Better than this

Some British nationalists, presumably for the bantz, decided to mount a banner likening Nicola Sturgeon to a Nazi on a fence close to the official residence of the First Minister. Complete with a faux Germanic font and a racist misspelling of English as spoken by the cast playing the Germans in ‘Allo ‘Allo, it was topped off with a photo of the First Minister with a Hitler moustache. It’s the sort of thing you’d only find funny if you have a sense of humour that makes Mother Brown’s Boys seem sophisticated and your politics are those of Nigel Farage. Which is a good description of a sizeable contingent of the British nationalist roasters who post regularly on Twitter.

On Friday Nigel Farage blamed the knife attack in Glasgow on asylum seekers, stirring up racism, and stirring up the racist thugs who have threatened to take to the city’s streets again over the weekend. By Saturday it was being reported that staff at the hotel had previously warned about the assailant’s mental health issues. The very night before the attack they had warned that he was mentally unstable. Other residents in the hotel warned that the man was suffering from severe paranoia and had threatened violence. Three of the victims of the attack were asylum seekers themselves. It had nothing to do with Nigel’s pathetic attempts at race baiting or warnings about terrorism, and a great deal to do with the despair into which vulnerable and damaged people fall once they become enmeshed in the UK’s cruel and heartless immigration and asylum system.

But the cruelty of the British state doesn’t stop British nationalists from blaming asylum seekers and migrants. The extreme fringe of British nationalism has been emboldened and empowered by mainstream British nationalist politicians, in particular a Conservative party which has adopted the politics of Ukip wholesale. We have a part time prime minister with a long and inglorious history of making racist, xenophobic and homophobic comments. Lying and cheating has become normal in British politics. The blame for this lies squarely with mainstream British nationalist politicians.

In Scotland we have in addition the constitutional dimension, and British nationalist politicians have never hesitated to characterise the entire independence movement and mainstream pro-independence parties with the views of a tiny and unrepresentative extreme fringe. It is commonplace for supporters of independence to face baseless accusations of anti-English racism, to be blamed entirely for stoking divisions. British nationalist politicians regularly paint a picture of a Scotland which is riven with hatred. In all this, British nationalists consistently regard themselves as innocent victims of a vile Scottish nationalism. By doing this, mainstream British nationalist politicians are creating the circumstances where British nationalist fascist thugs feel that they are justified in running riot in the streets of Scotland’s cities searching for migrants, independence supporters, or anyone who is different to attack.

Lib Dem MSP [insert blank space here] for Edinburgh tweeted a photo of the banner of Nicola Sturgeon and wailed “Aren’t we better than this?” [Insert blank space here] only succeeded in giving the banner and its claim that the SNP are Nazis greater publicity and in making the idiots who created it very happy indeed. The first rule of dealing with wilful idiocy in public life is not to amplify it or to publicise it, which is why Lib Dem MSP [insert blank space here] will henceforth be known as [insert blank space here]. Although this is a trifle unfair – a blank space would do a far better job of standing up for Scotland’s interests than [insert blank space here].

There’s a number of points here, the first of which is that [insert blank space here] wouldn’t respond to an offensive banner put up by independence supporters using the first person plural pronoun. Othering is the way they go when dealing with independence supporters, but when it’s British nationalists who are the issue, it’s “Scotland’s shame”. This is the nub of the problem. [Insert blank space here] and his party have been very good throwing a not inconsiderable quantity of mud themselves. Just ask Michelle Thomson. However the poor behaviour of British nationalists is not to be regarded as a problem caused by British nationalism.

‘We’ as in independence supporters are most definitely better than this [insert blank space here], because we don’t call our opponents in mainstream political parties ‘Nazis’. This is not unrelated to the fact that there is a considerable number of actual Nazis amidst the ranks of British nationalists as we have seen in George Square in Glasgow over the past few days and we need the word to refer to the British nationalist fascists who have been empowered and emboldened by the kind of language used by those of a more mainstream British nationalist persuasion.

Which leads us on to the second point. No, [insert blank space here], you are not better than this. British nationalism has a serious problem with the racists, sectarian bigots, homophobes, and out and out fascists who infest its ranks. The constant and unremitting SNPbaddery from the mainstream British nationalists has only fomented, fostered, and encouraged their extremist fringe. That much was proven by the response of British nationalists to [insert blank space here]’s tweet. They showed that no, they’re not better than this. They revel in it. They love it. They take huge pleasure from it. And let’s face it, it’s probably the only pleasure that they’ve got, what with British nationalism being the political manifestation of misery.

British nationalism has a sickness at its very heart. It’s a sickness that for far too long we have been discouraged from examining. British nationalism teaches us that it is normal for a country to doubt itself. It tells us that we are dependent and incapable, that we are risible, weak, and trivial. It tells us that we are infants who need to be looked after. It tells us that it’s normal to despise your own culture and languages. It tells us that it’s normal to allow bigots to parade down the streets of our towns and cities banging big drums and singing songs of hatred about a large minority of their fellow country men and women. It tells us that it’s not nationalism to believe in the British state, that being British is the standard by which all other nations are to be judged. Well it’s not bloody normal. None of this is normal. It’s a neurosis.

British nationalism blames the weak, the poor, the marginalised. It blames the poor for their poverty while the British establishment enriches the wealthy. It blames Scotland for problems that are visited upon it by the British state. It’s quick to take offence and it’s utterly shameless. Yet Scotland is better than this. It’s better than British nationalism. That’s the point that [insert blank space here] can’t bring himself to face up to.

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76 thoughts on “Better than this

  1. Farage know asylum seekers may attract sympathy, especially after the way the UK government treats them. This is why he blamed illegal immigrants, which is a deliberate dog whistle to his fascist support base.

  2. ‘Scotland is better than this’…….yes it is although I suspect that even in an independent Scotland we will always have out left and right nutters happy to give their salutes to the cause of supremacy. Some nutters follow the flute and drum whilst being drunk others an ideal of social equality that can never work at the utopian level they want.

    I hope a free Scotland will be a fair and just place to live, that’s all we can hope for.

    The British State by its democracy, inequalities and poor social care can never meet our needs.

  3. Pingback: Better than this | speymouth

  4. Almost all of our friends and certainly all of our family’s support the current government. They do not believe any of the rubbish printed by our so called national newspapers. They are abiding by Nicola’s guide lines. They are patiently waiting for independence. We believe that a huge percentage of the Scottish people believe this too.
    British nationalists,right wing thugs, torys,matter not. We will prevail This man Johnston will eventually bluster himself out of a job.

  5. I’ve just listened to LBC interview a tourist industry representative.
    The subject was the possibility of airbridges to Spain,Greece and Italy.
    The lady said they would only be possible with countries who had similar virus numbers to the UK, the idea that the majority of the deaths,186,in the UK were in englandland.
    The wonderful restrictions on arrivals was deemed to be 3 weeks old, ?????.
    I feel that a large number of Scots don’t HATE the englanders they just hate the ignorance of using the two terms to mean the same thing. The UK isn’t england.
    Then we get the 1966 football win mentioned when it’s a darts match in progress.
    Then the Scottish news gets dumped quickly IF it ever gets a mention.
    Have a look at the digital media, they’re still carrying articles that are weeks old.
    We really need to get an active Scottish media that is honest and neutrally biassed.
    I hope that an Independent Scotland will be a grown up nation,content with making progress with our neighbours in the world.

    • Forgot this piece.
      Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said air bridges would only be agreed with countries which have a coronavirus test and trace system of the SAME STANDARD as that used in Britain.
      This is the system that doesn’t have a translate system and reports just over 60% of contacts.

  6. The mania among Cooncils for banning election material on lampposts and other street furniture dates back to 2010 (according to an article in The Ferret). I miss the colourful displays and the buzz around elections that they helped generate. It’s not difficult to link the change in local legislation to the narrowing of representation at Holyrood. Whether you approve of their political platforms, there is a strong case to be made that the Parliament (Assembly at the time) was enlivened by the SSP and independents like Margo MacDonald.
    Let’s go back to the colourful old ways. If party activists don’t take down the material reasonably promptly post election, the Cooncils can step in and back charge the parties.

  7. I heard a lady on Radio Scotland in my car yesterday from one of charities who support the refugees being housed in the Park inn hotel. It is an ABSOLUTE disgrace the way the Mears Group have treated these vulnerable people. If there is one positive came from yesterdays events it will be that people will now be aware of this company and their profiteering from people’s misery. I attach a couple of recent articles. Appointed of course by the Home Office and I’m pretty sure Priti Patel is well aware of their record. Please feel free to share far and wide

    • Who are Mears?

      Mears Group PLC is a United Kingdom-based holding company. The Company’s principal activities are the provision of a range of outsourced services to the public and private sectors. The Company operates through two segments, which include Housing and Care. The Housing segment is engaged in providing a full housing management service predominantly to Local Authorities and other Registered Social Landlords. The Care segment provides personal care services to people in their own homes. The Company’s Housing segment repairs and maintains over 700,000 of approximately five million Social Homes in the United Kingdom. It provides personal care to over 30,000 elderly and disabled people. The Company serves customers, including local authorities, charities, tenants and service users, community groups, private landlords’, elderly people and others. Its subsidiaries include Mears Limited, Scion Technical Services Limited, Morrison Facilities Services Limited and others.

      Number of employees : 8 803 people.

      Sales per region

      2018 GBP (in Million) £ 869.84
      2019 GBP (in Million) £ 905.08


      Equities %
      UBS Asset Management (UK) Ltd. 14,568,000 13.2%
      PrimeStone Capital LLP 14,400,000 13.0%
      Shareholder Value Management AG 11,660,000 10.6%
      Hauck & Aufhäuser Privatbankiers AG (Research Firm UK) 11,656,000 10.5%
      Artemis Investment Management LLP 10,280,000 9.30%
      Majedie Asset Management Ltd. 9,080,000 8.22%
      Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC 7,919,883 7.17%
      Fidelity Management & Research Co. LLC 7,410,000 6.71%
      Heronbridge Investment Management LLP 7,140,000 6.46%
      Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd. 6,370,000 5.77%


  8. And this is basically what the woman on the radio said from my Facebook post:

    On today’s tragic events in Glasgow the media seem to be reporting that the hotel in question was being used by asylum seekers during the current pandemic like they’re on some sort of bloody jolly. Just for the record, the asylum seekers who were in the hotel had been forcibly removed from their homes (probably slums they’ve been allocated but their homes none the less) and into the hotel because it was cheaper to keep them there than pay rent and the Mears Group who run this “service” on behalf of the Home Office saw an opportunity to profiteer from the pandemic. They were given an hour’s notice to leave their homes. Oh and their £5.39 day allowance was withdrawn as they were being fed at the hotel. Sadly most of them didn’t use their £5.39 a day to buy food but to top up their mobile phones to keep in touch with the families they’ve left behind and to contact the lawyers handling their asylum cases. Many are from Syria (a country bear in mind we’ve help bomb the shit out of ) Many are Muslim. No consideration to the food they were being given being halal. No consideration given to the fact it was Ramadan and they’d be required not to eat until sunset. Forced to eat at specific times in a communal dining room with no social distancing and forced to stay, alone, in their rooms, the rest of the time. We still don’t know the full details of what happened today but it makes me sick to my stomach that people come to Scotland to seek REFUGE from whatever horrors their own country held for them and then they’re treated worse than most people would treat an animal. It’s just sad that it’s taken a tragedy such as this to draw people’s attention to this company being the worst sort of bastards there actually are, profiteering from people’s misery.

    • Great article Paul and thanks for your contributions Diane highlighting the hellish truth of the matter. As you say, some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland are being treated like animals. Worse than animals in fact. Absolutely heartbreaking. This of course is going to continue until such time as we get our Independence and our Government is calling the shots. They in fact will be calling our shots and we’ll be, additionally, demanding that the Scottish MSM starts telling the Scots the bl**dy truth. Clean up their disgusting act. Until that time much of what Paul (Bellacaledonia, the Ferret) reports on here is being buried by them to appease their Westminster masters. It’s led to carnage and a death in this instance. They should be hanging their heads in shame for the part that they play in all of this along with the ignorant, parasitical BritNat spongers sitting in Holyrood.


      Check out Ann’s links for more info on the Tories lies, botch-ups and corruption.

  9. The Holyrood elections will see Labour Tory and Lib Dem once again combine better together style on a ticket of *No more referendums* and Nicola Sturgeon will hardly utter a stutter because that’s the rope that will hang them and lead to the recording of the highest level of support in history for Scottish Independence, an un overturnable majority and the real beginning of the end for Unionism in Scotland, there’ll just be the details left to iron out Covid or no Covid, and I’ll bet a wee fiver on it

    The art of fighting without fighting

  10. I don’t know if this was the same young woman that I saw being interviewed by Sky News today. The woman was at the scene of the tragedy and was being interviewed by someone who was in the Sky News studio.

    The woman did not miss. She made her disgust crystal clear. She was articulate and unafraid. The interviewer interrupted several times, saying that she had to be careful because the company exploiting the asylum seekers wasn’t there to defend their exploitation. The woman who was being interviewed made her points really well, took off her earpiece and and basically told the interviewer where to stick Sky News.

    In the midst of this horrible tragedy it was good to see/hear a person I had never seen before who wasn’t talking platitudes and apparently had no interest in trying to derive personal gain from the publicity surrounding it.

    • Sounds like the same lady. She wasn’t holding back on the radio either. And rightly so. She was very angry but as I said at least this has highlighted the appalling treatment of the Asylum seekers. This company (and by association Priti Patel) have the blood of those injured as well as the tortured soul who died on their hands and I sincerely hope they’re held to account

      • Yeah ”service users” Jack, human beings who weren’t being ”serviced” by them at all and no doubt had already been traumatised prior to recent events. If the complaints about a mentally disturbed man who was clearly suffering from paranoia had been followed up immediately in Glasgow, instead of being sent at a snail’s pace to the callous Priti Patel at the Home Office in London, his death and the ensuing carnage could have been averted. Just another example as to why we need our country to be independent.

        Oh and another one. The Home Office (cosy sounding, eh?) has decided to kick an NHS worker out of Scotland by sending her back to Australia. Anyone remember Boris the Butcher praising the New Zealand nurse who saved his life. Giving it big licks?

        ‘Coronavirus key worker ordered to leave Scotland by Westminster.’

        • Indeed, Petra

          Perhaps BBC Britland should get the costume department to run up North Korea style military tunics for Gordon Brewer and Glenn Campbell and have the Red Tory Rose Logo and the butcher’s apron embroidered on the breast pocket.

          Rename BBC ‘s Jock bashing propaganda ‘BBC North England’ and go the whole hog, hire Ruth and Kezia as features editors.
          What another farce Politics Scotland was to-day.
          So raging is Brewer that we are eliminating the danger in Scotland that he closed the show by reminding his dog whistle pensioners of th PPE and testing faillures by the SNP which has resulted in?…0 deaths, a handful of new cases, and a handful of patients now in Intensive Care.
          What a miserable little bunch.

          What a failure ?
          I wonder if one or both are for the chop when Pacific Quay ‘downsizes and rightsizes’ by sacking 62 journalists?
          They perch on a tree limb and saw the branch off at the trunk every time.

        • Don’t understand why Uk gov are insisting this lady is sent back to Australia when she is a key worker.
          Unfortunately the term ” Service User” is used a lot within Health and Care and Social Work. Personally I think it sounds a bit patronising

          • Eilidh, it is ‘consultant speech’ and has been on the go since Thatcher started selling off our assets, from oil, gas, water, telecoms, and the car industry to her pals in the City.
            ‘Human Resources’ replaced ‘Personnel’: quite deliberately human beings were reduced to the status of a ‘resource’ like photocopiers, desks, and toilet rolls, and hired and fired with the same callous disregard as buying pens or scrapping a fax machine.

            Unemployed citizens became ‘Job Seekers’; firms undertaking mass sackings of staff were undergoing ‘down sizing’ and ‘right sizing’ (see my earlier post) and the essentials of life, and our gallant workers, reduced to ‘services’, and nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, and health visitors impersonalised as ‘service providers’, dismissing the almost vocational element of these essential jobs to mere automaton service, on a par with the ‘service’ provided by a cash machine.

            The Red Blue and Yellow Tories applied the standards and language of the Free Market to essential jobs and organisations, sold off large chunks of our Health, Police, Fire, and Education to private companies who apply the same heartless rigour to Care Homes as they do to selling Mars Bars.
            Remember ‘bed blocking’? That evil pejorative New Speak describing healthy pensioners stuck in hospitals because Brit Nat Councils could not get their act together and ensure their safe return to the community or on to Care Homes whose main driver wasn’t shareholder profits or paying unskilled slave wages to their staff, sorry, human resources?
            I fully expect those on a waiting list to have an operation to be redefined as ‘bedseekers’.

            Since Thatcher, privateers have ripped hundreds of billions of pounds out of the public purse, leaving in theiri wake a devastating trial of destruction and off shore profiteering.
            When Brexit bites, the New Tories will wsell the rest off to the US Carpetbaggers.
            We scots cannot allow this to happen. We have 6 months to stop this. The May 21 SGE is pointless, and possibly will not be ‘allowed’ to take place.

            Rise up, Scotland.
            We are better than this, or Carlaw Rennie Leonard Murray Jack or Carmichael.

  11. Yes, [blank] is a spot-on description of the empty-headed BritNat denier. Another Edinburgh plastic Tory, only kept in place by people afraid to aspire to better.

  12. Let’s not make a drama out of a crisis – BBC Scotlandshire upped sticks and moved Sally M and Co. all the way to central Glasgow to give us the news of the knife attack .
    Why ?
    I am forever dumbfounded that news ‘anchors’ feel the need to move from their HQ to the scene of a story . Isn’t that the job of the reporter on the scene ? Isn’t that why you have satellite trucks and mobile cameras etc…
    Why does the ‘anchor ‘ have to be present ?
    Is it more newsworthy if THEY are present ?
    Will the public not believe the facts of the story if the ‘anchor’ is not there in person ?

    It feels like they wish to make themselves part of the news story rather than it being an aid to reporting .
    Please stop this !

  13. It’s curious really that the BritNat blackshirt types do seem unco keen to portray the SNP and their (highly unlikely) leader as Nazis. Some kind of toxic cocktail of increasing despondency, frustration, jealousy and unconscious projection, I suppose. Probably worth a PhD psych study by someone (with a sufficiently-robust sense of detachment).

  14. And it continues. UK Gov announces today that foreign holidays are now allowed – quarantine on return suspended if you have been to certain countries. Effectively ending the, short-lived, risible attempt at a quarantine system.

    The devolved administrations were not consulted.

    Professor Sridhar was interviewed on Ch4 news tonight along with a Tory MP.

    • Good one Legerwood with Professor Sridhar giving the Scottish CV19 performance the thumbs up. The English the thumbs down. But I’ve heard it all now with Conservative MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the Transport Select Committee, saying that as 97% of countries on their ”holiday” list have a lower R rate than the UK (80% of countries with a quarter of the UK rate) we’d all be better off going abroad. If it wasn’t so serious it would be hysterical. You know when you follow what’s going on with the Tories it’s a real worry for me (all of us no doubt) that they are actually in charge of what’s going on at Faslane.


      ‘More than a month after being promised full details of who has caught the disease in their areas, local health chiefs are still desperately lobbying the government’s testing chief, Lady Harding, to break the deadlock and share the data.’


      ‘Government finally releases Greater Manchester coronavirus data… and there are SIX TIMES more cases than local officials knew about.’

  15. I knew nothing of these asylum seekers being removed from their homes and forced to live in a hotel. Apparently this happened right at the start of the lockdown?

    This is completely wrong, hotels were closed to the public for a reason. It was not safe to have people from different households congregating together so why was this allowed to happen? I have no idea if those forced to live in these hotels had any right to go outside, say to the shops.

    If not then that is a disgrace, as they were basically prisoners, but if they were free to go to the supermarket then there was a very high risk that a big outbreak of Covid-19 could have taken place in any of the hotels. They were no different from care homes in that respect with lots of households living together under one roof.

    How in the hell did Mears get away with this, what was it’s the purpose? I can only think that this private company saw this as a way to make/save money? Total disgrace and prosecutions should follow if anyone is found to have put lives at risk to save themselves money. While I’m at it, Patel should be sacked as Home Secretary, she is the most guilty of all for the plight of all the asylum seekers in the UK.

    They came here to escape terrible atrocities in their home countries and found the UK to be just as bad and in some cases worse, what an indictment that is of Tory rule.

    • I think you will find Mears did what the Home Office Immigration Dept told them to. There is no place for Private Companies like Mears running these support services for asylum seekers. Until around 2010 these services in Glasgow were run by Glasgow City Council but the Home Office then insisted on putting these services out to tender and we have had at least 3 changes in contractor since then. In my previous job I used to help provide support to some of those former asylum seekers once they were given refugee status. The vast majority of them were genuine and most had sufferred horrendous experiences in their countries of origin. Sticking loads of them in a hotel for months on end during a pandemic was an accident waiting to happen

    • They did not have any money to go to the supermarket or anywhere else. Their allowance – £5 or so per day – was stopped because they were getting a meal, or meals, provided for them in the hotel. They had to eat in the dining room with no social distancing. Don’t even know if the food was Halal. One account said that meals were served at set times and no account was taken of Ramadam.

      Without the money they could not top-up their phones so could not contact their families or their lawyers who were trying to get them asylum.

      Homeless people living on the streets were also provided with accommodation by local Councils in empty hotels but probably with a less repressive regime.

    • I can understand housing homeless people in hotels temporarily until proper accommodation could be found. They had nowhere else, but removing people from their homes during a pandemic and packing them in together in one building makes no sense unless like Eilidh says the Home Office Immigration Dept ordered this.

      That doesn’t make sense either as even prisoners were being released from prison early in order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 there and even prisoners are given a weekly allowance to spend. It looks like another bungled and incompetent decision based on ideology rather than what is right.

      This UK government are shameless, we know that, but there are new disasters on an almost daily basis which is what happens with a part-time Prime Minister who follows the instructions of weirdo Cummings. Where are the media with this, where are the official opposition in Westminster?

      The UK has gone backward socially in the last 30 years and it’s all downhill from here until we decide we have had enough and finally break free so as to have our decisions made by a government we elect.

      • They would have been removed from their homes becuase their Asylum claims had been refused by the Home Office. The Home Office denies them access to Housing or support even during the appeals process. In normal times they would have been on the streets. No doubt Uk government thought they were being nice keeping them from sleeping rough during pandemic. All of them crammed into hotels for months was totally unsuitable not to mention barbaric

        • Thanks for the explanation Eilidh, lets hope the investigation shines some light on the discredited procedures used by the Home Office and on their inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. For most people the plight of asylum seekers would pass them by unnoticed, that cannot happen in this case.

  16. In order to uplift and give gravity to the drama the BBC move their *journalists* to the scene of where something happened where they already have all the pictures and information on whatever the subject yet they keep telling us the BBC is in financial trouble and are having to let staff go yet they stand in a street with an entire camera crew spending money they tell us they don’t have to look at pictures of a street

    We all know what a street looks like, and if you live in the central belt you probably have walked up and down the street the BBC are spending thousands of £££ showing us all what it looks like

    Could’ve done this from the studio with any member of staff and a couple of pictures while they were scoffing hobnobs with their tea, but well, Scotland bad just the same as everywhere else, maybe worse even, we’re no different y’know, they even dragged Anas Sarwar on to tell us we’re the same

    Are they going to call it *worser together* now

  17. I was disgusted at some of the remarks from fellow Scots on FB. Knee jerk reactions from people who haven’t the brains to think of what might be behind someone’s actions.

    • Unfortunately Brexit made xenophobia socially acceptable, at least to those inclined to indulge in it. And once out of the bottle, hard to get back in again.

      And yes, inevitably some of these people are Scottish. Some of them even used to be independence supporters*. Hard to believe there were some wanting to appease them back at almost any price, but they are long gone. For some, the Farage dog whistle is just too strong.

      *(As opposed to those who had their doubts for their own good reasons, but who thankfully can still resist the magic flute and see clearly enough that independence trumps all.)

  18. I guess they aren’t part of the 54% then.

    I can’t imagine why any racist would be in favour of Scotland returning to independence. Notions of supremacy – of any kind – seem to me to be ludicrously out of place in the context of Scotland. My mother made it very clear to me that I am no more and no less important than anyone who has ever walked this planet. I fancy that anyone who supports independence has had to come to understand and take on board that fundamental truth in relation to themselves.

    It is the antidote to the cringe.

    • I too was raised to understand that I was no better or worse than anyone, and no one was better or worse than me. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have said they were taught the same. It’s humility harnessed to self respect. A very ethical combination.

  19. In February of this year, Priti Patel managed to get rid of the top civil servant at the Home Office, Philip Rutnam, after he resigned accusing her of bullying staff, he is now suing the government for constructive dismissal.

    It was said she wanted rid of him in order to put her own new Home Office team in, “one that appreciated her hardline outlook on issues such as immigration”.

    Six months earlier the director general of UK Visas and Immigration, announced that he was leaving. He told the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) that Patel was “coming in and doing things we weren’t comfortable with”.

    “Others have said that Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s closest aide, who has promised to reform the entire Whitehall machine – which he says acts as a break on radicalism – further emboldened Patel to take on Rutnam following the election.”

    The latest saga is a story tonight in the Daily Mail that says the UK’s most senior civil servant could be gone by Monday.

    Boris Johnson is set to oust Britain’s top civil servant ‘as early as Monday’ after he was accused of lacking the skills to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

    Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, has been the target of hostile briefings in Downing Street ahead of an expected overhaul of the Cabinet Office.

    It comes as Dominic Cummings, the PM’s chief aide and chief architect of the Leave vote in the 2016 referendum, prepares to take an axe to the Civil Service after the coronavirus exposed ‘fundamental’ flaws in the government machine.

    They are silencing and getting rid of the critics one by one. Who is now in charge of running the United Kingdom government? Johnson or Cummings? Anybody know?

    • And from Lyndsay Bruce, Alex.

      ”Cummings is unelected, but he is going to completely change the way that the UK government works. Looks a lot like a coup d’etat. And how will devolution fit into this brave new world order?”


      P*ssing off the UN too. The UK following it’s US master? and additionally still raging at being accused by the UN rapporteur, Philip Alston, of inflicting “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity.”

      And ”that levels of child poverty were “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster”, even though the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy.”

      ‘Statement in response to the UK’s position on a resolution for the UN’s 75th anniversary.’

      ”UNA-UK was disappointed to hear that negotiations towards a declaration to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations have hit a setback, and are particularly disappointed that this setback is due to the actions of the United Kingdom.”

  20. Texas are closing down their bars again and Florida with 10,000 new Covid-19 cases per day are closing their beaches. There have also been record high numbers of new daily cases in South Carolina, Georgia and Nevada.

  21. The big newspaper review in the big England on BBC saw and heard one lady reviewer say “newspapers must put out more messages of good things to make people happy”

    So not the news then, we’re shocked, who knew that newspapers were involved in *putting out messages* there’s a name for that, now what could that be Hmm?

    • Continuity Announcer:

      At 8 o’clock this evening on BBC1’s “What the Papers Say”, we will be welcoming guest reviewer, Mrs Rosemary Goebbels of Lower Chipping Whipping, who will “putting out the message” that the newspapers should be “putting out more positive messages” in their stories.

      Then it’s back to the studio at 9pm for some more SNPBaddery from the combined forces of Pacific Quay.

      This will be followed at 10 o’clock by “Songs of Praise for Boris” from the Cathedral Church of St. Dingbat’s in the Marshes.

      Programmes will then end for the night with a hearty rendition of “God Save the Queen”. (For younger viewers, “Queen” is the monarch – not the pop group.)

      We hope you will enjoy the rest of your evening here with us on the BBC. (And a quick note to you pesky Scottish and Welsh Nats. Pay your bloody licences you plebs!)

  22. I wonder if the people who live in the UK of England realise that when they’re told by *the news* that right across their UK Covid 19 cases are rising again, and understand that it only refers to the England part of the entire right across the UK of their UK which is the England part

    In Scotland Wales and I’m sure Northern Ireland we all get a bit miffed by this kind of misreporting by all of the media but when you stop to think about it we shouldn’t, because the folk who are being lied to the most are the folk who live in the UK of England who hear what’s being reported and think that means everybody else as well as them who live in the right across the UK part that is England

    I would appeal to Twitter users to help the people in the right across the UK of England part to understand that Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland with luck by the end of the summer will be virtually Covid 19 free and that our only concern then will be the importation of the disease from their part of the right across the UK England part

    That would have been so much easier if England would just avail themselves of a map, or the facts, or an accurate news service, or or or or

  23. I didn’t see it myself, but perhaps Scotland would like to follow up this tweet from Faisal Islam, 4 hours ago:

    “Sage member Wellcome’s @JeremyFarrar tells #Marr March/April was “national catastrophe”, but we now need to get ahead of it before August to prevent same in a second wave… also praises Scotland for getting deaths down to zero, says provides lower base to control future spikes,”

  24. Thanks for the articles, Golfnut. This was embedded in your ‘corporate and state media’ link and is WELL worth a read too.

    ‘The Lethal Violence of Corporate Media Journalism.’

    …”Whatever mixture of racism and service-to-power ideology motivated these representational strategies, the issue of facilitation is clear. By doing the managed public relations work for these offences, Andrew Marr, Nick Robinson, the BBC and the corporate news media in general may have helped facilitate additional future deaths and human rights offences, while normalising the ongoing prominent political careers of those responsible for these practices. And these were exactly the issues, of rhetorical violence for which it was historically demanded, Streicher and Joyce et al should be made to answer.”..


    Interesting tweet from Aileen McHarg:- ”Those were made under Scottish Parliament legislation. The issue is what is the purpose of the legislation. Public health is devolved, so quarantine legislation should be permitted even if it affects international travel into Scotland.”

  25. O/T

    Mask or not to mask?

    ”What does a mask do? Blocks respiratory droplets coming from your mouth and throat. Two simple demos: First, I sneezed, sang, talked & coughed toward an agar culture plate with or without a mask. Bacteria colonies show where droplets landed. A mask blocks virtually all of them.”

    And for a laugh if it wasn’t so serious.

    ”USA. On wearing masks.”

  26. That’s all they’re bl**dy-well asking for. To feel safe.

    ‘’We don’t feel alright, we don’t feel safe. We want to be safe. These are the words of one asylum seeker who ran from persecution to Scotland for safety.”


    Check out Ann’s links on the Indyref2 site.

  27. If the Scottish Government are forced by the media to reduce from 2 metres then that is disgraceful but so be it. The consequence had to be that it becomes a legal requirement for all to wear face coverings and gloves if closer than 2metresindoors. If not Fine £500.( exclusions for some conditions)

    At Morrison’s today very few people bothering to have a face covering. On entering one guy refused to use hand gel as “ .. he Disny like it..” idiots like him are a risk to us all. A simple fine will get him to rethink.

    Think forward 3 months, the virus is still here, the darker and cooler nights are drawing in, there is still no vaccine, 80% of us can still be infected.
    Do you trust Johnson and his cronies. No chance.

  28. This is what I told my son on Friday, it was most likely the desperate act of a mentally and emotionally unstable asylum seeker who had lost all hope. The UK Govt’s hostile environment has a lot to answer for.

  29. Liked your article very much. Very well put indeed.” Nicola is a Nazi “. “Nicola is the real virus in Scotland” these comments simply display the weakness of arguments against the SNP and independence . There are some arguments that could be made against Scottish independence but as long as opponents resort to insults only, it’s pretty clear that they are losing the argument. It’s like football fans booing the opposition’s star player because they fear him/her

    Keep up the good work. JD

    Sent from my iPhone

  30. O/T

    Check out Peel Holdings.

    ‘Shockwaves from Intu’s collapse can impact beyond Braehead.’

    …”In his 2019 book Who Owns England, Guy Shrubsole describes Peel Holdings as one of the ‘secretive’ companies that “hoards England’s land”:

    “Peel Holdings operates behind the scenes, quietly acquiring land and real estate, cutting billion-pound deals and influencing numerous planning decisions. Its investment decisions have had an enormous impact, whether for good or ill, on the places where millions of people live and work.”

    In June 2013, Margaret Hodge, then Chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, accused the Peel Group of tax dodging, and stated that some parts of the group pay on average 10% Corporation Tax, and that some of the more profitable parts of the Peel Group pay 0% Tax.

    They are a huge player in Scoland. As well as extensive residential and commercial developments, they are also the owner of Clydeport. They built the new port for the INEOS “dragon ships” bringing in fracked gas from the United States. They are currently trying to convince North Ayrshire Council to allow them to build a gas power station next to the port they own at Hunterston, based on burning imported gas.”..

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