Ducks in a row

When the SNP’s Mike Russell announced recently that he was stepping down from Holyrood as he’s approaching retirement age, he remarked that Scotland is closer now to independence than it has ever been. Despite the hand-wringing in certain quarters about a perceived lack of progress in challenging Boris Johnson’s blanket refusal to countenance another independence referendum, Mike was right. Amidst all the gloom and despair about Tory rule, about Brexit, about the coronavirus, about a certain looming trial, Scotland is indeed closer to independence than it has ever been. The independence movement is in a far stronger position than it has ever been, and the institutions of the British state in Scotland are weaker and more discredited than they have ever been. We live in a country which is heading for independence.

The most important reason why Scotland is closer to independence than it has ever been is a reason that many within the independence movement take for granted, without truly appreciating just how significant it is. That reason is that the idea of independence is not merely a mainstream political idea in Scotland, it is the single most important question in Scottish politics around which all other political discussion revolves. That is a remarkable and unprecedented shift in Scottish political discourse.

There has previously never been, at any point in the history of Scotland since the introduction of the democratic franchise, a time when independence was an idea that was taken seriously by the mainstream of Scottish politics. Even during the 1970s when the SNP enjoyed its first significant surge in support, independence remained a concept supported by a minority, and the anti-independence parties had little difficulty in ensuring that it remained marginalised and sidelined. They can’t do that nowadays. The independence genie is out of the bottle. You can no longer discuss Scottish politics without discussing independence.

It was not so long ago that the British nationalist parties in Scotland could ignore the question of independence. They simply didn’t have to engage with it, and were likewise insulated from having to confront the nature of British nationalism and the British state. Britishness was taken for granted, it was the water in which Scottish politics swam. The rise of pro-independence critiques of Britishness, and above all Brexit, mean that the question of British nationalism can no longer be avoided. That in turn means that those opposed to independence can no longer convincingly claim that the independence debate is a debate between nationalists who want independence and non-nationalists who oppose it. No one who insists that Scotland must submit to Brexit and to the English nationalism of Conservative rule can realistically claim that they are espousing a non-nationalist position. At least not without an unhealthy dose of self-delusion which is evident to everyone else. Brexit means that the traditional defence of Britishness in Scotland, that it is a necessary defence and bulwark against the evils of a reactionary parochial nationalism, has been destroyed by a reactionary and parochial British nationalism itself.

It was of course the first independence referendum campaign of 2014 which more than anything normalised the idea of independence in Scotland. In retrospect we will see the great acheivement of that campaign as bringing the idea of independence out of the cold and establishing it as a serious prospect for Scotland which merited serious consideration. That independence referendum campaign also signalled another important shift in Scottish opinion. 2014 spelled the end of a Scottish public which was resigned to being taken for granted by Westminster. It taught us that the hopelessness which reigned in Scotland in the face of Thatcher’s rule was not inevitable, that Scotland could strike out on a different path. Scottish politics is now defined by the knowledge that an alternative path is not only possible, but it is realistic and feasible.

We’re closer to independence than we have ever been because the British government stands exposed as a bunch of incompetent charlatans, racists, and liars. Today we had the Governor General Alister Jack opine the racist trope that people only move to the UK in order to take advantage of the NHS and the benefits system. Because living on Universal Credit is such an attractive prospect. Meanwhile he’s also told us that a “bridge” between Scotland and Ireland is merely a “euphemism” for a tunnel between the two countries, in the process proving he doesn’t know what a euphemism is. And there was me thinking it was a euphemism for Boris Johnson’s distraction techniques. A euphemism is when you call the way in which the Conservatives have ignored the results of Scottish elections and treated Scotland with contempt throughout the Brexit process a “union”.

The tunnel would have to go under water over 200-300 metres (700 to 1000 feet) deep – by way of comparison the English Channel is an average of 45 metres (148 feet) deep between Dover and Calais. Not only that but the waters are full of conventional munitions, chemical warheads, and radioactive waste dumped there by successive British administrations. At a depth of 1000 feet, water exerts a pressure of around 27 tons per square foot, meaning that the walls of any tunnel would have to be even thicker than Alister Jack’s skull.

Meanwhile we have Priti Patel facing yet more calls for her resignation after even more allegations that she had bullied staff have come to light. There’s no smirk without fire, after all. Still, if she does have to resign because of bullying it will at least be an improvement on the last time, when she was sacked for treason.

In Boris Johnson we have a part time Prime Minister who gets up in the morning and lies, has breakfast and lies some more, then has lunch and puts in another shift of lying in the afternoon. There was a time, well within living memory, when a majority of people in Scotland had a grudging respect for the institutions of the British state. There was an acceptance that “they” knew what they were doing, even if they were greedy and self-serving. Those days are gone. It’s one thing for a British government to be unaccountable to the people of Scotland when it’s competent in its callous indifference. It’s quite another when it’s incompetent and shambolic. The change in perception of the British state amongst the people of Scotland is a huge shift in public opinion, and one which only strengthens arguments for an independent Scotland in which the political class can be held to account.

The biggest reason of all that we are closer to independence than we have ever been is that it is no longer surprising when an opinion poll shows that there’s majority support for independence. All the way through the independence referendum campaign of 2014 there was only one single poll which showed a very narrow majority for independence. Now they come along regularly. The more that support for independence builds, the more that we can be certain of majority support in Scotland for an alternative approach to a referendum should Boris Johnson continue in his refusal to cooperate with a Section 30 order. It would be a waste of time if we were to embark upon a path to independence which didn’t enjoy majority support. It would end in failure. If we seek an effective democratic strike against British rule in Scotland, we have to ensure that there’s a firm and secure platform from which to launch it. Majority support for independence in the polls provides it.

The independence ducks are lining up in a row. We’re closer now to achieving the dream of a Scotland that defines itself, determines it own way, and which is responsive to the needs of the Scottish people than ever before. That’s a reason to be cheerful.

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53 thoughts on “Ducks in a row

  1. You are on fire today. Wow.

    Now that the concept of Scotland becoming Independent is front / centre stage and normal, the other side of the coin might be the positive concept of England becoming ‘unburdened’ of us.

    Obtain both those things – and Brexit seems to be pulling it in that direction – and there are no legs left on the union chair any more.

  2. Your best in a wee while Paul…had to laugh at Johnson;s lying habits. Just caught a snatch of Johnson’s interview with national treasures Schofield and Willoughby.

    In between rigorous and searingly penetrating questions from Willoughby as to whether he would “change nappies or not”, you could sense he was close to filling his own nappy as to whether or not he was going to be asked how many sprogs he had sired.

    Thankfully Schofield reverted back to type and threw him a series of lame queries that he managed to fnaugh fnaugh his way through.

    Cringeworthy stuff but riveting in its own banal way.

  3. “as thick as Alistair Jack’s skull,” I laughed all the way to the border and back! So good. I wonder though, after reading through your brilliant blog here and the vivid and true state you describe that we are now in; how bad does it really have to get before that majority you talk about becomes a glaring reality? Can it get much worse?I don’t think I for one can take much more! Maybe this covid19 crisis will help with the numbers needed and I say that as one of the “vulnerable”!

  4. Unionist politics is a sham. The tories think what works for Henley on the Thames should be popular here. They are the voice of Tory England in Scotland. The lib dems are a bunch of wee fannies who think the scraps from the UKs table is good enough for them. Labour in Scotland are in it because its a nice wee earner.

    I keep coming back to how incredibly angry it makes me, to see this display of mediocrity, daring to say it represents Scotland. I don’t have a Scottish cringe. But I have a unionist cringe. A British cringe if you will.

    I cannot accept that it is Scotland’s lot in life to be shat on by the tories and shoveled by labour.

    Independence can’t come soon enough.

  5. Yes pressure at the depth you cite on a tunnel’s wall is a problem, so too the weaponry dumps in the vicinity.

    Maybe a floating tunnel is being considered as a compromise to the floating pontoons of the bridge proposal? Start with structures fixed to the shallow water seabed and then through auto sliding doors – to keep out the rain, vehicles swoop down into the floating tunnel well away from dumped weaponry, safe from the weather and pop out the other end onto the landside structures.

    Tidal movement on the floating tunnel? I’ll have to think about that one.

    Oh, and just as I will not ever fly in a battery powered plane, I wouldn’t use the “tunnel”.

  6. Awsome yet again Paul, you truly are inspirational for us.My soul is uplifted everytime I read your blogg and hope fills the room. I maust say” there’s no smirk without fire” genius.

    The British state is in the endtimes and Jack is no horseman of the apocalipse, more like a donkey ,standing alone in an empty field, singing god save the queen…

  7. With every excruciatingly dumb comment from Alister Jack , which pushes more people towards independence , I get the feeling that he is about to blow his cover as a deep cover agent for the Scottish independence cause .
    Rein it in a bit Alister or those dummies in Westminster will twig that you are a plant !

  8. Great article. Positive and forward thinking. What a dirge with the blog of whiners wanting Nicola Sturgeon to go, the SNP to be replaced by some unknown , untried party and mysterious shadowy candidates. Surely they can’t all be Tory and disgruntled labourites ? I hope that those independent minded souls think long and hard as to the only way forward to independence. No one can be happy of where we are in the uk Brexit mess but circumstance has dictated the tactics. Our goal must be independence but some wish us to play our hand now…. and to lose. I am almost proud I was banned by the Rev for supporting the Snp and independence. Actually truth is I don’t give a monkies. Independence first and foremost.

    • Without the changes in Scottish society that I wrote about, we still wouldn’t be anywhere close to independence even if Nicola did leave the stage. A successful campaign for independence rests upon changes within Scottish society, not a fixation upon who is leading the SNP.

      • “It would be a waste of time if we were to embark upon a path to independence which didn’t enjoy majority support. It would end in failure.”


        And that, ironically and objectively, is the nub of the argument being made on other Independence forums – that such a majority is under threat for factual realities which have been succinctly and rationally laid out in line with Scottish Enlightenment traditions.

        The Biblical lesson of the mote and the beam spring to mind when the objective logic of a statement (above) is rejected by those who make it simply because others have followed it to it’s clear and obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse conclusion.

    • My that’s some bleedn name M oh can’t be bothered typing it anyway yer spouting Lilian Gish in my opinion , please take a number and stick it up yer ****

  9. The “tunnel” will obviously be hung above the water on giant sky hooks.
    There will be free petrol, no speed limit and a turn-off that wheeches you off to London within minutes. Oh, and fireworks.
    “Union” Jack the Lad, invites you all to his palacial fermhoose for wine and nibbles.

    The bridge/tunnel/flyover is just a “euphemism” for Tory bullshit.

    • It’s a political distraction which will never get further than endless feasibility studies by consultant party donors long after the Brexit chaos at Cairnryan is a distant memory…
      As for Alister’s “euphemism” which wasn’t, remember we’re talking about a giant tube, talking about another giant tube.

  10. “… opposed to independence can no longer convincingly claim that the independence debate is a debate between nationalists who want independence and non-nationalists who oppose it.”

    Although Mr Ian Murray MP – the darling now of many it seems in Labour’s English hame – continues to try, endlessly. ‘Solidarity, solidarity, solidarity’; ‘internationalism, internationalism, internationalism’ he cries, when he’s not proclaiming that ‘nationalism’ is one thing and it’s ALWAYS very bad – but of course the Scottish form is especially bad!

    A prime example of that “unhealthy dose of self-delusion …”?

  11. I am reminded of that great old movie ” The Wizard of Ozz ” when the wizard is finally revealed to be a fraud .
    All we need to do is pull back the curtain WE ARE THAT CLOSE and they bloody well know it ,that’s why they are trying disruption from within, the personal attacks on Nicola Sturgeon from so called independence supporters IS SICKENING, don’t fall for the unionist tricks , the attacks on her are attacks on all of us .
    As for Jack well honestly who gives a F**K about that Clown, a second rate act in Bawjaws three ring Circus.

  12. ”There was a time, well within living memory, when a majority of people in Scotland had a grudging respect for the institutions of the British state. There was an acceptance that “they” knew what they were doing, even if they were greedy and self-serving. Those days are gone.”

    The morons will never get their act together and that’s exactly why we are going to win this now, imo.

    ”TruePublica Editor: Britain is circling the plughole. So many things are wrong on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. After the banks crashed the economy, austerity followed. One £trillion was added to the national debt. Half was thrown down the drain to appease banks that were threatening financial armageddon if they were not bailed out. The other half was thrown at the economy to stop an economic disaster that would have resulted in riots across the country. Ten years later, an austerity ravaged country is almost on its knees. And now this.

    There is now a crisis everywhere you look. The NHS, housing and homelessness, policing, disabled, the vulnerable – it goes on and on.

    Austerity inflicted deep cuts to local authorities who, in turn, were forced to cut social care. The yawning gap between demand and supply gets wider each year. And the social care crisis starkly demonstrates that Britain is unable to look after its elderly.

    At the other end of the struggle of daily life is another section of our society that is now in free-fall.”..

    • Petra , A comment by James Obrian ” LBC “on his show this morning he said and I totally agree ” there is nothing left for this lot to break ” that comment sums up the Tory time in office , every single thing they touch turns to shit , it’s as if their whole purpose in life is to make a lot of folks lives worse than it was the day before , a race to pile on the grief like some kind of pissing contest .

      As for the permanently smirking one who sat who sat through PMQs next to Bawjaws and couldn’t give a monkeys about any comment made about her , if there’s a God maybe some honourable member will cross the floor and wipe that bloody smirk off her face .

      I could have used stronger language but as it’s a family show I haven’t .

      • ”There is nothing left for this lot to break.”

        You just wonder if they can see it Robert, and are worried, or are they totally deluded? Then again maybe they can see it but don’t give a sh*t as long as they are making a name for themselves and lining their own pockets. Meanwhile they’ve got the brass neck to run down everything the SNP have done / are doing for Scotland and of course have the MSM on their side bolstering Westminster misinformation or just call it their out and out lies.

        I check out sites such as Indyref2 and Talking up Scotland every day and I reckon that around 5% (or less, such as nought) of what I find on these sites is being reported by, as an example the BBC. If they had been doing their job properly (impartially informing the public) the country, rUK, may have avoided being in the state that it’s in now, but of course that’s the ”sacrifice” that they decided to make, imo, to ensure that they kept the Unicorn shackled. Sad to say they’ll find out soon enough that it was all in vain when Scotland becomes independent and little England is left trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The BBC, et al, will find itself having to deal with a real dilemma too if it doesn’t clean up it’s act when TV presenters and journalists in Scotland (such as Paul, John Robertson etc) are reporting data that’s at odds with what’s being reported south of the border.

      • It’s handy for them being able to chop and change as it suits Legerwood to the point that I’ve come across some people who are totally unaware of the fact that our NHS is devolved (don’t know what devolved means either!). That accounts for them being horrified when they hear how bad things are in relation to the UK (English) NHS and then they get a double whammy when dire news about Scotland only is mentioned. And so it goes on with air pollution death rates etc, etc. It doesn’t help either of course in instances where the figures (conveniently) aren’t broken down by country or you’ve to carry out a major investigation to get to the bottom of things only to find out that Scotland is well and truly wrapped up in England.

  13. Superb as ever, Paul.
    A tunnel over a thousand feet deep, strewth!
    We would have to drive awfully slowly as we surface up in to NI, just in case we get the bends.
    Independence Aye!

  14. With the S30 issue starting to resemble a game of ping-pong, it’s surely time to demonstrate to Whitehall that we’re determined and won’t just back off every time they refuse S30 powers. How about using the devolved powers of Holyrood to show that we mean business?

    For starters Holyrood could bring in a law to keep all devolved topics in alignment with EU regulations and legislation so that it simplifies any future re-entry into the EU and demonstrates to the whole World that we’re serious about maintaining our links with Europe.

    To up the ante, Holyrood could then pass a law similar to the New Zealand law that banned all nuclear weapons from its seas and land. Without independence, we wouldn’t realistically be able to enforce the maritime ban since defence is reserved to Westminster, but Holyrood is responsible for roads and policing and the new law could make it illegal to transport radioactive and other toxic/dangerous materials on Scotland’s roads and railways without a permit from the Scottish Gov’t. So, if the Navy wants to send one of its regular convoys between Aldermaston and Faslane/Coulport, it would have to apply for a permit, which could routinely be refused.

    Outcomes are of course unpredictable, but it again makes it clear to Westminster that we mean business and it would present a stark choice to the Scottish electorate: would you rather be governed by another country which is happy to put you at the centre of Europe’s biggest nuclear target and routinely pollute your environment, or would you support a government which will protect you, your children and your descendants from such obscene dangers? No sane person should choose the first option.

  15. Something for the N.I. Tunnel commentators to think about.
    The New Civil Engineer magazine of February 2020, reports that the Norwegian Roads Authority recently opened the Ryfylke road tunnel near Stavanger. This tunnel, driven through rock, is 14.4 km long and reaches a maximum depth of 292 metres below sea level. Just shows what a small, oil rich, country can achieve with the will and the resources. By the way the Ryfylke tunnel is only one of many tunnel/bridges the Norwegians have constructed in the last 50 years or so, radically transforming their transportation infrastructure.
    O.K., a tunnel to N.I. Would have to be twice or three times as long and probably a bit deeper, but technically impossibly, I think not!

  16. “Today we had the Governor General Alister Jack opine the racist trope that people only move to the UK in order to take advantage of the NHS and the benefits system”

    Nope, I believe this state is attractive to would be “illegal immigrants” for two main reasons. We speak English and we are not required to have ID cards. And the later is why the NHS is vunerable to abuse by use of services which are meant to be “free at the point of care” for British citizens. Once in the UK… they “disappear”.

    Now, I have no particular axe to grind on whether or not we ought to be required to carry ID cards, but even EU/EEA citizens exercising freedom of movement/residence in Germany must register with their local authorities if they are there for 3 months or longer. And there is no way to avoid the problems if you fail to do so.

    Regarding benefits… well again in Germany, if you lose your job you will receive 60% of, what was your take-home pay, as a benefit from the state… 67% if you have kids for up to 2 years. After that and you’re still unemployed you are entitled to “Harts IV” which can be a brutal drop in income, yet not as rough as benefits in the UK.

    The UK is not the utopia those who ought to know the reality would have us all believe.

    Mr Straw tried to “codify” the UK constitution as a written one, but gave up as it was too difficult. There’s the problem right there… our elected Westminster rabble are not up to the offices they are appointed to once elected. If they were up to delivering on their day job, well then there might be a case for denigrating the First Minister… just saying.

    • Note Jack’s “bring in cheap migrant labour” correctly ascribed the “invitation” in his disaster of a meeting with SG, but then went on to regurgitate the Daily Mail trope seeking to divert blame for his party’s progressive defunding of all State support and in particular the NHS.
      EU migrants and non-EU migrants all pay into the same system as every other employee in the country and have a NI number as well as their own ID, only in the initial phase (3 months?) are EU-migrants charged for welfare/NHS treatment back to their native State.
      Refugees are issued ID documents but are barred from employment for a long period, so in reality only illegal migrants actually disappear until they encounter administrations such as NHS emergency treatment, when “not in the system” or no ID flags up.
      Conflate THAT with the entirely separate issue of overseas users of NHS treatment which the Ministry did not seek or failed to get recompense from their native country, and you have the myth of ALL foreigners milking OUR NHS and sponging off OUR welfare state…

      It is striking how English tabloids and the likes of Farage have embedded the “streets of London are paved with gold” myth in the public mind through tapping into latent xenophobia, the “subsidy junkies” find it deeply offensive and a sign of a once great nation disintegrating.

      Jack and the Westminster rabble are in their end days, but the hostility they have unleashed to achieve their objectives will have serious consequence for many years to come in England,and Scotland will be offski at the earliest opportunity….

      • I agree Bob.

        When you wrote:

        “Conflate THAT with the entirely separate issue of overseas users of NHS treatment which the Ministry did not seek or failed to get recompense from their native country, and you have the myth of ALL foreigners milking OUR NHS and sponging off OUR welfare state…”

        Yes, I had that in mind as I wrote my post. So, guilty as charged of conflation. It is a separate matter Bob, and easily corrected, if there really was a will to do so. All it would require would be a “flag” on a passport.

      • I wasn’t having a go at you rather than Alister Jack who really should not be repeating this hogwash in his position, even if he is dim enough to be an Express reader 😉
        The scale of exodus of EU staff from the NHS alone from Brexit hostility is catastrophic, as we near December it will be a massive blow to all industries… Except those manufacturing Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses….

  17. Castles in the air, pie in the sky, pipe dreams; the art of misdirection and flim-flam from A-Lister ‘Union’ Jack, and Part time PM, full time spawner of many offspring, Boris Johnson.

    And the dying Dead Tree Scroll Hacks and Hackesses dutifully fill their dying rags with this junk.

    Men in dresses declaring that they are women, Priti Patel, alleged serial bully and Accidental Israeli tourist, a convicted Blue Tory Sex Offender still voting at council meetings, ensuring a Tory/Labour Coalition’s Austerity budget gets through, Flybe routes rescued by Loganair, and Exeter Southampton and Northern Ireland air traffic and their economies ruptured overnight, plus thousands losing their jobs, because Boris Johnson doesn’t think that £100 million bale out rescue package to keep Flybe operating is worth it, but £1 billion to Arlene and the DUP was worth it when they needed the votes, and £500 million of public money spirited into the pockets of DUP’s friends, Norn Irn chicken breeder, FREE MONEY, is money well spent.
    But there’s no money tree for Exeter, or Southampton or the Scottish Isles or Belfast.

    But Alister Jack is building a tunnel, and Boris Johnson is erecting a bridge.

    I am sick fed up of hearing about coronavirus and Steven Gerrard.

    Thousands die of ‘flu every year. Mostly elderly, with ‘pre-existing conditions;

    It is all deliberate ‘Wag The Dog’ panic in the streets and Ibrox crisis toss, to sell newspapers to Rags facing imminent closure, designed to garner viewers to dying TV Channels, and to ensure that the Real News is buried beneath an orchestrated Elite Oligarchy smokescreen of panic and confusion.

    We are in March, the end of the Financial Year beckons.

    Which Rags and TV stations are facing financial collapse by the first week in April?

    Paul, and excellent piece. Independence is inevitable now:-

    and by ‘now’, I mean now.

  18. Thanks Paul.

    I do get very down sometimes looking at our situation, especially while still trapped in England.
    You have a way of bringing the positive to the fore in the midst of all the dysfunctional borderline Nazi madness down here and the 77 Brigade saboteurs who appear to be conducting their operations in broad daylight now.
    Sometimes one needs to tune it all out but one of your posts of this quality brings the light back in.


    • He lost me at:-
      “The SNP’s failures in government are increasingly hard to deny, and they are in precisely the areas of diligent service delivery – particularly education, transport and health – that Labour knows best.”

      I take his PHD Assessor is an old Labour man or woman?

      Labour ‘knows best’ about education transport and health?
      James Kelly, Neil Findlay Johann Lamont Jackie Baillie Ian Gray and Alex Rowley, to name but a few.
      This lot couldn’t rune the Tea Club, never mind a country.
      The PHD student is about to be ridiculed if he posits that Labour in Scotland are a government in waiting.
      And our schools, health, and transport, are in a helluva better shape than other countries attached to UK.
      Since when was a PHD a political pamphlet?

      Get some ‘facts’ in your thesis sirrah.

      For example, Glasgow Tammany Hall introduced all of Thatcher’s private good/public bad reforms, down to selling off their council house stock.

      Labour is finished in Scotland. The lap dogs Up Here will always toe the London line, and do as they’re told by English politicians.

      Ergo, there is no road back, even if they try the Big Con and suddenly favour ‘independence’.
      The Lefties have already infiltrated the SNP and banging on about GRA. Their aim is to destroy the SNP from ‘within’.

      There is no other democratic vehicle other than the SNP to take forward Indyref2.
      A few crazies with pink baseball bats will never derail the drive to Independence.
      Imagine Jackie Baillie as Health secretary?
      The picture of health and boundless energy?

    • What planet is this lad on? The only way back for Labour in Scotland is as an independent Labour Party (or whatever) in an already independent Scotland…

      Meanwhile in Wales “Let’s unblock the nostrils of the Welsh dragon with the Vicks inhaler of one-nation Welsh Conservative can-do spirit.”
      Did it not occur to dePfeffel that removing the two fingered gesture from said nostrils would save the cost of an inhaler ?

    • What a pile of mince that article is. Never buy Britnat papers and reading that article reminds me why.

      British Labour in Scotland the most treacherous Party to ever set up its stall in Scotland.

  19. I watched a brief piece on the Nine last night about Kate Forbes. She is a good example of how and why support for independence is becoming the norm rather than the exception. People who are afflicted by the cringe increasingly see that the most intelligent, strong and personable people in the Scots population are now supporting Indy. That gives them a bit more courage. Apart from the FM we also have women like Johanna, Phillipa, Jean, Joan etc. etc. WE are the normal people now. The riff raff who are what is left of Slab, the Lib dems and the Tories are seen ever more clearly for the reactionaries they are in contrast to those who want independence.

    The positivity of your articles is so right Paul. Onward and upward, overcoming the challenges as they arise.

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