The smart bomb

Nicola Sturgeon launched a quiet little smart bomb into the independence debate yesterday. It has created very little stir, but then that’s what it was designed to do. This is a smartbomb whose payoff will come during the next Scottish elections and during the next official campaign for independence. It is nothing less than proof that the British Government is denying Scotland the ability to protect and build its economy as the world starts to recover from the pandemic.

The preliminary findings of a report by a group of advisors to the Scottish Government was announced yesterday during the daily press briefing. The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery (AGER) has called for an accelerated timetable for Westminster to deliver more powers to Holyrood in order that the Scottish Government has control of all the economic levers it requires for Scotland to make an economic recovery from the epidemic. The AGER has found that the Scottish Government needs considerably greater powers to borrow than the £450 million cap which is currently imposed upon Holyrood by Westminster.

Benny Higgins, the former chair of Tesco Bank, presented the report to the press. He pointed out that it’s likely to take 4% of economic output in investment to stimulate the economy in order to ensure that Scotland recovers properly in the months and years ahead. That works out at some £6 billion. The current cap on borrowing comes nowhere near that figure. The aim, he said, was to build a strong and resilient Scottish economy which is prepared for the next crisis, and not just to recover from the last one.

The report said that allowing the Scottish Government greater borrowing powers would benefit both Scotland and the rest of the UK. It would allow the Scottish Government to design a recovery programme tailored to the specific needs and requirements of the Scottish economy, and build much needed flexibility into the over-centralised British system.

The plan would see broadband delivered to every home in the country, a significant increase in capital investment, a guarantee of a job for 16 to 25 year olds, and investment in Scotland’s natural environment. It’s an ambitious plan, but it’s well within the capabilities of Scotland to deliver it.

Of course the details can be quibbled about. The plan is not exactly to everyone’s liking. The Greens for example want it to go further, faster, and to ensure greater emphasis on renewables and sustainability. Others have complained that there’s no provision in the report for a universal basic income scheme. Others consider that it’s too timid and too conservative. There is a great deal about the plan that doesn’t please everyone.

However if we were an independent nation, there is no question that although some details may differ this plan represents the sort of route that our government would be pursuing in order to deliver a recovery from the economic shock of the pandemic. Whatever the details of that plan, it would certainly involve borrowing requirements. And it’s those borrowing requirements which Holyrood lacks as a devolved parliament. That’s the key point here. It doesn’t really matter what plan the Scottish Government’s experts present to it if the Scottish Government as a devolved administration lacks the powers in order to deliver it.

You can read the report here:

We are not an independent country. This report was presented to a government which doesn’t have the economic, legal, or financial powers to implement it. It’s like a plan to install a ladder in order to climb out of a deep pit which is presented to someone who has both hands tied behind their back. Scotland is dependent upon the willingness of the British Government to take off the handcuffs. There’s no indication that they are disposed to do so. They like keeping Scotland locked up. They are afraid of what we would do if we were unleashed. It just might convince people in Scotland that this country is after all perfectly capable of dealing with its own issues, and that would never do. Scotland must be kept dependent, and it’s only by tying Scotland’s hands that the British nationalists can continue to insist that Scotland is incapable.

There are few things that are certain in this post-covid world. Except that is that Ant n Dec will continue to pop up on every single ITV programme, Love Island contestants will continue to be as airheaded as a Scottish Conservative backbench MSP only considerably less malign, and that the British Government won’t give any extra powers to Holyrood, never mind on an accelerated timetable. This is a British Government which has taken powers away from Holyrood. It’s not about to start strengthening a devolution settlement that it utterly despises. It’s not about to start treating a Scottish Government with respect when up until now it has shown nothing but contempt.

Johnson and his swivel eyed Brextremists are certainly not going to give Scotland greater financial freedom so that it can take a different path within the UK. When Conservatives talk about strengthening the union, what they mean is that Scotland must be compelled to adopt and follow whatever political decisions have been taken by England. They are not about to give up any power, far less power over the economy. It is noticeable that the Scottish Conservatives have yet to make any official response to the publication of the report. They’ve not had their instructions from Westminster yet. But it’s a safe bet that the response from Westminster to a demand from Holyrood for greater borrowing powers is going to be no.

That means that when we are campaigning in the next Scottish elections, and campaigning for independence, we will be able to show that being a part of the UK is holding Scotland back. Scotland is unable to make a full economic recovery from the virus because the British state refuses to allow Scotland the powers to do so. That’s a powerful argument in our favour. We will instead be dependent upon whatever rewards the British Government chooses to bestow upon the rich, the powerful, and those global corporations which have former Conservative politicians on their boards.

And this is why the report is really a smart bomb aimed at the heart of the British nationalists’ arguments against independence. It’s going to explode their claims that Scotland is incapable of recovering from the effects of the crisis without the UK to look after us. We will now be able to show that it’s the British Government which is preventing Scotland from having the means to recover from the crisis, and then telling us that we need it. There’s a word for that sort of behaviour, a word that has recently become very popular. That word is gaslighting. A Scotland where there’s already majority support for independence won’t take kindly to being told it can’t have the powers it needs to recover from the biggest global crisis since WW2.

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133 thoughts on “The smart bomb

  1. The BoE owns the UK governments debt of £1.3 trillion or at least a third of it from last weeks report by the governor.
    So, £6billion, appears in the face of things to be small change.

    • Yup, £6bn is small change. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if something like double that may be required to recover from the crisis. Scotland’s starting point is well behind that of Germany in many respects. Also, I haven’t looked at the details of the German plan, but I’m pretty sure it will be different. e.g. How green is it?

      Also, a key point about fiscal stimulus is that it can only be controlled and managed properly in and by the country (Scotland) which needs the stimulus. The main problem with doing that is lack of data. For example, Scotland currently has no independent measure of inflation or employment statistics. What happened to the plan to create a Scottish statistical authority?

      • Spot on, fiat. Currency is like the cars not
        Purpose an likely to
        Used by the
        Mob to steal your earnings and wealth

        • Fiat currency is what Scotland should have, as a country with a sovereign fiat currency is not beholden to external sources for borrowing.

          This is a central plank of Modern Monatery Theory.

          Look at Japan as an example where the majority of the government debt is owed to the japanese government central bank.

          If you owe money to yourself your not in debt.

          And the uk is also doing this with 800 billion owed to itself.

          So when you hear talk of a deficit, or Scotlands share of it.
          it’s really money that Scotland is owed from the uk state. And should be counted in any assets divied up between Scotland and England.

  2. The slight variance in Covid rules and guidance between Westminster and Holyrood is rapidly accelerating to a chasm. Johnson has turned the two meter rule into, “… where it’s possible to keep two meters apart, people should.” That’s a license for anarchy. Why hasn’t Nicola seen the scientific advice on which this new relaxation was based? Clue: Dom hasn’t written it yet.
    According to the BBC, the decision to relax the two meter rule was taken yesterday afternoon. That’s a maximum of six days data since non-essential shops were opened. There’s a firm scientific principle that secondary alterations to a system should only be made when the first alteration has fully shown itself. There’s no fecking way the scientific advisors signed off on relaxing the two meter rule.
    The seven day rolling average for new, +ve tests in Scotland is 20. The same metric for the UK 1,200. That’s a five fold variance from what our per capita rate should be.
    It took real guts for Nicola to refuse to open beer gardens last week when the anticipation was that she would. The blond buffoon on the other hand craves personal adulation from the public. He can see the hyperbolic headlines in tomorrow’s Mail and Express, praising “our hero, BoJo”. That fucking cretin will have many thousands of (unnecessary) body bags on his (questionable) conscience before summers close.

    • The FM is apparently putting the 2m social distancing rule to a committee, might I be helpful and suggest coming down in 10cm increments, say on a weekly basis, or perhaps 5cm increments would be more sensible?

      • Your input reduced to say an annual basis might perhaps be more helpful, you clearly have no understanding of how or why the 2m rule was derived nor have any interest in becoming acquainted with controlling a virus. Your lack of contribution to debate by 5cm or 10cm increments on an hourly if not minute if not second basis would contribute immeasurably to progress.

      • Here’s a cunning plan.
        Let’s go back to using imperial measurements.
        Less social distance, and be done with that nasty, complicated, S.I. way of doing things.

  3. “A Scotland where there’s already majority support for independent.” Correct. And given that ScotGov are already fully loaded with mandates, your talk of ‘smart bombs’ and another mandate next year, followed by an Indy campaign at some unspecified point sometime thereafter is just playing the SNP gradualist game of dangling the carrot for votes when they need them. After May 2021 there’ll be no way to pressure the SNP to act, as they’ll be again cemented into devolved power for another 4 years (or 5 if the parliamentary period is extended as proposed). As we head to being a part of England’s no deal Brexit the Scottish Government should be telling us how they’ll be using that majority support for independence to deliver it NOW. That’s the bomb that needs dropped on England.

    • You can’t just declare independence without some democratic event giving it legitimacy. That doesn’t exist just now. The Scottish Government has a mandate (several mandates) for a referendum and I share your frustration that they’re not more assertive about that. However they do not have a mandate for independence itself and until such time as the electorate gives them one it’s simply a fantasy to demand independence right now.

      • I normally agree wholeheartedly with all of your scribings. So it really pains me to take issue here.
        The SNP’s number one reason for existence is to provide the people of Scotland with self determination.
        Softly, softly or bull in a china shop.
        Makes no difference to their reason for being.
        The fact that Scotland has over recent decades hardend it’s heart towards the union/empire and once again embraced the idea of its nationhood. Is demonstrated by consistently electing a majority of SNP politicians, thus proving that, that desire exists within the population
        How can this situation not conflate to a “mandate for independence”.
        From day one it has been their reason for being. There an be no one on the planet who knows of the SNP who is in any doubt about that (grateful thanks to unionist party publicity machines for thier assistance with that)

  4. The FM knows perfectly well this approach will be rejected thereby giving her the biggest campaign tool she’s had for some time
    Not only does Scotland not have control of its own money, now Westminster is imposing a block on Scotland obtaining any more, the only way forward is ……..Kaboom!

    I was amazed at the time of announcing this that not one Unionist journalist took it on, not one question, except to mention that the Greens were’nt happy after only having posession of the documents for two hours (what are they speed readers) my guess is it took Benny Higgins and his team considerably longer to work out the details before publishing his work, I can read fast but c’mon you can’t read financial proposals of this magnitude dissect them then complain about the content in the space of two hours even the great Murdo Fraser couldn’t manage that (sarcasm in case anybody thought he actually could) so no marks for the Greens there and straight to the bottom of the class for putting their hands up and guessing too early

    It’s funny as well that Clacton Slackjaw hasn’t uttered a stutter over any of this so far and he’s normally a man with uncontrollable vowel syndrome accompanied by attacks of verbal dyspepsia

    There’s a tingly sparkly light in the FMs eyes at the moment as she draws on her fortitude and resists the urge to extend her claws and begin *rippin them a new wan* her eyes are saying much but her mouth is remaining closed, if a tad smirky, given that the FM isn’t always that easy to read, but my spidey sense is telling me she’s getting ready and it’s coming

  5. Isn’t it likely that the BritNats will simply focus on what is required and blame the Scottish Government for not doing it, while glossing over the funding/borrowing necessary to achieve it. The media certainly won’t highlight the inconsistency. And even if more borrowing powers were granted, what’s to stop WM from cutting the SG budget making repayments unaffordable while maintaining current services?

  6. It was the economic experts and not Nicola that have lobbed the bomb. I don’t expect Nicola will want anything to do with the fallout. It’s is interesting that it is an argument against the Union and not for independence. Other commentators have argued that the case against the Union is easier to make and to be understood by voters than the positive case for independence, but that it’s not her style to make a negative case.

    • It was Nicola Sturgeon and her government that pulled together the economic group in order that a report could be written in the first place. It was Nicola Surgeon that designed and built the bomb, the economic experts were her Enola Gay and they have delivered the evidence she wanted them to provide to make the case for further powers.

      It’s quite clear, and that’s without all the economic levers then a devolved administration will always be at a disadvantage having to follow the rules of another government that do not have your interests at heart. This “smart bomb” is making the case FOR Independence and against the Union at the same time. That’s one reason it’s smart 🙂

  7. I see Wishart is moaning about being ‘attacked’ on twitter regarding his comments on a plan B. (Suppported by McWhirter). There are always guys who are loose cannons on twitter but they are very useful to the likes of Wishart as he can use them to avoid answering the genuine questions and criticisms raised by others. The fact he does this makes me suspect his motives even more.

    • Pete Wishart aka Wishy Washy, has an opinion of himself as a great wit and raconteur. He absolutely adores himself and his position as the longest serving SNP MP in the UK Parliament. If he was chocolate he would eat himself. His time as a rock star with Runrig has had a serious affect on his personality. He feels like a king as he strides around his domain in Westminster. London is where its at for him, Edinburgh will not do, and he will bend over every which way to keep it so.
      Westminster has evolved to keep MPs such as Wishy Washy content. They are treated better than Lords. They quaff the finest wines and gorge the finest foods all paid for by us. They grow fat and lazy like contended cats, occasionally licking their rs and counting their blessings. They are rewarded with salaries and pension pots which are at odds with their contribution to society. Expenses that would make a MAFIA Don gasp in admiration.
      What has me reaching for the sick bucket is Wishy Washys exchanges with Reese Mogg in the Commons. Oh my God. such oleaginous creepy adulation I have never witnessed. Wishy Washy, is he were a cat, would roll over whilst Moggy tickled his wee fat belly.
      Of course now he has got himself as chair of yet another Committee, his grotesque salary will swell even larger, keeping pace with his hat size.
      The time has long past for Scottish MPs to walk out of Westminster forever. Whilst pouring vast riches into their accounts and stroking their egos with the best of the land, behind their backs and sometimes in the chamber they are treated with contempt. However they swallow it all to keep the money flowing.

      • As much as I despise Rees Mogg I would rather Snp Mps act like nice people towards others rather than act like the Tory scumbags like Bojo . If our Snp mps did abandon Westminster plenty of the electorate would moan and I doubt whether leaving Westminster would help the Indy cause either. Slagging off longterm Snp Mps doesnt help matters even if you don’t like Petes manner. Now if you had a go at Ian Murray or Carjack Backarse with as much enthusism I would give you a round of aplause

      • Great post Duncan I feel exactly the same.

        But I also ask myself given the democratic inevitability of independence we should wait four years for your average Tory to pop their clogs then we are home free.

        Average member is 72 years old and the Neanderthals I’m the fruit lodge are popping out at the same rate with them. Tick tick , to coin an old military trick, we all need to hold the line and wait until they are in range then let me have it.

  8. I think some folk would rather Independence came about gently over a period of reflective time then the DVD player and custody of the dog is mutually agreed upon followed by a handshake and a wish you well atmosphere

    That’s not going to happen no matter how it’s approached, Independence for Scotland means a certain amount of impoverishment for England and that country’s borrowing ability, so no gentle hippy style flowers and music divorce is likely to be on the cards

    England will scratch bite and threaten right after their terms of undying endearment have been rejected by Scotland, the embarrassement to Englands ego knowing that Scotland will be supported by many other countries around the world will be overwhelmingly unbearable for them, plus the certain knowledge that Scotland will thrive post Independence will add to to the political unrest that already exists over inequality in Englands population who will look North and see something better and realise they were lied to just as we were and they’ll start shouting about it

    That’s the catastrophic destabilising effect Tory MP Tom Tugendhat was referring to, he knows, they all do

  9. Like you Paul I thought that the FM did indeed launch a smart bomb. Linked to this if you read Gordon McIntyre-Kemps article in the National a couple of days ago you can see the ScotGov is also considering more radical economic plans for Independence itself.

    We can now say to the Brit Nats that we have a plan for recovery in the short and long term. Have you?, apart from Brexit that is.

    I bet WM goes for more austerity once again.

    Fingers crossed for our future.

  10. I think your wrong Paul, I don’t think this is about getting another mandate to hold a referendum, this is about direct confrontation with Westminster. This is getting ready for the 10’s of thousands of redundancies caused not by Covid or Brexit but by Westminster. I think the FM’s getting ready for a fight, now.

    • Golfnut,

      I don’t mean you you should expose her tactics exactly, but I’ll tell you mine.

      Get more and more angry at being held back!

  11. Dr Jim,

    As we have already had a trial reconciliation, where Scotland was told it was at the heart of the Union, and gullible as we were, we thought:

    “One last chance”.

    Day after, the bully boy, our beloved partner, turned around and laughed in our faces. He had conned his missus and he let the whole world know.

    This was somewhat of an embarrassment for the missus.

    SNP membership went through the roof, opinion polls did not settle back down to levels that meant that we were reconciled to our fate as victims. So, as a bit of text:


    “And, so, it came to pass that the master of the house saw his authority under attack and walked away from the family that had taken him in, and England was free! Which was a tad unfortunate for his missus who quite liked the family and feared, perhaps rightly, that without familial restraints, he would be unconstrained.

    He rubbed his hands in glee.

    Meanwhile a plague stalked the land and, it being a plague and that, and him being a tad lazy, it ripped through both his houses. (Though, by this time his missus had, sort of, got some freedom to deal with things somewhat differently.)

    So he, being the master of all he surveyed, released the plague from it’s constraints and said:

    “I have you under control, foul plague. So, err, go forth and multiply.”

    So it did.

    And the planes flew and the trains burrowed through tunnels and people were free to travel.

    And meanwhile the greatest politician the world has ever known cut off all trade, except in something callled chlorinated chickens.

    And it was seen as a great victory for freedom (of capital) and a great hurrah was heard as people packed themselves up for final adventures. But still it spread, and poverty, lack of medicines and starvation finally overtook even the hardier Northern tribe.


    [Found enscribed into a rock on a very barren island. No-one knows what became of the inhabitants. Though mass graves from this era may be a clue, even now that is insufficient evidence for some. In the modern era they are popularily known as ‘Conservatives’ or ‘Idiots’. These are synomyms in an ‘Old Earth’ language.

    The final lines of the inscription, which we may not have translated accurately (it us our scholarly best guess}

    “Around this wreck,

    “Nothing besides remains,

    Around this graveyard,

    The bones of chlorinated chickens,

    Stretch far away”


    • You’re a Cecil B DeMille biblical movie fan like myself Douglas, And Pharoh said: So let it be written so let it be done

      • Let’s hope what I wrote never becomes true. It is just the worst option. I am actually a tad more optimistic than that. I think that there are too many, ahem, boundaries, that have to be crossed before Armageddon becomes our only option.

        Though, Westminster? It seems to me that it believes itself to be inviolate and god given.

        I think it is up for a very, very rude awakening.


        I found this profound, for me, probably fifty five years ago:

        This is the original text:

        “I met a traveller from an antique land,
        Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
        And on the pedestal, these words appear:
        My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
        Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

        I happen to think that that is also the epitaph for the British Empire.

        Perhaps it is time to get out of that place?

  12. Meanwhile Liam Fox is Johnson’s choice for candidate to be the next DG of the World Trade Organisation. Remember he was the one who said that securing a trade deal with the EU would be easy.

    • Meanwhile the US has turned WTO into it’s personal fiefdom else disintegration, now isn’t this a surprise….

  13. Yoonionworld gets what it’s been screaming for then screams they don’t want it because eh eh er
    They’re filling up the airwaves as we speak, Benny Higgins is wrong and Sir Tom Hunter’s right, you have to laugh at Sir Tom Hunter “I’ll put £millions of my own money in if you do it my way” what’s your way then Sir Tom and how many £millions “eh erm grumph mumble” and thanks for that Sir Tom Hunter, well articulated as usual, if he doesn’t get his way he might not vote for Independence, he pulled that one last time

    John Beattie ace reporter for the BBC “Wait a minute eh you’re doing it wrong wait a minute you said last month” John Swinney “Yes that was a month ago you’re correct”

    Labours Ian Gray says:, och I’m not even going to bother with what he says the man’s ridiculous

    None of this behaviour happens in Ireland y’know, the press ask questions and wait for the answers and everything, kinda like they want their leaders to make a success of their country, it’s as if they’ve got some pride in Ireland

    • As once said, the Irish have a healthy disrespect for authority… The Scots are catching up fast…..

  14. Bad UK trade news is also coming thick and fast now.

    Current UK rollover trade deals are pathetic given it’s been four years since the Brexit vote –

    Japan pushes for a six week deadline on trade talks with UK –

    As for the US, their position is clear for all to see

    And I can’t see the unionists being too happy about being able to buy anything called a TimTam from Oz.

    • Ian – just to let you know that if you include more than two links in your comment it will automatically go into the moderation folder as an anti-spam measure and won’t appear immediately. If you post the extra links in a different comment you won’t have that problem.

  15. It is clear that the Brit Nat Jock Hackery don’t realise that they are a bunch of frogs standing in a simmering pan of water.
    Tom Gordon today: John Swinney in ‘colossal U Turn’.
    I presume that he is quoting Carlaw or Rennie or Leonard, or perhaps Monica Lennon, whoever she is.
    Gordon’s Last Stand?

    What Swinney announced in Parliament today was that he had revised his blended learning strategy when schools return in August given the outstanding Covid figures and the positive trends going forward.
    Carlaw will have hernia if/more likely when, Scottish schools return in August, four weeks ahead of any English Schools restart.

    It is announced that the English Government has lost more dosh over Brexit than was paid in total EU budget payments in 47 years.

    It’s not theoretical ‘bombs’ we need, Paul. It’s action.

    Scotland won’t be ‘granted’ borrowing powers by England.

    England saying No to its colony is no longer shock outrage revolt news.
    They do it every time.
    More mug us expecting anything different.

    By ‘action’ I mean campaigning now for Self Determination.

    60 jobs are to go at BBC Pacific Heights to ‘save’ £6.2 million, and presumably pay for Donalda MacKinnon’s Golden Parachute and fat index linked pension.

    We cannot hang about. Chucking stones at England is pointless now; action speaks louder than words in this case.

    We need a leader to emerge from AUOB to get Indyref 2 campaign started now, not after May ’21 or whenever.

    If any of the ProudScotsBut gravy trainers start uttering their too wee shit, we bombard them with words, the only petard by which they will be hoisted.

    ‘Colossal U Turn’? How desperate is the Hackery getting?

    They know that Independence is imminent and inevitable now.

  16. Jack collatin,


    The only paragraph I agreed with was the last one, where you said:

    “They know that Independence is imminent and inevitable now.”

    Perhaps talking some folk, over the line, would be more useful than alienating them? Just a mad suggestion Jack.

    • I have no idea what the FM’s plan is but I would put money on some people being surprised about who stands right along side her. There’s going to be another wave, the scientific advice is that it will be worse than the first, fortunately the bbc in its zeal to support the precious union and belittle the FM, are demonstrating to everybody in Scotland exactly who will be responsible.

    • Douglas,
      I am not a Sturgeon Basher, nor an SNP basher either.
      The current Scottish Government is the only conduit through which we can push for independence.
      I am pro EU and Scotland’s full membership, as were 62% of those who voted Up here. Ironically not all Independence supporters are pro EU. Not all SNP members are pro EU.

      I am for hard nosed campaigning, winning the argument, using every trick in the book.
      This is an extract from the Hootsman’s report on full time education from August.

      “But Mr Swinney was accused of the “mother and father of all climbdowns” by opponents after indicating earlier this month that the “blended” approach may be in place for a year. Councils have spent recent weeks drawing up plans for pupils to be in place for one, two or three days a week and it may yet be implemented if there is another flare-up in Covid cases.”
      They don’t even bother covering their lies any more.
      Not one Brit Nat is attributed with this nonsense.
      We fight fire with napalm.
      We need someone to lead’ the Indyref campaign, who is not narrowly associated with a political party, be it SNP, Greens, or the Brit Nats.

      It must be made clear that the first order of business come a Yes vote, is a SGE, so that Free Scots can vote for the party of their choice.
      What hampered Indyref 1 was Salmond’s Marmite effect.
      Many voted No to an SNP Government running Scotland.
      Many agreed with the principle of Self Determination, but not at any cost, and a Salmond led SNP Administration was a step too far.
      Blair Jenkins tried bravely to front the last campaign, but was crushed under the might of the MSM and Brit Nat politicians constant attacks.

      I’d argue that once achieved, the SNP will splinter into left right and middle factions.
      I find it refreshing to have confirmed that there are some who disagree with most of my posts. Thank you for reasserting my faith in human diversity.

      • “I’d argue that once achieved, the SNP will splinter into left right and middle factions” – Agreed, essentially their constituent parts will splinter as you say, but I wonder what they might be.
        If the SNP are a coalition of more moderate versions of their opposition counterparts which has excelled in contrast to London, is reversion to the UK political model either necessary or beneficial to the Scottish state post-independence ?

        The truly awful tribalism, extremism and blatant lies in which UK politics is drowning, is no less evident in Scotland. Parliaments intended as debating forums have become time wasting political theatre and points scoring sessions with a mob of braying donkeys in vocal support.
        WM government lies with impunity and no longer serves the best interests of the people rather than lobbyists, the media give or wait on instructions, opinion manipulators rather than gatherers dominate, it is a corrupt viper’s nest with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
        An independent Scotland needs to start anew, existing political parties need not apply.

        If the SNP experience taught us anything it is how well a coalition model can best serve the interests of the majority rather than a minority, how Scots develop that model with individual parties will prove interesting, but it sure as hell can’t be worse than what we abandon via independence.

        • Bob, I note from the logged time of your post that you are enjoying your first cup of the day, like I.
          I have loads of ideas about how the New Scotland should look, politically, economically, socially.
          It’s just that this ‘democracy’ stuff gets in the way of my benign dictator solution.

          There is no such beast as Utopia, most of us will concede that.
          There will still be honest citizens living here, whose philosophy, life style, and political choices will always be at odds with mine, and yours, for that matter.

          Holyrood is a million light years away from the baying Bedlam that is Westminster.

          We don’t have 800 fat arses sitting in a House of Lords, and never will.
          Off the top of my head, why do we have 32 Councils, with 32 sets of obscenely paid officials running the same strands of Local Government, like Education, Housing, Care, and so on?
          Yorkshire has a similar sized population, 5million plus change, and a mix of challenges from inner city management to vast tracts of rural communities, yet they have 3 Local Authorities?
          I’d argue that the number of SMP’s be cut in half, say 60 members ,tops.
          I’d ditch d’Honte, and while we work on a new constitution, revert to some form of FPTP, as a stop gap.
          I’d avoid Edinburgh as the new London, by decentralising Government Departments. Industry Glasgow, Fisheries Aberdeen, Agriculture Perth, IT and Innovation Dundee, Edinburgh Foreign Office and so on.

          Laterally thinking, in the spirit of AUOB, I’d postulate forming an Indyref2 Task Force now, the Board of which would be small, tight, and a mixture of political views, just like the rainbow alliance that is the millions strong Independence Movement itself.

          Nominations, please.

          A melting pot of political persuasions, along the red to blue spectrum, as well as views and beliefs from ‘outside the dots’.

          With my benign dictator hat on, I’d reclaim our land from the Robber Barons, build new towns, stop citizens living on top of each other in tenements and tower blocks, and ban all forms of blood sports.

          I could go on for hours.
          But we need to focus on Indyref 2 now.

          Nicola Sturgeon is a remarkable politician and human being. She can fill halls and rally the troops.
          But she is just one person.
          I’ll sign off for now. Enjoy your breakfast, Bob.

      • Jack,

        Just to be contrary, (it’s what I do!), I’d assume that the party that got us independence, the SNP would win an overwhelming majority in the first post independence general election. And, depending on how they did in that first term, maybe the second. That would give us four / eight years of stable governance. When independence was ‘normalised’ I would agree with you that that consensus would fall apart. There would be opportunities for other parties to gain seats and, perhaps, just perhaps, Hollyrood would become the place it was meant to be. Y’know, opinionated.

        I do not think that any party that wanted us to re-join with England would get many votes at all.

        For clarity, I am an SNP member, but I would probably vote Green in 2028, God willing.

        • Douglas, this Land of the Midnight Sun period seems to have us all to bed late, and up with mornin’ light, doesn’t it?
          See my post to Bob above.

          Granted, there will be a massive four or five year Arm Wrestling Contest with England over assets, Trident, splitting the CDs and such, following a Yes Landslide, and the argument is sound that the SNP Administration may be the stabilising Interim Government needed during this fractious time; think Brexit, think Gove, Rees Mogg, and oh, yes Premier Johnson.

          Then there is the EUlephant in the room. (see what I did there?)
          Over 1/3rd of Scots are agin it.

          Much work to do.

          I would lend the SNP my vote in the first SGE, with the emphasis on ‘lending’ them my vote, just to minimise the disruption during the Early Years of Free Scotland.

          Plain bread toasted, saturated in melted butter, beckons. Heart Attack City I know, but at 72, I am entitled to let it all hang out.

          Peace, to you and yours, Douglas.

          • Jack,

            Peace to you and yours too, Jack. Funnily enough I am 72 too! On a sample of two, it belies the arguement that us, (err), more mature folk aren’t independence minded!

            I like to think that you and I were discussing, rather than arguing, ’cause our conclusions seem to be very similar.

            Perhaps we could disagree about which bread is best for toast? I’m for ‘Super Seeded Farmhouse’.

            Now that would be a row!

            Best wishes.

          • No knead to fall out over our choice of bread, Douglas.
            Unless the ‘bread’ or ‘dough’ is money of course.
            Give piece a chance, Brother.
            The toast was mouth dribblingly delicious.

            Power to the Septuas!

  17. “Scotland must be kept dependent “. The SNP and Greens advocate independence while the Britnats insist on maintaining dependency, just like drug pushers – keep on milking the mugs!
    The hypocrisy, while surprising no one, is gobsmacking. It is an article of faith to the tories that we should all be responsible for ourselves, not “dependant” on society. Yet they lie, cheat, steal and bully to maintain the opposite.
    Perhaps we need to highlight this more clearly. We advocate independence, they seek to force continued dependency. It is not a good look.

  18. Sadly other bloggers in another place are smacking their lips building and plotting together to get rid of the First Minister. Doing the tories work they call themselves patriots.

  19. Back to the positive. The FM is trusted more than the previous FM ( rightly or wrongly) the slow burner of pro independence continues and the pandemic issue has not resolved to any conclusion that can be said is ok. How many dead in the U.K.? Has Johnson forgotten about them already? The bereaved won’t have. Brexit looms again where over 60% of us in Scotland said no. Democracy? We know the lies of the unionists of how we would remain in the eu by voting No, we would be better of by voting no. You know the rest. The slow burn of independence continues.

  20. Fraid I agree with Jack Collatin, Paul !
    What I heard yesterday was indeed a measured, reassuring, route map of how the Scottish Government could deal with the damage Covid has caused,and set Scotland on an even better path going forward.
    What I also heard was the controls and levers that Westminster will deploy to make sure Scotland won’t be able to prosper.
    If we don’t move soon,all we’ll be left with is shoulda,woulda,coulda, just like the Oil.
    Westminster is not going to give/grant any powers to Holyrood at all.
    It’s certainly not going to do anything to help Scotland over the effects of the virus.
    Why would it….
    If Scotland prospered Scotland leaves the Union,if Scotland didn’t prosper,there’s not only a chance,a vanishingly small chance,to be sure,but still a chance they could keep us!

    But either way it is not in British interests to have Scotland prosper.
    We would be in direct competition with London and it makes no sense to either help the competition or even to just leave it be. Especially if you had any power to weaken it…and Westminster have that power.
    I’d certainly use it,and, anyone who wouldn’t is a fool….
    This is their last best chance to set Scotland as far back as they can before we leave and I think they’ll take it…
    Smart or not that bomb is going to have fall out.

    • ‘ smart or not that bomb is going to have fall out ‘

      Well put and inevitable. We knew that though, didn’t we, there would, could never be a velvet divorce, from westminster. Indy 2014 taught us that. We do need to make sure that Westminster understands that it works two ways, that there would be legal consequences, because Scotland isn’t a colony.

      • Yes Golfnut, I’m afraid it was always going to get messy.
        Even if we’d voted Yes in 2014, they’d still have tried to cause us problems in all sorts of ways.
        Truth be told , I don’t blame them,if the shoe were on the other foot , I’d expect Holyrood to try to keep hold of London’s resources,and not to use any of our resources to aid their success!

        Just as well we’re not a Colony on paper we are in Union,”an International Treaty and No a Title Deed” as they say, and in a lot of ways Westminster just bluff their way through being in charge.

        Sometimes I’m glad we didn’t win in 2014 ( only sometimes 🙂 ) because I don’t think a lot of us had realised just how ruthless we are going to have to be with the negotiations.
        At least now hopefully with all that has happened there is no illusions about any kind of velvet divorce.
        My one concern in 2014 was that people would vote Yes and switch off to what arrangements were being made for us. Now Brexit has demonstrated that we all need to stay engaged till the inks dry or the fat lady sings, because it’s taken as read they do not want competition for London and that’s exactly what we will become so no matter their pretty words,it’s in their best interests to damage that potential for as long as they can !

    • See my reply to douglasclark at 1.05 am above ,Liz,

      All Under One Banner does what it says on the tin.
      The glue that binds us all is not the SNP, it is the demand to be a self Governing Nation, with a parliament of the people, by the people, and accountable to the people of Scotland through the democratic process.
      It is almost insurmountable to sway many waverers to present the stark choice; continue as a suppressed colony or Independence, SNP style.
      We must make the case for self determination.
      Highlight the gross injustices of allowing our larger neighbour to the South steal our wealth, and keep us in penury.
      It is insanity for any scots citizen to allow another country to rule over us. This is a given for us Nats.
      And this is the starting point.
      Rally the troops, probably 2 million strong now, and target and yes, woo, the Don’t Nos, soft Nos.
      Let pensioners know what’s instore for them under WM Rule.
      Let the public know what No Deal Brexit means. Let fishermen, farmers, know what Liam Fox is about to do to their industries when the Yanks flood our markets.
      Let the people know that our NHS is to be replaced by Us Private Health giants.. and so on.
      All this takes massive organisation and ‘leadership’ now.
      If we all sit back and hope that Nicola Sturgeon will take on the might of Empire and win for us, well, all is lost before we start.

      NS and the SNP have done a tremendous job on the day to day political front; but an Independence campaign is much more than that.
      Again I ask, for what are we waiting? A sign from heaven?

  21. We recognise the ancillary economic imperative for secession along with the various other factors. What isnt clear is how the present leadership of the secessionist movement propose to attain our secession in the absence of the administrative Powers refusal to initiate the legislative process to allow the plebiscite.

    After WWI the process was overseen by the league of Nations. This resulted in the reemergence of Poland, Hungary, Czech lands etc which were hitherto subsumed by the Prussians, Austrians and Russians. The re emergence of Scotland as a European power will not come about by English acquience.

    What is Plan B

    • Yawn…so yesterday.

      Here’s an idea, why don’t you tell us what you think it should be? Go on, enthrall us with your genius,

      • Yawn,

        Independence voters are now being castigated for attempting to demonstrate the iniquities of the current from historical parallels.

        If you lack the intellectual capacity to be part of the argument just stand aside.

          • My plan B in the absence of any Plan B on the part of the SNP is either to abstain or to vote Greens. Do you not grasp that the current leadership is dividing the vote.

            As a consequence of your comments I will now advise the SNP that im no longer content to allow their banners at my house or on my land in Angus and Perthshire. Outrageous what’s going on.

          • Oh please don’t stop the SNP putting their banners on your land in Angus and Perthshire just because of something I’ve said on a blog. That wouldn’t be fair hahaha

          • You re right, I will let Wishart and Dave Doogan they can no longer display their flags and banners on my my land.

          • Are you throwing the rattle oot the pram, taking your baw back, giving up the ghost?

            You’ve been kidding us on all along eh, you’re not really a supporter of Independence are you? Never mind, when your Saltire/Yes flag comes down, I’ll put another one up LOL

          • Hi, I was being deliberately pompous but Alex didnt seem to grasp this.

            When you’re in rural Angus and Perthshire you really are at the cutthroat end of the independence movement.

            The SNP being dilatory or obfuscatory re independence doesn’t help out here. Its seen as weakness.

  22. Scottish government and Nicola Sturgeon heavily criticised by opposition for contingency planning

    Well here’s hoping they use that as their headline for tomorrows papers because it really does make all of the opposition seem a lot smarter when their criticism is as barbed as this ooft!
    They certainly must feel they scored a *Gotcha* with this devastating dig at a government for planning something that folk actually wanted

    Opposition on the back foot by surprise Scottish government strategic planning sounds better

    We demand eh to know erm something eh or we’ll eh stamp our feet, uturn, eh secretive, bowed to pressure and er we’ll say more things once the BBC writes our script for us

    The FM and SNP all wink and smile at each other

    • The good Friday agreement allows the Northern Irish a plebiscite every 7 years if so desired. There is therefore statutory precedence to show a generation is 7 years not an infinite period of the English governments chosen. In any event as Sturgeon will know positive law is secondary to natural law as determined post world war 2.

      • Nicola Sturgeon.

        Do you like to be called by your surname only…Mbiyd ?
        You write well so i assume you also have manners.
        Even if you dont like Nicola Sturgeon you dont have to be insulting

        • I dont know N S so I didn’t want to use the familiar term Nicola. I take your point re Sturgeon though.

          I think she is the consummate politician far better than the current the English leadership and on the same level as the N Irish leadership across the spectrum.

          What I dont think she is, is the leader to take us to Independence. She isn’t a De Valera; Gandhi, Nehru, Collins, John MacDonald, Bob Hawke etc.

    • …you might want to take a look at what Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine makes of it.

      Thou jesteth, surely? If I waited for Mr. Negativity to produce a gram of encouragement about any prospect of independence any time soon, I would be deid before anything useful actually happened.

      Like it or not (and the jealous also-rans typically don’t), it’s the SNP that is going to make indy happen, whether Robin McAlpine can ever get round to working up any proper enthusiasm for it in time or not.

        • Common Weal keep coming up with wonderful wheezes, none of which ever amount to anything because they don’t have any impact with the vast majority of ordinary people. (Yer actual voters, y’know.) If the largest single problem with indy in general is getting sufficient message over to the masses, what with the media being solely in the hands of BritNat flunkeys and all, the radical left have an even harder task, because on top of that they are selling Nirvana to a public which is sadly sceptical of the practicalities of even a conventional transition. CW is trying to get people to believe in running when they can still hardly walk.

          None of which is helped by being fronted by someone who regularly predicts doom and gloom. Maybe it’s just me, but from past experience I sometimes feel he’s the radical left’s answer to Pete Wishart. And life is already too short.

          • “Common Weal keep coming up with wonderful wheezes..”. Indeed. National Investment Bank anyone? This was a Common Weal initiative which the current administration took on board, then promptly handed to the banking lobbyist groups to tinker with. This has resulted in a much watered down version of its’ powerful original, and the legislation to make even that a reality is hirpling it’s way through the doddery process of committees.

            I’d agree that Common Weal is a left of centre creature, but radical left is over-egging it a tad. Good attempt at a diversion nonetheless.

            The fact of the matter is, Common Weal have developed many intelligent proposals and policy documents which have been properly costed (what you describe as “wonderful wheezes”, a bit DC Thomson of you). The current administration lacks the boldness to really investigate the usefullness of these to the country. If anything, the Scottish government hand these ideas to the neoliberal economics groupings which hold sway in our country for the purpose of neutering them beyond usefulness.

            Sadly, our government would prefer to deal with the likes of Benny Higgins, who represents – in the shape of the Buccleuch Estates – exactly the kind of people we should be looking to remove from the seats of power. Is it not the case that we should judge a man (government) by the kind of company he (it) keeps?

          • Neil, as secretary of the Robin McAlpine Fan Club, can you send me a signed photograph and a lock of his hair?
            Is he still driving himself to physical and mental exhaustion ‘thinking’ for all us deluded souls?

          • You’re “playing the man” here Jack, I think it’s referred to as “ad hominem”? So, since that’s your game. At least McAlpine is thinking, what are you up to at the moment? I think you better put the malt away and get tae yer bed.

          • You serious minded Lefties don’t do satire or irony, do you, Neil?

            Seriously, to declare that Common Weal is the Second Socialist Coming full of fresh progressive transformational ideas seems, in this writer’s view, juvenile, and mildly charming, stuff.

            Who is funding McAlpine and his Think Tank?

            Probably me, through taxes.
            As for ad hominem attacks, I barely know the man, which in itself speaks volumes as to his importance or not, in the Push For Independence.

  23. A point worth noting; Benny Higgins (who presented the proposals for the AGER) WAS the the CEO of Tesco Bank. He is now – wait for it – Chief Executive of Buccleuch Estates. Here’s a quote from the article linked above:

    “There is talk of decentralisation but no mention of democracy at all – not once. Unsurprisingly Scotland’s feudal land ownership pattern will remain intact.” No conflict of interests there then. No, wait…

    I recommend a read of Common Weal’s “Resilience Economics” Parts 1&2 for a much more radical (and fully costed, unlike AGER’s hastily constructed offering) plan for moving forward the economic prosperity of our beleaguered country.

    • Yeah, it will be a big hit with the Nirvana believers, I’m sure. Not so much with anyone else. Running before walking. Yet another excursion in distraction.

      A better system in many ways is a fundamental and reasonable justification for many of us, but looking in the mirror won’t make indy happen. That was arguably the main error last time round, believing that what enthused the enlightened was also sure to enthuse everyone else. When it didn’t. (Some people alas still haven’t got over the shock and woken up to that reality.)

      There may come a time before too long when some of these ideas will deservedly command real traction. But that time is not now. We will have to get independence first.

      • Your description of people who seek an alternative approach to a solution for our current situation as “Nirvana believers” does you little credit. As to “running before walking”; you’re correct, we haven’t even started walking yet. I’d suggest we’re sitting around trying to decide when we’ll stand up.

        I don’t quite understand why proposing solid and fully costed policies for the transformation of our economy and society for the better of the majority in our country is “looking in the mirror”. That is glib in the extreme, and very easy to do.

        “We will have to get independence first.” Who can argue with that? I’m sure the tactic of tugging at the coat tail of a proven and pathalogical liar in an attempt to gain his permission to hold a referendum will work eventually. No, I’m joking. That won’t work. We’ll have to try something a bit more radical than that. And, for the record, “radical” is not a dirty word.

        “There may come a time…” The constant cry of the Scot throughout my lifetime. I’m getting rather tired of it.

  24. Slightly off topic but interesting that Baw Jaws dropped a whopping big lie in Westminster yesterday when he said “No country in the world had developed or has been successful in launching a track and trace app” or words to that effect. He misled parliament which used to be a cardinal sin that required the resignation of the misleader or in this case lier but we shouldn’t expect any resignation or apology to the parliament or speaker.

    Australia’s Covid Safe app has been up and running for well over a month with a voluntary uptake of over 70%

    Read more here.

      • Yep. End of lockdown parties being advertised across local social media – the start of a heatwave in England will only fuel the chaos.

        No wonder they’ve stopped the daily press briefings. Not one of these bastards would survive the mauling with what’s to come.

  25. A great article with great comments BTL.

    And as they plan to open restaurants and pubs the Commons is shutting down. Even they couldn’t stand listening to their own lies anymore.

    ‘No 10 announces that today will be the last of the daily press conferences. They’ll only be holding them from now on to coincide with “significant announcements” including with the PM.’

    One of LBJ’s last pieces of advice to the country. Scientifically led of course.

  26. BBC Radio Scotland this morning, Gary Robertson getting very angry on behalf of teachers on ‘social media’ who have been preparing for blended learning in August but who were told by John Sweeney that since it looks as though we shall have the virus contained in the next 7 weeks, and that we might well be in stage 4 of the recovery, that schools can return to full time education.

    Swinney pointed out in this bout of Robertson ‘Yes Buttery’ that the work done on preparing for a blended learning scenario has not been wasted, because this may be required as a contingency should the virus flare up again.

    England going back on the booze next Saturday and invading Scotland is a very real risk to destroying the pains taking work done by Scotland after all.
    Fiften million boozers flocking to English pubs on the 4th of July. What can possibly go wrong. They will all socially distance, even after 10 pints, won’t they?

    Swinney revealed that a head teacher assured him that return to ‘normal’ full time education plans for the next academic year are ‘in the drawer’, and that despite Robertson’s tetchy ‘does this now mean that teachers will have to go back early to plan for fulltime education?’ , preparation for a normal academic year has been ongoing as usual.

    God, was Gary really angry.

    Why anger?

    Draw your own conclusions.
    Laura Maxwell and Toodle Oo The Noo struggled to blame Swinney for what Taylor described as not a route map, more a ‘mystery tour’, quoting one of his Better Together ‘chums’, Iain Gray.

    Taylor tried his best to hint that it was political pressure from the List Tory Boys that led to FT education returning in August, and not the incredible success of lockdown measures overseen by the SNP Government and our incredible Health professionals.

    What a dreary bitter bunch over at pacific Quay.

    Kaye with and e is following on with a phone in on Swinney’s ‘mystery tour’.

    Cue the Brit Nats line up to repeat the Robertson Maxwell Taylor ‘anger’.
    What a tawdry wee steam driven thing BBC Radio Scotland is.

    • ”England going back on the booze next Saturday and invading Scotland is a very real risk to destroying the pains taking work done by Scotland after all.”

      Close the border, ASAP. We’ve had to self-isolate and now go no further than 5 miles from home, so why on earth should we put up with people from England being allowed to travel all over Scotland?

      Taken from Golfnut’s article (8:48am).

      ”There is also a great fear that England is opening up too quickly and the chances of a serious spike are high, particularly in the major cities due to over population, poor housing conditions and crowded transport. Today’s figures highlight the problem. In Scotland we had 12 new infections today. Allowing for population equalization, Scotland being 8.2% of the uk population that would give you an expected figure of 146 new infections in the UK if the rates were mirroring Scotland. Instead the UK figures were 1147 new infections on the 23rd June almost EIGHT TIMES THE RATE IN SCOTLAND.”


      “We still have far higher level of cases than other European countries… If things move too quickly in England… then it puts the rest of us at risk – says prof of public health at Edinburgh University LindaBauld.”

  27. The chair of the Scottish Government’s economic advisory group, Benny Higgins, has said he would support a debate in Scotland on the re-introduction of tuition fees. Tuition fees were not mentioned in The Group’s report published on Monday, but it did talk about the financial pressure Universities were under, and when asked about whether he would support a debate on the issue, he said “yes”, adding: “There is bound to be one and I am sure it will take place around the universities.”

    So, here’s the bold Benny attacking flagship policies now. Wonder where it’s all going to end?

    • So was Benny Higgins asked if he would support a debate on University funding or specifically about Tuition fees. I’m not sure why you jump to the conclusion that he is attacking a flagship policy rather than agreeing that a debate on University funding is likely to occur.

    • Unless I missed something Golfnut it was financial assistance for struggling universities coming out of this crisis which was the question..

  28. Debating University fees, if necessary, would be a good thing. The Scottish public have to understand the reasons why tuition fees are a thoroughly bad idea. It is a good opportunity for the public to hear again the weasel words of the Brits and to take responsibility for what happens in Scotland. An infantilised electorate is what the Brits want, an informed, engaged and adult electorate is what Scotland needs.

    Risky? Of course it is but ducking and diving is not the way to go. We have to put our trust in the new normal.

    I’m sure the Tories’ little helpers will be right there defending the principle of no individual tuition fees. Lolz.

  29. The trouble with being closer to Independence is it brings out the desire in ideologues everywhere to alter democracy into ideology which is the very thing that causes the problems within society in the first place because they adopt immovable stances
    The Tories hate the socialists and the socialists hate the Tories and the depth of mistrust they both engender within the poplulation who fear both positions are the greater number in any society, that is the people in the middle

    The *middle* people are generally disrespected by both of those positions as being *wet* or some other derogatory adjective and yet the middle people are by and large the majority of the population so it becomes a disengenuous fight for *control* of the middle

    Ideology creates intransigence by its very nature with both sides generally digging their heels in to impose one over the other as being the better ideology

    If we want a new country that works for everyone, or mostly everyone is it not time to embrace the original idea of where most of the population are in the political spectrum, even though most people don’t realise that’s what their position is until you point it out, *Democracy*
    Ideologues have problems with democracy they argue it’s the “wrong kind” of democracy, Tory types and Socialists don’t really want the people deciding things as we all know to our cost

    Socialism on paper always sounds good but it doesn’t work because just like the Tories it’s run by a small group of self interested people who are not robots therefore just as fallible and damaging as the opposite view they vehemently argue against, once again leaving the *middle* people bereft of representation and the argument continues
    If and when a referendum on Independence takes place a democratic process will occur where the majority will decide on what they want to happen but as we see even now the ideologues argue like snarling dogs over which of them is going to control any new found democracy

    Democracy, a fine word and ambition that ideologues hijack to pretend that’s what they want then seek to impose and replace it with bloody Ideology
    The Greeks came up with the idea isn’t it time somebody actually tried it, I understand it’s what the majority seems to want

    • What have so called extreme left wing Socialists and Tory’s got in common-(corruption) It is my opinion I rest my case.

    • Absolutely agree, Dr Jim, which is why I would prefer that some independence supporters didn’t tend to focus constantly on the argument that they want independence because they don’t want to be ruled by the Tories at WM any more. That is not a mature premise upon which to argue for wanting self-determination for your nation and there could be many right-leaning Scots who are turned off by that because they foresee wall-to-wall Labour forever. I wouldn’t blame them for worrying about that given the quality of Labour in Scotland. Personally, I don’t want to be ruled by any of the British parties at WM because none of them has Scotland’s best interests at heart. What I want are political parties with Scotland’s best interests at heart in power in Scotland. Old Labour and Old Liberals do not inspire me with confidence in that respect because they are far too entrenched in unionism and partisanship and will never shake it off.

      What Scotland as a nation needs, wants and deserves is the power to make its own decisions, secure its own borders, take its place in the international community, and regain its self-respect and that’s what the argument and thrust should be not, as you say, political ideologies. That’s for the future.

  30. LOL! I enjoy reading your blog Paul and your contribution to the cause of Scottish Independence is much appreciated at this keyboard.
    Wishy Washy really boils my p. There are of course many others who do, but none so vocal as he. His defence of himself and the SNP brigade is Westminster on Twitter is becoming Trumpian. He has blocked me and many others for telling him these things. In the nicest possible way.
    Their workload is a joke, almost as much a joke as that of the Scottish Office and its Colonial Master. I am ancient enough to remember the time when red rosettes on pigs could carry the day for Labour in Scotland. Helen Liddle aka Stalins Granny was shunted into the Colonial Governors chair, and was so devoid of work, she confessed, she took a course in French. Being Robert Maxwells minder previously seemed to work well for her. She learned a lot from him!
    The savings to Scotland when these silos are demolished will be enormous. At 71 and a life time SNP voter I hope to live to see that day. More power to your keyboard sir.
    Saor Alba. Duncan.

  31. ”Liar, liar pants on fire. Your nose is longer than a telephone wire.”.. Just another Pinocchio moment from Boris the Butcher. And yes Stanley, I can spell it, as most Scots aren’t totally illiterate at all. Far from it.

    ‘Boris Johnson: “No country currently has a functioning track and trace app” Apart from Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia…’


    We’re not known for being so sneaky either.

  32. Just watched Nicolas statement to parliament at 1230. Talking of smart bombs, today she launched an RPG and it caught Carlaw right between his eyeballs. She accused him of “grubby political opportunism,” I swear his immaculate coiffured divit actually jumped on his heid. All he could come back with through clenched teeth was some guff about a script writer. Laugh I nearly wasted my coffee.

    Howver I have to say for once Richard Leanord brought a very good point to the fore and one that needs addressing urgently. Starting in Skye. No private enterprise should be allowed any where near care homes. They are simply Granny farming. It is disgusting that companies seek to make profit at the end of people lives. Scotland should kick all these private companies out and take ownership of these homes and change the way we look after people at the ends of their lives. People who have worked and contributed to society for decades, deserve much better.

  33. Something new appears to be happening in Scottish politics and I’ve been observing the change for some time but today at FMQs my observations look as though they have legs, and those legs (pardon the pun) belong to the First Minister

    Because of her handling of the Covid 19 crisis and her ever increasing grasp of just about everything on any subject without the apparent need to reference papers most of the time, accompanied by the complete and total ineptitude of the British Nationalist opposition, the FM appears to have been elevated more by accident than design to a position more akin to a President rather than soley the leader of a political party and FM

    Nicola Sturgeon has always been a smart cookie competent and comfortable in whatever role she’s been asked to perfom but this tragic occurrence of a global pandemic her work ethic and handling of the detail has shown her to be capable of even more than most folk ever thought, and according to popularity and polling numbers Scotland as a whole thinks so too, so if and when, and it increasingly looks like much sooner rather than later the Scottish government vote to have a referendum on Independence Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity looks set to being the commanding reason as to why Scotland will have the confidence to vote for the proposition this time

    As for the haters of all things Nicola Sturgeon, you’ve got the wrong plan people, the more you hate her the harder she works, she’s developed the Kung Fu art of politicking without politicking, so you’re (as they say) ontae plums with this woman

    • well observed, Dr Jim
      At FMQ today, the Red Tories could have dug an old portable cassette recorder from the Branch office storeroom, and hired and actor to record Leonard’s and Finlay’s contributions to the session.
      Leonard who has still to master the art of reading out loud without stumbling over his tongue, quoted Human Rights Act to us all, and Findlay read out an e mail from a long suffering mesh victim.
      Oh, and James Kelly managed to stay awake long enough to stet the obvious; crisi in courts, delays causing stress to victims, those eon remand and the ccused, what was Nicola Sturgeon going to do about it.
      Kelly pocketed £1200 in wages for 30 seconds work right there.
      Carlaw is just a make weight buffoon, and NS more or less stated this in the Chamber.
      Rennie is strangely muted…perhaps realising that silence is his only option.

      WE marvel at Sturgeon’s energy, oratory skill without notes, a sharp contrast to watching Carlaw and Leonard reading their SPAD’s version of life as they know it.

      But she can’t go on for ever at this pace.

  34. You’re right Jack the pace at which she works is gruelling, if she’s not chairing meetings she’s attending them inbetween video calls, then there’s enormous amounts of documents she has to read and absorb must be endless on an everyday of the week basis, without even counting the amounts of interviews TV and radio answering the same questions with enormous patience over and over again, all while still displaying the care and attention to her words regarding folk who have suffered from Covid 19, the restrictions and how to plan for the future simultaneously, if she’s not physically exhausted she must be at least mentally tasked resisting tiredness

    The opposition has a whole week to plan a couple of derisory questions usually predicated on mischaracterisations or the old fashioned use of the general public question *what are you going to do about Janet from Brig O Doon who’s suffering* to appear caring in a vain attempt to curry some public support, so Jeremy Corbyn that one, or wait for one of their partisan newspapers to ring them up for some spurious quote on some blether or other, Aye, opposition’s hard in Scotland eh

    She’s got to keep this up probably for at least another six to twelve months while planning the Holyrood elections and probably the strategy for the referendum into the bargain

    This will require more than vitamin e and a nights sleep and she’s losing Michael Russell, well sort of, there’s going to be more delegation needed

    I couldn’t do it, I’d have been sacked for punching some journalist by now, any journalist

    *Frank get the door* A fiver says she does it on the last day

  35. A smartbomb indeed. But if not used until the 2021 Holyrood election, then I fear it will be too late. Brexit is due to be completed on the 31st December, (but can be earlier with a no deal).

    Once that happens, there is nothing to stop Westminster dissolving all the devolved parliaments, as a failed experiment, meaning no 2021 Holyrood election will be held.

    No other country in the world has needed any excuse to gain independence, other than the desire to be free to rule themselves.

    Scotland must refuse to comply when England leaves the EU, 63% of voters gives it the mandate to do so, and if necessary reconstitute the Scottish Parliament by recalling all Scottish parliamentarians at Westminster to a National Assembly, giving itself the full constitutional powers to declare independence.

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