priority.

  4. Well said Paul, agree with every word. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she puts herself in the front line to challenge the boors and bigots. I support Nicola Sturgeon because she is campaigning on behalf of every Scot for an inclusive, forward looking Country that won’t be relying on its past history to justify its position in the world.

  5. The gender ID issue is affecting all parties and is something that will need to be addressed in due course. However now us not the time. We approach the eve of possibly the most important GE in our lives and we must stay United. Let’s ride above it all and focus on the job in hand: a string message to the BritNats that we have had enough of all their crap.

    • My understanding is that the Scottish Government will initiate a further public consultation on a revised Gender Act before the end of 2019. So there is actually an opportunity fairly soon for everyone to out forward reasoned proposals. If people or organisations who make submissions, were also willing to publish them at the same time, then there can be dialogue around the pros and cons of practical suggestions. Hopefully this will take some of the venom out of the social media conflict that has been building. It is essential to acknowledge the suffering that many people have experienced as a result of different types of gender-related oppression and abuse, and to allow these stories to be heard. I believe that there are ways in which governments can support such consciousness-raising activities. But at the end of the day, the main task of a government is to formulate laws and procedures that are viewed as acceptable to the majority of the citizenship. This is never going to be easy in a society in which concepts and practices around sex and gender are changing, and for some people a lot is at stake.

    • Other parties don’t seem to be allowing the issue to dictate who should be suspended or made to resign though. They have already lost a seat because of this with certain members actually saying that they would canvas for the unionist parties – withouth any admonishment. I too will support SNP in this election but they need to sort this out.

        • If it relates to the anti-Semitic carry on Nicola Sturgeon had no other option but to deal with it ASAP. If she hadn’t she would have been seen to be a weak, biased leader and a racist hypocrite who would be facing, relentless, Corbyn like attacks. The last thing that we need right now.

          One individual, Neal Hanvey, has apologised for tweeting or retweeting anti-Semitic material and the other, Denise Findlay, who is a member of the Conduct Committee, FGS, set up to investigate cases like Neal Hanvey’s was found to have made 3 tweets alone basically stating that Israel = Nazi.

          Now we see the conspiracy theorists trying to make out that they’ve had to resign because they supported women’s rights. You couldn’t make this stuff up. On the other hand, some individuals seem to be determined to do so, make it up, in an attempt to undermine the SNP / Nicola Sturgeon. I would imagine that this was the last thing that Nicola Sturgeon expected to happen and wanted to deal with, but no it’s all her fault. “SNP Baad” is fairly streaming out, well more like a torrent, from some strange quarters this weather.

          • I am 88. I can remember when Israel came about. it was by terrorism. Palestine was a protectorate of Britain. The terrorists killed British soldiers. The head terrorist became the first Prime Minister of Israel, all with the help of American money.

          • “One individual, Neal Hanvey, has apologised for tweeting or retweeting anti-Semitic material”

            With all due respect, Petra, the jury is still out there regarding if the content of the tweet was really antisemitic or not. I do not know about the rest of the people here but I will never accept the criticism of the government of the state of Israel or the criticism of the way this state treats Palestinians as antisemitism in the same way I will never accept calling a very powerful man a puppet master antisemitism either. That is why I consider the treatment of that SNP candidate profoundly undemocratic, unjust, unfair and an attack on freedom of thought and expression. I challenge anyone to explain to me exactly in what way any of those things are antisemitism.

            I do have an awful respect for Ms Sturgeon. I do believe she is an asset to the independence cause and the best leader and speaker that is out there. However in this matter I am afraid I have to say I was profoundly disappointed at how weak she was. I fear she has left a door wide open for those external vested interests to simply walk in and create havoc by discrediting several candidates. She has created a precedent and that does not do the SNP nor SNP voters any favours.

            A strong leader cannot let external vested interests dictate the way the party conducts itself and in my opinion succumbing to those false accusations is exactly what this is. It is obvious even to a 5 year old that such attacks in the middle of an electoral campaign where the SNP stands to win most seats is undoubtedly politically motivated and a way of tampering with our democracy. Needless to say that I am disgusted at the electoral commission for not being over those attacks finding out exactly where they originate from and who exactly is attempting to manipulate the election process by moving candidates out of the way.

            I do not appreciate the interference of external interests meddling with our democratic rights and determining who should win that seat by the use of psychological blackmail, which is exactly how I see the the use of false antisemitism accusations. I do not appreciate being denied of the opportunity to vote for the party I want just because an external vested interest has grown too big for its boots and now wants to extend its control beyond its own boundaries and getting into ours. That kind of interference does not make me any more compliant, it makes me far less compliant. Maybe that is exactly what those vested interests are after, to radicalise people. That is not going to be made any better by denying freedom of thought and accepting by the SNP that there is antisemitism where there is none.

            There comes a time when a leader has to stand up for their own people and their followers and not handing them on a platter to the opposition and the “political correctness (when convenient) police” because if they do there will be a time when they finally look to see who is covering their back and will be surprised to find there is nobody there. There only is so much bllsht and pushing back the people is prepared to take and I certainly draw my line on being told by an external vested interest what antisemitism is and what is not – I will decide that by myself, thank you very much.

            The labour party has been ripped to pieces in my view because false accusations of antisemitism, purposely designed as a weapon by several interests that are colluding in keeping the labour party out of power, were allowed to take hold. Hell, even that unelected individual parachuted onto a seat in the House of Lords, Mr Sugar was attacking the party that got him the free ride in the HoLs.

            In my opinion, the reason for the weakening of the labour party is not because Corbyn did not stand up against antisemitism but rather because he was too weak to stand up strongly enough against the false accusations of antisemitism and did not have the backbone to call bllsht on the false antisemitism allegations. My concern is that Ms Sturgeon may have chosen to follow the same “compliance” route. I am afraid that is something I will not support. Any more SNP candidates are suspended because criticism of the state of Israel or criticism of greedy individuals for being greedy and that is the SNP for me. The minute you give in and accept to shout antisemitism where there is none your credibility is over. Any future move you make that those vested interests do not like, will be called antisemitism now they have discovered your weak point. That will enfuriate even more your followers that do not see any antisemitism but see an awful lot of other forms of racism by some parties of the establishment not being challenged enough if at all.

            The correct procedure here, in my opinion, would have been to conduct an investigation AFTER the election. You cannot impose people how they have to think and there is an awful people out there in the entire world that abhor what the state of Israel is doing, some of them Jewish people themselves. All those people are as antisemitic as anybody else in the entire world are anti-American people just because they happen to find unacceptable the behaviour of the current individual that is acting as President of USA., or they are anti-British people because they are laughing their heads off in incredulity at the monumental buffoon the UK is about to elect as PM.

            Do we see the degree of “political correctness policing” that we have to endure here in the UK, in the rest of the world? How about Israel? Are they censored during elections in the way we are here and are their candidates evicted from their parties before the voters have the opportunity to vote for them and before their “guiltiness” is proved when some external vested interest wants them out of the way so it uncovers a tweet from years ago where they expressed criticism of the UK/USA or some powerful individual?

            I think it is time we got some real perspective of what is at stake here and how this false accusations are tampering with our democratic rights.

          • Very much agree with Maria here. Campbell’s angry blog did come too soon – a week too soon of course; but Kavanagh’s sickly sycophantic article (and I’m a Dug fan, and have the recent book) is just free ammunition for the unionists who claim the SNP is a fan-base for Sturgeon. Campbell’s error though was secondary – the first error was the SNP’s: removing a candidate, likely to win in a week’s time, on the basis of seriously dubious anti-semitism allegations was an appalling mistake. If the constituency falls to Laird, that is down to the SNP and Sturgeon, no-one else. Findlay too – the same sort of weak anti-semitism allegations, based on a very justified opposition to the extreme right wing Israeli govt (where even Netanyahu’s opponent was a vicious right wing general) which attacks the Palestinians. Yes, support the SNP come Thursday next; but after that – the cracks were opened by Sturgeon; they’re open now. Mr Kavanagh’s article really does not help at all.

          • Yes, I have never joined a fan club and certainly not for a politician. It is wise to be wary of politicians and they should be judged as others are, by what they do and not by what they promise to do.

            The anti-semitism accusations seem also to have been selective. For instance, Alyn Smith and Stewart MacDonald have made (justified) criticisms of the Israeli state in the past, all very visible as far as i know and have not suffered any attacks.( MacDonald has seemed to vacillate recently by the way?)

            I, too, will support SNP by voting for my local candidate in the next election but I have no qualms in voting for him. I can understand others having misgivings though. A family member of mine finds it impossible to vote for MacDonald for example.

            Surely those promoting a particular faction by attacking sitting members such as Joanna Cherry and Joan MacAlpine are to blame for causing this situation? The problem is, they are not being reined in for what I understood to be a sin against the SNP’s famous discipline.

            This situation at some point will have to be addressed. Let what happened to Labour be a warning. Encouraging factionalism under Blair is still pulling Labour apart.

          • For the record, while I am still furious at the use of false antisemitism claims as an excuse to tamper with our democratic right to vote for the party of our choice and to mould the political scenario and furious at the way the electoral commission and the political parties (all of them actually) are opening the door to the vested interests of another state to stick their fingers in our politics, that does not mean that I don’t like Ms Sturgeon any longer. Let me tell you that I still have a great deal of respect and admiration for Ms Sturgeon. I still think she is the best political leader in the UK today. I still think she will bring us independence. None of that sentiment has gone away.

            I have also enjoyed reading Paul’s article and did not find it sycophantic. I may have never written something so individually centered myself, as I believe that success is really achieved from the cooperation of teams, not just individuals, but this is Paul’s blog, he writes what he feels and how he feels and if for him Ms Sturgeon is the face of the SNP, it is fine by me. I am just grateful that he indulges us with his beautiful, original and uplifting writing so often. I do not think it is particularly constructive to call somebody’s writing sycophantic, particularly when he is allowing you to read his work for free and is giving us the luxury of being able to read new articles almost every day.

            I found however Mr Campbell’s article bizarre, untimely, puzzling and I have to say unhelpful for someone who has portrayed himself as a staunch independence supporter. I am not quite sure what exactly it is that Mr Campbell was hoping to achieve but in any case his aims and motivation behind recent articles, are not the subject of this blog nor they should be.

            You call removing the candidate in Laird’s constituency “an error”. My problem is that I am unconvinced that it was actually “an error”. I have the distinctive feeling and this is something I cannot shake off no matter how much I tried, that there is an awful lot of weird geopolitics going on behind scenes and not just in the SNP – they appear to be spanning across all parties. But one thing is certain to me, Ms Laird would have lost that seat should the SNP had supported their candidate in full, so why they have not done so because they chose to so readily accept false claims of antisemitism, seemingly jeopardising other candidates too, escapes me. I was particularly shocked by the willingness of those 2 candidates to acknowledge “their mistake”. It does not sound convincing, I am afraid, at least not to me.

            After my first bout of annoyance succumbed and I calmed down, what Campbell’s article actually helped me with was to be certain that these false antisemitism accusations are specifically targeting individuals and are being seen by senior SNP members themselves as false claims, as they may have made similar ones. Differently to you, I do not believe the SNP is disintegrating, as many unionists are desperate to portray it is, and perhaps that article helped me to understand that. Right or wrong, what I believe is that there is some kind of agenda being followed here. The SNP are not amateurs that have been living among cotton wool and given the royal treatment in the politics arena and Ms Sturgeon herself is no naive novice. She has been in politics for an awful long time so I am unconvinced that this was just a case of being fearful of what a handful of untrustworthy (and worthless, actually) unionist rags were going to publish.

  6. The ID matter affects 1% of the population and stops people from self harming and committing suicide.

    There have been mixed changing rooms for years with absolutely no problems. It means more people can participate and use the facilities. Especially women as main carers. More children can use the facilities. Women are safer there then anywhere. The place were women are more likely to be attacked is in their own ‘space’. Their own homes by ‘friends’ or relatives.

    There is more chance of being injured on a faulty toilet. Should toilets be banned. There is full security. Attacks are extremely low. Mixed changing rooms being more open with more staff available prevent attacks. There are separate cubicles.

    The mass hysteria around the issue is unbelievable, Beyond comprehension. Men are 4 times more likely to be attacked and commit suicide. It is a gender issue the attackers are mainly men.

    Well done Nicola and the SNP Scottish government for standing up for Scotland. The difference in Scotland since Devolution. Scotland is going it’s own way which is far better. More aligned with Europe.

    The Westminster unionists and the Press are despicable. The way they constantly criticise and tell lies. Lying all the time about Scotland. They are a complete and utter disgrace. People can see through it. Thank goodness.

    • Every leisure pool in the country with mixed changing rooms has staff trained to deal with the issue of ‘peeping toms’.

      The cubicles with the 1′ space at the bottom – a design done so that they can wash the floor with bleach, which splashes and stains the cubical surface if the cubical goes down to the ground – lend themselves to easy insertion of a video camera to take pictures of children and women undressing.
      One of the main factors driving same sex changing rooms – is not greater inclusion, but the cost of real estate – its cheaper, and you don’t have to staff 2 areas!

      Incidents of peeping tom / breaches of the peace, in single sex changing room facilities are not uncommon. CCTV in such locations cover the foyer / lockers only and not the cubical (for obvious reasons) and can help detect such crimes, but they do not deter.

      The victims, when adult females, tend to be philosophical about it when reporting, the children (certainly under the age of 10) tend to be genuinely upset.
      The perpetrators, tend to be repeat offenders, some of whom are Registered sex offenders.

      Invariably they visit different leisure pools in different cities, to reduce the risk of being caught.

      Just because you have no personal experience of these crimes, does not mean they do not exist.
      Just because you cannot understand, how upsetting it can be for a person – of any sex or gender – and in particular a child, to have their privacy violated, so that some perv can get their rocks off, does not mean that a violation has not happened, and a crime committed.

      Please get your facts right about this.

  7. Absolutely brilliant Paul and how we needed to hear your wise words at this time. I went to bed feeling totally depressed and extremely angry following checking out some other sites that seem to have been “infiltrated”, focused on discrediting Nicola Sturgeon and undermining our ability to get our Independence at all. I wakened up this morning to read your latest article and how it’s lifted my spirits, so thanks for that. I support Nicola Sturgeon too, for a multitude of reasons, just as I support Paul Kavanagh who supports getting us out of this hellhole of a Union. We won’t forget who’s worked their butt off on our behalf and those who haven’t. As I said previously this is a David and Goliath battle, clearly more so now, that we WILL win.

  8. I agree 100% with everything you say.

    I think the SNP is a great party with an efficient government. I have supported them since 2007 and will continue to do so.

    However I have strong concerns about the talk on self id and gender neutral etc. There is some seriously daft stuff going on regarding men in women sport, gender free toilets etc etc. I cannot support this and will stop supporting the SNP if this ever becomes law here.

    What I read, and not just from the Wings blog there appears on the outside looking in to be an active group of trans people trying to disrupt normal life. That is how I see it. Biologically a man and woman were physically designed to mate and breed. Lesbians and homosexuals are also happy that male is male and female female. I have no issues here either. Nor do I care if trans people want to defy biology. What I do object to is this apparent move to make the majority go against nature for a very small minority view.

    We need female safe toilets, sport facilities etc.

    • “an active group of trans people trying to disrupt normal life.”

      I think it should be pointed out, in fairness, that there is support from transwomen who also against self id. Many thanks to Seven Hex, Kristina Harrison, Fionne Orlander and Debbie Hayton amongst others for their support.

      The issue isn’t transphobia at all, it is opposition to removing the need for professional input prior to issuing a gender recognition certificate to ensure only those with gender dysphoria can legally transition. Also there is opposition to the conflation of sex and gender. Sex is biological and immutable, gender is a social construct and thus fluid.

      I want the SNP to do well as a proxy for independence but I damn well hope Neale Hanvey wins and that the woke brigade are prevented from purging the SNP of those defending women’s rights.

      If the party ends up splitting, I’ll be voting for the Joanna Cherry, Denise and Joan McAlpine one, not the Jordan Montague, Rhiannon Spear and Cameron Archibald one.

    • Andy where is the “seriously daft stuff” about GR coming from in the main? More to the point why is it being used to undermine Nicola Sturgeon to the extent that some people are stating that she should resign right now. Ludicrous and sinister, IMO. This issue has been stirred up to the point that rumour, smears and speculation is rife and it’s not just “an active group of trans people trying to disrupt normal life” that’s in question. As I see it there’s an active group of people using this, as yet unresolved issue, to disrupt the Independence movement, discredit Nicola Sturgeon (key aim of the Establishment) which in turn diminishes our chances of getting Independence at all.

      This subject hasn’t been plucked out of thin air by Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP. It’s an issue that the Scottish (cross-party) Government, Westminster and many other Governments around the world are having to deal with, like it or not.

      A draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill is due to be published soon and of course at the end of the day, when finalised, can still be amended or actually repealed as was the OBFA. Taking that into account why are so many people getting their nickers in a twist?

      We are at a critical juncture in our history and face dealing with the might of the British Establishment, a biased media and corrupt Unionist politicians within our own Parliament and south of the border. The least we could expect from pro-Independence sites, at this time, is to support Nicola Sturgeon and undermine Unionist politicians. Not do the Unionists dirty work for them.

      At the end of the day if we don’t win Indyref2 we’ll find ourselves out of the EU, shackled to an even harsher Westminster with a Unionist party ruling the roost in Scotland (if Holyrood continues to exist). That party will then find itself in the position to implement their version of the GRA, because it ain’t going to go away. Time for folks to get real.

      https://blogs.gov.scot/fairer-scotland/2019/06/20/reforming-gender-recognition-in-scotland/

      • Agree with you Petra about the stirring that is going on. I reiterate that I will support the SNP and have no issues with the FM.

        However the SG is looking into the self ID issue, the smear campaign is simply using this. Outside the attacks on the SNP there is a real issue here that concerns me and my family.

        Thank you for the link.

      • Petra, I think you know exactly where it is coming from. For months the pot has been stirred and kept at a constant boil from one particular source.

        The bare bones of the situation are that the Scottish Government published a draft Bill on reforming the GRA (2004). There was a public consultation on the bill which garnered 15,000 responses which were then independently analysed. That was in 2018.

        Opposition to the bill became vocal thereafter. The Scottish Government listened and withdrew the bill.

        They will publish a new revised bill possibly after the election or early in the new year and every section of the bill will be open to public consultation. Again the responses will be independently analysed, the bill altered if necessary and brought to Holyrood where it will be subject to scrutiny in the chamber and in committee after which it may or may not be passed into law.

        Much of the misunderstandings about GRA seems to come from groups, official bodies eg sports bodies, etc who do not have a full understanding of their legal position under the GRA and thus are misapplying it.

        Like you I was not a happy camper when I went to bed last night. Thank God for Mr Kavanagh

          • And now we see a concerted attempt to influence individuals not to vote for Stewart McDonald and Alynn Smith over and above Nicola Sturgeon. The site is chocablock with Unionists now, spewing out their disgusting bile such as, “I’ve heard that Nicola Sturgeon is a closet lesbian. Is she?” and “why are there so many homosexuals at the top (of the SNP)?” The blog owner has now gone even further than calling Nicola Sturgeon a liar. She’s now a “fascist woke.”

            The saddest thing of all is that decent, genuine independence supporters are still posting on there and obviously can’t see what’s going on. Can’t see how he’s managed to brainwash them all by using the propaganda techniques that he once highlighted that we should all look our for, such as articles that are jam packed with lies with a few truths thrown in for good measure. He’s now become the greatest threat to us achieving our Independence, IMO. Something that dawned on me quite some time ago.

      • One issue related to GRA that is frequently brought up is sport. Here is the section of the Act that deals with that issue and goes to what I said earlier about official bodies not understanding their position with regards to this under the law.

        GRA 2004
        This about Sport from the act
        “”(1)A body responsible for regulating the participation of persons as competitors in an event or events involving a gender-affected sport may, if subsection (2) is satisfied, prohibit or restrict the participation as competitors in the event or events of persons whose gender has become the acquired gender under this Act.
        (2)This subsection is satisfied if the prohibition or restriction is necessary to secure—
        (a)fair competition, or
        (b)the safety of competitors,
        at the event or events.
        (3)“Sport” means a sport, game or other activity of a competitive nature.
        (4)A sport is a gender-affected sport if the physical strength, stamina or physique of average persons of one gender would put them at a disadvantage to average persons of the other gender as competitors in events involving the sport.
        (5)This section does not affect—
        (a)section 44 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (c. 65) (exception from Parts 2 to 4 of that Act for acts related to sport), or
        (b)Article 45 of the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 ( S.I. 1976/1042 (N.I. 15)) (corresponding provision for Northern Ireland). ]””

        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/7/section/19

        • Thanks for that info, Legerwood. Very interesting indeed and strange that I’ve never comes across data like this on sites that are focusing on this very issue. I wonder why that would be?

          • Oh, let me think? Given how easy it is to find out actual information you have to wonder why it is not out there. There seem to be an awful lot of people who prefer to treat statements/assertions in a 140 character tweet as Holy Writ rather than actually read a report, Court Judgement or speech all of which is easy to do via the Internet.

            I remember the days when you had to go to HM Stationer’s Office to BUY a copy of an Act etc.

          • Plugging one side of an argument and omitting to mention / cover all of the facts is known as propaganda. Time for some people to waken up and smell the coffee. They are being played seemingly but can’t see it.

    • You only need ask why now in a GE does this issue blow up, or QEUH get plastered over Scottish news, or failing education, or etc, etc….. disruption pure and simple.
      There is a sensible debate to be had later, but dad arguing with the kids in the back coming up to a bend is exactly what these connivers want…
      Let’s keep our eyes on the road folks…

  9. That needed said. Thank you Paul. It won’t matter who uses which toilet or changing room in a Tory dictatorship. It will matter if our hard won freedoms and NHS are lost because we don’t vote SNP.

  10. Exactly fairliered. Full on support here, cludgie or no cludgie. Although, leaving the loo seat up is not acceptable – it’s a void to the underworld…

  11. A superb post.

    Like many independence supporters I am sick of hearing over the top criticism of Nicola Sturgeon. She is by miles the best political leader in the U.K.

    Vote SNP and then vote YES.

  12. Thanks Paul, for a breath of good sense.
    ‘Wings’ site has become unreadable, for me, I think the owner is having a breakdown of some kind.
    Your words are always music to my ears – keep it up, young man – and all the best for you and partner.

    • I don’t think he’s well. His output has turned into a trickle, ever since the Dugdale case. I wish him a good recovery.

      I shall turn to Paul, whose blog remains focused. Onwards and upwards. Big picture!

    • Scotland has would have no national debt, except what has been borrowed by the different Scottish governments for PPI, our share of Westminster debt would be covered by Westminsters assets, which must be greater than the debt, or Britain would be declared bankrupt.

  13. Sports facilities and swimming pools have had mixed changing rooms for years. Without any problems. It helps more people use the facilities. There are separate cubicles. They were used in the 1930’s. Mixed changing cubicles around the pool. Now they are just beside it.

    The outrage of people who don’t use them on behalf of others who don’t use them is a joke. If they used the facilities they would see there is absolutely no problem. In fact it is safer for everyone.

  14. Thanks WGD, totally agree .
    Does not mean this gender issue is not important. Seeing it muddy the waters for only the SNP and Independence is also alarming but not surprising given the nature of the opposition.
    Only in the last dozen years have I had close acquaintances with a few transgender people and it has been enlightening.
    I was raised to understand that nature produces spectrum not binary opposites. As a heterosexual white male I am of the group that is least required to ask questions of my being. We’re usually best accommodated. I do feel it must be stated that despite the genuine fears of people who despite having cock and balls insist on being treated as a woman should they so choose , it does not scratch the greatest danger that women face in their lives.
    That would be in a conventional relationship with a declared heterosexual bloke or from family males of a similar disposition.
    I even noticed that on the radio 5 interview with NS the other day one of the callers was a young Scots accented chap from London attempting to hold her to account for trans issues. I don’t think even Nicky campbell knew what he was on about but NS responded well and the bbc knew exactly why this person was filtered through.

    Vote SNP if you’re allowed or anything to stop the Unionist and Conservative

  15. Thank you Mr Kavanagh for that brilliantly clear, concise and measured statement with which I fully and wholeheartedly agree.

  16. Thank you so much, WGD. There is a vendetta going on. What I find beyond belief is that there are people saying they will vote SNP until we get independence then dump them. And then we know exactly who they will go straight back to. Labour.

    So we have the nightmarish prospect of R Leonard as Scotland’s First Prime Minister swanning off to London with his buddies, the likes of Carlaw, Davidson, Rennie, Tompkins, Kelly, Swinson et al, to ‘discuss’ Scotland’s terms of disengagement with the Union, future trading deals, state pension guarantees, nukes …. the list is endless. You get where I’m going? And it’ll be 1707 all over again.

    I think I’ve just had a nervous breakdown.

    If I may just add, the day before IndyRef1, I came across a young tradesman, his truck festooned with YES stickers and I asked him if he thought we would win. He shook his head sadly and said, “At times like this, the Scots have a nasty habit of turning on each other”. He knew and he was right and he is still right. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has left together with many other young lads in this northern area and started a new life in Australia. Who would blame him? This is the result of too many Scots still living in the 20th century thanks to backward political attitudes and lack of ambition for their country.

    By the way, leaflet No 10 (another different one) has just arrived from the LibDems. They must be spending £millions and it’s all coming from the south. This, too, is a conspiracy. Tory and Labour? They’ve taken a back seat up here.

    • Sorry, should make it clear that in my last paragraph when I wrote ‘up here’, I meant ‘up here’ in the far north of Scotland.

    • I reckon that a large percentage of the people saying that they’ve cancelled their SNP membership or that they’re no longer going to vote for the SNP at all are more than likely Unionists. And you’re right JoMax, what supporter of Independence is going to fight to get Independence and when they’ve achieved their objective dump the SNP and then vote for the Holyrood galoots to negotiate, say our assets, etc, etc with Westminster? They of course would have to register as being a Scottish political party, as far as I can make out, before they are even allowed to park their bums in Holyrood never mind open their clap traps.

  17. With you all the way Paul, I said within a month or two of Nicola becoming First Minister we have got something special here, and she has not let me down, but never under estimate the tory’s ability to divide and conquer, the UK media are at it full pelt through their press, bbc, ITV, etc, as we speak. They have been doing this for years, just think back to the 1984 Miners strike that Thatcher planned between the official strike in 1974 which was won by the Miners and the strike she planned where she managed to divide the miners and it did not matter how long it took or how much it cost.

  18. Paul,

    I have refrained from any public comment on internal Yes movement spats, other than to say in a comment on Wings that surely all of this can wait until after 13 December. And as it happens I agree with you and not with Stu on trans rights.

    But may I say that I find your article, which as always is beautifully written and contains a great many sentiments with which I agree, rather creepily over the top in its personalisation of all that is good in the SNP with the Great Leader? At the lowest level of criticism, it is sycophantic. Many unionists – whom we have to win over – frequently complain that they see an authoritarian trend in the SNP and sometimes use the word “cult”. They are wrong, but your level of personalisation here is not healthy in politics.

    Written with very genuine respect and friendship,

    Craig Murray

    • This is not an article which is intended to win over a unionist audience. The purpose of this article is to shore up the base at a time when the leader of the only pro-independence party which has any hope at all of winning seats in next weeks’ general election is under personal attack from within the movement, and to try and restore some balance.

      There is a time and a place for dissection, for talking about what is wrong within the SNP leadership and what is right. That time is after 12 December. I am in full agreement with you there.

      • I must say I was puzzled by you article Paul and now you have explained it to Craig ,disappointed.
        I’m sure you are aware of the women’s group’s that have been forming?
        So far the only voice in the media they have had has been Wings !
        While they have been organising and only grumbling so far ,they are very aware of the internal machinations within their party.
        Speak to them Paul especially Joan Mcalpine and I think you’ll find…
        The Party acted
        Some of the Women’s groups reacted ( and if it wasn’t obvious they would , it should have been)
        Wings wrote an article!
        … Was the order of play!
        So the timing of this didn’t come from Wings or the Womens Groups but rather the party itself.
        To ask for this to be set aside till after the election then your facing the wrong way.
        There is no balance when only one part of the debate is to shut up.

        • Which women’s groups would that be Liz? For Women Scotland perhaps? Constantly moaning that the minister has not made time to meet them?

          Who appear to be using a Tory MSP to ask questions on their behalf and if not then happy to publicise the questions from him on their site.

          Below a link to a series of questions tabled by a Tory MSP for Ms Somerville. Note the responses are on the For Women Scotland site. Note too that within the answers Ms Somerville gives the web address where the consultation will be available once the draft Bill and impact assessments are available

          https://forwomen.scot/17/09/2019/consultation-with-stakeholders-update/

          The group describes itself as the biggest women’s rights group in Scotland yet their web site gives no indication of the size of their membership, who is behind the group, when they were formed or where their funding comes from, other that is than a PayPal button. The lack of transparency should ring alarm bells that and the apparent use of a Tory MSP to ask questions of the Minister in Holyrood should give pause for thought.

          • Why on earth would that group be reliant on a Tory MP to ask the questions? What’s the connection? And yes, who is funding them and what’s their agenda?

            You would think that with all of the blah, blah, blah that’s being spouted on that site, on the GR issue, they would have carried out some research of their own and posted some of the data that you have at your fingertips, Legerwood. Seems not and I notice that many individuals who would have delved into this issue no longer post there. Banned, posts blocked, scunnered off and so on. And what I don’t get is why there is so much “speculation” about something that’s still to go through what may turn out to be a lengthy process and at the end of the day the bill may be further amended or for that matter the Act may be repealed, as per the OBFA. More than anything why is the blog owner coming out with this cr*p at this critical time? Daft question, as I reckon that many people can clearly see now what’s really going on and it’s got nothing to do with promoting Independence, that’s for sure.

          • Just a wild stab in he dark here.

            Perhaps the question posed needs to be considered in the sense of why it is a group can only obtain traction via a Tory MP because those who should be supporting them are doing the opposite and ignoring rhem.?

            But let’s not allow rational evidence based enquiry get in the way of he pitchforks eh?

          • I’m not sure what exactly your saying Ledgerwood?
            You asked about Groups and then answered your self !
            Then seem to be trying to demonstrate there’s something no right about that particular Woman’s group?
            Is there something wrong with them?
            To be honest I was trying to specificity address Paul and Craig’s view on the timing and show the trigger actually came from the party and rippled through to Wings not the other way round.

          • No Liz, I did not answer myself. You were the one who mentioned women’s groups: “”I’m sure you are aware of the women’s group’s that have been forming?
            So far the only voice in the media they have had has been Wings !””

            I responded to that with information on the only Women’s group in Scotland that I have heard of and seen mentioned on WoS Twitter feed. Perhaps you could give more information on these groups you alluded to in your post.

            It would also be a very good idea if more people checked out primary sources for information rather than 140-Character tweets from platform, Twitter, that has been so easily compromised.

          • Yes Ledgerood you did ask about Women’s Group’s and answered that I ment one in particular.
            But you haven’t answered if you are indicating there’s something amiss with the group you linked to?

            As for the other’s……
            Women & Girls UK (Scotland)
            Women’s Place UK.
            Fair Play For Women.
            Susan Sincalair @ scottishwomen.
            And
            Lawyers Supporting Women…
            Murry, Blackburn & McKenzie ( as individuals, Lucy Hunter Blackburn and Kath Murry)
            Not forgetting each party now has a – Women’s Pledge Group – too
            Although not unsurprising, I have heard the the Greens Group is a disgrace…….. Caroline McAllister ( a councillor in Clydebank )is the chair of the SNP woman’s pledge group

            So Ledgerwood…. I say again, Women’s groups are forming……
            And
            I’m more than willing to say I’m wrong that Wings is their only voice in Scotland, if, you can demonstrate another platform supporting them….

          • Hi Liz do you want to have a go at justifying Wings saying Sturgeon should resign and Sturgeon is a liar. My Wings mug I bought from your Wings stall has well and truly been binned. Is Wings no longer for Scottish independence but some sort of Woman’s protest movement. It certainly is no longer for free speech.

          • Ok Cubby I’ll try……. Excuse the bullet points it’s really just to save typing reams…..Although as you know, probably to you cost, I’m not above typing reams…. LOL
            Anyhoo.
            Couple of days back the only thing big in Scottish Politics apart from bog standard electioneering was….

            The SNP flung people out,
            Recommended campaigning in the constituency next door.
            Did nothing to address the perception that there was a Joanna Cherry, type agenda behind it.
            Or that some saw similarities with the ” managed” election of the current Woman’s Officer.

            Wings Reported on this.
            Should be not have?
            Is that not what he is paid to do?
            He didn’t orchestrate it, none of it, was Stu’s doing.
            He didn’t pick the week before the election either.
            He is not SNP, he is a journalist supporting and informing the YES movement.
            Could not reporting it have opened the door for the MSM to scream cover up?
            If the SNP don’t want stories like this they should not create them!

            He has been warning for some time about the effects on the Scottish electorate of the GRA.
            He has demonstrated that he thinks there have been a few missed opportunities to advance independence.
            He seems to have come to the conclusion that Nicola is going to let this window close and said so.
            Nicola is not independence it’s self, or indispensable to it, and he let her know it.
            No politician should be given a pass, this is our very country’s future.

            I’m not sure how much longer Women activists are going to stay quite about the gender thing for the sake of Indy ( I don’t like it but there it is )
            Indy can happen without Nicola but it most certainly won’t happen without women voter’s.
            If she won’t go for it and uses this time to alienate women….
            Then she needs to get out of the way……
            Some people below the line on WOS agreed and some didn’t but everyone paid attention and thought about their position….( A good thing I’d say)

            If we truly want Indy we shouldn’t let anyone and I mean anyone get in our way…… What’s so wrong with saying that?
            I personally don’t think that it is time for Nicola to go….. Just Yet….
            But I am watching ( we all should )
            I’m hoping that she takes the advice so freely handed out to Wings and people like myself
            ….. Stop messing about with this Gender Stuff it can wait till after Indy and concentrate on Indy…….

            Shouldn’t the supporters of the GRA be willing to do that too, ( try suggesting it to them Cubby ) aren’t they all Indy supporters?
            Are Women the only group to have to shut up?
            Will it be the Women who didnt wave their rights away and A bloggers fault if the SNP are damaged and Indy fails?
            Or will it be that Nicola isn’t listening?
            I’m hoping that this has been a shot across the SNP s bow…….
            Because the Women activists aren’t messing and Nicola has just about gotten on their last nerve.
            So…. Justified?
            Sadly I think so….. I wish it wasn’t

    • You’ve got a site Craig and say that you support Independence. What about you putting something together and getting it out there to help further the Independence cause?

      • Perhaps Mr Murray needs to change the heading on his blog to state that he is a supporter of Scottish independence if we expect him to blog on Scottish independence. At present it says he is a historian, former ambassador, human rights and art critic – just made up that last one. I have personally never expected much from Mr Murray on Scottish independence and not been disappointed. He does post interesting articles on other subjects.

        Barrhead boy is much better on the topic of independence imo.

        As WGD has said in the past the Yes movement is bigger than any one individual and that includes Nicola Sturgeon. It does no harm imo to state all her attributes in the lead up to an important GE that is critical for Scottish independence. Methinks Mr Murray, like others, has a personal grievance against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon and that affects his comments.

        • Cubby,
          “”Methinks Mr Murray, like others, has a personal grievance against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon and that affects his comments.””

          You only have to read some of Mr Murray’s blog posts to find the truth in that statement.

    • The ‘level of personalisation’ as you call it is at this point in time entirely necessary when an individual is under attack in this way.

      It does not speak to a dictatorial role on the part of Ms Sturgeon nor of the SNP being a one woman band. That is far from being the case.

      Anyone who follows the day to day activities of the MSPs and MPs in the party could not fail to notice the number of strongly performing Ministers within the SG. Nor could they fail to notice the strong contributions from the SNP MPs – Thewlis, Whiteford, Black, Cherry and Blackford to name but a few. How many Scottish MPs from Labour and the Tories are recognisable names? And have made any recognisable contribution? Ditto their MSPs.

      Thre are times when Ms Sturgeon all but ‘disappears’ from view while her Ministers get on with their jobs but at this moment she is front and centre because it is a GE and she is the party leader.

      Not an egotist like some who have little if anything to be egotistical about but still think they have a place on the political stage.

  19. I haven’t woken up to the ‘woke’ issue – I don’t have a view of it because I do not think that most people ( 99.9% ) have a clue about this so called controversy .

    I suspect that certain individuals with an axe to grind are pushing their own agenda on this issue – that to my mind shows , as far as independence is concerned , that they don’t give a f*ck as long as their selfish interests are served .
    Ignore them – support Nicola Sturgeon , vote SNP – then WHEN independence is won , they can navel gaze all they want on this issue , though I suspect that this ‘controversy’ will wither and die when they can’t attach the election to it .

    • There is certainly an agenda grinding an axe at play here.

      And whether I or anyone else likes it or not that axe and that agenda was significantly assisted as a result of two SNP candidates – risking two seats vital to the cause of Scottish Independence – being thrown under a bus in a very public way.

      So lets stop ignoring the elephant in the room here and honestly acknowledge the following realities:

      – That if anyone else other than the SNP leadership had publicly requested that SNP members and activists not campaign in two seats they would have been denounced as anti-Independence and driven out of the Movement.

      – That it was not Campbell; not Wings; not anyone else but the SNP leadership which publicly dumped candidates a week before an election. Dumped on the basis not of actions or behaviours but for expressing conclusions based on rational analysis of facts and realities.

      Rather than sticking heads in the sand by irrationally deflecting and projecting onto the messengers it would be more grown up for those who should know better to deal with the facts of double standards, hypocrisy, cowardice and self inflicted wounds which are presented.

      Going along with this sloppy post modernist nonsense is not going to shore up the Independence support base and its not going to win the votes necessary to reach the objective.

      The sooner that reality is recognised and accepted the better because the stance taken so far is going to lose votes rather than win them.

      • Dave I reckon that the two individuals in question, not Nicola Sturgeon, risked their own seats which we know are vital to the cause of Independence. They in fact have already accepted and apologised for their actions.

        • “Dave I reckon that the two individuals in question, not Nicola Sturgeon, risked their own seats”

          ?

          If you are referring to the candidate to Laird’s seat, If I understood correctly those tweets were from several years ago. He was nominated candidate for this election well after that, so they did not risk their own seats. Surely the SNP knew their way of thinking when they were recruited.

          You say they accepted. But in reality, accepted what? That the state of Israel and greedy people cannot longer be challenged for their actions? Is that the take home message of what the price to be a credible member of the SNP is?

        • In which case, based on the criteria being applied (more on that in a moment) and to also deal with the point made in a reply below, the SNP need to get their skates on and apply some consistency in the case of Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald as ample evidence has been presented to warrant the same treatment.

          Otherwise the SNP risk being torn to pieces by the media for not only ‘tolerating (their) AS but also acting inconsistently.

          You can’t have it both ways.

          And thus we come to be heart of the matter.

          Because the arguments being presented against these kinds of Witch Hunts are being deliberately ignored by too many activists and voters (regardless of political Party allegiance) in favour of going for the man rather than the ball (again, more on that point in a moment).

          It is totally irrelevant to the substantive issue at stake here that Findley and Hanvey have “apologised” because one of the key points being made in the evidence based approach employed by the likes of Campbell over at Wings is the effect such a mob rule approach often has on those standing accused.

          Any society which seeks to aspire to or maintain a state of civilisation has to operate on the basis of objectively applied rules. The alternative, a society based on the application of subjective opinion where people can be openly attacked and accused – leading to not only social ostracisation but also loss of employment and worse – is not a society it is a mob armed with pitchforks and flaming torches.

          The argument being presented is quite simple and clear to a blind man on a galloping horse. Anyone can fling accusations around based on their own self defined and identified criteria- ask those members of the Jewish Community who are daily faced with accusations of being AS self hating Jews etc for stepping outside the self defined boundaries of such mob mentality and having the temerity to challenge that mob mentality.

          The fact is that there has been no due process under an objective rules based system and process applied in the case of Findley and Hanvey.

          Just as there was no due process applied in the case of Williamson in the LP (and, from personal current experience, there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate an equally worrying corruption of values in that direction).

          No due process scrutiny of the accusations and their validity. No opportunity to present a defence. Simply a dictact from on high of assumed guilt based on nothing more than a subjective opinion itself based on the whims of those making the accusation. Automatic suspension and pressure to recant with no recourse to due process norms is not something you, Petra, or anyone else should be defending and hanging your hat on because that puts those taking that position on the side of the mob.

          I would recommend a perusal of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) process and guidelines on hate crime.

          This quite rightly takes into account the feelings and views of victims in any crime in terms of the perceived motivation behind the crime. However, sticking with an objective due process rules based approach the CPS require more than subjective based self defined and identified opinion to pursue any accusation that a crime is based on the hatred of the perpetrators for a particular attribute of the victim.

          What is required is further substantive objective based evidence if such an accusation is to be prosecuted. That’s how a civilised rules based system of society operates. That is what Campbell, amongst others, is arguing for whilst at the same time arguing against the mob mentality approach being employed in this instance.

          So it’s time to pick a side based on the values people claim to represent. To do what it says on the tin.

          Is it going to be the bullshit post modernist mob based approach in which objective due process and rational evidence based rules based systems are cast aside for the subjective, Humpty Dumpty words mean what I want them to at any particular moment for convenience, of the mob?

          For denunciations and the destruction of lives based on nothing more than convenient subjective self defined opinion regardless of objective evidence based reality?

          For jettisoning due process and civilised norms?

          Because I tell you what. I for one would like to know which side of that divide people stand on regardless of their status and reputation. For the simple reason that if they are prepared to do something like this to their own representatives they will certainly be prepared to do that to their neighbours – and I or someone close to me might well be one of the neighbours.

          In which case it would be useful (as well as rational evidence based behaviour) to know who to trust to stick to the values it says on the tin and who not to.

          • “the SNP need to get their skates on and apply some consistency in the case of Alyn Smith and Stewart McDonald as ample evidence has been presented to warrant the same treatment”

            I couldn’t disagree more.

            I think that it should be exactly the opposite scenario to what you propose: precisely because the well rooted idea among members of the party that antisemitism and the criticism of the foreign policies of the state of Israel are not the same thing, not even close, what needs to happen here is to revert that suspension of the two candidates and issuing a strong statement that publicly denounces the abuse of the concept of antisemitism and the Jewish people as a human political weapon to undermine Scotland’s democracy and the people of Scotland’s right to vote for the party of their choice.

            I would go further, actually. I would like to see Holyrood passing legislation by which or

            a) or once the candidates have been announced for an election, they have to follow the process until the end and if for some major reason (I do not include as major false accusations of antisemitism, but rather illness or death) the person cannot proceed then the party needs to provide another candidate. Only at the end, once they win the seat, they can be suspended/ give it up and call a by-election.
            b) alternatively, let’s stop votes being towards a particular individual and let’s made our votes to be for a party. No names of candidates. Just parties. In that way, if a candidate is suspended/resigns, another can simply walk in in their place. This is exactly what happened when Kezia Dugdale walked away and nobody even lift an eyebrow.

            I believe either those two alternatives are the way the people of Scotland can be guaranteed the right to vote for their party of their choice and that external vested interests are not going to be allowed to determine what parties we can vote for even before we made up our minds.

            Reinstating those 2 candidates is in my view the ONLY acceptable approach to this. I would consider the suspension of any more SNP candidates in the name of false antisemitism claims that portray Israel as the only state in the world that is above any kind of criticism as an acknowledgement that the SNP, in the same way Labour has demonstrated already, or does no longer know what antisemitism actually is or does no longer have the backbone to protect the right of the people of Scotland to freedom of thought and speech to call out Israel abuses of power. I cannot think in anything closer to fascism than shutting down dissent by fabricated trends that suddenly become “law” just because they are convenient to some vested interest that does not handle well criticism.

            The problem for me transcends something as petty as opportunistically using this situation to go after a candidate or the other because they have a similar opinion to the one suspended. My problem is the fact that the interference of the vested interests of a particular foreign state in our politics are being normalised, given priority over our own and used as a weapon by someone, somewhere (obviously the electoral commission does not have any interest in finding out who is funding and motivating this and where this operation initiated) to shape our politics.

            This kind of external interference is in my view completely unacceptable and puts very serious question marks on the democratic quality of our elections/referendums.

          • Just to be clear the compare and contrast example was not intended to suggest that two more candidates should also be suspended.

            The objective of that exercise was to deal with the inconsistencies inherent in the argument put that the SNP had no option but to in all practical effects jettison due process by suspending two candidates on the basis of a subjective self defined opinion whilst allowing two other candidates who have made similar statements which could also pose the same problems for the SNP.

            The purpose being to demonstrate the nonsense inherent in that argument not to call for two more suspensions which would clearly contradict the key follow up points concerning due process and evidence based approaches.

          • I’m aware SNP’s response may be seen as ill-judged or even hypocritical, but with C4 looking to exploit a “scoop” they reacted by closing the story down by agreement with the candidate.
            Not that this stopped Ciaran Jenkins trying to make a meal of it by visiting Kirkcaldy, but there the story runs out of steam…

            This “antisemitic” minefield needs exposed for the sham it is, but in the middle of a GE is not the time, precisely why the perpetrator set the C4 dogs loose since it is not covered by purdah rules.

          • Where this falls down is that from the point of view of the media making a meal of a story there is still plenty of scope to do so – based on available evidence of past statements which has been publicly presented – in the case of the two candidates who have not been suspended.

            In those cases there even more scope for the media to exploit the inconsistencies of publicly dumping two candidates with no proper due process – whilst at the same time calling for SNP members not to campaign for them and risk losing two seats – but keeping on two other candidates who can risk the same problem issue for the Party and the Independence cause.

            It needs repeating: You cannot have it both ways.

            The fact that the media have not exploited this blatent inconsistency and self inflicted wound suggest that the original story could well have been ridden out without doing so much self inflicted damage.

            People at every level down to the average voter need to be given confidence that everyone has equal protection under an evidence based due process set of rules which are applied objectively and consistently.

            By signalling very clearly that is not the case has done, and will do, far more damage then a smear which may well have originated from a small unrepresentative group or individuals with their own possible agendas.

          • At least you didn’t mention a tin this time. Time to give it a rest. You’ve made your point on multiple occassions. Why keep on about it – unless you want to keep working the divide and conquer tactic.

    • “I haven’t woken up to the ‘woke’ issue – I don’t have a view of it because I do not think that most people ( 99.9% ) have a clue about this so called controversy”
      – Ditto… On top of which I don’t care to find out about it for the next 7 days of this GE…
      Isn’t it odd that only the SNP get ensnared in “crises” when it come to elections….

    • Whilst acknowledging where you are coming from here the more fundamental question which need to be posed generally is:

      – Do we support the values on the label wrapped around the tin?

      And those values would include (acceptance of and dealing with) rational evidence based facts, however uncomfortable.

    • If I was in his constituency I would still vote for him as is my right in a free society and in a secret vote BUT I also support the decision to remove him as an official SNP candidate. If he had retained SNP backing then each and every SNP candidate would have their candidacy put at risk. The MSM would have declared open season on all of them. You just have to look at how they have gone after Jeremy Corbyn on the issue.

      The fetid and fevered atmosphere around this issue over the last few months and most particularly during a GE is neither the time nor place to have such a debate but that time will come possibly sooner rather than later.

      As to the member of the Misconduct committee that will here his case, she acted unprofessionally. If you are a member of such a committee you do not make any comment whatsoever on a case that may come before you. I would have thought that that would have been written into the Code of Conduct for members of such a committee. If it is not it should be pdq.

      • Worse still Denise Findlay, who sits on the Conduct Committee, was caught out having previously tweeted anti-Semitic comments too on a number of occasions.

        • Criticising the state of Israel’s foreign policy is not antisemitism in the same way that criticising the UK’s foreign policy is not anti-Britishness or criticising USA’s foreign policy is not anti-Americanism.

          Can we please stop calling “antisemitism” to what is not?

          • It’s interesting that relevant and salient questions are raised about a Woman’s group and the fact they have a Tory Politician speaking up for them but when the same questions are raised in relation to other groups and potential infiltration the mob mentality comes out and the messengers are attacked.

            For the benefit of Legerwood: that argument only has any validity if it is applied consistently.

            The fact that Smith and McDonald are still in place and have not been suspended for similar past statements, whilst at least tentatively sticking to the kind of due process one would expect as a matter of course in a civilized society which Hanvey and Findley did not receive, would lead to the same outcome you describe.

            You cannot have it both ways.

            Moreover, the fact that both yourself and Petra amongst others clearly accept that an accusation alone – based on subjective self defined opinion rather than objective evidence – is sufficient to meter out punishment (but not in the similar case of Smith and McDonald) without proper due process or the caveat of prefacing with the word “alleged” puts you in interesting company.

            As seen here at Conservative Home:

            https://archive.is/I0SrI

            in this little observation which also fails the due process values test in failing to use the preface “alleged” in relation to be AS smear:

            “As for Independents, it is not impossible that a Nationalist candidate who was suspended from the SNP after close of nominations over anti-Semitism could win anyway, because the broader nationalist movement has refused to stop campaigning for him and donating to him.”

            You see how this smear tactic works? Not very nice to be on the receiving end of it is it?

          • You mention in another post about playing the ball not the man. How do your comments referring to posters as “mob mentality” rate on this standard? If you want to imply you have higher standards than others please do as you say.

            You make a number of valid points in your arguments/posts but two things annoy me – a link to Conservative home ( not welcome and not necessary even if it is archived) and your continual references to tins.

            No political party is perfect and in addition there is no doubt that the SNP will have been infiltrated by the British state and others with their own agenda.

            Divide and rule is the go to approach of the British state. No need to add fuel to the flames particularly before an extremely important election.

          • Again, this was clearly signposted as an exercise to demonstrate how this process and approach operates.

            The clue being in the final sentence:

            “You see how this smear tactic works? Not very nice to be on the receiving end of it is it?”

      • Whatever the merits of Hanvey’s suspension, the manner of that suspension or the fallout, he accepted the “error of judgement” graciously, but it can be no coincidence it so offended someone they waited two years until a GE to raise the issue, or someone went digging looking for dirt?
        Israeli propaganda has successfully implanted the notion for many years that any criticism of the State of Israel equates to antisemitism.
        The Tories it would appear have no antisemitic members in their ranks despite the statistical improbability, yet freely deploy the accusation against opposition…
        UK politics smells more than a little ripe of late…

    • It is well worth reading Neale Hanvey’s statement, the essential “breaches” were an image he was unaware was an antisemitic trope contained in an article he copied on, and reference to “direct contravention of the IHRA definition of antisemitism”, OVER TWO YEARS AGO.
      SNP played safe in suspension before the media wolf-pack descended, but did themselves no favours in perceptions of fairness, presumably the intended dilemma of those who dredged it up, a lose/lose situation. Hanvey to his credit went along with it for party unity as now is not the time to hand the media distractions to the real issues in an increasingly dirty GE.

      After this GE the UK needs to have a serious discussion on what antisemitism means to them. Whether it be the Israeli propaganda machine or Tory HQ (Cummings) deploying it as a political weapon for their own ends, this nonsense has to stop. It does nothing to fight actual antisemitism, islamaphobia, racism, etc., when you abuse it.

      The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition reads :
      “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
      So where is the point at which Jews or Jewish aspects separate from those of the State ?

      My own experiences of the IDF and other organs of the Israeli State going into the West Bank and Gaza were with rare exception a disgrace, I have a list of hostile stupidities endured as long as my arm. Is Gaza a prison camp? Yes, but with a beach.
      Was I antisemitic before those experiences ? No. Am I antisemitic now? No. Do I consider the abuses of power meted out by the State of Israel to be shielded by the IHRA definition of antisemitism ? HELL NO.

      Clearly those behind this stitch-up prefer SNP to not take Lesley Laird’s seat, if Hanvey wins it as an Independent, I for one will have a BIG smile on my face…

  20. Watching FMs questions I have to say that I am heartily sick of these British parties. They should not be in a Scottish Parliament. Punting SNP baaad to facilitate Scotland being governed by another country.

    Not once do the Britnat parties ever ask why it is right that Westminster keeps a majority of Scotlands revenues and spends it on England’s/Westminster’s priorities. What they do is complain about services and not enough money being spent on this and that. More money would be spent on services if we held on to all of our money rather than it being stolen by Westminster.

    We don’t just need to escape Brexit we need to escape the Westminster thieves and their minions in the media and British political parties.

    Vote SNP and then vote YES.

  21. Had to be reinforced,Paul, well done.
    I’d venture that a blogger in another place has been listening to Alex Salmond overly much, possibly since his fifteen minutes of RT fame.
    No one in their right mind would demand that NS ‘resign’ at this crucial time on the Road to Self Determination.
    She has been an outstanding stick out over recent years, months, and now weeks, a fact confirmed by even Far Right English Blahs.
    Perhaps this person is not in their ‘right mind’ when they demanded her head?
    .
    As for the GRA storm in a twitter cup? It is clear that Black Ops have infiltrated the Independence movement and set up a stooshie arguing both sides to create havoc and cause schisms.
    I have studiously ignored this nonsense, and thankfully so have most of us.

    When a blogger considers himself more important than the Independence Movement, then, well, erm….

    Meanwhile Andrew Neil had a love in with Jaw Swansong last night.
    Rumours that the LD are in talks with the Blue Tories must be true then.
    Vote SNP is the cry throughout the hillsides.

    • Jack are you saying that you think that Alex Salmond has something to do with a certain blogger’s current actions? That’s what that twit would like everyone to think, as per him showing he and Alex together on one of his “new party” articles. and it’s convenient for him to do so whilst Nicola and Alex can’t communicate with each other. Aren’t seen to be the best of friends together. Alex Salmond would never give someone, especially him, the heads up to bring Nicola Sturgeon down and in the process damage the Independence movement. He, Alex, will also be getting his eyes opened now to that charlatans behaviour and will be disgusted. I’m sure he, the twit, has been in talks with “someone” regarding his current agenda but that ain’t Alex.

  22. A couple of wee stories I wrote about your First Minister, Scotland. Enjoy!

    49. (of 60.)

    Give us this day …

    We cast our eyes over some highly-competitive bread products in our local supermarket, so that you will be able to make an informed choice about which one to buy. We will be awarding our own samples a grading of stars, up to a maximum of five – just like the Michelin Guides. Write in and tell us which one you will vote for.

    The Editor, Scottish Bakers Today magazine.

    1. The Farage loaf

    First up is the Farage loaf. This loaf is a particularly white complexion. It contains no foreign ingredients and is made in part from the best BXP flour. The consistency of the texture makes it appear stodgy. Around the edges it may appear a little crusty, whilst the main part of the loaf is decidedly flaky. The taste is rather insipid, and we are tempted to say that the Farage loaf will not be to the taste of the majority of Scottish consumers. Being a purely white loaf of course means that not only is it bland in appearance but that it has no redeeming outside features which could add taste and flavour. If left out in the open, the Farage loaf tends to get mouldy and rotten very quickly, and in maintaining the traditional outlook in avoiding preservatives, it consequently will not keep for any long period of time.

    Some of our tasters had to be led away with severe stomach cramps and vomiting after partaking of the Farage loaf. Treatment at nearby Neil’s General Hospital was in order and upon recovery, our tasters have informed us that they will never touch a Farage loaf again. Those of you who still feel confident in acquiring one of these loaves should be aware that a Farage loaf is best suited to be stored rigidly vertical in the bread bin as this confers upon it the power and prestige it desperately craves, but in reality is only a self-publicist. If left out in the open for long periods of time, it has a tendency to become mouldy very quickly.

    Scottish Bakers Today magazine opinion: 1 star. (We’re being generous).

    *****

    2. The Westminster bun

    Secondly, we present to you the Westminster bun. This is in effect half brown and half white. Its top is wholemeal, whilst its base is a standard white. The effort has been made to present the bun as “the best of both worlds” in that the wholemeal half and the white half complement and supplement each other.

    However, the overall effect is one of a complete lack of harmony: the two colours clash with each other on immediate perusal. The bread roll is in fact neither fish nor fowl – half-baked, one is tempted to say. The wholemeal half may be pleasing to one faction and the white half enjoyed by another, but in essence, the composite does not work.

    And it’s not just the aesthetic qualities of this hybrid bread bun that jar; the taste does not succeed either. For devotees of white bread, the wholemeal additional flavour takes away from the natural enjoyment they would have had from a bun that was wholly white. In the same way, those who were persuaded that wholemeal bread was better or more enjoyable now have to suffer the indignity of sharing their favourite taste with the “opposing” white flavour. Thus, the sum of its parts does not make for a harmonious whole.

    Again, therefore, we suggest to the populace of Scotland that this should not be their bread of choice.

    Scottish Bakers Today magazine opinion: 2 stars.

    *****

    3. The Sturgeon loaf

    Our final selection was the Sturgeon loaf. This loaf immediately has great merit in that all its ingredients have be sourced from Scotland. They are thus of the highest quality and commend themselves to us as natural supporters of Scottish bakers. Being the in-house journal of the profession, we at Scottish Bakers Today we have no compunction in saying that this is bread of choice for Scottish households. It has a crisp yet firm texture and can be enjoyed either on its own or as a complement to such items as Essennpee cheese or in the making of sandwiches. Indeed, its versatility is probably unique in that the Sturgeon loaf will find its place in many recipe books, supplementing home Scottish cooking at its best. What better way to mop up your whisky sauce after an enjoyable haggis and a successful Burns Night that with a wedge of best Sturgeon bread?

    Unlike most breads, the Sturgeon loaf will not crumble under pressure and can be enjoyed by all the family.

    A winner in so many ways, we cannot praise this bread highly enough. As the saying goes, what you see is what you get with the Sturgeon loaf, and, if we may be so bold as to suggest, you will need no other bread for your family once you have chosen it. It will truly be your “staff of life”, your guiding principle and almost become part of your own family.

    Scottish Bakers Today magazine opinion: 5 stars/
    _______

    Parables for the New Politics
    2012-2019

  23. There is only one pertinent question on any issue: “Does it do what it says on the tin?”

    Because when it comes to values you either stick to those values or you don’t.

    People are hung out to dry and publically denounced, vilified and ostracised for not just expressing an opinion but for highlighting irrefutable facts and realities whilst actual behaviour involving actions in breach of rules and laws are deliberately ignored. This is endemic across the Party political spectrum – with Boris Johnson’s consistent estrangement from the truth being merely one aspect of this bullshit post-modernist approach.

    The facts are clear for anyone to accept or ignore:

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/uk-news/18074754.sturgeon-urges-snp-members-not-campaign-axed-candidate/

    It is extraordinary that an action which is likely to cost a Party fighting for its Nations Independence at least one, if not more, seats in a vital GE is conveniently ignored whilst any messagers which merely draws FURTHER attention to that fact and the actions surrounding it receives vitriol for doing so.

    Publicy encouraging a situation likely to lead to the loss of a seat should not be acceptable from anyone. The convenient silence on this whilst denouncing any critique of such a film and it’s causes does the cause of Independence no favours in terms of winning ordinary voters who recognise bullshit, hypocrisy and double standards when they are so starkly presented.

    I would suggest any reasonable and rational fact based approach would recognise and accept the evidence presented of infiltration by those with an agenda not congruent with the espoused (label on the tin) values they claim to hold dear rather than project that back onto those messengers with the personal integrity to stick by those values in calling out the dangerous nonsense which is taking place.

    It is also worth observing that the core issues in play here are not delineated along Party political lines but those of rational fact and evidence based approach or the Humpty Dumpty approach of making words mean what one wants them to mean to suit.

    So I’ll the question again: Are you/we doing what it says on the tin or not?

  24. (This one is a little dated – but you may still enjoy it – nut not necessarily ALL the soups!)

    52. (of 60.)

    Soup of the day?

    We at Scottish Grocers Today magazine have been testing soups for you, our customers. We have awarded the different soups a star rating, up to a maximum of five – just like the Michelin Guides. Write in or tell us which one you think is the best soup and if you agree with our tasters’ verdicts.

    The Editor, Scottish Grocers Today magazine.

    1. Sturgeon broth

    A meaty and hearty soup, the Sturgeon broth warms and comforts the whole body. It is nourishing soul food and is therefore welcome all over Scotland – especially when the climate is cold and harsh. Full of good, nourishing taste, it is a broth proven to keen undesirable Labconlib bugs at bay. Having no artificial additives or preservatives, the Sturgeon soup is guaranteed 100% Scottish. All in all, a very satisfying soup, it comes highly recommended.

    (5 stars)

    *****

    2. Murphy soup

    The Murphy soup is a soup which leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth. As it is often served very hot, its heat and fieriness causes distress and harm to those who drink this soup. An attempt to add egg to the ingredients of the Murphy soup has backfired spectacularly on its manufacturers. The current texture will remind you of elements of Irn-Bru, with additional hints of snake oil. We strongly suggest that the Murphy soup is one best avoided.

    (0 stars)

    *****

    3. Dugdale soup

    A thin, watery, weak and still rather youthful soup. Decidedly, the Dugdale soup is not to everyone’s taste; indeed many of our tasters found it to be insipid. A soup which is served lukewarm.

    (2 stars – We’re feeling generous on account of the youthfulness of this soup.)

    *****

    4. Darling chowder

    A cold liquid. The Darling chowder has rather a bland taste. Whereas (as previously noted) the Sturgeon broth can be considered to be an authentic 100% Scotch food, the Darling chowder can only aspire to anything approaching this, manufactured as it is in London. It only makes the grade in our survey here of Scottish soups due to its distinctive tartan packaging (© Messrs Kyle Yard (Productions) Ltd.). It has been suggested that the addition of some Union Salt® would improve the taste of this rather insipid chowder. However, we consider that not even this can save the Darling chowder from its uniform blandness. A chowder therefore we suggest which is unpalatable to most soup lovers. Not recommended.

    (0 stars)

    *****

    5. Baillie pottage

    A full-bodied soup, manufactured in Dumbarton and containing a lot of stock. The Baillie pottage will appeal only to those who appreciate a more mature type of soup. Keep away from children.

    (1 star)

    *****

    6. Curran soup

    The Curran soup has pretensions of being a classic soup. In reality, it is however, a rather bitter soup to the taste – a flavour which it transmits readily to other foodstuffs which have either been already consumed or those eaten with it. A previously unknown chemical reaction when the Curran soup is served with Lamont croutons was observed by our tasters, which rendered the whole highly toxic. It is strongly suggested therefore that should any of our consumers wish to partake of the Curran soup, they do so avoiding Lamont croutons – and even then at their own risk. Previous experience had informed us that the Curran soup and Lamont croutons complemented and supplemented each other – but subsequent trials and tastings have demonstrated that this research was erroneous. That being the case, we strongly advise our consumers not to sample the Curran soup.

    (0 stars)

    And that completes our survey of the soups, chowders and pottages currently on the market. We will let you decide which one you will choose, and which one you consider will have the best effect on you and your family for the foreseeable future.
    _____

    Parables for the New Politics 
    2012-2019

  25. Finally, a wee prayer for you:

    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.
    Amen.
    _________

    [With acknowledgements]

    • Thanks for the stories and prayer WS. Brilliant stuff. I don’t know what you do but whatever it is I reckon that you’ve missed your vocation. Then again maybe you’re a journalist or author?

      Anyway I don’t want the soups or buns on your menu. Someone told me that the Johnston soup with Swinson bun is a good combination. Have you ever tried that?

      • the Johnston soup with Swinson bun is a good combination. Have you ever tried that?

        – I’d choke on that, Petra! (As would a good many here, too …)

        You’d lower me down to the rank of a journalist, eh? (Well, a MSM ‘journalist’, anyway. Those on the National are a bit more decent, I trow.)

        As for my occupation/profession, I invite you to click on my name here. (As it’s in brown it takes you to my profile. If it were in black, you couldn’t).

        But, I do give you your due. I also ‘dabble’ as an author – I’ve had published 60 of these pro-indy parables (link on Amazon.co.uk, which I’m not cheeky enough to give here, but you can find them under ‘PFTNP’) as well as 21 song/poem parodies – also for indy. (You may recall recently my ‘You’re not my Jo’ and ‘Scots Wha Hae – Reprise’, recently as examples of these).

        If you’d like more info – and maybe find an original stocking filler in my book, I suggest you get in touch with WGD and he will (with my permission) pass on my details to you.

        Best wishes as always,

        WS

        – Lawyer by training
        – Linguist by profession
        – Nationalist by conviction

        PS Anyone is welcome to use my works in anyway they think them useful to the indy and SNP cause. I won’t be offended )only less financially better off!) if you don’t.

        Tros Gymru / For Scotland.

        • PPS I should have updated the ‘Give us this day … ‘ story to include ‘the Leonard loaf’ (obviously not using my own …)

          Anyway, the Leonard loaf is toast. Crumbs!

          Nuff sed.

        • Aw naw. The Johnston soup and Swinson bun nae guid! I’ll just stick with the Sturgeon broth and loaf then. The healthy option.

          Journalist? I was thinking along the lines of a “Pilger” type. Sook, sook, lol.

          I’ve just clicked on your name WS and WoW what a CV! The level of education, experience and talent in relation to many Independence supporters never ceases to amaze me. How lucky are we to have people like you as a member of the team.

          • The feeling is mutual, Petra.

            I’m happy that the Scots ‘on our side’ have likewise embraced me.

            Like Popeye, I does what I can for the indy of both countries whose national Parties I belong too.

  26. Funny how the Tories are not forcing Johnson to step down as a candidate based on his large catalogue of racist, homophobic and generally offensive ( to Scots as well as others, single mothers, workers etc etc ) comments.

    Funny how the Britnat media pressurise other party leaders to suspend candidates for racist or offensive comments but just let the current prime minister get away with his long long list of comments that if said by any other candidate to be an MP would mean immediate disqualification by the party.

    If Johnson gets a majority the UK will go down the same route as the USA. under Trump.

  27. Kindness and compassion are only going to flourish in an independent Scotland. Such socialist leaning simply won’t be tolerated in the vision Raab, Patel, Johnson and Trump have for the UK.

    Every seat counts in getting there.

  28. So what has happened to Stu?
    1. He has done an Arthur Fowler with the WBB cash (down the Casino)? Is there anything left..
    2. Influenced by post interview chat with Alex?
    3. Still incredibly bitter and twisted after losing to Kezia, and SNP comments on the circumstances.
    4. Aaron Banks has advised on change of direction?
    5. He’s in love

    • 1. Maybe.
      2. Definitely not.
      3. His, let’s call it “strange U-turn” was apparent long before the Dugdale fiasco.
      4. Maybe, or more likely that “someone” has forced his change of direction (that’s number 6).
      5. People that are in love don’t normally exhibit bitter, vengeful, egotistical and petty behaviour.

        • Well we’ll never know ElGordo because he’s always been extremely secretive about his personal life, other than his gambling habit and his work experience. When you think about it thousands of people have been supporting this man and yet he’s never spent one day campaigning in Scotland in recent years, we know little about him and we’ve been donating £hundreds of thousands for God knows what. People complain about, say the lack of scrutiny re. Unionist donations / money and yet we’ve still to get a look at his books / see what he’s been doing with our money.

          And taking into account his tweets and articles if a WBB ever appears I actually despair of the contents. SNP Baad will feature strongly, IMO, and it’ll be used to promote his so-called political party. And I’ll just say this, it had better not as he’ll basically have been, let’s just call it conning people out of their money by making false promises based on WBB1.

          • Can we stop slagging off Wings Over Scotland please. I don’t agree with him. I am at a loss to understand what he’s playing at, but I don’t think poring over his motives is at all helpful. It’s just negative and navel gazing. Thank you.

          • Something I have admired in the Dug for a long time is this clear distinction between informed passionate enthusiasm, and the snare of ungenerous zealotry. And therein lies a crucial difference.

            I agree that speculating on Stu’s motives is negative, but at the same time his avowed determination to inflict real damage does need to be vigorously challenged and opposed.

  29. Looking in from the outside it seems that the Indy movement is falling into the trap which many do. All or nothing. Purity at all costs
    Y’all might wonder if the words of General Collins about the anglo-irish treaty of 1921 ring true “It gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire but the freedom to achieve it” People saying they wont vote for SNP because . Folks, after independence the SNP will split, into 2/3/4 parties. Job done, normal politics will resume.

    From what I can see there are 2 parties – SNP and Green – pro independence. If for whatever reason you vote else or abstain, then you run the risk of nothing.
    From an Irish perspective of course that is wonderful – the last thing we need is another english speaking educated friendly neutral nation horning in on our act 🙂
    So, I will watch with interest what transpires.
    (yeah, I know Mick Collins literally died in a ditch for his views. But he won the wars to get the state established)

  30. “Folks, after independence the SNP will split, into 2/3/4 parties. Job done, normal politics will resume.”

    That’s exactly as it should be, Brian, but what all truly dedicated independence folk absolutely don’t want is ‘normal politics’ resuming with the tired old unionist parties re-inventing themselves and resuming their tired old tricks. They would simply screw Scotland over just as they’ve been doing for generations, but I guess you understand that anyway.

  31. Scotland will be unique in only taking up the armed struggle post independence, to fight amongst ourselves.

    Maybe now is the time for each one of us to look in the mirror and honestly ask ourselves the question – who the fuck are you looking at 🙂

    Or we could always get Maureen to ask us the question.

  32. Neale hanvey suspended
    Week before GE
    Accusers are insiders
    Who’s the bad guy here
    There’s lots goin on from all angles
    Nothing is what it seems
    I’m a WGD fan
    I’m a Wings fan
    I’m a SNP fan
    I’m also a grown-up
    I can see what’s goin down here
    Eyes wide open ffs
    Vote SNP on Thursday
    If not, burn yer saltire

    • Spot on. Playing the ball rather than the man.

      What I would be really interested in (and I suspect I’m not alone) is why it is so many people are clamouring to jessison the values they claim to represent by defending the total absence of due process and evidence based approaches in favour of the mob – see post above in reply to Petra.

  33. No one person, candidate or otherwise is above the Indy Movement. If the SNP want to keep it pure is up to them. Their Party. There are far too many egos who do not want to stand in line and wait their turn. There are too many good candidates. Unlike other parties. The dregs. Scraping the bottom of the barrel for candidates,

    The joke Johnston will not be there very long. Any unionist politician who opposes Independence for Scotland does not last very long.

    Other sites delete and ban pro Indy folk. Not a good look. Why people who support Indy would constantly attack the SNP is a mystery. With all the opposition they have to deal. It is just self destructive. A nonsense.

    Let’s hope the SNP does not splinter as a Party and go back to the way it was before. Or what is the point of Independence. It is to make the world a better place. Why people who support Independence vote for unionist parties it is incomprehensible. They do not support it. A mystery.

  34. If the Irish Hone Rule/Independence Movement had waited a wee bit longer they could have voted through the Ballot Box, 1928. They can now vote for reunification. The demographics are changing.

    There was supposed to be a Home Rule Bill passed two week after the start of 1WW. It was delayed. Michael Collins was browbeaten to agree to Partition. Lloyd George. It led to all the troubles in Ireland. The Westminster unionists were the cause. The Orange Lodge. Instead of Home Rule/Independence supported . by the majority in Ireland.

    The 1WW caused by the British/European Royals, Victoria’s children/grandchildren. Cousins married cousins. Kaiser, Tsar fell out. it led to the death of millions and their demise. The ‘divide right to rule’.

    The British Royals only survived by granting concessions. Extending democracy and the vote, The Labour Party came about. There were no household requirement for the vote based on rateable values. 1928 Emancipation.

    • Ireland can wait eh.
      There have been four home rule bills by the time Ireland said enough.
      Honestly, if you’re going to quote Irish history then you should really Jen up on it.

      What happened in 1918 was actually quite simple. a very large but still minority group decided that they could no longer trust Westminster to deliver anything. We therefore pushed the envelope towards a maximal approach. Several years later and thousands dead ended up with something that should and could have been given decades earlier. This eventually morphed into full-fledged 100-percent no question independence as we have now.

      First Scotland you have to ask what do you want. Looking from the outside and having lived and worked in Scotland it seems to me that there is still an ambivilance at the heart

    • WW1 was caused by a powerful clique within the British establishment that had decided that Germany had to be destroyed as a commercial rival. Their diplomacy ran rings round the Germans – literally – the plan was to exploit French revanchism and Russian expansionist greed in order for them to do most of the dying whilst the Royal Navy cleared German commerce from the world.

      The plan went awry, however that’s another story.

      The “British/Europeans Royals” were largely bystanders, except for Kaiser Bill who desperately, to the point of breakdown, and contrary to the British propaganda myths, tried to stop the war!

      Off topic – sorry – however the topic of internal fallings out is profoundly depressing.

  35. With you all the way on this .
    SNP for me and Nicola Sturgeon has played many a blinder as has Joanna Cherry – ‘mon the ladies!

  36. You’ve seen the carnage the past five years has brought and only you can help put an end to it. We’re NOT living in a union of equals. We’re not a cherished partner helping to lead… anything. And don’t get me started on pooling and sharing.

    The public servant should be just that… A public servant. They should be considered a tool to carry out the will of the majority of the population. (‘Course when the tool determines to undermine that democracy in order to manipulate the majority, you have the tail wagging the dog.)

    You don’t like the SNP for whatever reason, whatever individual policy? Fine. No one is asking you to. It’s not about just them though. What we’re looking at in these circumstances is a far FAR bigger issue than party politics. You KNOW what the political class of Westminster stand for by this point. (hint) It’s not chummy partnerships.

    For this election, it may be holding your nose time if you haven’t voted for the current Scottish government before.

    Holyrood folks. It’s use it or lose it.

    Worth a thought.

  37. Well done Paul, just the kind of positive, supportive rant we need this week.

    I too trust Nicola and it always helps to step back and see her in the wider long term picture rather than analyse a phrase from a sentence taken out of context from an alleged statement made years ago in different circumstances.

    I don’t doubt oor Nicla has her heart in the inde cause and the puir lassie must dae a wheen of tongue biting to maintain her cool when so savagely attacked by unionists, the state broadcaster and British Unionist Media papers. She is a great asset and well respected on the international stage which will be a huge benefit when the time comes.

    We need to be critical where criticism is deserved but to remember the main objective is independence. Scots pounds or Euros and Charlie’s prospects as King of Scots are for Inde Scots to decide on their own after independence.

    Sadly the other well known inde blogger seems to have had a mental breakdown and is no longer able to print other than negativity relating to side issues.

    Look after yourself and I sincerely hope the positive prospects in your domestic life will provide respite and support because we’re going to need you more than ever.

  38. Just watched Politics live on the BBC for the first time for a long time. After a discussion about how the poor media and the BBC in particular are wrongly accused of bias Jo Coburn then goes on to demonstrate her hate of the SNP and Scottish independence in an appalling bullying interview with Kirsty Blackman, SNP. Coburn was almost spitting out her hatred along with bulging eyes. When Blackman tried to answer a question Coburn would interrupt after only a few words. Clearly she has been getting coaching from Andrew Neil.

    The BBC added to that by putting up below Blackman various propaganda statements e.g.

    “Scotlands budget deficit is currently 7% of GDP- this is seven times higher than the UK as a whole.”

    ” A qualification for entering the European Union is that a country’s budget deficit be lower than 3 %.”

    Two statements straight out the Britnat propaganda playbook. Both lies.
    But the uninformed will think oh we can’t afford to be independent and we won’t get into the EU.

    After the interview with Blackman she then turns to her guests of 3 Britnats and proceeds to slag off the SNP and Scotland. Just appalling bias. If they hate Scotland so much why do they want to keep us in the UK.

    The BBC is a disgrace.

    • “If they hate Scotland so much why do they want to keep us in the UK”
      You’ve got it wrong, it is not hate but desperation on the part of the State for their survival in maintaining the status quo, as conveyed by their direct media outlet…
      Where would BBCS’s power be in an independent Scotland when their bias and dishonesty was challenged by the people and government of the day?
      Where would be staff career opportunities lie if separated from the London hub?
      It is not journalism but defending vested interests…

      I certainly would not be paying their licence fee to be fed drivel such as this, but I don’t have to.

      • Hey Bob if you are criticising me for watching a BBC programme funny how I haven’t seen you criticising WGD for doing the same. Bob if you live alone then you have complete discretion as to whether to pay the TV tax. Not everyone lives alone and not everyone can dictate to others in their household.

        So get off your high horse.

        PS I don’t see there being a BBC in an independent Scotland (the clue is in the name) so I think you got that wrong.

        • Not criticising you or anyone else at all Cubby, keeping an eye on the the Beeb’s output allows it’s bias to be exposed much as Indyref Two does on YouTube, and feeds into discussion in forums and beyond.
          I no longer live in the UK, hence the comment “I don’t have to”, and am a bit old for a horse of any height 😉

          The point I clumsily tried to make was that the fate of BBCS and it’s staff is now inextricably bound to that of the London establishment. Both are desperate to denigrate independence even with the blatant repetition of lies long since debunked, as you highlighted.
          They are now fighting for their survival.

          • Fair enough Bob. A misunderstanding. Apologises. I thought you were one of these people denouncing everyone who watches TV in Scotland. The truth is that if I lived alone I would have stopped paying the TV tax a long time ago.

            There is no doubt that more and more people in Scotland are seeing the media in Scotland for what is – propaganda – even long standing supporters of and believers in the BBC’s famed but fictitious neutrality are having their eyes opened.

          • No worries.
            Heartening that folks are increasingly aware of media bias, it has an interesting effect if relentlessly exposed. Realising you are being fed bullshit by those you would previously trust flips the message, the beneficiary in this case SNP/Indy…

  39. Wings over Scotland is Run by a Campbell !
    Playing with good Scottish peoples money and now getting donations from the other side as well ! He can GTF with his narcissism personal agendas ,a self centred dick is what he has become !
    Thanks for keeping it real Paul ! And FFS let’s ALL keep it real and get our goal done and dusted and then worry about the little pernickety details of The SNP the vassal of independence!
    We can easily sort them out after we have sorted Westminster OUT

  40. Sick of hearing these so called independence supporters finding reason after reason not to vote SNP. Do you want independence or do you want Scotland to be destroyed by a Johnson government? That is your clear choice.

  41. Where is Lesley Laird hiding?
    Why is Labour’s Election Broadcast billed as ‘Scottish Labour’?
    There is no such thing, so in the first second they post a lie, and then carry on waffling for 3or 4 minutes on some vague notion about introducing real change, but we’ll have to trust them on the detail.

    They feature tired grey faces, urban and industrial landscapes in ruins, and blame the past 40 years of Brit Nat destruction on Tory austerity and the Bad SNP’s complacent acceptance.

    1997-2010 didn’t happen.

    Labour run Glasgow over the past 50 years didn’t happen.

    4 Labour PFI schools in Ayrshire which cost £80 million to build under Labour will pay £290 million to the Money Men, Gordon Brown’s employers, into the 2030’s money on which no tax is being paid, money siphoned off into offshore accounts, while pupils do without, 320,000 children in poverty in Scotland at the last count.
    Richard Leonard was front and centre.

    Richard Leonard is not standing as a candidate in this UK GE.

    He is the leader of the Branch Office of the London registered UK Labour Party.

    He is a Jobs For The Boys List MSP, shooed into Holyrood on the back of GMB Shop Stewards’ endorsement.

    He has no authority to represent the English Labour Party, nor can he promise anything to any of us in a UK GE. He is a nobody in WM.

    I repeat, why are they keeping Laird, Shadow SoS out of sight?
    Similarly, where are Alister Jack, and Jo Swinson?

    Like Johnson, are they cowards, who refuse to face the Scottish electorate, whom they have the unbelievable arrogance to think that we are sheep, that we are going to vote for them, ‘sight unseen’?

    Next week, the BBC hope to repeat the STV Debate farce, with the Hon Sarah Smith, who is steeped in Unionist Labour tradition, ‘chairing’, and we will be offered three Brit Nat MSPs, plus either NS, who actually leads a real party, the SNP, and has candidates standing for WM, or hopefully one of the SNP candidates will appear, and Smith will make sure that it is a get the Bad SNP shouting match, with the viewers subjected to a pile of Brit Nat horse manure barracking and shouting down the Independence voice in four part harmony.
    Leonard Rennie and Carlaw are not standing, nor are there ‘Scottish’ Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative parties.
    It is a lie to suggest otherwise, as BBC Jockland Ministry of Truth is about to suggest.

    They are selling us knocked off fakes.
    ‘Scottish’ Labour is an embarrassment.

    Next Friday Leonard will have gone, and Sarwar will enter through the revolving door and wave a bloodstained babygro aloft, and begin the 2021 SGE campaign, which, given a fair wind, won’t happen since we shall be Independent by then.

  42. Paul, can you explain in simple terms to likes of myself, who are somewhat at a loss here, why Hanvey & Findlay have been suspended (?) while the likes of Alyn Smith have not?

    To me, there is no difference in what any of them have stated.

    Also, why now? It is not as if either Hanvey or Findlay suddenly spouted forth this week. Or am I missing something?

    • The difference is – the sophistry of certain individuals notwithstanding – that Alyn Smith didn’t make a direct comparison of Israel to the Nazis.

      The reason it has happened now is because we’re in the middle of a General Election campaign. Every party will have teams of activists trawling through social media accounts searching for dirt. Despite what certain individuals might claim, there is absolutely no evidence that the accusations against Hanvey originated from within the SNP.

      • Unfortunately the available evidence over several years clearly indicates that the dynamics of this process do not operate on the basis of such direct/indirect nuance.

        The reason being that, as has been previously pointed out elsewhere, what is driving this is an approach which will not ever take YES for an answer. No amount of apology is ever going to satisfy or satiate those sub groups of any community who kick the arse out of anything and everything to be detriment of everyone else. Such people – individually or collectively – will just keep on coming for more until there is nothing left to take.

        It is naive to think that the social media accounts of selected candidates or sitting representatives are the only ones which are trawled through in these instances.

        Right now there WILL be some SNP members in places like Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath doing their best to win those seats on Thursday for what they see as the SNP by doing what is normally done to win a seat which is a actively campaigning to win it, despite the official request not to; despite the official dropping of the candidates.

        Now those two former official SNP candidates may or may not be elected as a result of such “unofficially” sanctioned activist campaigning and it will be interesting to see what happens if they do win?

        However, the key point is, like it or not or accept it or not, the reality is that there is every likelihood of at least some of those local members being on the receiving end of the same and similar treatment. Being smeared and abused publicly as AS across social media or possibly beyond. Maybe even being threatened or having their names and addresses published etc.

        Because that’s how this process operates. That is the can of worms, the Pandora’s box which has been opened to which the SNP, following in the footsteps of the past and current experiences in the LP, have allowed themselves – and their grassroots activists and voters – to be sucked into.

        Even without any campaigning you can guarantee that if one or both of the now former SNP candidates win in those two seats serious attempts will be made to smear the entire SNP membership and Independence movement as AS simply on the basis that they were voted in.

        Any SNP members or mere voters who do find themselves in such a position will have every right to expect the support of fellow citizens and supporters of Scottish Independence – including prominent ones – rather than being thrown under a bus in the vain and naive forlone hope of ever satisfying a vocal and powerful group.

        • To repeat the point made earlier, being diverted and distracted relentlessly by this or GR in the middle of a GE is precisely what the perpetrators intended, divide and conquer. Friday the 13th is early enough to discuss such matters…

          Personally I hope Labour and SNP etc very publicly slam abuse of the IHRA antisemitic definition as originally intended. It’s random deployment as a political weapon by the Tories must be roundly condemned, it has gone on far too long.
          Were a Jew to pronounce as Hanvey did (many have and I met a few who went much further), are they antisemitic jews?

          • Of course it what what was intended and it got traction because, as has been pointed out in different ways, the ammunition they supplied was picked up and used in a self inflicted way when plenty of vidence exists that approach is little different from asking someone when they stopped beating and abusing their partner.

            If that ammunition had not been picked up and used to shoot one’s own foot off the situation would not be what it is now. As it is, perusing the latest post on this site, demonstrates exactly how this process works and operates as described in the previous post.

            Welcome to the Malice in Blundeland world of the mob. What Paul has described in his latest gem has been happening down here South of Hadrian’s to the LP for the past several years.

            In terms of the final question posed the evidence clearly indicates many from hat community who do not toe that particular line do face the AS accusation and worse – being labelled ‘self hating’ members of that community.

            Regards.

    • Och, Ian Hart, see my post above.
      Leonard Carlaw and Rebnnie are not standing for the WM Parliament.
      Why are they being given untrammelled access to our Dead Tree Scrolls and TV stations?
      Where the fuck are Laird, Jack, and Swinson?
      Why is the Hon Susan Smith not holding them to account?
      Because it is transparent that they would be exposed as the dim charlatans they surely are.
      And BBCF Scotland can’t have that, can they. Truth, reasoned political discourse, and fairness.
      The 1,600,000 who voted Yes, weren’t a ‘cult’. Nicoala Surgeon does not walk on water, but imagine Carlaw Rennie, or, oh my precious Lord, Willie Rennie, as FM?
      It is unthinkable.
      James Kelly in charge of Finance. Annie wells as Health secretary?
      Oh, god give me peace.
      It would be madness.

      Now every sane person, whether they vote Tory labour or Lib Dem knows this.
      Yet the Hon Sarah Smith will play out this pantomime farce next week.
      The sooner BBC packs up and leaves our country the better.

  43. ‘S e mo bheachd nach do leugh mi rud cho deas-fhaclach agus misneachail bho chionn fhada… mo bheannachd ort, a Chù Bhig Dheirg 🙂

  44. And here we have my daughter’s other half, lived, worked, contributed, bought two houses in Scotland, unable to vote because he is not ‘British’. Such is the hypocrisy. Not Scotland’s fault by any means.

  45. An excellent blog today. Sitting inForth Valley Hospital, intensive care, believe me I know the value of our NHS. My other half came here on Thursday and I couldn’t begin to describe the attention he’s had. The thought of losing this is appalling. As for our First Minister, whas like her, another treasure. Depend on you to keep us up to date on the goings on

  46. Pingback: I support Nicola Sturgeon – Ewen's Blog

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