The border of human decency

Scotland, you don’t exist. For years people have been walking around and thinking that they were Scottish, talking with Scottish accents – or trying not to talk with a Scottish accent if you’re Michael Gove – eating potato scones and drinking Irn Bru, arguing about just how crappy BBC Scotland is, living under an ancient and distinctive legal system, voting for a Scottish Parliament, and other assorted Caledonianness. Yet all this time we’ve been deluding ourselves. None of it is real. We are in fact a subspecies of the Northern Northern English. Thank you Boris Johnson for clearing that up for us. We’ll now stop with all this independence nonsense and get back to important stuff, like writing to the BBC to demand more repeats of England’s World Cup victory in 1966 on the telly, because they’re so self-effacing about it and hardly ever mention it.

According to our part time Prime Minister speaking at PMQs in Westminster yesterday, there is no border between Scotland and England. He made the point in response to a question from Aberdeenshire toady Andrew Bowie MP, who wanted to know on a scale of 91 to 100 just how outraged Johnson was that Thatessempee wasn’t going to rule out imposing quarantine measures or health checks on travellers crossing the Anglo-Scottish border. Was he extremely outraged, hugely, outraged, or merely just very outraged. Definitely far more outraged than he was about the fact that he’d presided over a government whose chaos and incompetence had led to the deaths of over 60,000 of its citizens, but Andrew was going to take that as a given because neither he nor his boss is outraged about that at all. What they are outraged about is the fact that there’s a government in the UK which is handling matters in a considerably more competent way and giving them a showing up. Andrew wanted to know whether Johnson was as incensed as he was that the Scottish Government’s perverse insistence on saving people’s lives was bad for business.

You know what else is bad for tourism Andrew? People dying. Most business owners will tell you that having their customers die on them is not generally regarded as a good way of doing business. And when those customers bring a virus with them which then spreads amongst the local population and kills them, there’s going to be no one to operate and open all the local attractions that the visitors have come to see. But hey, never mind all that dying horribly from a dreadful disease nonsense, those public health measures are getting between Andrew and what he really loves -which would be knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing, least of all the value of a human life.

Johnson said that he found talk of enforcing health checks on travellers crossing the border to be ‘shameful’. This is the sort of thing that only a person who is themselves utterly shameless could say. If health checks are necessary for public health reasons it would be shameful is when you don’t introduce them for political reasons, because you value the supposed unity of the UK more than you value the lives of its citizens. That is properly shameful, but then Tories don’t really understand shame. They only understand their own entitlement and their own anger at being challenged.

“There is no such thing as a border between England and Scotland,” Johnson went on with all the confidence of a man who thinks that atlas is a fragrance for men that covers up the sour stench that comes from not having a sense of shame. Wee Andrew sat down, looking extremely smug, like that shitty kid in class who just before the bell goes makes sure to remind the teacher that they were supposed to be setting double homework. Those lips couldn’t be pursed into a more self-satisfied smile if they’d been stapled to the net curtains that Andrew twitches when he’s not at work. Everyone needs a hobby, and the Conservative society for pulling wings off flies has a very long waiting list for membership.

So there you go Scotland, you don’t really exist. And there was you thinking that there must be some way of defining what was part of Scotland and what wasn’t, you know, maybe some sort of line that you could draw on a map. They could call it a border. Nicola Sturgeon pointed out the absurdity of Johnson’s statement by remarking that Johnson would have plenty to say if she popped up in Newcastle and started to impose Scottish Government policies there. Although the people of Newcastle might not object too much.

Interestingly enough, the British Government was quite rapid in imposing checks on the border between Scotland and England after the Stone of Destiny was recovered from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalist students in the 1950s. Border checks for the purposes of protecting a symbol of Scotland’s subjugation are just fine, border checks for the purposes of protecting human lives are not. There’s some very British values for you there.

There are of course several reasons why Johnson doesn’t wish to acknowledge the possibility that there may come a time when health checks are necessary on people crossing into Scotland from England. Along with his fellow British nationalists, he’s appalled by any idea that people might see that it’s perfectly possible for their to be some sort of checks along the Scottish-English border and for people in Scotland to realise that it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It would destroy their “but there will be border checks at Gretna” argument against independence if there are border checks at Gretna while Scotland remains a part of the UK.

He’s even more concerned that health checks being imposed upon travellers coming into Scotland from England would mean that Scotland and the Scottish Government is proving far more successful than his own government in its efforts to control and contain the virus. Every check on every traveller coming into Scotland from England is a sign that Johnson has failed. Every check on a traveller coming into Scotland from England means that Scotland is more successful at controlling the epidemic. Every check on a traveller coming into Scotland from England is a sign that the Scottish Government cares more about human life than the Conservatives do.

But what he’s most concerned about is that a Scotland whose public trust in the Scottish Government during a global crisis far more than it trusts in the British Government is a Scottish public that’s already halfway out the independence door. The Scottish public, despite the carping of Scottish Tories in the Commons and on social media, broadly supports the more cautious approach of the Scottish Government, and increasingly it is coming to support independence. The more that the Tories double down on their hardline British nationalism, the more support for independence is only going to grow. The border between Scotland and England will once again become a border between two independent states, and that will come about in no small measure because Johnson and the rest of his party all too frequently cross the border of common human decency.

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94 thoughts on “The border of human decency

  1. Absolutely. As Johnson’s dad breaks the rules by flying to Bulgaria then to Greece deliberately avoiding the ban from the U.K. essential travel he says. He has a holiday home he rents out. Disgraceful.
    The SoS in the borders has belated about travel across the border ( that doesn’t exist) . Now the hint is that some folk has broken Scottish rules nipping across to the pub — bit of a laff innit? But brought back covid it seems.

    So sos, carwell, do you feel responsible? People cannot see their loved ones in care homes now, travel is restricted. The unionists price for the borderers. Don’t blame me I voted SNP.

  2. Excellent once again Dug, thanks.

    Does anyone have a link to a “reading” or “hard” version of today’s Scottish daily update anywhere?
    Fxxxxxd if I can find one and I don’t go near MSM lies so asking on here among you good people.

    • It’s a longer one today.
      First Minister Nicola Sturgeon:
      “I have an awful lot of information to give you today so please bear with me, because I’m going to take a little bit longer in my opening remarks
      I’ll start with the usual update on the statistics. An additional 5 positive cases were confirmed yesterday which takes the total to 18,264
      A total of 785 patients are currently in hospital with the virus, either confirmed or suspected. That’s no change overall from yesterday but it does include a reduction of 7 in the number of confirmed cases.
      A total of 9 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid and that is 8 fewer than yesterday.
      Since 5 March a total of 4,080 patients who had tested positive and required hospital treatment have now been able to leave hospital.
      And in the past 24 hours, one death was registered of a patient confirmed through a test as having the virus. That takes the total number, under that measurement, to 2,487.
      And I want once again to send my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to this illness
      And my thanks go as always to everyone working hard to help us through this crisis.

      The next part of my update today relates to the changes to rules and guidelines that will come into force over this weekend.
      Several of the Phase 2 changes announced last week have, of course, now happened.
      On Monday most shops were able to reopen along with many workplaces.
      And from the evidence I’ve seen, people have responded to that responsibly, so thank you to all of you for that.
      Today I’m able to confirm the further changes which will take place tomorrow and next Monday.
      That decision is informed by our current estimate of the R number which remains below 1 in a range of 0.6 to 0.8, and also our estimate of the number of people currently infectious and capable of transmitting the virus to others
      As of last Friday we estimate that number had fallen to 1,500. The continued low prevalence of the virus means we can proceed with changes planned for tomorrow.
      That means outdoor hospitality, such as pavement cafes and beer gardens can reopen from Monday 6th July
      Although tourism will not open fully until 15th July, self-contained holiday accommodation, for example holiday cottages, lodges or caravans with no shared facilities can reopen from tomorrow.
      We will also from tomorrow, with one important exception that I will come on to, lift the guidance advising people to travel no more than 5 miles for leisure purposes
      I know that many of you will be keen to travel a bit further and looking forward to going to other parts of our beautiful country.
      In doing that, however, please, please behave responsibly and follow all of the public health advice rigorously. Also be sensitive to those living in our rural and island communities.
      Remember this – if you don’t take appropriate care, you risk taking the virus to other places. Please do not do that.
      Let me turn to the exception I referred to a moment ago.

      You will recall that yesterday we reported an outbreak in Annan and Gretna.

      Professor Leitch will say more about that.
      So far, 10 positive cases have been identified and a significant number of contacts are being traced and tested.
      As a precaution, staff at three workplaces with connections to positive cases are also being tested today and mobile testing units are being deployed
      We are very hopeful that this outbreak will be contained – and there is no evidence at this stage to suggest otherwise.

      But until contact tracing and testing has been completed, we cannot be absolutely sure of that.
      That means we must act on a precautionary basis.
      As a result, the advice and guidance to people in the areas of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Langholm and Canonbie is to continue to follow the five-mile travel restriction over the weekend..
      until the testing and contact tracing process has been completed and we are able to assess if the outbreak has indeed been contained. We will publish the particular postcodes that this guidance applies to on social media and we will provide a further update on Monday
      If you have plans to travel into these areas over the weekend to visit or stay, you should follow the travel advice while there.
      If you run a business in these areas, including at the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, please be extra vigilant about hygiene and physical distancing.
      In addition, care homes in these areas will unfortunately not be able to welcome visitors this weekend.
      And generally, to people in these areas – until we conclude the management of this outbreak, please assume there is a higher risk of infection just now and take particular care to follow all public health advice.
      And remember – and I’m sorry about this – but the 5 mile limit means you should not travel to pubs south of the border over this weekend.

      I know this will not be welcome news for people in these areas, and I’m sorry about that.
      But this outbreak is sharply reminding us just how highly infectious COVID is, and how vital it is that we proceed with real care and caution.

      Let me turn now to the issue of physical distancing and whether we can, in some circumstances, relax the 2-metre rule.

      We are publishing today the advice on physical distancing that the government has received from our scientific advisory group.
      This advice makes clear that the science on physical distancing has not changed.

      As the distance between people decreases, the risk of transmitting COVID increases
      To quote the advice directly – ‘there is increased risk somewhere between 2 and 10 fold in reducing from 2m to 1m’
      However, it also notes that as the number of infected individuals falls, there is less chance of us coming into contact with someone who has the virus, and so absolute risk is lower. It also notes that risk can be mitigated through other measures.
      Overall, the Advisory Group concludes that ‘it is ultimately a matter of policy as to what physical distance is tolerated in different environments’.
      Taking all of this into account, the Scottish Government has reached the following conclusions.

      Firstly, our general advice will remain unchanged. We will continue to advise that as far as possible you should remain 2 metres away from people in other households.
      Second, 2 metres will remain the benchmark for our Test and Protect system
      That means by staying at least 2 metres away from other people, you don’t just reduce your chance of getting Covid, and of transmitting it – you also reduce your chance of being traced as someone’s close contact and asked to self isolate.
      In addition, 2-metre distancing is a particularly important guideline for anyone in a high-risk group, for example if you are over 70 or have an underlying health condition.

      So all of that will not change.
      However, we recognise that there are different harms that we must balance.

      While sticking to 2 metres has clear benefits, it also has serious economic implications – and an adverse economic impact we know can in turn have an effect on people’s health and wellbeing.
      For those reasons, when we enter phase 3 of the route map, hopefully at the end of next week, we will allow exemptions for specific sectors where agreed mitigations must be put in place.
      The exemptions will allow premises in relevant sectors, if they so choose, to operate with a 1 metre distance on the condition that agreed mitigations are implemented
      To be clear, these will be exceptions – the general rule, in law, will continue to be that businesses and services must take all reasonable measures to ensure that 2 metres distancing is maintained.
      Ahead of phase 3, we will work with key sectors – initially hospitality, retail and public transport – to agree the mitigations that will be required, and to finalise detailed guidance. We will also work very closely with trade unions.
      The guidance will be different for different sectors. Clearly the mitigations for a restaurant or bar will be different to those for a hairdresser.
      For illustrative purposes and to allow businesses to start to plan, we are publishing today the kinds of mitigations that might be required in each sector.
      However in general terms, these might include improved ventilation, perspex screens, regulation of customer flow, and seating plans that reduce transmission risk.
      For hospitality and possibly others, mitigation will also include the collection of names and addresses of customers, to help with contact tracing when that is necessary.
      And we will also insist on clear customer information to help inform the judgments we all make as individuals about the risks we are prepared to take.
      So if a business decides to operate at less than 2m rule, they should provide signage informing their customers that they are entering a 1-metre zone.
      We hope to have most guidance agreed for the start of phase 3 and ahead of the opening of tourism and hospitality from 15 July.

      In the meantime the current rules apply – that means, for example, beer gardens opening on Monday must initially comply with the 2 metre rule.
      In my view, this represents a balanced and proportionate approach to what is a genuinely difficult issue.

      It allows businesses to cater for more customers – and we know that for some that will be the difference between staying in business and closing.
      However, it also continues to minimise risk – which, for some individuals, and with no exaggeration, could be the difference between life and death.
      Obviously, if infection levels were to rise again, we reserve the right to reimpose a strict 2 metre rule, either nationally or locally, and to take other public health measures that are necessary to keep us safe.
      Conversely, though, if we continue to make progress, we may be able to consider a more general relaxation in later phases.

      The issue of physical distancing is directly relevant to the next issue I want to talk about, which is face coverings.
      We have been recommending the use of face coverings for some time now, and it is already mandatory on public transport.

      I can confirm today that from the expected start of phase 3 – 10th July – wearing face coverings will also be mandatory in shops.
      As with public transport, there will be some exemptions – for children under 5 and people with certain medical conditions.
      But for everyone else, face coverings will be mandatory.
      Let me be very clear – this is not a decision we have taken lightly. Indeed, it’s taken us some time to reach this decision.
      But as we start to interact more, it’s vital that we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk.
      And we know that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission indoors.
      Also in shops, as on public transport, contact tracing is more difficult because we usually don’t know the people we have been contact with. So a face covering provides an additional layer of protection.
      It is therefore for all of these reasons, that face coverings in shops will be compulsory from the end of next week.

      But please do not wait until then – get into the habit of it now.
      This is an important way for all of us to help protect each other, and to display that sense of solidarity that has served the country so well over these past few months.

      The final issue I want to talk about relates to children and young people. In a few moments, the Chief Medical Officer will provide important information for some of the children who are currently shielding.
      And I want to say to any of you who are watching, I know how difficult, even more difficult than for others this last period has been for you and I want to thank you for your patience and for complying with all of these rules
      The advice I am about to give unfortunately does not apply to children who are shielding, but it does apply to other children and young people.
      We want to help children enjoy the summer holidays a bit more. We also know that the clinical risks of COVID – particularly for younger children – appear to be relatively low, although we will never be complacent about that.
      And we know that for as long as there are restrictions on the number of households we can meet, families will find it difficult to balance the social needs of children and adults. Understandably, you don’t all want to see the same people.
      Bearing that in mind, I can announce today two further changes to our rules to allow for a bit more interaction between young people. These will both apply from tomorrow.
      For children who are 11 years and under, we are removing the requirement for you to physically distance with other people when you are outdoors.
      This will enable you to play normally with friends, which we hope you will enjoy. I’m sure this move will also be appreciated by your parents and carers.
      However other rules will remain the same – you should continue to meet in groups of 8 or less, and to meet no more than 2 other households in a day. Adults who are with you should continue to observe physical distancing from each other.
      And physical distancing even for you as children is still required indoors.
      Our guidance is different for young people aged 12 to 17. We are not yet relaxing the physical distancing rule for you – I’ll say more about that shortly.
      But we know that you don’t want to be limited by who your parents meet – you want to have your own lives and meet your own friends.

      So when you meet other people, we are still asking you to do that outdoors.
      And you should still stick to a limit of 8 people – from no more than three households – at any one time.

      However, we will lift the limit on the number of those meetings you can have in any one day
      That means that you can meet different groups of friends at different times of day.

      And it also means that you won’t be prevented from meeting your friends, just because your parents or carers or your brother or sister are meeting their friends.
      As I said, for now, we are asking older children to still keep 2 metres distant from people in other households.
      I know that the advice we’ve published today suggests that this is less important for young people – so we hope this will change in the weeks to come – but initially, and for your safety, we want to be cautious.
      These changes are careful but important steps that I hope will make life a little bit more easier and hopefully a little bit more fun for children and young people.
      I hope next week to set out more changes – not simply for children, but for adults as well – to how households can meet, interact and play. I also hope to confirm at that stage that organised outdoor contact sports for children can resume from 13 July.
      I hope that these changes allow you as children and young people a bit more freedom in meeting up with your friends, and I hope they allow you to make a bit more of the summer holidays – even if, as will probably be the case in Scotland, it’s raining for much of the time.
      Lastly, I also hope to give more clarity next week about when places of worship may be able to re-open for communal prayer and congregational services.
      I had a very constructive discussion yesterday with Scotland’s main faith groups and we will be engaging with them more in the days ahead.
      I know how committed they all are to the safety of their congregations – and I want to give an assurance of the Scottish Government’s desire to see people of faith able to gather together for prayer and worship again as soon as possible.
      As is obvious from that final section of my update, some rules will become more targeted as we move out of lockdown, and therefore that means unfortunately that they also become a bit more complicated.
      If you are in any doubt at all about the changes I’ve just confirmed – and I’ve run through a lot of information there in a short space of time – please go to the Scottish Government website.
      Our routemap sets out clearly what changes will apply and when, and we are publishing an update relevant to today’s announcements.
      But although specific rules and guidance are changing, a very basic principle remains and actually becomes more important as these rules change.

      It is only because so many of us have stuck to the rules so far, that we are able to take these steps out of lockdown
      And only if we continue to stick to the rules will we be able to drive the virus down further, and live less restricted lives in the weeks and months ahead.
      For more businesses to reopen, for public services to get back to normal, for more of us to be able to meet indoors, for our children to go back to full-time school – all of those collective benefits depend on the decisions we make as individuals now and in the weeks ahead
      So please, take advantage of the fact that some rules are changing. Get out and about a bit more if you can, and please support local businesses if you can. They need your support at this time.
      But always be aware, as we’re seeing in Dumfries & Galloway right now, that this virus has not gone away. It is highly infectious, highly dangerous, and new cases are still being reported every day.

      So please, at all times, remember our key guidance – the FACTS

      Face coverings should be worn in enclosed spaces – they are already mandatory on public transport, and will be mandatory in shops from next week.

      Avoid crowded areas even if they are outdoors.

      Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly, and clean any hard surfaces you touch.

      Two metre distancing remains the clear advice.

      Self isolate, and book a test immediately, if you have symptoms of COVID – a new cough, a fever, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell.

      You can book a test at or by phoning 0800 028 2816. Please don’t wait to do that. As soon as you experience any of these symptoms, call and book a test.
      If we all follow this advice rigorously and to the letter, we will stay safe, we will help to protect others and we will save lives.
      So thanks for your cooperation so far, and the cooperation I know you will continue to display in the days, weeks, and months to come.”

      • I was just about to post the link when I saw you had found it!

        If you have a tablet, download the App and check it daily…it’s all there.

        Stay safe and well everyone….and…dae whit yer telt!

      • I see that CH 4 broadcast part of NS’s speech earlier tonight that highlighted that … well basically … the Westminster Government is composed of a bunch of lying, incompetent troublemakers.

        From her briefing at around 28:50 minutes in.


        Any chance of us getting a look at the minutes of the meetings? Then again, it’s alright Alister Jack will be there representing us, Scotland, and will no doubt let us all know what’s going on. If not him, then maybe whoever is sitting around the table from the Times will update us.

        ”A new cabinet group has been set up by the UK Government to look at ways in which they can “bind” the devolved nations, including Wales, closer to Westminster. The Union Policy Implementation committee will be chaired by Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, and include Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in its membership. The group, which also includes the secretaries of state for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, has held its first informal meeting.”..

        ..”The Times also reports that Tory ministers are preparing to be more “robust” with their SNP counterparts in taking responsibility for macroeconomic and security issues.”..

  3. “Andrew wanted to know whether Johnson was as incensed as he was that the Scottish Government’s perverse insistence on saving people’s lives was bad for business.”

    That sentence cracked me up – priceless! 😂😂😂

  4. It would appear that his father Stanley Johnson, has no respect for borders either, having just read about him sneaking in to Greece via Romania despite the Greeks closing the border to UK tourists!
    someone who has already had to cancel two trips to visit friends who live in Greece, I can’t adequately express how angrythis makes me.
    Aegean Airlines was quite clear in letting me know that Greece has only just opened to tourists from specified countries, and as the UK is not on the list due to their appalling infection and death rate, it was quite clear that I would not be allowed to travel.
    Greece imposed strict lockdown measures and has made great strides to contain the spread of the virus, the last thing they want is an influx of virus carrying tourists from the UK making all their sacrifice for nothing, despite the country’s economy depending on tourism.
    They value the lives of their citizens above financial profit.
    By his selfish, self centred irresponsible and arrogant disregard for the rules, not only of the UK, but of another country Stanley Johnson has put Greece’s progress in halting the virus in jeopardy. You can bet your last Euro that where he has shown indifference to Greek rules, other self entitled fools will follow his example, take Cummings disregard leading to others flouting lockdown laws for instance.
    The Greeks should boot him out regardless of who he is, and the Scots need to boot out the son and Tory governments permanently.

  5. Saw that Andy Bowie with the Tory smirk . A shiver went down my spine…Human life It appears is so cheap To them…not theirs of course.

    Top class post Paul …thank you

  6. Today I went out as usual sporting my Saltire face mask, normally this attracts either smiles or the odd sideways glance from the disapprovers, however today was different, today people decided to speak to me both in shops and on the street questioning how much it cost and where could they get them, and all were very happy to see me wearing it although some were concerned at the £12 price tag, I pointed out that my face mask could be washed as many times as you like whereas the paper ones at £2 become quite expensive over the long term, I began to feel like a walking advert for Scotland which I have to admit felt damn good

    My main point to people was If we have to wear masks to protect all of us and at the moment we have no campaign for Independence, be a visible campaign just by wearing a protective mask with our own country’s emblem in solidarity

    If thousands of us are walking our streets going about our business with our Saltire or Tartan or Lion Rampant face masks on it’s going to get noticed innit

    We can’t do a march so do a mask

    • Excellent, Dr.Jim. Going to look forwards to seeing people wear masks at the shops. I was out with my mask yesterday, local shops, across the street, a guy sneezed the most horrendous sneeze ever, and did he cover his face, er no. So, wear a mask when outdoors, washable ones yes much better, hate the single use but better than nothing.

      I do wonder, if the Scottish Government might be able to distribute some masks though to homeless people and in poorer areas, where costs will be too much for many people. I hope they can find funds to do that…

      • I suggest SG bring pressure on the supermarkets and then announce it… Everybody shops, it doesn’t need subsidy if there is a demand but shops appear reluctant to stock despite knowing they’d sell, implying a political “hand” at play, perhaps a good slap is all that is required. Universally available here even in petrol stations.
        Time to stop being reasonable…

        • Asda up where I live was selling 2 reusable masks for £2.50 today so I bought a pack. The masks are bigger than one I bought on ebay few weeks back and cheaper. They are black with my specs on I look like a bank robber but I don’t care as it will lessen spread of virus wearing these even just a wee bit. People don’t need proper masks they could use a scarf if need be

    • 😷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😷🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿👍✔️

  7. Pingback: The border of human decency | speymouth

  8. Back in the day, ‘vote no borders’ and then, ‘but your children will become foreigners’ and, ‘you’ll need a passport just to get across the border’ all that, border no border stuff, if Scotland had secured independence in 2014. Some even thought that Hadrian’s Wall was the ‘border’.

    It’s a topsy turvy world where the Britnats are concerned, in, out shake it all about, with the Tories doing the hokey cokey instead of making sure people don’t die unecessarily in England.
    Except, now we are ‘no longer in the EU’ (UKGov webpages tell us), and with Scotland on the verge of independence, there will need to be a ‘border’ because when Scotland is welcomed back into the EU, it will be a requirement.

    When we were little (wee), in NE England, very poor but did the odd day trip to Edinburgh, ice cream and Edinburgh rock, we were told by my dad, ‘you are in a different country now’ with different money, nice accents and lots of lovely tartan, and we loved it. The train, or bus crossed a line that represented a border, it felt different and was different.

    The Britnats have been trying to make Scotland invisible, and it’s not working, so they are panicking. Good, about time they realised that Scotland is a ‘different’ country, and they can choose to either be friends or enemies. Friends is the best option, if they want to continue benefitting from Scotland’s natural resources and do all that ‘pooling and sharing’ they talked about in 2014.

    They have created a much bigger problem with their Brexit when it comes to borders, and that is going to create huge problems economically, which will create huge problems societally in England, no matter how many fantasy £billions (pennies) they promise for er, ‘infrastructure’, good distraction for a few seconds from the catastrophe of their atrocious handling of Covid-19 in England.

  9. Your observations on Bowie’s grotesque visage on completing delivery of the patsy to the dishonourable gentleman is absolutely spot on, but you neglected to mention Andrew ThatIsTheFrontofTheBoat and Alister Jackatory have been angling for this border-farce to be headlined for months, so this was his Oscar moment.
    Raspberries all round.

  10. I believe these rabid britnats are getting more and more desperate. Hence their outraged shrillness. But the more they rant on about the supposedly non-existent border the more obvious the border becomes, and thus the differences between Scotland and England are further highlighted.

  11. Independence supporter since I was 11 in the early 70s and I’m afraid that’s the direct debit to the SNP cancelled as of 30mins ago, resignation letter written out waiting to be sent.

    If the present SNP leadership are still in place next year then no visit to the polling station for me unless there is another serious Independence Party afloat.

    Hopefully the whole Alex Salmond thing will tear the party to pieces and something better will arise from the ashes.

    • J.Galt
      Think about it .something is happening , I was in the frame of mind a few weeks ago but renewed my membership my wife’s will be getting renewed as well , ok some things going on within the party leadership , my advice is park the questions for another day , this one thing Independence is more important than any other right now , if you want it you have to back her , there is a way to dislodge this immovable 40% we have here that wants to stay in the Union , it’s not head on it’s by using the English Tory voters I missed this different way , I don’t know why it’s so bloody obvious and Tory media are on side .

      • Robert I really appreciate what you’re saying and the obviously kind way it which it is meant, however it was not done lightly.

        From the start of this event I have been in a minority, however I cannot stop myself from believing what I believe.

    • Then you’re wishing for there to be no independence for decades. Yours is an intensely self-destructive view, and the only people that are going to be happy with it are British nationalists.

      Baby and bath water spring to mind.

    • So you wish the major Independence supporting party destroyed. What an
      unbelievable and whole heartedly selfish attitude. I am not an Snp member and probably never will be but I have supported Indy since I was a child in early 70s. SNP party membership means nothing to the average voter in Scotland so go ahead join some fringe Indy party that 2 men and their dug will probably vote for and see what happens then.

    • What on earth set you off? Yesterday in particular was the strongest line of independent action that the FM has yet taken, with a hint of stronger yet to come. Calling London Tory bluff. BritNats getting more and more worried as their influence steadily wanes. Resorting to ever more desperate means online of trying to undermine support for the SNP and stall the inevitable.

      Sorry, but I smell fish. (Fish well past its best at that.)

        • Well, taking you at your word, I (politely) suggest just treating yourself to a good deep breath and getting a grip. More than ever it’s a question of which side has the inner fortitude to prevail. And we manifestly have right on our side. So now isn’t time to start wavering.

          Given the eminently sound leadership that the entire country is daily observing in the SG during thie current crisis, we’re steadily gaining support among the previously unconvinced, dammit. What’s not to like?

    • So you have resigned from the snp. ….. and? … will you now vote for the unionists by default?

      Sorry if I do not understand the logic as we sit at 54% pro-independence and an election coming up.

  12. I’m looking forward to getting down to The Borders again from Edinburgh.
    I was born and bred in Kelso in the Borders, which is only 5 miles from the border at it’s nearest point.
    In the Scottish Borders, where folk get on really weel wi’ the folk jist ower the border in England; and vice versa.
    As a youngster I used to enjoy our trips down to Berwick upon Tweed ower the border in England for a day out; usually travelling down the Scottish side of the border and maybe coming back up on the English side of the border – making a sort of round trip.
    So the border has “aye been” as we say in The Borders.

  13. Yep Bawjaws England’s star player I think we all can see this guy is playing a blinder , the SNP couldn’t buy the publicity he is single handily generating ,he should be offered honorary membership immediately, every time he speaks you can hear Ching another convert to independence steps up ,

    A wee spark in the air I believe ,
    Something stirring who knows what started it maybe Johnston has annoyed people who once just ignored him , whatever it is let’s hope is capitalised on , Nicola keep tossing petrol on the fire , wind Borris up take the piss out of him and his bag carrier in Scotland Jackson the car man.

    They don’t like being laughed at , you can’t shame them but laughing annoys them

  14. When are the morons who vote Tory (not the wealthy elite) going to realise that Tory governments and this one in particular,don’t give a stuff about their health or well being.
    Apart from the cap in hand voters mainly in rural Scotland,most of the rest of us came to that conclusion many decades ago.
    The only way Tories in Scotland can continue to lord it over us is to have England elect their party to government in London.
    Once that link is severed,so are they.

  15. Now I’ve heard it all.

    Really-Smug compares Nicola Sturgeon to Trump.

    Nicola Sturgeon ‘modelling herself on Trump’ with England-Scotland border comments, Jacob Rees-Mogg claims

    Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to “build a wall” between Scotland and England, Jacob Rees-Mogg has said.

    • I am surprised Jacob Rees-Mogg did not compare her to the Emperor Hadrian. Much closer to his usual historical time-frame.

      For him Trump is so arriviste. So nouveau riche. So not historical enough.

      It will be such a culture shock to JRM if he ever makes it into the 19thC let alone the 21stC

    • I see that JRM is saying that there isn’t a border too. Standing by Coco the Clown.

      “But, as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said, there is no border between England and Scotland and it was shameful to call for a border of that type of kind to be erected to stop people travelling freely between constituent parts of the United Kingdom.”..

  16. Nicola Sturgeon’s clear and through address. Keeps people in the loop and people follow the clear instruction to keep people alive. People follow the excellent advice to save lives. Admirable. The population are really savvy. Proud of them.

    The father creeping about, as deceitful as the son. Appalling lying behaviour. An international disgrace. These Tories think they are above the Law. Johnston had the the virus. They learn nothing. Selfish beyond contempt. The genes are flawed. Malicious behaviour.

    Andrew Bowie, majority 845, will be voted out.

    The borderers will be regretting voting Tory. Vote Tory to die younger. Some people never learn.

  17. Alex Salmond would never damage the SNP. His life’s work and support for Independence. His massive support and friends among the members. One of the best Statesman Scotland has ever had. Thanks for the road, railways, renewable etc on the way to improving Scotland’s economy.

    Admired and respected by so many people. He is above petty recriminations. Let’s the Law and the Inquiry take their course for any retribution of malicious accusations. An honourable person.

  18. Scotland is one of the oldest nations in the world. Recognised Internationally. 40million disaporia. Established in 10 century. Alba.

    Johnston is an ignoramus. Always has been and always will be. A total absolute dunce. Knows nothing about Scottish history. Only Greek. Bulgaria. Once again showing up his ignorance.

    A migrant descended from George of a European state. Total hypocrite, Born in US, brought up in Europe on EU public money. Brussels. The sleekit father an EU diplomat. An EU pension fund. Tax evader. The family troughed on EU funding. Part of the UK -EU contribution.

  19. It seems the air bridge idea may be experiencing problems when it comes to implementation.

    Not so much ‘wheels up’ as ‘wheels off’.

    Guess who is getting the blame for the problems/delays? Yep, Scotland and Ms Sturgeon in particular. She has been scolded according to the headline in the Daily Telegraph.

    I am sure she won’t lose any sleep over that.

    On the subject of borders. If there is no border as Mr J asserts then the next time the Queen presides over the official opening of Parliament in London she can wear the Scottish Crown, fly the Scottish Royal Standard and bear the Scottish Coat of Arms. All of which she does when she crosses the border into Scotland.

    Let’s see how they like them apples.

  20. Anyone like to remind the Guardian’s Political correspondent that it is NOT “the Scottish executive”?

    “But as officials confirmed the number of countries to be included on the list, the UK government blamed the Scottish executive for holding up a final announcement.”

    Ye gods – this is 2020 and they even can’t get that right … 🙁

    (The Guardian also featured an article earlier today referring to my language as being “a Gaelic language”. This has since been amended – on-line. WGD may be interested in the article however as it refers the (alleged) bleak future that Scottish Gaelic faces.)

    • Scottish Gaelic, sadly, does face a very bleak future as a community language. It’s rapidly dying out in those few remaining communities where it remains (just) a majority language. Gaelic speakers are not strongly motivated to use it. A friend who is a native Welsh speaker was involved in a project to establish Gaelic language nursery immersive education. The project employed native Gaelic speaking nursery teachers. He was shocked to discover that the nursery teachers – who were all fluent in Gaelic – spoke in English amongst themselves during breaks.

      I don’t think Gaelic will die out entirely, but its future will be around virtual networks of speakers, around Gaelic medium schools, and as a heritage language rather than the language of everyday majority speech in a distinct geographical location.

  21. Johnston the ignoramus. The dope on a rope shows himself up again. Johnston has no knowledge of Scottish/British history. It’s all Greek to him. Dunce.

    Scotland is one of the oldest nations in the world, Established 10C. Recognised Internationally. Medieval history. The Treaty of Union, Johnston has not got a clue. Clueless.

    A complete and utter incompetence fool. Killing people. Nearly killed himself. Total irresponsibly destroying people’s lives. It will all end in tears again.

    Do the Tory/unionist want to rub everyone up the wrong way. They offend every section of the population. Not winning many friends or influence. Social unrest. Downhill all the way. How low can they go. Into the wilderness again. 30 years out of the loop. Some people learn nothing. Deja Vu,

    ‘Scotland the land of invention and discovery’. Chinese. One of the oldest nations in the world. Scotland one of the first in the world to have tertiary education. Scottish invention changed the modern world. TV, radio. Telecommunications led on to the internet. Excellence in engineering, medicine, etc. Oil, gas renewables etc. Some of the oldest universities in the world. A commitment to education.

    Johnston the complete and utter fool.
    Scotland ruined by Tory/unionists. Thatcher etc. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act. ‘D’ Notices.

    Johnston should consult the Chinese funding him. They know more about Scottish history than Johnston. What a fool. Another Oxbridge dunce ruining the world.

    Gaelic is doing alright. The Guardian is losing readership faster than a sieve loses water. A few thousand readership in sales. Gets revenues from annoying adverts online. The only MSM of any freedom of editorial. It has a £Billion in reserves from tax evading. Then begs for funds from others. Oxbridge elite leadership management.

  22. Pingback: The border of human decency | sideshowtog

  23. O/T
    I have never in my life been so disgusted with what can only be described as a complete waste of fresh air.
    May you burn in hell for all eternity!


    And this is the same guy who likens Scottish Nationalists to the Nazis.

  24. BBCs Andrew Kerr caught by the FM inventing the news for the sake of news again and she politely Tweets that he is *misrepresenting the postion which is disappointing but sadly not surprising*

    One wonders how the BBC feels knowing that Scotland now believes what the FM has to say and not them

    Tables have turned

        • Well, Gray highlights Magna Carta, with the judgement saying that it couldn’t have been considered as it’s England’s, and Scotland was Independent. Fine, but the interesting thing to me is that it was even considered in the first place, as it goes back to 1215. Which means incidentally or maybe not so incidentally, that the Declaration of Arbroath 1320 could also be considered in future, and we’ve also seen Wolffe discussing the Claim of Right 1689. And in Miller also they were discussing the English Bill of Rights 1688. All these pre-date the Union, both Treaty and Acts.

          Seems to me that Scots Law is becoming firmer and more applicable even though rooted in history – that the Court of Session is getting stronger and stronger about it, describing for instance the difference between hereditary (major) peers and land peers (minor), and mentioning the nobile officium which couldn’t have been considered as not actually asked for in the original case. The Prorogation case kind of hinged on that, showing that the UKSC respects Scots Law as well it might – if it didn’t it would be abrogating the Rule of Law. And of course those Lords – peers – are actually of interest, as even before the Union the Lords was at times the final court of Scotland on some issues, and the Lords was replaced by – the UKSC.

          I think it’s all good news for us, and actually progressively bad news for any attempt by Westminster to suppress our democracy – and hence, our own Rule of law.

          • Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to respond, adds perspective to the tweet. Also for explaining a little of what’s going on.

          • Just my analysis of course, and since I don’t do analysis for a living these days, it can be quite speculative, out of the box even!

            It does occur to me that with Salmond as FM during Indy Ref 1 when a lot was about Realpolitiks on a YES vote, now we have Sturgeon with legal training, when it might just be all about Law. Strange coincidence 🙂

          • I was just roaming around free-wheeling as is my wont sometimes, and found this in part of a tweet by LPW yesterday about this:

            “Scottish legal nationalism, still living and breathing in the Court of Session.”

            Yes indeed!

  25. For interest/amusement on the recent history of border matters – this from the time of the Foot & Mouth crisis for the farming industry in 2001.


    “It was the news they had been dreading but knew would almost certainly come. Yesterday, the men from the Ministry of Agriculture told Scotland’s farmers that foot and mouth had crossed the border and no corner of the UK was now safe. Farmers’ leaders had been warning the Scottish farming community to brace itself for bad news as the virus cut a swathe through England and Wales.

    The first confirmed Scottish case came at Netherplace farm in Lockerbie, in the south-west of the country.”

    The newspaper article tells us this from a D&G farmer and council convenor:

    “We don’t see this as just two farms and we don’t see it as just having to SAFEGUARD the whole livestock of Dumfries and Galloway, but THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND,” said Andrew Campbell, convener of Dumfries and Galloway council and himself a farmer. “You can’t see this virus and you can’t smell it, but for heaven’s sake use common sense and take advice from the veterinary department,” he said.(with my emphasis)

    What was good enough for Scotland’s cattle then should be good enough for Scotland’s people now – even for D&G residents!

  26. When the Brexit vote was revealed. Did Starkey not come out for Scottish Independent? Or supported why people in Scotland wanted Independence. After he was against it.

  27. Very late or very early strange sleep pattern just now anyway.
    J Galt and comments about his posts all comments .
    Sometimes a little sugar has a better outcome than a bit of ( insert here )
    Just an observation,
    For those interested sometimes my surname appears with a capital “G” nothing sinister just it depends on what browser I am using or if auto correct is enabled,that’s for interested parties and of course all those who previously wished me well , Hamish , Alex Clark ,Dr Jim etc, I refer you to the above sugar & shite comment and your previous replies it sometimes helps if posts are actually read before comments are posted ,have a nice day now folks.

  28. More on air bridges, pace Golfnut:

    Wales will make own decision on air bridges as England drops quarantine rule for 60 nations
    3rd July 2020

    Wales will set out “its own approach” on foreign travel after holding off from supporting the UK Government’s ‘air bridge’ plan.

    The Welsh government has said it is yet to decide whether it will follow England’s lead and relax rules on people flying in and out of the country.

    The UK Government’s Department for Transport said passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there”.

    • Thanks, a good straight forward reporting of events. I’m tempted to believe the hiding of stats concerning the infection rate in England is an attempt to convince potential tourists that England is a safe destination. I doubt strongly that other Governments will be fooled as easily as England’s population. They will be fully aware of the risk of their own citizens bringing the infection back with them. What a stupid mess.

  29. Scotland is one of the oldest nations in the world. Older than most other nations. Borders recognised in history and historical fact. Recorded for posterity. Upheld by International Law and documented with Statehood rights.

    The Declaration at Arbroath a recognised influence on Democracy and democratic rights by newer nations worldwide. Not in Scotland it would seem by Westminster unionist ignoramuses. Ignoring historical fact. Most of them have never read a book in their lives of any significance. The deflection of the education system, elsewhere. Lack of general knowledge.

    Even before the Westminster unionist political liars concluded a lying Treaty of Union broken in every way shape and form. Of inequality and hypocrisy which has never been honoured by Westminster unionist unelected parasites and hypocrites. Lying about historical fact.

    Breaking International Law of rights to self governance and self determination. Upheld by EU, UN and International Law. The UK is not a country. It is a political union based on a geographical map recognised as Britain.

    Scotland geographical borders recognised in Scottish, UK/ EU and UN International Law worldwide. Even Trump’s descendants are recognised as Scottish. Along with the 40million disaporia. The Westminster unionist ignoramuses offends them all.

    The Treaty terms, of which, have been broken consistently. Terms to be treated equally. Reneged upon too many times to be mentioned. Since 1928 universal Suffrage emancipation and before.

    The ignorant, arrogant unelected Westminster unionists hypocrites breaking every Law in the Land and Internationally. Breaking every Internationally Treaty blowing the world to bits. Causing killing and inequality every where they operate. Ruining people’s lives.

    The Westminster unionists hypocrites think they are above the Law. Break every rule and regulation. Break every Treaty they have ever made. Sleekit, lying greedy hypocrites. Attacking innocent people. Every word they utter is a lie. Ruining the world economy with their greed and wickedness. Liars always get found out.

    The illegal Barnett Formula trying to keep Scotland poorer so they can squander, illegally and secretly, every revenues and resources Scotland produces.

    The Westminster unionist lying hypocrites keeping their criminality secret under the Official Secrets Act. International criminals. Most of them should be in jail. Or in the dock at the ECHR in The Hague or under investigation at the UN. They often are for breaking International Law. Killing and maiming innocent people. Breaking the human hypocritical oath of representation.

    Most of them are not fit for public office by lie and cheat to get power. So they can rip off the population. The most unequal country in the world. Starving and killing others. A complete and utter disgrace. Disgusting people. A non democracy. An appalling cartel of corruption. The complete and utter scandal of Brexit and the hardship it will bring to others.

    Iraq, Lockerbie, Dunblane kept secret for 100 years. Illegally by Westminster unionist unelected parasites with no authority in Scotland Westminster unionist poor, bad wicked decisions have cost Scotland dear, £Billions. Scotland has lost out on.

    The monies wasted for the Westminster unionist racket. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. The Westminster unionist appalling remit of poor management. Getting away with murder and causing people misery, worldwide.

  30. In the short happy life of PM Johnson he has been Churchill taking it on the chin, Superman emerging from a telephone kiosk in costume, presumably to fight for Truth Justice and the (post No Deal Brexit) the American Way, and now…on Wednesday he morphed into Hitler, annexing Scotland, Johnson’s very own Sudetenland.
    In ’38, Hitler marched in to the German speaking Sudetenland, which became part of Czechoslovakia following the admittedly stitched up Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, and the following year he invaded Czechoslovakia proper, before turning his guns on Poland, and the rest of Europe.

    Dumfries and Galloway, with its Blue Tory MPs Mundell and Jack, and Mundell junior, with a Blue Tory Council Leader, is Boris’ Sudetenland.

    We have an outbreak, with suspected source Carlisle Hospital, in The Borders.

    Born Again Adolf declares that there is no border between England and Scotland.

    Grant Shapps announces that England is open for business, and reveals 50 countries which English men and woman can fly off to on holiday from 10th July, countries whose citizens will be allowed to fly in to England, without quarantine of tests.

    Shapps was on BBC North Korea Breakfast bulletin this morning, displaying the same idiotic smirk worn by sub lieutenant Bowie on Wednesday, when his Great Leader agreed with him that anybody can invade Scotland from now on in, because the ‘Devolved Administration’ (check out the framing of the Scottish Government as a mere ‘administration’) couldn’t prevent it.

    Humza was on the same BBC programme which was rejoicing in the delirious news that hairdressers and pubs are open and that Old Wet Blanket Scotland was trying to spoil the party, and the stabbings, the drunks, the A&E staff dealing with piss heads with no Covid protection, masses of drunks battling police and medical staff as the English do a Bournemouth Beach and go on the Piss.

    We must close our border with England.
    They are attempting to invade and contaminate Scotland by sending up fleets of caravans and Spanish tourists heading for Skye and the Black Isle.
    They really believe that we Scots are powerless to stop the invasion.
    Boy have they another think coming.
    Check out the number of times that you hear ‘the devolved administration’ over the next week or so.

    And Carlaw Leonard and Rennie support this mass invasion of infected tourists.
    The deaths of their fellow Scots are therefore their fault.
    Just to slavishly support a big fat English womaniser and keep their country Scotland as England’s Sudetenland.

    • Boris Johnson’ll wrestle Corona virus to the ground like a mugger zip wiring into Scotland wearing a Union flag Superman suit and a bike helmet and we’ll all laugh our troubles away because Boris’ll have diverted our attention from the problem

      Except we’ve caught him out with that and it doesn’t work in Scotland, we have slightly longer memories than goldfish up here in the frozen North beyond the wall in our imaginary country that isn’t here

  31. The UK government have excluded Greece from its quarantine exception list. Nothing at all to do with levels of Covid-19 as Greece has had a tiny number of cases. This is purely out of spite because Greece has banned flights from the UK until July 15th. I wonder if Johnson senior will be made to quarantine?

  32. Churchill was an alcoholic. Alcoholic make poor, bad decisions without any proper counselling. Destroying all around them. Obese and overweight smoking, Totally unhealthy and unwell.

    Churchill ruined the world. Caused havoc in the Middle East. UK/US took all Iran Oil destroyed democracy. Killed and maimed millions of innocent people. The Balfour Agreement. HoL unelected power.

    Got the US involved in illegal international war. To illegal steal other countries resources. Corruption beyond belief. For personal gain. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    Russia won the War2 to protect the West. Churchill was an egotistical liar. Broke International Law. Labour won a landslide victory after the War.

    Johnston is a reincarnation. Killing and maiming millions of people. Brexit chaos. A despicable liar to campaign and win. A total useless PM with no appropriate qualification. Drinks and eats too much. Obese, unhealthy and unwell. Troughs on public money. Wastes public money. Lies and cheats. An adulterer. Betrays family. Flawed genes. A duplicitous liar.

    Johnston will be voted out. A landslide victory to any opposition not matter how useless. Johnston tried to get the US involved in illegally military action on the Russian. Creating more misery. Trump refused. Johnston had to shut his big gob for once. Telling lies. His lies are always being called out, repeatedly.

    Churchill, Johnston similarities are chilling. So much in common. Warmongering ignoramuses. Wasting public money like there is no tomorrow. Lying opportunists.

  33. Closing the border will be difficult. There are ways around it. People can get in other ways. Boat etc. Or just ducking under the radar.

    What matters is people in Scotland following the Scottish Gov stricter pandemic rules. Wearing masks. Wider distancing. Limited gathering. Following all the Scottish Gov excellent rules.

    There will be no influx of people not following these rules. Everybody is having to follow them and measures are being put to support them. People pressured. Everywhere people are being prevent and are still too scared to travel.

    It is following the better rules and regulation in Scotland which is decreasing the virus affects and decreasing deaths. Not number of people involved. Everybody is expected to follow the rule or be disciplined or prevented from illegal travel.

  34. Last question of the day to the FM, a snidey wee journalst attempted to score a political point with no facts and the FM reduced him to a gibbering pile of puss

    I’ve said it many times, Nicola Sturgeon can be a velocirapter when she chooses, and she’s choosing it a little more often these days

    • And very glad to see it too…
      I’d intended to respond to your previous post on this subject, as can’t quite figure out if the SG strategy to take all the pelters they have in adhering to their “no politics” approach to the pandemic led the politicos and media into a false sense of security, allowing the colluding mafia to dig themselves a dirty great hole, then stand to the side at the top with an even bigger shovel..
      It is clear the gloves are coming off, and god help them all as we’ll all be cheering from one side of Europe to the other, whether Scots or not..
      London is chaos, Edinburgh is steady as you go, that is the perception from eastern europe, not from me but locals…

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