The best of both worlds

The Sunday Times is reporting that ‘sources’ in the British Government have told it that Scotland’s workers won’t receive any further financial support from the British state if the lockdown in Scotland continues longer than the lockdown in England. It’s a safe bet that those same ‘sources’ didn’t bother to consult with the Scottish Government in making their decision.

This is how the Scottish Government, and indeed the other devolved governments as well as the English regions and counties, find out about about British Government policy these days – via unattributed leaks to right wing newspapers. When the Tories told us that Scotland was a valued and equal partner in a family of nations what they really meant was that they’d hold Scotland in just as much contempt as they do Wales and Northern Ireland. Feel the love. Finding out what the British Government is up to via unattributed briefings to the British right wing press is how the Scottish Government is expected to formulate policy.

The British Government decides that England should come out of lockdown, and everyone else has to jump to it. Even if the scientific advice is that it’s still not safe for Scotland to return to work, the British Government intends to force Scotland’s workers to make a choice between staying at home without any pay, or returning to work and risking contracting the virus. There’s that pooling and sharing for you. It’s England which has unilaterally come out of lockdown, but it’s the other nations of the UK which are no longer in lockstep. If ever you needed any proof that this so-called union is run solely in the interests of one of its members, here’s exhibit one. Or more exactly it’s exhibit three hundred thousand and thirty four nine hundred and seventy four thousand.

Just to be clear here, because you can be sure that the British media won’t be, it’s not that Scotland is moving at a different pace from the rest of the UK. It’s England which is moving at a different pace from the rest of the UK, and it’s doing so because the Conservatives wish to prioritise money over human lives. Scotland’s workers are expected to work and risk getting ill, or starve and risk getting ill. So that is what Better Together meant when they told us we could have the best of both worlds, we get to choose between disease or hunger.

There will be no additional funding for a Scotland which wishes to respond to this crisis in a way which suits the epidemiological needs of Scotland if Scottish policy differs from what the Conservatives decide to do in England. Yet we all know that this virus does not affect all parts of the UK equally and does not affect all communities equally. There are good and solid reasons for Scotland coming out of lockdown at a pace and in a way which is tailored to the specific conditions in Scotland. None of this is necessarily an attempt to politicise the epidemic. Yet it’s the Conservatives who are politicising it in their insistence that the entire UK must act as one in order to preserve the facade of a united kingdom. But what they mean by acting as one is that all parts of the UK must blindly obey the dictats of Westminster irrespective of the local conditions because the union must be preserved at all costs. Even at the cost of lives.

Yet unless lockdown is lifted when there is good scientific and medical evidence that it’s safe to do so, then lockdown will all have been for nought. There will only be another spike in infections, more people will get sick, and more people will die. We will have stayed indoors for all these weeks for nothing and will be forced to return to lockdown in order to get the new outbreak under control. The Tories are quite prepared to risk this because of their precioussssss union and because they know the price of everything but the value of nothing. They certainly don’t know the value of a human life.

Those British nationalists who have now turned 180 degrees and have recently taken to attacking the Scottish Government for not going into lockdown earlier than it did will now of course be at the forefront of criticisms of the British Government for not allowing Scotland to remain in lockdown if that’s what the scientific advice for Scotland recommends. Last week they were saying we should have locked down independently but this week their beloved Westminster is telling Scotland that it gets no money if we do.

Oh wait. No. They won’t be criticising the British Government. They won’t be standing up for Scotland within the UK. They’ll be looking for something else to attack the Scottish Government for, like insisting that this proves that Scotland couldn’t possibly be an independent country. Because a Scotland which is not permitted to exercise the full financial freedom of movement of an independent nation is proof that Scotland can’t cope with exercising the full financial freedom of movement of an independent nation. They’re like the abusive spouse who insists that their partner cannot go outdoors alone until they prove that they can be trusted to go outdoors alone, but who keeps their partner indoors and so never allow them to prove that they can be trusted. And in the process they slowly pick away at their partner’s self esteem, self worth, and sense of self. British nationalism in Scotland is basically the self-fulfilling prophecy that an abuser uses for self-justification.

The true story of this so-called union is that the government of one out of the four nations decides to do things differently, but that one has the power to bully, intimidate, and blackmail the others until they slavishly follow along. So it’s not a union at all. It’s a blackmailer and their victims. If the Conservatives had deliberately set out to alienate public opinion in Scotland they couldn’t do a better job of it. It’s about the only thing that they seem to display any sort of competence for. There is no longer even any pretence that the British Government is taking decisions that are in Scotland’s interests. It’s time to end this so-called union that’s no union at all.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…

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68 thoughts on “The best of both worlds

  1. Spot on Paul.

    My wife and I have cut out all Brit Nat media as their lies etc just make us angry. Bastards.

    I only hope that this makes a few percent of our Scottish Brit Nats vote for indy.

  2. Does this mean we’ll at least get a Corona comission for some powers for Scotland maybe headed up by a peer of the realm so Willie Rennie Jackie Baillie and Clacton Jarwash can all vote against Scotland again

  3. Sadly all you write and say is too accurate.

    I think the tories and the remains of labour and Lib Dem’s will propose in the “National Interest” to cancel next year Scottish Election.

    The tories will demonstrate the caring side by stating that they are worried about our health visiting polling stations and need more time to fiddle……. sorry re-evaluate the postal vote system due to the fact they have just found difficulties over 2nd home owners and care homes votes!

    However, should it go ahead the SNP come January Should make it clear that we don’t need a referendum on a reverendum.

    A clear majority in the election ( if not cancelled) is sufficient to start independence negotiations.

    I know we can’t do this apparently but it will annoy them.

  4. Isn’t it time we gave Kate Forbes the credit card to Scotland’s very own Magic Money Tree?

    The only spending limit is the constraints of our imagination.

    Just do it, please.

  5. Johnston -3. How long will he last?

    Trouble at mill. The North in revolt as well.

    Not just getting into trouble in Scotland. In the North as well.

    More empty threats will not cut it. They will be held to account. The Tories will be voted out.

    Vote Tory to die younger. Not likely.

  6. The Sunday Times also carried two reports, one from Wales and one from Scotland. The underlying premise on both was that it was baaaaad of these two governments not to be following englands lead in ending the lockdown. There was absolutely nothing about the fact that it’s england that’s out of step with 3 of the 4 devolved parliaments (westminster being the de-facto devolved english parliament) not wanting to stop the lock down just yet. Why not report that? Could it be that they don’t want people to realise that in this so called union of equals, some are more equal than others? Could it be that they don’t want those of us not in england to realise that, rather than a union of equals, what england wants england gets?

  7. And yet for all that, a sizeable minority of Scots will still vote for the Tories!

    Scots’ lives to be jeopardised for their billionaire/millionaire pals. They don’t make their own money; employees do that for them, often at very low hourly rates.

    It’s time Scotland told them to get stuffed.

  8. Below is an extract from an academic paper published by the School of Medicine at the University of Dundee at the start of this month. It paints a pretty bleak picture but I see no reason for underestimating the impact that this virus will have on our lives going forward.

    There really is no easy solution and the vast bulk of scientific papers come to similar conclusions that until there is a vaccine we will be living with Covid-19 and behaviours will need to change if we are to minimise the number of deaths.

    It’s quite possible that this UK government are well awate of this fact and are willing to “take it on the chin” and the number of dead will be what it will be. That certainly appears to be how they are reacting right now. No one would relax restrictions on the lockdown without first putting in place advice and guidelines for safe methods of working in all the various sectors AND putting in place a test, trace and isolate strategy to minimise the rate of spread of the virus. It cannot be stopped only controlled.

    This government is not even going to attempt to put such things in place. If you’re elderly or have serious health conditions, tough cookies, you’re going to have to take your chances so as we can get the economy back on track. That’s where we’re heading, massive fight now between Scotland and Westminster looks likely. This is likely to change everything we ever thought about how Scotland should be governed and how it will be governed in future.

    • Thepnr,
      It is not just reducing the mortality rate but reducing the numbers who get it in the first place. Evidence started to emerge very early on in this pandemic that ‘recovery’ in many of those infected would present in the form of a spectrum of compromised health outcomes which could last in some cases for years and would place just as much strain on health services as the actual infection.

      Rehabilitation, for example physiotherapy services will face increased demand. Compromised lung function leading to greater susceptibility to chest infections and reduced physical ability.

      The net result is a compromised workforce and reduced customer base. Something that seems not to have occurred to the captains of industry and masters of the universe who want a pretty well immediate lifting of the lockdown. All done without planning or thought.

    • I saw a photo of construction workers on their break- about 100 or more- crammed into a sort of polytunnel type shelter in London. The person who posted the photo warned us that this was how things are being done. There is no plan- just the chaos. If schools are to open and teachers and families are risk their lives Windsor family should be out- in their great number- supporting them – in person. ..No chance. This is a nightmare. Scotland must NOT give in to them.

  9. Extract from the paper:

    There has been talk of lockdowns being “a cure worse than the disease”, but it is not a cure. At 5% (reduction in mortality) per day it will take 35 days to claw back from 600 to 100 deaths per day, and another 45 to then get down to 10.

    At 10% per day that would only be 18 plus 20 days, but many countries are not yet clearly past, or even close to, the peak. That suggests easing in the near future will imply continuing mortality, and substantial easing is very likely to require the rapid re-imposition of lockdown.

    R0, or more precisely Rt, seems to be the key to this problem: until and unless a vaccine or effective treatment becomes available, we need a liveable way to keep R below 1. Lockdown, to a point beyond what most societies would have previously imagined accepting, can barely contain the disease’s spread. It is hard to see it continuing indefinitely.

    Our data suggests that unless a vaccine becomes rapidly available, discussions around exit strategy from current restrictions therefore need to move on from optimistic concepts of returning rapidly to normal activity. Our data is more consistent with a need to adopting a “new normal” that can provide the optimal balance between allowing economic activity while ensuring very substantial reductions in prior social contacts (90% reductions according to our best estimates).

    It is beyond the scope of this paper to describe what the components of a new normal may be but discussions will include continuing social distancing, public use of face-coverings, testing, tracking and isolating infected individuals and contacts and widespread screening of asymptomatic individuals among other considerations.

    In summary, an analysis based on the behaviour of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date across 67 countries suggests remarkably consistent effects of both exponential growth and slow decline in cases and mortality. Without a vaccine, these estimates are incompatible with a return to previous activities post “lockdown”.

    • Indeed, a gloomy synopsis, and I agree on your earlier observations on HMG’s attitudes.
      What is truly alarming with all the disinformation is the many still dismissing this as “just another flu”, or believing normal is just around the corner, we are in a very different world at this point and must adapt.
      Until more is known over side effects, duration of immunity, and efficacy of any vaccine to initiate it, we are in uncharted waters with Captain Bligh in charge…

      • Captain Bligh was a good navigator and was able to save himself. I think we are led more by a Captain Ahab character.

          • It was reported recently that Health and Safety and the union’s are pleased that the SG has started discussions regarding return to work, the polar opposite to Johnson’s government which was severely criticized by both organisations for its failure to even inform far less consult.

    • Italy is gradually loosening up lockdown restrictions. As part of the test, trace and isolate programme in Umbria (which was one of the least affected Italian regions) a large cohort of workers was tested last week and a few resulted positive.As they were enough to raise the Rt index to 1.23, the lockdown restrictions will continue as before.

  10. Basically the money men of the tory party want people back to work – even if there are casualties along the way. They are in lockdown in the safe tax havens.

    If London is ok – I doubt this….. The North of England can be sacrificed.

    As for the pesky Celts, the English elite with continue their undermining with help of the MSN. Mind you the papers are hurting. The number of returns are increasing.

    Only the deep pockets of the PR men with dark money can keep them going.

    So buy an electronic subscription with the National / Sunday National and support pro Independence blogs based in Scotland

  11. Someone mentioned previously that the Sunday Times is reporting that the Scots and Welsh are deviating from the ‘accepted English line’ on the lockdown – as if we’re except with a click ogf the heels to say ‘Jawohl’ to everything our neighbours say and do. In an echo of a previous ‘Scottish’ Labour politician, it seems that we haven’t got the abilities to make our own minds up – we’re not programmed for such decisions and have to follow all that England does. (Still believe that, Ms Lamont? How has that attitude worn with the Scottish voter?)

    Yet, this slanderous, racist lie (and it is all three) is maintained in today’s Observer, too. Andrew Rawnsley intimates that it’s the Celts who have left the consensus and 4 nation approach – not the cleverer English:

    “The devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, which initially stayed in lockstep with the UK government, have openly split with Downing Street to pursue divergent policies.”

    the ‘open split’ is from the English norm – not the other way round.

    Similarly, following on from the Big White Chief’s confusing smoke signals last Sunday,

    “Political leaders in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast began to resist and go their own ways in the fight against Covid-19.”

    Again, it’s those pesky Celts (copyright, Hamish 100 and others, All Rights Reserved) who ‘go their own ways’, whilst England does not. This is actively distorting the truth – it is England which is ‘going its own way’ whilst Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which is maintain the status quo ante and retaining the effective ‘Stay at Home’ message.

    England’s Trump mini-me and his cohorts are following the US of A’s ‘Leader’ in wishing to open up as quickly as possible

    – to increase revenues for their private sector cronies and themselves
    – to cover up their inadequacies, failings and culpable negligence at all stages of this pandemic
    – to hide from the public the extent that their mendacity and cupidity for austerity has almost destroyed the public sector and safety nets under the Welfare State

    Truly a despicable bunch of charlatans, self-servers and arrogant, ignorant bar stewards, aided and abetted by a compliant, simpering yet mendaciously lying media who will not criticise them nor question their methods. Yet will re-write history and troll the First Minister of Scotland on a daily basis.

    when the time comes, I hope you will join with me in applying a quick knee to the nadgers of every single one of these low lifes.

    • I believe you are missing one reason Johnson’s backers are pushing for an end to lockdown. They are missing having sex with people they are not married to. At least, according to Petronella Wyatt in the Telegraph.

      • But didn’t that English Medical Officer circumvent (I didn’t use the Jewish procedural word!) that in order to get his own piece of nookie and got shown up by inter alia the Sun for it?

        I think I’m agreeing with you though! 😀

  12. “The Sunday Times is reporting that ‘sources’ in the British Government have told it that Scotland’s workers won’t receive any further financial support from the British state if the lockdown in Scotland continues longer than the lockdown in England”

    I’ve got a better idea. How about ensuring that the British state won’t receive any further financial support from Scottish taxpayers?

    Great article as always, WGD!

  13. Incompetence piled upon incompetence. There is no end to this governments uselessness.

    “The Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, insisted on Sunday that the track and trace scheme would be ready to launch nationwide by the end of the month, with “just over 17,000” contact tracers already hired.

    But emails seen by the Guardian, sent this weekend by one of the private-sector companies handling the recruitment process, Kent-based HR Go, said hiring had been paused.

    “Thank you for your online application for this role. Unfortunately earlier today the roles were put on hold. This is due to a delay in the launch of the ‘Track and Trace’ app itself while the government considers an alternative app,” the emails said.

    A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the email was “wrong and could cause confusion”, and recruitment for both the online and phone-based contact-tracing service “continues at pace”.

    I wonder who it is that’s lying?

  14. We are better together, “we” being Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, that is.
    In fact, rather than piecemeal independence attempts, let’s just throw the English out of the UK.
    They are the disjointed, frayed at the seems leeches sucking the life from first one conquered land and colony to the next.
    We are not the ones tearing up a union, they are.
    The straight up of it is they need us, we certainly don’t need, nor much want, them.
    Time to go.

  15. Germany, Italy, France and Spain have all divided their countries up into regions where they will relax and re-impose lockdown restrictions as required. This carry on over the devolved nations doing their own thing is just hot air from English Nationalist.

    It’s obvious that in England not every region is willing to toe the Tory line and Liverpool, Manchester, Gateshead and Sunderland are just the ones I know of that are telling Johnson and Gove where to go and that it is for local government in those areas to decide when it it is safe to reopen schools and relax other measures.

    That article from the Guardian I posted earlier has a peach of a quote that tells me, Johnson too knows that this is best controlled by dividing the whole UK up into manageable regions and trying to contain the virus as best you can that way. This is the paragraph from the article.

    “Ministers want to be able to use the data gathered to analyse the spread of the virus. They hope this will allow them to reimpose lockdown conditions in local areas where a new outbreak is detected – a process Johnson has described as “whack-a-mole”.

    So there you are, the Prime Minister of the UK compares containing the spread of the virus that according to the latest from the FT is responsible for the deaths of 62,000 people in the UK in less than 8 weeks.

    “Whack-a-mole” he says, I know who I want to whack.

  16. Just a wee bit of context. they recon the furlough scheme will cost 75 Billion if it runs till Sep 2020. The UK government paid 500Billion bailing the banks out.

  17. Coercion…? Who ‘d a thought it? No, not exactly better togetherness. Now is it?

    Mibbies me, (then I am slightly biased), but I’m guessing it won’t end there.

    People have earned better than this.

  18. So this is the “broad shoulders” that we were told about by that “parcel of rogues” back in ’14, eh?

    But you can be assured of one thing: Dino Broon and Lord ChampagneLefty Darling won’t raise a peep of protest on our behalf if UKGov tries some outrageous fiscal arm-twisting.

  19. This is pretty much the sort of behaviour we have come to expect from England’s right wing thugs,aka Tories.
    Withholding funds for Scottish public services is nothing new from them but in this case it will screamingly obvious even to the thug’s branch office that it will cost lives.
    As General Wolfe said in Quebec when facing big losses from his Scottish contingent, “No great mischief should they fall”.
    That has been the attitude from the British state towards Scots right from the beginning and of course,nothing has changed.
    Even the orange flute tooters will realise their “value” within the British state.
    Arlene and her pals found that out for themselves recently.

    • Re Wolfe, it wasn’t at Quebec. He said that during his post Culloden ‘consolidation’ (read genocidal) duties in reply to a friend who asked advice after an English contingent had been annihilated by native Americans in Canada. He added (from memory) ‘What better use to put one’s former enemies’., Wolfe was killed later at Quebec allegedly by a Highland ball rather than a French one.

  20. They honestly don’t care – they truly don’t. As long as their party controls England, they get to control Scotland. The only way Conservative politics can thrive at all in Scotland, is because of the union. The union is the shite in which this bitter fruit grows. They know this. Its the one thing that truly terrifies them. Without the union, they are nothing. They are shit on the heel of Scotland’s boot. The creepy kid who hangs out with the school ground bully. If the union was to end, they would end. But I never thought I’d live to see the day when Labour, the Lib Dems and the MSM would actually hold Scotland down, so the tories could beat Scotland up. We are at the mercy of a party that is disgusted by intellect, fairness and compassion. I for one am disgusted at them in equal measure. I could never be “British” knowing they were a part of it. The price of Britishness is too high. Its a ringer. A fake. A polished turd. British identity is not worth a pennies purchase. It wasn’t worth saving. It doesn’t deserve another chance. For Christs sake, just let this union fucking die already.

  21. We the people bailed the banks out and spent the next ten years suffering for it, so far it looks like Corona Virus might only last the one year, you’d think the banks might owe us at least that back

    Of course no one asked us to bail out the banks,they told us that’s what was happening whether we liked it or not

    Isn’t English demonarchy great, or is it monarchracy

  22. ‘Course, this report could be a conveniently-deniable UK English Government attempt to pressure the devolved administrations, bring them to heel with a veiled reminder of who holds the purse strings.

    If so it’s pretty rich, considering that it would be doing it with our own money.

    Not the first time it has done that kind of thing, though, mind you.

  23. Great article and excellent comments.

    No idea how I came to read it, but the ‘Greenock Telegraph’ ( am I the only one to have never heard of it before!) had a wee headline about a testing centre(?) being set up in Greenock, manned by er, the army. The GT seems to like the Britnat take on things, it’s a truly Britnat rag, even uses black letter font for the logo, just like the Torygraph.

  24. The Greenock Telegraph or the “the Tilly” as the locals refer to it is and has been a labour and unionist supporting paper. Which is lucky for the labour led council whose record is pathetic. Post war maisonettes an tenements a depressing town centre of empty shops. The leader McCabe is well known for his britnat pronouncements. Hence his most recent pronouncements on bbc radio.
    The people deserve better.

    • That’s my only concern for an independent Scotland, Hamish100, that the first thing to happen will be that people will go back to their old ‘Vote Labour’ habits, especially in the West Central/Glasgow belt which dominated Scottish politics for so long, and we’ll end up with these numpties in power forever. I can see that taking shape already with the endless SNP bashing by certain elements of the ‘independence community’. It beggars belief considering how badly Scotland was governed for generations by Labour not only on behalf of WM but within Councils. Poor quality governance and a determination to keep people poor and needy while pretending that they were ‘working for the masses’.

      I can almost sense that this is the reason many Scottish Tories – the moderates at least (the rest are beyond hope!) – are so against independence and I say this as someone who intensely dislikes the Tory mindset, the arrogance and the ‘I’m all right Jack’ self-righteousness.

      Scotland deserves better. We need to ditch the old guard and start afresh with new ideas, vision and determination to succeed. We would not get that with the Same Old, Same Old Labour.

      • It isn’t Independence if we dictate how future generations vote. Independence is about the RIGHT of those living in Scotland to shape Scotland.

        Far too many people want to set the future and forget what Independence is. I have no idea how Scotland will vote but I am confident it will be more like Scandanavia/Finland/Iceland than the USA or UK.

  25. The Chancellor, Sunak, only last week announced that furlough payments would continue until I think the beginning of October. I would be surprised if the SG hasn’t by then agreed a strategy with the union’s and Health and Safety for returning to work by then, assuming of course that the infection and mortality rates continue to fall. The SG have already announced that schools won’t return before the end of the summer break, September.
    Three Health Boards begin trials today using test and trace, and they expect to roll this out across Scotland about week after the trial finishes, presumably giving time to assess the results and make any changes required. Recruitment closes on the 22nd of May for the TTI program. A robust TTI testing program is the only you can come out of lockdown. This is what good governance looks like, the complete opposition to the shambles we witnessed with Johnson’s move to the ‘ Stay Alert’ debacle.
    I think it is the stark difference between the two governments competence, obvious to just about anybody sentient, the fact that so many headlines and articles relegating Johnson to ‘ PM of England, uppity Taffs and Jocks ignoring mother England. This threat is more about assuring middle England, massaging the egos of the masses than a realistic threat.
    Johnson needs to be careful of just which of Nicola’s buttons he pushes, if they do cut funds, Nicola will leave the union to save lives.

  26. Johnson should wave a foty of the Queen at those damn Corona blighters that should do the bally trick by jove

    Johnson like Trump doesn’t even have the support of his own country let alone us other three *rebel* countries, folk in the northern regions of England aren’t buying this crud either so he’s even trying to threaten them now
    All this daft talk of beating the virus or crushing the threat is infantile twaddle, it’s a disease, the best you can do with it is keep pushing it back and dodging it while you buy time for a vaccine to kill it or at least a treatment to mitigate the effects of it

    An invisible army he says, aye and it’ll leave tons of invisible little snipers

    Hows that for a wartime Boris’ism

  27. “slowly pick away at their partner’s self esteem, self worth, and sense of self”
    In short, the unionists are behaving like a narcissist gaslighting Scotland at every turn. No better demonstration that the UK is dysfunctional with psychopathic tendencies and unrealistic self reverence, always looking in the mirror and in love with itself, oblivious to the rest of the world

  28. Hello, weegingerdug, and thanks for honestly dealing with a topic that’s normally incapable of being expressed or described in words: “the Conservatives wish to prioritise money over human lives”… truly sums up what London’s government believes and practices; so much for their beloved ‘UK’!? (The unrealistic Kingdom shares the capital letters!).

    Although Scotland’s present political situation is an entirely different matter, we still cannot disregard the foolishnesses and incompetency that’s being demonstrated by that dire behaviour in London’s Westminster! If Scotland’s Unionists remain loyal to their beliefs in spite of what’s emanating from south of our border, then there’s next to no hope of them recognising any realities! We know that the next general election will see the end of the so-called ‘Union’, or perhaps the wish for independent nations again?!

    Thanks, again, and here’s hoping!

  29. “..If another example was needed”
    We don’t need more examples. I know what the British State thinks of Scotland and the other devolved Nations. I am certain we have all the talent and natural resources required to be an Independent Nation once again. I am confident that Scots will build a faire society than the Empire legacy model.

    Without throwing rocks or asking people to pick sides in the Indy campaign can anyone give me a logical step by step process to Independence. Perhaps it is just me but I feel that we are threatened and/or ignored as a standard Westminster policy. I don’t really care if it is a 2 year or 10 year plan but I want a plan.

    We pretend we are in a balanced Union.
    We pretend our media is free and open.
    We pretend GERs reflects our economy.
    We pretend the Holyrood voting system is not rigged. Etc etc

    A hard Brexit is coming at us fast and all I hear is “weesht, don’t rock the boat”. Every country who gained Independence had to rock the boat. Whitehall has centuries of experience in playing dirty. Look at the Middle East, India, Ireland, Half of Africa…etc etc

    Be nice and we will give you power over a taxation tax trap that cuts your Barnett consequentials.
    Be nice and we will give you some Welfare powers that will suck up your budget trying to mitigate Tory cuts.
    Be nice or we will shut down your parliament.

    I await the usual attack from the, we know best brigade, of “Be nice, don’t cause division,don’t rock the boat, one more mandate, they will have to agree a Referendum, any minute now”

    You may shout me down now. I no longer care as my hopes for Independence in my lifetime are fading fast.

  30. And they’re doing it deliberately.

    “The NHS is grossly underestimating the incidence of Covid-19 and encouraging infected people back to work while ignoring key symptoms, a leading expert has claimed.

    Professor Tim Spector, head of the department of genetic epidemiology and leader of the Covid symptom study app at King’s College London, said 50,000 to 70,000 people in the UK with Covid-19 are not being told to self-isolate.

    He blamed Public Health England (PHE) and the wider tracking strategy, saying an insistence that only temperature and cough were the major symptoms was missing thousands of cases.

    He said 17 other countries including the US had altered their list of symptoms, but not the UK.
    “At the moment, people are being told to go back to work if they’re a care worker, and they’ve got something like loss of smell or taste or severe muscle pains or fatigue – things that we know and we’ve shown are related to being swabbed positive,” he said.

    “This country is missing the ball in underestimated cases but also putting people at risk, and continuing the epidemic.
    “So we really do need to tell Public Health England to get in line with the rest of the world, and make people more aware.
    “There’s no point telling people to be alert if they don’t know the symptoms.”

  31. Unnamed and fake contributerj supposedly whistle blower …. when it is the Times office boy is the source ! ……

  32. Stop moaning Paul. They did apologise to us six years ago for being lousy neighbours.

    ‘Dear Scotland: here are 76 things we’d like to apologise for, love England.’


    Another with a big, brass neck ….. Born in England, lives in New Zealand and self-isolates on Skye.

    ‘Ian Blackford says ‘stay away’ after author’s 12,000-mile trip to Skye.’

    …”Gaiman wrote on his blog that he travelled to Scotland last week after he and his wife agreed “that we needed to give each other some space”. The English-born author said he flew “masked and gloved, from empty Auckland airport” to Los Angeles before heading to London. From there, he borrowed a friend’s car and drove to Skye.

    He wrote: “I drove north, on empty motorways and then on empty roads, and got in about midnight, and I’ve been here ever since. I needed to be somewhere I could talk to people in the UK while they and I were awake, not just before breakfast and after dinner. And I needed to be somewhere I could continue to isolate easily.”

    • I watched the news last night as many people decided to go the the beaches in England and the journalist interviewed one family who complained there were too many people at the beach, without the slightest sense of irony

      It’s alright for me but not for others, the phrase *monkey see monkey do* doesn’t seem to occur to these folk at all, or maybe it does and they just enjoy pleading ignorance, or moaning the guidance isn’t clear, generally with stupid looks on their faces while all the time understanding the situation perfectly well

  33. Won’t be too long before everyone in England is put into lockdown again.

    ‘Covid-19 How is the UK doing?’

    …”It can be said with high confidence that the excess number of UK deaths as of the 11th May was c.60,000. Both Jamie Jenkins and Chris Giles keep a running total and their estimates are 62,430 and 61,200 deaths respectively as of the 16th May. To be clear, excess deaths are those higher than ordinarily expected and likely attributable directly or indirectly to the pandemic”..

    ..”England is relaxing lockdown at a time the z-score is the highest in Europe without a fit for purpose TTI system in place.”..


    More extremely informative links from Ann on the Indyref2 site.

  34. You tell them Philippa:-


    However does Nicola Sturgeon have the power to demand that our border is controlled by Police Scotland and / or the Army?

    ‘Deploy army on Border to stop lockdown trips, says Highland councillor.’

    ..”Official guidance states that people in England can travel long distances to see their family and friends, as long as they respect social distancing rules. However, it clarifies that they should not be making trips to other parts of the UK.”

    • Yes, was quite stunned at Wark trying to stop Phillipa’s analysis with the “And that shows devolution is working…” jibe, the inverse of what she and her press cronies have been railing against for the best part of a week, yet beautifully opened the door to the point Scotland could have gone much further were they not constrained by the limitations of devolution. Touche Wark.

      Scotland needs impounding cars and/or points on licence to put a stop to this provocative behaviour being encouraged by #10’s Spin Machine, but be under no doubt that the myopic London approach to pressurise SG has snared large parts of northern England still struggling with the impact of this virus leaving them horrified and looking north for guidance. Sturgeon and Freeman being trusted over Johnson and Hancock was not part of Baldrick’s Cummings Plan.
      It is not Scotland or England who are out of step but Whitehall, perfidious albion is attacking it’s own…

  35. Any reason why the Herald keeps giving space to Ian Murray MP to keep criticising the Scottish devolved government. He is an MP not an MSP. He is paid to represent his Tory labour voting constituents at Westminster. Holyrood has absolutely nothing to do with him.

  36. They are still not being honest with the public, never trust a liar.

    “Questions are being asked over whether the UK’s coronavirus testing capacity is truly being “ramped up” after it emerged at least 100,000 swabs will be sent to labs in Germany…

    Individual trusts, such as Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust and West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, are thought to be sending tests to Germany as results reportedly arrive much faster than waiting for the UK to process them…

    Munira Wilson, health spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, said the UK is “woefully behind the curve” on testing. She also accused the government of “playing with politics” by not being upfront about testing sent to EU countries.”

  37. Miybd
    Re Murray,

    The poor guy has nothing else to do all day having been rejected as possible deputy leader. Nobody likes him apart from the tories and Lib Dem’s voting for him to keep the SNP at bay.

  38. Just watching Nicola Sturgeon (Ch 9) answer journalist’s questions on the Coronavirus crisis. How she can keep her cool is beyond me. One after another still harping on, asking the same questions over and over again, about the Nike Conference and care homes. Then we had a novel one from Tom Gordon who stated that Nicola Sturgeon was sending out mixed messages in asking people to stay at home whilst advocating that they drive to centres to be tested. Then the Daily Rag? came up with the usual scaremongering, undermining the SNP ploy in stating that a woman had contacted them that (very) morning to say, long drawn out and convoluted and involving doctors, that the testing results are totally unreliable. It came as a total surprise therefore when the last journalist stated that he basically had nothing to ask as his question had been answered already. Food for thought for the others?

  39. It’s no exaggeration to say Scotland is being treated like an English colony by Westminster. Like previous colonies who gained/regained their freedom Scotland must fight back in every way possible. The SNP/SG must lead the way by example. I look forward to that happening in the near future.

  40. A damning indictment of this Tory government by Peston. Led by donkeys right enough.

    Johnson and the senior civil service were acutely aware of the risk of a health and economic disaster weeks before the first death and a month-and-a-half before they took evasive action.

    To repeat what I’ve already shared with you, on February 11 ministers knew that Covid-19 had the potential to be a health and economic catastrophe worse than anything we’d experienced for a century.

    I was an eye witness in the sense that a senior member of the government briefed me that:

    They feared the World Health Organisation was underplaying the gravity of the virus, under pressure from China;

    They knew there was no immunity in the population and there was a risk 60% of the population would become infected;

    At a mortality rate of 1%, 500,000 would die;

    If there were a pandemic, the peak would be March, April, May.

    On the evening of February 11, I shared all this with senior colleagues at ITV and ITV News, to condition our coverage, as we charted the merciless spread of the virus in our bulletins night after night.

    And yet a whole month later Cheltenham was allowed to go ahead over 4 days with 250,000 attending the racing, a football match between Liverpool and Athletico Madrid went ahead with more than 3000 fans traveling from Madrid despite their city being under lockdown and travel banned within Spain. Two days later the UK was put into lockdown.

    Some of the Madrid fans had arrived days before the match and mixed with the locals in the bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels of Liverpool, the North West is now one of the most affected regions of England.

    The list of failures of this government just gets longer and longer, Scotland must reject them next time of asking. I’m sure they will.

  41. An excellent synopsis Paul, but I’d dispute any notion this policy change has met with English approval beyond the Watford Gap as MSM have been braying from the front pages, the Tory “Spin” machine has fatally misjudged this and boxed themselves into a London corner.
    When “Up North” is cast aside to score political points against Holyrood or the Senedd they shot themselves in the foot in the majority of England, Scotland is not just looking after it’s own it is leading the way, and god help them Indy support is building in all 4.

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