The real lesson from interference in the Scottish debate

Sometimes people really don’t appreciate the consequences of what they wish for. Such is the case with the Scottish Conservatives and Ian Murray who have been calling for an enquiry into interference in the Scottish referendum of 2014. Or more specifically, they want an enquiry into Russian interference, not any of the British state sanctioned interference that involved putting pressure on foreign governments in order to get them to weigh in on the Scottish debate. And they don’t want an enquiry into any other Russian interference, because the British Government has already ruled that out as it’s afraid of calling the result of the 2016 EU referendum into question.

It’s very odd on a day when the British state has been exposed doing its utmost to hide from the extent of Russian influence on the Conservative party and exposed just how weak British democratic standards and safeguards are and how wilfully negligent the British Government is that the Scotsman newspaper leads with a call for an enquiry into the Scottish referendum. Bring it on. Please. Even if the Scottish Tories and their pal Ian Murray got their wish and managed to restrict the enquiry to looking only at Russian meddling, the strongest evidence that we have for Russian meddling is the report that David Cameron pleaded with Vladimir Putin to get involved in the referendum campaign on the No side.

There is no solid evidence that the yes vote was boosted by Russian interference. Indeed the only reports of Russian bot activity point to efforts to discredit the result of the referendum after the fact of the vote. And as Nicola Sturgeon pointed out yesterday, the ethos and aims of the Scottish independence movement is diametrically opposed to everything that Vladimir Putin stands for. Russia has its own issues with minority nationalities who would prefer to escape from Russian rule, most prominently among them the Chechens, yet British nationalists want us to believe that Russia is a big supporter of Scottish independence while for the exact same set of reasons Spain is going to oppose it.

Then there’s the vast amount of other meddling, such as Cameron pleading with Obama to make an intervention in the debate. Or there’s that time that Cameron got the Queen to intervene. Or that time that the British Government via its embassy in Madrid asked Spanish newspapers to print stories that were helpful to the no campaign, or the meetings that the Conservatives had with representatives of the Spanish Partido Popular in order to discuss the creation of a European wide anti-independence front. Then there’s the suspiciously well funded popping up of, ahem, ‘grassroots’ organisations on the no side which managed to garner the kind of publicity from the BBC that long established grass roots organisations on the yes side never came remotely close to. So yeah, if we want to talk about meddling, let’s talk about all the meddling. There was considerably more meddling that was beneficial to the Better Together campaign than anything that was helpful to the Yes movement.

But even if the British nationalists were successful with their ploy and managed to get an enquiry which looked solely at the meddling that they want us to consider – alleged online activity from Russian bots and trolls which they claim was helpful to the yes movement – all that they are succeeding in doing is to undermine the credibilty of the result of the vote. That’s the exact reason why the Tories in London are so desperate to avoid any investigation into Russian meddling in the EU referendum and the large amount of donations that the Conservatives receive from Russian oligarchs. If the vote is to be called into question because of alleged Russian interference, then that means that there is no need to ‘respect the result of the referendum’. Yet it would appear that the British nationalists want us to believe simultaneously that the result of the Scottish referendum was affected by Russian interference and that we must also continue to respect the outcome. Those are mutually contradictory positions.

The real issue here is the weakness of British democracy, that’s what British nationalists in Scotland are trying to hide behind a convenient smokescreen of outrage about the Scottish referendum. The Conservatives regularly rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations from Russian oligarchs, some of whom are close to Putin, and it’s no coincidence that London has become the global laundromat for Russian dirty money and the proceeds of corruption. The British Government took a deliberate decision that it didn’t want to know whether there was interference from Russia in the EU referendum, because it is terrified that the outcome of that vote might be called into question. So instead of ensuring that British democratic processes are robust and safe from external interference, the Conservative Government decided to close its eyes and ears, meaning that such interference becomes more likely in future.

That same Conservative government then sat on a report on Russian involvement carried out by the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee and refused to allow it to be published because it was afraid that the report might damage the election prospects of the Conservatives in the December 2019 General Election. The report found that the threat of Russian meddling in British democracy is “immediate and urgent” and yet Boris Johnson did nothing about it for ten months. He’d still be doing nothing about it if he had succeeded in getting his placeman Chris Grayling elected as the chair of the Commons committee. Indeed Johnson went so far as to expel from the party the Conservative MP Julian Lewis who was elected as the chair of the committee and who authorised the report’s publication, ensuring that Lewis cannot stand for reelection as a Conservative in the next General Election. When it comes to protecting and defending his own position Johnson takes swift and decisive action. When it comes to protecting and defending democracy in the UK, not so much.

So yes, let’s have a proper enquiry into meddling in the Scottish referendum. Because if that enquiry ever does take place, it’s not the yes movement that will be found to have benefited from external interference. Let’s have an enquiry into how the British state attempted to undermine and pervert Scottish democracy by doing its utmost to get foreign powers involved in the debate. Let’s have an enquiry into the suspicious amount of pro-British propaganda that was pumped out by a supposedly impartial state broadcaster that both yes and no voters pay for equally while the yes movement struggled to be heard. Let’s have an enquiry into how the British Government and Better Together cobbled together the infamous Vow in the last week of the campaign, after many postal votes had already been cast, making a substantial change in what they were promising the electorate – promises which they later broke.

What the Scottish independence movement promises is a Scotland where democratic standards are robust, transparent, and the public can trust in them. What the Scottish independence movement promises is a Scotland where politicians are accountable and can be held to account. What we’ve seen from the fall out from the Russian report is that we can’t be certain of any of those things in the UK.

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132 thoughts on “The real lesson from interference in the Scottish debate

  1. I think Russia would have had a good reason to push ‘Yes’ in 2014: even with the unexpected rise in support for independence so that in 2014 it was close to even, a Yes vote on a statistically barely significant margin would create enough of a headache to seriously weaken the UK pre- and post split.

    For the same reason there is now suddenly a flood of suspiciously similar arguments being generated *against* independence: with the support rising above the ‘barely significant’ margin, the opportunities for chaos go away, unless you invent new ones, such as the consistent Sturgeon mind-reading (“She doesn’t really want independence!”).

    Now, I’m not saying this is *proof* of Russian meddling. Just that it is reason enough to not dismiss the idea out of hand.

    (Also note that some on social media who like to quote RT and Sputnik have been pushing both lines as well, another red flag)

    • Mart, sounds like you don’t like Sturgeon mind – reading but are happy to do a bit of Putin mind – reading. Each to their own mind reading is what I say but somehow I think Putin’s mind has a lot more in it that I would be happy not to read. But you feel free to get stuck right in there.

      • <Looks back at post%gt;

        I’m not seeing Putin mentioned anywhere. If you’re are going to try “gotcha” rhetoric, you might want to wait for a post that has a little more appearance of there actually being something to “get”.

        • Good response but Russia is mentioned plenty of times and who is in charge of Russia. If you prefer please pick some other Russian high ranking politician. So you combine mind reading and no proof just as you accuse others of doing with Sturgeon.

          It is called speculating using little or no clear evidence.

          Lots of people do it, including yourself. So why the mind reading stuff about Sturgeon.

    • I read your post twice and it still appears to be based on a wild conjecture of maybe/possibly/could have. Perhaps if you point out any factual reference or evidence it would help.

      We have plenty of evidence of BritNat interference. I have seen zero of Russian involvement prior to, or during the Referendum.

      • We know about the Internet Research Agency. And we know they have been posting on social media in support of at least Brexit.

        So conjecture? Sure. Just saying that given that we know about Russian tactics it is not something to be dismissed out of hand as mere Russophobia.

        • It is .

          Why ?

          Because Russia are not interested in Scottish independence we are too small , Russia has too much to deal with already .

          USA have a continuous hate campaign against Russia ( China too )
          Russia is trading with EU successfully
          Russia know U.K. are and have always been an insider working against the EU and since the EU decided to tell USA it can shove its GM food
          the USA has been working against the EU
          The first thing UK did when the Brexit vote was announced was send Farage and Johnston to trump house

          UK and USA thick as thieves , well they are thieves globally so no surprise

  2. Perhaps there will be a full inquiry into the BBC’s meddling. James Naughtie, Laura Kuensberg, GMS……I won’t hold my breath!

  3. Damage Control

    The much heralded report was not some committees dogged investigation ,it was a contrived manipulation meant to further the interests of the government , although no real evidence was found but the 2014 vote was mentioned frequently I wonder why, RT in particular is in the spotlight again no prizes .

    This government , well all Unionist supporters in government have not stopped pushing the propaganda line since they were so close to being destroyed by a YES vote , presently they a pushing to see how far Scottish people can be pushed before they waken up and turn on their English tormentors.

    The latest vote in Westminster passed by a Tory majority is one more move meant to strangle Holyrood of any powers and coincidentally these votes and the repercussions are not mentioned in the media because of this smokescreen of a Russian report ,the English state are past masters in distraction and sinister methods to fool and manipulate public opinion ,

    This Tory government are at war with everyone who supports independence , they will stop at nothing because the stakes are so high, they must crush support.

  4. If the SNP are damaged by this present bout of Russophobia, to some extent they only have themselves to blame.
    Stephen Gethins was a notorious Russophobe in the HoC. Gethins was the first SNP MP to be “allowed” a post on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. That is to say, the Party put him forward to represent the collective. Gethins was a first time MP with a majority of TWO! Gethins waltzed straight into a post at the notoriously Atlanticist, School of International Relations at St Andrews Uni. after loosing his constituency in 2019. It’s no coincidence that the “auld haunted barn” that housed the Integrity Initiative was just down the road. The SoIR is a den of junior spooks.
    From Gethins Wiki – “He worked in the NGO Sector specialising in peace-building, arms control and democracy in the Caucasus and the Balkans regions. He worked with NGO Links in Tbilisi focusing on the conflicts surrounding the breakaway entities in the South Caucasus such as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”
    NGO Links is a specific thing. Based out of The University of Arizona, “interested” in matters on Russia’s Southern borders and almost certainly a front for the CIA / State Department.
    How you may ask did such an obvious Security Service plant pass candidate vetting? At this stage, I’m too world weary to be be exasperated.
    Gethins’ own brother has denounced him on Craig Murray’s blog as being saft on independence.

    • ”How you may ask did such an obvious Security Service plant (Stephen Gethins) pass candidate vetting?”

      That’s quite an accusation to make about someone vivian with no evidence to support such a claim. An accusation that could impact, adversely, on his position as a Professor at St Andrews University.

      From Russophobe to Security Service plant? He doesn’t even meet the criteria of being a Russophobe at all (a person who hates or fears Russia or the Russians). He’s also condemned the US Government, Saudi Arabian Government as well as a number of others. Not exactly biased.

      And why wouldn’t the party, under Alex Salmond, put him forward to sit on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee whilst Alex Salmond himself was Foreign Affairs spokesman in the House of Commons at the time? Alex Salmond had known Stephen Gethins for quite some time previously and was aware of the knowledge and expertise that he would bring to that post. He had been a Special Adviser to Alex Salmond (and Nicola Sturgeon), when he was FM, advising on European and International Affairs as well as Rural Affairs, Energy and Climate Change. He was a Political Advisor with the Committee of the Regions in the European Union, a position which saw him working with local authorities from across Europe and also worked at Scotland Europa. He also worked for Saferworld UK, another international non-governmental organisation (NGO), which deals with conflict prevention and peacebuilding programmes in over 20 countries / territories. Key focus on the wellbeing of women and children in conflicted areas.

      ”Gethins was a first time MP with a majority of TWO!”

      Stephen Gethins initially won 18,523 votes (a 40.9% share of the vote) and received a majority of 4,344 votes over the LibDem candidate, Tim Brett, in 2015. He won in 2017 with a majority of 2 and in 2019 was ousted in the same way that Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson were and no doubt for the same reason. He was seen to be a real threat to Westminster.

      ”Gethins waltzed straight into a post at the notoriously Atlanticist, School of International Relations at St Andrews Uni.”

      That’ll be the the School of International Relations ranked as the top IR department in Scotland and first in politics in the UK. Recognised globally for its quality teaching, stimulating research, and leading academics. And why shouldn’t he have waltzed into a job that he’s qualified to waltz into just as Alex Salmond should be able to do following being stitched up by Westminster lackeys?

      ”It’s no coincidence that the “auld haunted barn” that housed the Integrity Initiative was just down the road. The SoIR is a den of junior spooks.”

      Down the road from what? Where he lives? Where he works?

      ”NGO Links is a specific thing. Based out of The University of Arizona ”

      Vivien there are millions of ”NGO’s” around the world for example Russia has around 277,000 and India has around 2 million. Most are in involved in humanitarian work. Surveys indicate that they hold a high degree of public trust. I can’t find any link to Stephen Gethins, the University of Arizona and NCO’s. Then again even if there was such a link what does that prove exactly?

      ”Gethins’ own brother has denounced him on Craig Murray’s blog as being saft on independence.”

      I don’t know Stephen Gethin’s brother and have no idea if it was actually his brother who was ”blogging” at all. If it was, I just wonder what he’s been contributing to the independence cause? All I can say is that I was really sorry to see Stephen Gethins go. He was highly intelligent, articulate, hard working and really knew his stuff. He worked his backside off for the SNP and Scotland by giving the BritNats at Westminster a run for their money … a real showing up. I reckon we lost one of the best SNP MPs that we ever had when they managed to depose him. His long speech on renewable energy (talking up Scotland) was something to behold and I’d say that when I watched him I’ve never felt prouder of any Scottish MP, other than Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

      …………………………………………………………….

      ‘STEPHEN GETHINS: Russians deserve better than Westminster turning another blind eye to ‘dirty money.’

      …”The people of Russia have given the world so much. They deserve better than this increasingly authoritarian Moscow administration. They also deserve better from the UK and greater transparency and openness here as well.”..

      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/opinion/1459523/stephen-gethins-russians-deserve-better-than-westminster-turning-another-blind-eye-to-dirty-money/

      …………………………………………………………

      Stephen Gethins 173 speeches in the House of Commons.

      http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Search?Keywords=&Member=Stephen+Gethins+MP&MemberId=4434&House=&Business=&Start=04%2F02%2F2015&End=22%2F0

  5. Pingback: The real lesson from interference in the Scottish debate | speymouth

  6. Another excellent article.

    There is no doubt that there was an avalanche of meddling/interference in the 2014 independence referendum and it was all for no and instigated by the Britnats.

    In my opinion the people who medled/interfered the most were:

    Cameron/Clegg/Milliband with their infamous vow. The Vow in effect removed the no vote and changed it to a devo max vote – a devo max option that was ruled out by Cameron in the Edinburgh Agreement. You cannot get a greater interference than changing what the electorate were voting on days before it happened. The Edinburgh Agreement was ripped up and chucked in the bin.

    There was no gold standard referendum for so many reasons. The best thing (for them) the Britnats managed to do, using the Britnat media was to convince independence supporters of the fallacy of a gold standard referendum. Genuine concerns were dismissed as sour grapes.

    If there is to be a new independence referendum then it has to be 100% under the auspices of the Scotgov. No more interference and propaganda. Personally, I still prefer to use a plebiscite election.

    I would love to see Ian Murray hoisted by his own petard.

  7. >>global laundromat

    I once read the phrase ‘London is the laundromat for the global kleptocracy’ and thought, that’s brilliant, I am going to use that somewhere someday!

    I can recommend ‘Treasure Islands’ by Nicholas Shaxson to anyone who wants their eyes opened to London’s pivotal role in helping the global elite avoid paying tax.

  8. Another post seems to have gone. This post also started with praise of your article just like a previous one. Is this a coincidence or should I cut out the praise?

    Patience is my middle name – except when it comes to Scottish independence of course.

  9. Good article, your point over Lewis is a widely shared opinion…
    We need to make a distinction here, the Russian Mafia are no more under the control of the Russian State than the British Mafia are under the control of the British State, if anything the converse is true in both instances…

    Russian involvement in Brexit is clear enough but not necessarily at State level. Consider the scenario, you have vast wealth, London=mafia central, EU=prying eyes, money should be kept in the family no? How can we help?

    Having not read the Russia report I can’t attest to it, but heard on blogs that the two instances cited as evidence in that single paragraph of a 50 page document as proof of Russian involvement in the 2014 Referendum were two articles printed by the Glasgow Herald.
    Perhaps someone might confirm or clarify ?

    • Craig Murray has a good article ‘re Leask and the Herald. I posted a link on the previous thread yesterday.

      • Golfnut, I read it. It was not nice being take back to the Iraq war that the Britnat Labour Party inflicted on us based on a flipping students thesis. If somebody proposed that for a Hollywood script they would say – what a war movie that has death and destruction to millions of people, terrorism for decades and millions of refugees all justified by a student’s essay dressed up as official intelligence – no chance too far fetched.

    • Oh, Bob, the Russian Mafia are the Russian State. In a world of organised criminality and corporate malfeasance, that degree of integration is unique. And besides what they get up to overseas, they will happily kill anyone in their own home turf who represents a danger to their hegemony.

      It’s also no accident that the strategy of “rule by confusion” now being deployed by autocrats around the world, including wannabe-autocrat Trump, was developed by the current Russian regime.

      • Russia has the mafia, we have the establishment. Not sure there’s much difference in how they operate. Coercion, bribery, manipulation, blackmail, drugs and people trafficking, maybe even murder( sorry suicide ). With the amount of Russian( sorry laundered ) money slushing through the UK politics they could even be partners.

      • Oh Grizebard… I second Golfnut’s point, it is only in the name that the Brits and Ruskies differ, hence your perspective “that degree of integration is unique”, sorry but I beg to differ, it is only our perception, the point I tried to make in the first paragraph.
        As for who developed “rule by confusion” the British Empire had it in their “Divide and Conquer Handbook” long before the Russian regime had it’s first brick in the Berlin Wall…
        I agree this more refined “chaos” strategy is currently playing out worldwide, you need only look south to the Cummings gameplan since 2015 for examples of how bizarre the outcome.
        Quite how chaos will assist Brexit now is very much a puzzle… Unless the objective is continued chaos.

  10. If I was a bad clever Russian tactician or strategist what would be my aim in interfering in elections anywhere, well according to the UK government the bad Russians want to destabilise democracies, OK that’s fine we might agree with idea that but why on earth would they take sides one way or another to do that, surely destabilisation is about using all sides against each other to create the instability you seek, to rile populations against one another equally leaving a vacuum where you can spread whatever bad stuff around that you want to spread

    Proper destabilisation is about the pretence of being all things simultaneously, the use of the Internet has been an invaluable tool to those who know what to do with it

    First you suck in your audience with an emotional argument to create anger then you introduce the topic you really want to push and do it slowly so as not to alert people to what you’re doing, by this time you have your audience who trust what you have to say because they agreed with the topic you invited them in to agree with, then slam! you have them and they listen, but all the while keep referring to the fake topic so you don’t lose them

    The UK government have being using this strategy for years but they did it by the use of newspapers TV and radio, why is it other countries are always the enemy and *Britain* is always the good guy, the Internet poses a different problem for them because everybody everywhere has access to that and now any country or any individual can engage in the same thing
    The UK are having to play catch up and that’s why Boris Johnson authorised £5million to be thrown at the Internet to assist them in the continued imprisonment of Scotland

    We all remember the wee snidey mixing kid in the playground who went from one to the other whispering bad stuff in other kids ears, it’s the same thing only bigger

    Unfortunately you can fool enough of the people enough of the time, and bad is easier to sell than good when enough people are feeling bad

  11. I don’t really understand to be honest. There was a Russian election (Presidential) in 2018, and the BBC were full of it – even more so than normal. Then there’s Trump, with a consistently negative doing over for him from the UK state broadcaster. It may be deserved, but that’s irrelevant – it’s interference in another country’s democracy.

    But the UK is only trotting after the US in its interference, they have teams on the ground.

    Anyways, noticed this just now – It’s not for you Scotland. Looked at Wikipedia and got this message: “To all our readers in England”.

    Oh well, it’s not for me!

    • Your point is misplaced – a broadcaster here is perfectly entitled to cover elections in another country for the benefit of its own audience. (Hopefully including the truth, and the whole truth, even if from a different perspective.) But it’s not forcing its own coverage into these other places, telling them what to think and do. Provided they are enabled to do so and not actively prevented, people elsewhere can always pick up on it if they wish, whether for information or comedy or whatever. So eg. we can get RT if we really feel the need but I’m not sure that ordinary Russians are quite so spoilt for choice.

      The domestic situation however is quite different; we continually get the English Broadcasting Corp. telling us what they wish and hope we are believing, serving us up a readily-provable diet of half-truths, where one side of the case is substantially suppressed, whether deliberately or merely through purblind wishful thinking. And more so than during IR1, where honourable English journalist Paul Mason commented that “Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this.” We also had the Treasury Civil Service giving themselves public plaudits for the way they had defiled their tradition for impartiality in defence of the Union.

      We don’t need any formal enquiry to tell us what has been staringly obvious for years, that whatever interference we had to endure from all quarters overseas, the most egregious and effective by far came from our opponents here right at “home”, and poisoned the referendum irretrievably. Which is quite sufficient on its on to justify a clean rerun at any time we want.

  12. Is Stewart McDonald SNP really backing Leask?
    Check out his tweet.
    He’ll have had that coffee he was still to have when he referenced Leask and others to ‘prove’ Russian interference in Indyref1.
    If so, time he resigned from the Party.
    He was one f the WM MPs promoting ‘wait and see’ until May ’21 back in 2017…settled in to WM nicely, methinks.

    The game’s up.
    Either NS and the SNP declare now, or all is lost. Quite literally.
    I for one will not allow this to happen.

    • Can only agree with you Jack,
      Listened to the three of them and thought they were all settling in for the next 4 years.
      They did callout the delays as false excuses but the report had nothing of any substance.
      Hosie as well seems to be settled in for the duration.

      • I was at the National WGD Roadshow in Dumbarton, and heard McDonald with my own ears. Wait until the Tories trash Scotland for five more years, and take us out of the EU, then we’ll show ’em in May ’21, which adds up to half a million in wages expenses and pensions pot for him, untold misery for millions of Scots.
        Not a few of them are perfectly happy trundling along, doing next to nothing, getting laughed at every week down in London.
        I’ve had enough; don’t know about the rest of you.

        Is it unreasonable for us to expect a very public condemnation of the UK Single Market, and No Deal Brexit, and the announcement of a timetable towards Indyref 2 now?
        Or am I missing something?

    • There is no doubt in my mind Russia has interfered in lots of elections and referendums probably including the Scottish Indy Ref. Probably encouraged to do so by David Cameron but wouldn’t be surprised if they were working on both sides to cause chaos because that is what they do best . Existance of Russian internet bots are is well known. Putin and his cronies are thugs and will do what best suits them and their bank balance. Democracy no longer exists in Russia there is no longer a free press Putin changed constitution to keep him in power indefinitely. Russia complicity caused the destruction of the airliner above Ukraine.I could go and on I would not trust Putin Trump or Bojo and the Tories they are all crooks and I am astounded people here are defending the Russian govt.

  13. Of course we should have realised that they would take this line. That the reason they failed to sell “Better together” to so many Scots was not because people realised what a steaming heap it was, but that we were fooled by Putin. Now they’ll try and play the traitor card on us for wanting Independence. They really are scum. They really are that desperate. But what I want to see is them hoist on their own “petard” when its revealed that Putin had been asked to help the UK out, not the other way.

    • Yes, the “traitor” card is what they’ve been rehearsing with AS. But I didn’t notice any home channel being ever-so-willing to give him airtime, so there’s MSM hypocrisy in action once again. Maybe he should try calling their bluff! That would likely shut them all up.

      As for calling for Russian help, Cameron’s plea to Putin is already well documented, is it not? He didn’t seem to be so very choosy back then about any of his foreign requests.

      As for Russia specifically, we shouldn’t be in the least surprised that they were busy meddling. Equal-opportunity shit-stirring, most likely, since that’s ex-spook Putin’s clear MO. If the BritNats think they can use this though to smear the indy movement by more nods-and-winks on this account, they will soon find it gets the same dusty reception as the rest of their Britsplaining. We know we feel what we feel and think what we think for very pertinent and concrete reasons.

      An enquiry? Oh, just bring it on, do please…!

  14. No Country has ever voted against it’s own Independence but the British State expected the Scottish People to fall for their dirty tricks! They barely even concealed their vote rigging scam! Many People spotted civil servants carrying black bags full of stolen votes! They (civil servants) were given awards for ” Helping save the United Kingdom” said that they were “asked” to! The Russian influence was a UN observer who spotted what was going on, as did a Norwegian observer! The present nonsense being churned out on the States Media is a futile attempt at Misdirection!

    • Sorry I cannot acccept what you are saying, no one stole any votes. I have worked at countless elections as polling station presiding officer and 2 referendums.9 there is no way ballot papers could go missing. There are ballot papers accounts as well as numbered counterfoils of used ballot papers to create an audit trail no way you can cover up missing ballot papers. The biggest threat to democracy at polling stations is personation where someone impersonates a named elector

      • Eilidh , you are half right , impersonation is a big problem polling cards don’t have a photo on them and you don’t need to show I.D. when you vote.
        All you need is the polling card which has the address but not even the date of birth of the voter.
        If I found a polling card in the street I could use it and nobody would be the wiser.
        Many people come across polling cards in empty flats , people also take their relatives polling cards and vote for them without them knowing , old parents , grandparents etc.
        If you have a friend or relative in a care home they can apply for a postal vote they can also apply for a proxy vote i.e choose someone else to vote on their behalf.
        If you are a chancer and a cheat you can get the application forms for granny and pretend you are her and fill in the forms asking for a postal vote or proxy vote all you have to do is sign her name , it’s easy , sure there is a declaration on the form that says you are who you say you are and are telling the truth but nobody gets caught .
        You can’t be caught because they don’t have reliable signature recognition many signatures change day to day many are scribbles they are indecipherable , believe me after three decades working in social security I know, it’s why they switched to bank payments and stopped giros too much fraud and signatures uncontrollable but that’s what we use for identification in the voting system.

        • Same person cannot vote twice. At the polling station the register is marked before it arrives that a postal vote has been issued so someone cannot vote as a proxy too nor can elector themselves be given new ballot paper if they have lost postal ballot one. There is some merit in having to show photo ID at polling stations but not everyone has that and having to show it has caused serious suppression of the vote in USA and was a means to stop black people voting there

        • Electronic voting like what they have in USA could be hacked but uk only has paper counting of votes. They did try electronic voting in Scotland a few years ago and it was a shambles as the machines couldnt read the ballot papers

          • I wasn’t referring to electronic voting Eilidh. That link shows that data being fed into computers for the final vote in each area and then overall can be tampered with.

          • Maybe but I think it is less likely in Scotland election staff such as returning officers are as corrupt as in some places abroad like USA so wouldnt fiddle the figures plus the count has quite a lot of witnesses here such as election agents etc. They watch the tellers and their bundles like a hawk so can write down a projection of the result. Could the final tally of votes be hacked on computer system .Probably but I hope software security would prevent that

    • Puerto Rico, Quebec (twice), Mayotte (one of the Comoro Islands), Tahiti, and New Caledonia have all voted against their own independence.

      Newfoundland voted to give up its independence in 1948 in order to become a Canadian province.

      It happens a lot more often than you might think.

    • The “stolen votes” thing is a toxic myth, likely perpetuated by those who refuse to believe that their heartfelt desire for independence wasn’t shared by far too many fellow citizens. And if we repeat the mistake of confusing our own convictions with those of others, we’ll go down to defeat again. We have to learn the knack of getting into the heads of people who don’t think the same as us and who don’t share our certainties. Unfortunately, that requires us to escape our cozy bubble, and demands well-targeted persuasion, time and persistence. (Often all in short supply among the most impatient among us, alas.)

      The self-congratulating civil servants – a public disgrace – were involved in interference all right, as they themselves conceded, but it was in the realm of economic propaganda, not in any way concerned with the processing of votes.

      • Grizebard, you are wrong , but many people look in the wrong place to identify why it’s riddled with fraud.
        Polling cards don’t have your date of birth on them or your photo all they have is a name and address so when someone turns up at the polling station to vote all they have to do is hand over the polling card and they get to vote .
        The polling station staff basically check that the polling card you hand over is not fake , it is checked against a list that shows your name and address, they match the name and address on your polling card to their list, you could be anyone they’re not interested in whether or not you really are the person named on the polling card they don’t ask you for i.d.they just let you vote.

        Sure there are declarations and awarding s about fraud but the checks done to make sure the person using the vote is really the named person who should be using the vote is next to zero.

        You could if your parents don’t vote or are in a care home , apply for a postal vote for them and when the forms arrive fill in their details forge their signature and nobody would know , then when the postal votes arrive forge their signatures again I guarantee you nobody will know.
        The government , the council none of them can detect forged signatures , they always make people sign declarations along the lines of telling the truth and being aware of fines etc if caught lying but you really are never going to get caught because they have no way of knowing.
        The declaration warning is the full extent of their security.

        It’s a sham
        A FARCE
        All government departments work much the same way

        • Terence, I agree in principle with your post but would add that you do not even need to bring your polling card. You just need to know the name and address.

          The whole system assumes that everyone voting are Ladies and gentlemen who would never do anything so dishonourable as cheat. A Victorian British Empire mentality.

          • Yup, I’ve voted before w/o presenting my polling card.

            As to personation, as I understand it the process for dealing with that assume the real voter actually turns up. When they give their details, they are given a different colour ballot paper, and if the poll is close enough that these could make a difference, they are used. As to how the original is weeded out, I guess they could use the fact that the ballots are not actually secret (being numbered, and each number to voter correspondence recorded in a list).

            However, if we have anyone here who has taken part in the running of the polls, they should be able to provide more details.

            As to electronic or other machine assisted voting, that is a bad idea, and dangerous to boot. The only place where it is safe is in a legislature where every representative has their choice published.

            It is better to have a slow, manual system which is difficult to systematically defraud, and where any person can understand how this is achieved, than to depend upon a hidden black box which most people have to simply trust.

          • If someone has voted pretending to be an elector then elector turns up and insists on voting the coloured ballot paper they are given to vote with is not counted with the rest but passed to electoral authorities to investigate and police if fraud suspected

        • I wasn’t “wrong”, actually, since I was particularly responding to a wild and quite unsubstantiated assertion that

          Many People spotted civil servants carrying black bags full of stolen votes!

          “Many People” did no such thing. It’s this kind of arrant nonsense that gets my goat, and more to the poin, gets us absolutely nowhere.

          As it happens, I largely share your concern about postal voting and the potential misuse of older voters, including those in residential homes. The system reasonably accurately safeguards the submission process, but it does nothing to safeguard the actual vote itself. (Which is your point also, I think.) To my mind, people should be identifiably seen to be voting in their own right, and where physically capable, should be doing so at a polling station along with everyone else. (Virus excepted!)

          Eilidh has covered the issue of personation. It happens, but where an active voter at least is concerned, it’s inevitably caught.

  15. They are either totally stupid of anything outside London or they really just don’t give a F**K about Scotland. Make up your own minds guys, but mine is firmly the latter.

    https://www.thespectator.co.uk/article/why-putin-wants-scottish-independence

    A complete and total view of of the British exceptionalism by Stephen Daisley.

    Just in case he partakes to some sound views on this blog I’ll pass on some info that a 10 year old could research.

    “Mr Daisley, for your information the population of Portsmouth at 2020 is 197,700

    The population of Glasgow at 2020 ( A mere 15 miles away) is 1,673,332”

    He even talks about the possibility of parking their ‘Nukes’ in France FFS, I’m quite sure the French would tell him where to go.
    And he gets paid for this shit!

    WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!

      • probable cock up WS, I’m not very computer savvy at trying to post links, I have to write them down and then copy them to my blog.
        If someone could explain to me ( like I’m a six year old) how to copy and paste I’d be much obliged.

        • ”If someone could explain to me.”

          Jim click on the article / site (open it) that you want to read and then go to the long bar at the top of the page with the name of the article / site in it.

          Left click your mouse at the end of the name and run your cursor along it. Right to left and make sure that you cover it all. It should turn blue.

          Then right click on your mouse. You’ll see the word copy. Click on that.

          Come back onto this site. Right click on your mouse and press the word paste.

          Hope that helps.

  16. Question for Gary Robertson and colleagues.

    Which country interferred most in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, Russia or England?

    When are we going to see a report into England’s interferrence in that referendum?

  17. Over 150 Million people have been released from Russian dominance over the last decades. To self governance and self determination.

    From 300million pop USSR. to 150Million Russian pop.

    One of the reasons Scotland got (too limited) Devolution. 2000. Scotland voted for it. The emerging Eastern bloc States had more democracy than Scotland. Out voted 10 to 1 in Westminster.

    The illegal non democratic Barnett Formula imposed on Scotland by Thatcher. To take Scotland’s revenues and resources. To buy votes in London S/E. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.

    No taxation without representation.

    • Thanks for that link WS. Running scared right enough. Better together again and even more brainwashing?

      ..”But the general consensus has been that the surest way to guarantee no referendum is for the Tories – along with Scottish Labour – to stop the SNP winning an outright majority in next year’s Holyrood election. To do this, they could run on a pro-union card, as in the 2019 election, and put the matter to bed for the foreseeable.”..

      ..”But work is now under way. The Prime Minister has urged his cabinet to spend more time in Scotland and to appear on Scottish media regularly. The hope is that Scottish broadcast programmes will become a standard part of a minister’s media round just as much as BBC Breakfast is.”..

  18. Yes they are running scared. As the possibility of Scotland’s full self governance moves from possibility to probability, the frequency of times the meeja and the policy gonks opposed to idea mention it in ANY context increases.

    Spooky, but true.

    • Yep! Exactly.

      Nicola Sturgeon said from the start ” independence is on the back burner due to Covid”
      ie. this is life threatening and more important at the moment.

      The Britnats have talked about nothing else!

      They’re constantly trying to politicise the FM’s Covid updates and are desperate to get her off air.
      I mean, calling it a party political broadcast, get a grip for god’s sake.
      It’s no wonder more and more people are being turned off with their childish tantrums.

      They’re shittin their breeks all right.

  19. Regarding Russia, they have their own interests, which currently seem to include sowing disruption, and trying to pull others down to their level.

    I therefore have no trouble in believing that they’d have attempted to interfere in 2014 vote on the YES side, as independence could be seen to weaken both the UK and the EU, which they could look as being to their advantage. On the flip side, given the current SG advocated position of seeking to join the EU, we can probably anticipate that Russia would be on the NO side, as an independent Scotland while further weakening the UK, would strengthen the EU.

    As to actual impact, I’m yet to be convinced that they had any, or would have any in a subsequent vote.

    Regarding the Vow[0], which promises do you view were not kept? It was actually quite noncommittal apart from a few specific things, and AFAICT the Scotland Act 2016[1][2] seemed to cover it. One could wish for more, but that is simply how one would choose to interpret what was meant by ‘extensive new powers’.

    [0] https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2014/09/16/15/The-Vow.jpg?w660
    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland_Act_2016
    [2] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/11/contents/enacted

    • If Russia was involved on the Yes side I be very interested in what capacity. The media, both broadcast and written was wall to wall unionist, Apart from several large donations from home grown supporters, with the rest coming in dribs and drabs from the grassroots movement. Was it international support and goodwill from foreign governments. How about online, the online campaign suffered continual online interruption while the better together campaign were assisted by online advertising. It’s a fair bet that Analyitca cut its teeth in the 2014 ref because we know the UK gov had engaged them. It’s nonsense to suggest Russia supported Yes, the EU ref would never have happened had Scotland left the Union and it was disruption of the EU that was Russia’s focus.
      As far as the Vow is concerned, whether it was delivered or not is irrelevant, do we look as if we are the most devolved nation in the world, no, but that isn’t the point. The Vow broke Purda at the point where Yes were in front. It broke election law.

      • ”It’s a fair bet that Analyitca cut its teeth in the 2014 ref because we know the UK gov had engaged them.”

        Spot on.

    • “Regarding the vow which promises do you view were not kept” –

      the Edinburgh Agreement and that was a formal agreement between the UKgov and the Scot gov.

  20. Good to see that the two biggest independence bloggers, WGD and WOS, agree with me that the Vow was a major interference in the independence referendum of 2014.

    So do they both agree that there was no gold standard referendum in 2014 and the chance of there ever being one in the future if Westminster has any involvement in it is next to zero?

  21. If Johnson was sure of his absolute power and authority over Scotlands future and the rising tideswell of opinion towards Independence he wouldn’t be *ruling it out* every twenty minutes, nobody would even be mentioning it and he wouldn’t be wending his way to Scotland attempting to appeal to all the folks in our country whose votes he ignored, whose culture he’s rubbished, whose money he stole and whose character he’s assassinated

    No matter what Johnson says or does now will mean nothing to Scotland, we’ve made our collective mind up that he and those he represents have blown it for the last time and now there’s no backsies, he’s Fuck*d, a dead parrot, shuffled off his moral coil with us lot up here in the real north, not the pretendy north of England which is really the middle of Britain, because that’s what shows how much they ever thought about the people up here in the actual north, Scotland has always been somewhere north of the north full of damn angry Jocks like Ireland was full of damn angry Paddys, like every country that’s not their beloved green and pleasant land overflown by Spitfires on the Queen’s birthday is full of nasty furriners to be conquered and used but not mixed with

    I hope wherever he turns up tomorrow in Scotland there are some folk who find out where that’s going to be to let him know how we feel about all that
    So c’mon media leak the time and place and we’ll give you something to film and write about

    • Ach, the buffoon will likely “meet the people” by helicoptering over us. That’s as near as he will get.

    • First stop Orkney Jim, apparently. Presumably staying as far away from the FM as possible for the reset of his staycation.

      • You’d need to surround him with armed Para’s, shields, and cover him with umbrellas to escape the flying yoghurts launched from the surrounding windows by adoring Glaswegians

        See we say things like this as jokes normally, but it’s spooky to think it’s actually close to the truth

  22. If the Russians did ‘interfere’ in the 2014 independence referendum, in favour of the party seeking independnece for their country, (uh huh) ie the SNP, they did a bloody crap job and should not be employed next time, their services will not be required! I am sure they have that message loud and clear! 😉

  23. “So yes, let’s have a proper enquiry into meddling in the Scottish election.”? Scottish election? Independence referendum, surely.. Do you proof read?

  24. The Brits and their faux outrage about Russian interference are a joke. The BBC have been interfering in the politics of every country in the world during my lifetime. Ah but that’s different…. Lolz.

    I will add for clarity that I have no more positive feelings for the Russian state than I had for the Soviet Union – which was an obscenity on a par with the Nazis.

    As an aside, what master plan was it that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union? Was it a plan A or B or…….Z?

  25. On a brighter note.

    Boris is a godsend and that gift should not be underestimated. I look forward to tomorrow and the many UJ waving photo ops. The demands that we appreciate the gift of our own money and benefit of the Unions broad shoulders that continue to deny us borrowing powers.
    I hope he stresses his commitment to refusing a Referendum.

    See the gift and embrace it 😃

    • We could do without Tommy Sheridan as well!! It wouldn’t surprise me if the RUSSIANS are behind these alternative people to damage the SNP. Stick to the proven slogan SNP 1&2 as in 2011. Even if we lose list seats a Majority on the FPTP is what really really matters surely

  26. We’re the talk of the steamie now, eh? Who’d have thought that Nicola Sturgeon’s rising popularity and support for Independence being at 54% would make such a massive difference? Looks as though LBJ knows that he can’t hold back the tide by saying No to a Section 30 order.

    ‘Boris Johnson has ‘almost colonial’ approach to Scotland, FT commentator says.’

    ..”But Shrimsley writes: “As long as the UK has Mr Johnson the nationalists have a chance. He is now discussing a Scottish tour but this might go down as well as a royal progress by the conquering knights of Edward I. Mr Johnson is, in the words of one Unionist, ‘irredeemably toxic to Scots.’”

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18596821.boris-johnson-almost-colonial-approach-scotland-leading-commentator-says/

    ……………………………………….

    ‘WATCH: Boris Johnson told his plan to save the Union is doomed.’

    ..”Blackford then pointed out that the promises made to Scots on the eve of the 2014 independence referendum have been broken. He said: “In 2014, the people of Scotland were promised devolution-max, near federalism, the most powerful devolved parliament in the world. Instead, we got a Tory trade deal that threatens our NHS, an immigration Bill that will devastate our economy, a power grab that will dismantle devolution. Scotland’s powers grabbed by Westminster, workers’ rights attacked, the rape clause and the bedroom tax, our NHS up for sale. The overwhelming majority in Scotland’s parliament, its MPs and its people, oppose all these measures.”

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18599466.watch-boris-johnson-told-plan-save-union-doomed/

    • There it is again, why would he need a plan to save the Union if he didn’t believe Scottish Independence wasn’t coming
      They keep undermining their own argument by saying they’re not going to allow it then make preparations to beg us not to go

      Even they know that saying no isn’t an option anymore, the gemme’s a bogey

      Even in Orkney he’s going to have to bring supporters with him, I want to see Janey Godley with a banner, *Cuummon Janey*

    • The union’s dead and they murdered it. They killed ‘ precious ‘ and flushed it doon the pan hoping nobody noticed. But we did. The GFA, the TOU, the EU, devolution, you name it, they’ve screwed it, trampled over, bent it, broke it following whatever sleazy money making venture was in fashion.
      It’s our turn now though, with perhaps the unwitting help of the Good old U.S. of A and Japan.

  27. ”There it is again, why would he need a plan to save the Union if he didn’t believe Scottish Independence wasn’t coming.”

    Exactly Dr Jim. All that’s going on right now, and it’ll get worse as time goes by, tells you that they know full well that saying No to a Section 30 order isn’t going to stop this happening. Too bad that some independence supporters can’t see it. If they did, and supported Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP, the stats would go through the roof and send them into a tailspin.

    As to Janey Godley well she’s having her ”say” already, lol.

    ”Big scared s*****bag’: Scots get ready to welcome Boris Johnson.”

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18600601.big-scared-s-bag-scots-get-ready-welcome-boris-johnson/

  28. It’s time Scotland had rolling 24/7 Scottish news, controlled from Scotland. I was just hunting for a live news feed of something I could listen in to, and few (almost none) appealed. Then I thought it would be nice to hear all the latest from around Scotland.

    Nowt. Nada. Nothing.

    British news. Several abroad. World news. Apparently nothing happens in Scotland. Nothing.

    Posted here, as it’s the latest post, and doesn’t really relate to it, but in a 24/7 rolling new show, there surely would have been much conjecture, opinion, and all the rest, not to mention plenty of Scottish politicians of any outlook putting in their tuppence worth.

    Instead we get controlled news from London.

    Get your Podcast cracking on that one please Paul. It could even pop up on the 24/7 news. 😀

    • This. Seriously this.

      With the massive anti-Indy propaganda war constantly being waged out there, it would be useful to be able to counteract it, even just with a small occasional one debunking the propaganda.
      Not one with political connections or anything (not anti-SNP, just that people are more likely to listen to people in the same boat as them). The Indy campaign was at its strongest at grassroots level.

      Any ‘Pirate Radio/TV’ veterans out there? 😉

  29. Unionist media running hard with the broad shoulders and deep pockets of the Union saved us.

    So next time you are out for the night and have a “drinks kitty” make sure you hold the cash and you can claim to be buying everyone a drink each round.

    When the UK has a debt greater than GDP and in the Trillions it is akin to the skint guy taking everyone’s cash and then putting the bill on his credit card.
    Even worse because he will then ask us to pay a share of the card interest when he doesn’t pay the statement off.

    We are allocated Billions every year as interest on money spent on projects in England

    They really do think we are stupid.

  30. Good article…
    The irony in clutching to this concocted story of Russian interference in Scotland’s path to independence is that ABC et al are actually re-running the same interference they executed in 2014, presumably London’s spin-machine ran out of Squirrels and thought “Look….a bear” might work and the Scots would forget all about the scurrilous campaign London prosecuted.
    Pacific Quay’s “journalists” are in full deluge mode on this contrivance, coincident with the blonde charlatan’s venture into the land of the “verminous”. With Scots favouring independence versus London’s corrupt ways, further evidence is not helpful to the BN cause, hence “Look…a Bear”.

    The Indy link in the report is a minor aside based on an article which nobody with an ounce of common sense took seriously at the time. It is almost as if the committee in seeking Scottish context Googled Russia+Scotland and turned this tripe up.
    The principle thrust of the Report is London corruption, irrespective of how ABC seek to portray it, they only demonstrate the same contempt for Scots intellect as they did in 2014 by doing so.

  31. The Tories are really struggling this morning trying to find anything positive about their Union except Yeez wid aw be Fuc*ed withoot the broad shooders, Scotland is replying ….Aye right, heard it, next

  32. Johnston coming to creep around Scotland. Lying low and lying all the time. Johnston is a professional liar. Ripping of the public purse to line his own pockets. Illegal unscrutinised public contracts. Total fraud and tax evasion.

    People have died because of Johnston and his associates. Everyone knows he is a complete and utter liar. A total hypocrite. He will be voted out. Especially in Scotland.

  33. A fourteen minute video from Professor of EU law, a pretty damming indictment of Johnson’s failure ideological Brexit.

  34. The cummings’ masterplan.
    Quick visit to the Shetlands with the newly painted bling.
    A quick bung of £20 million to the locals.
    ‘See you’re better off in the onion’ and you vote yellow onionist.
    Quick visit to Lossiemouth to see the resignee in Moray, show the fleg.
    Home for Tea.
    A master plan by the master race, hit the SNP where they’re not.
    A typical maybot experience visit.

    Take the virus up with you doris to an area with low exposure.

    Wonder if he will take the wee woman with him, leave the kiddie with the nanny.

  35. In the very best British tradition, the first words to Johnson when he arrives in Scotland will be: “you’ll have had your tea?”

  36. Does Johnson plan to meet rape clause Ruth while he’s doing Scotland?

    Is Carlaw putting him up? Shoorly he’s at least staying overnight?

    Will be be visiting May’s forest lair?

    Is he bringing his friend Corona with him?

    Will he be giving alms to the locals? A scooroot would be fun for him to watch.

    Will he be wearing a pith helmet? I understand that he likes to take the pith on his colonial jaunts.

    Has Murray loaned him his union Jack suit?

    Will he win over the natives with his boyish charm?

    Did Nicola set up this visit for a laugh?

    So many unanswered questions.

  37. Did anyone else see Mr Curtice on BBC news this morning? I only saw the tail end of his spiel, but he seemed to be saying that if the SNP had a 2011 repeat performance LBJ would find it difficult to refuse a referendum.

    …………………………………………..

    The latest on the Section 30 case from Martin Keating:- ”Thud! OK Folks. I’m going to clarify this in a single thread about the Section 30 case. Plllleeeease direct people to this thread. The case IS NOT calling in court today. Today is the end of the 8 week adjustment period. That is to say, the period in which all parties “refine”. https://mobile.twitter.com/MartinJKeatings/status/1285899100790108160

    ………………………………….

    ‘The lies that Scotland was told – Westminster prepares to sell off the NHS..’

    http://www.businessforscotland.com/the-lies-that-scotland-was-told-westminster-prepares-to-sell-off-the-nhs/

  38. It’s great that we are at 54% in the polls but it is still bloody frustrating in many ways.

    On Newsnight last night we have the usual BBC bias and condescending London approach eg the Scotland problem, eg two Scot Tory MSPs Fraser and Tompkins but only Drew Hendry for the SNP. Maitlis of course lets Fraser go on and on but interrupts and cuts off Hendry. That is a given and that is out of the SNPs control.

    What is within their control is to call out the lies of Fraser and Tompkins who both lied their faces off during the whole programme.

    1. Hendry, who is usually a good performer failed to dispute the once in a generation/lifetime nonsense. What is wrong with the SNP – call it out for what it is for goodness sake.

    2. The GERS deficit of £12 billion was also brought up by Fraser. For goodness sake SNP how long must we put up with this nonsense being spouted as an economic fact. SNP you have had years to do something about the nonsense that is GERS – stop focusing on authoritarian Hate Crime bills and GRA and sort out GERS which newspapers and Britnats quote relentlessly as do many members of the public who think we are an economic basket case. The SNP stated that Derek MacKay was working on an alternative. The economics of independence is a major factor in people voting no – not GRA and thought crime bills. Not independence supporters moaning about the SNP’s lack of action. How many more years must we put up with the Scotgov issuing a report that convinces many people we cannot afford to be independent. No excuses Scotgov bin the GERS report.

    All of the above is my opinion of course others may hold a different opinion that GERS somehow assists independence.

    • ”Two Scot Tory MSPs Fraser and Tompkins but only Drew Hendry for the SNP. Maitlis of course lets Fraser go on and on but interrupts and cuts off Hendry.”

      Did he get the time or opportunity to say what you wanted him to say, Cubby? As to ”No excuses Scotgov bin the GERS report.” Won’t that be rectified in the independence prospectus that the SNP are sending out to every household in Scotland? There’s also the Wee Blue Book. That should provide some helpful facts when the time comes?!

      • I think your extract of my post sums up my thoughts – “no excuses Scotgov bin the GERS report”. Arguing to keep it is just arguing against the economic case for independence and providing the Britnats with a false annual deficit figure to quote. To me it is a no brainer – others may think differently.

        I have never said it is easy getting your point across on the BBC if you represent Scottish independence but you don’t have to hand them the material – GERS – to tell Scots they are too poor to be independent. It is better “when the time comes” that people have not had decades worth of GERS propaganda building up a believe that we are too poor.

  39. Here we go again!

    Mhairi Hunter:- ”Rather than engage with the serious questions raised for all political parties & activists by the Russia report, Scottish Tories have decided to do a bit of disinformation spreading themselves – once again proving they are not fit for the serious business of government.” https://mobile.twitter.com/MhairiHunter/status/1285882115440115712

    ………………………………..

    ”On Russia report in Commons DavidMundellDCTattacks former FM and SNP leader, says it is “absolutely shameful that Alex Salmond remains in the pay of the Kremlin as an apparatchik of Russia Today and so few nationalists condemn him for it.” https://mobile.twitter.com/Torcuil/status/1285911667650564096

  40. As Dave tewart says: @ July 23, 2020 at 8:42 am

    The cummings’ masterplan.
    Quick visit to the Shetlands with the newly painted bling.
    A quick bung of £20 million to the locals

    Look people LBJ may or may not be a Dumb F*** but he can be manipulated by cummings and goings.

    My view is that this colonial procession is an attempt to push a wedge between Orkney, Shetland, and possibly the Western Isles and Scotland.

    Why so that the wastemonster can justify keeping control of 90% of the offshore wind farms, fishing, and oil. As well as the submarine play area.

    Take in some military during the procession.

    To gee up the “british troops” in preparation for their return to their original job Scotland.
    Which was carried out for 200 years from 1750 until 1950 the enforcement of wastemonster rule.

    Lets face facts the wastemonster has practiced “gunboat diplomacy since the 1600’s.

    Oh aye LBJ can be manipulated by cummings and goings.
    But unfortunately for the sleekit coorin beastie the connivesess are so transparent Scotland sees them for what they are.

    By the by LBJ remember to take your duty-paid junk back to londinium with you.

    Yer shoulders are broad enough there are at least four auld submarines lying in Rosyth you’ve left up till now.
    Time that financial might, and world beating power was used constructively.
    Move them to Davenport to that nice new facility that was built for them when a previous tory club decided to run down Rosyth.

    • Aye remember the there are no secret oil and gas wells West of Shetland called St Clair.
      Yes we know they’re there, then and now.
      Around a third of the last winter’s gas consumption was from the West of Shetland fields.
      The rest includes Russian gas piped all the way through Europe.
      There’s a new DC power line connecting with Denmark to englandland being constructed.
      The doris needs to have confidence he can have energy to run his none existent Car manufacturing industry.
      Wonder if the Chinese will pull the plug on the 3 new nuclear power stations they’re helping finance.
      Do we really think the englander government has a plan other than money laundering?
      Crossrail delayed again, Scotland to help foot the bill.
      Remember HS2, gone quiet.
      Remember we were £2trillion in debt with the maybot in charge, we’ve borrowed another £trillion but we’re still only £2 trillion in debt.

      Forgot to mention that Mr & Mrs Fill DeGreek will be dropped off in Furry Boots City on the way to Shetland.
      There are only a few places that far North to land the Bling Fleg.

  41. ‘There’s one politician determined to expose Boris Johnson who he can’t just sack – Nicola Sturgeon.’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-nicola-sturgeon-scotland-independence-referendum-a9631776.html

    ……………………………………………..

    ‘Russian intervention in the 2014 Indyref on behalf of the UK Govt was explored by a Holyrood committee in 2014. The Whitehall Civil Servant revealed that Russian officials *had* been briefed. When asked for details, he was silenced by Alistair Carmichael.’ https://mobile.twitter.com/msm_monitor/status/1285542033386541057

  42. The Tories have now upset the Chinese. 1.3Billion people.

    Upset the Russians.

    Upset every sector of society.

    The Tories ban millions/£Billions from the EU.

    The Tories want millions of people to come from Hong Kong.

    The Westminster Treasury has cost Scotland £Billions. Illegal wars, tax evasion, financial fraud. Taken and wasted on Nuclear and illegal unscrutinised public contracts. Hinkley Point, HS2 and Trident etc.

    Scotland pays £Billions back on repayments and loans not borrowed or spent in Scotland. Keep secret under the Official Secrets Act. ‘D’ notices.

    Iraq, Lockerbie, Dunblane kept secret for 100 years.

    The Tories are wasting £Billions in Brexit. It has cost more than the total EU contributions. EU contributions which benefit Britain. Shared Defence costs. CAP payments. Grants and loans on renewables etc.

    The illegal Barnett Formula. Thatcher. No taxation without representation.

  43. UK £2Trn debt. £8Trn assets.

    Scotland having revenues taken to fund London S/E. Unequal and unfair. The Barnett Formula. Scotland has to pay for things it does not need or benefit. It does not have the funds to pay for what it does need. Damaging the Scottish economy.

    Westminster poor, bad illegal decisions. Wasting Scottish monies. By people not elected in Scotland. Damaging the Scottish economy. No taxation without representation.

  44. Wow, all those folks on here who’ve spent so much time in Russia and have personally met Putin! Though of course if not you can always rely on the bbc etc for some unbiased and objective info about other countries.

    Anyone who voted Yes or No in 2014, even the most stupid low information No voters, know perfectly well that Moscow/Russia had absolutely nothing to do with how they came to their decision. I suspect Putin sees this as a squabble between England and Scotland and I seriously doubt if he’s particularly interested in the outcome either way, he has quite enough on his plate dealing with the psychos and idiots currently running the US and UK.

    Since 2016 I began to have doubts about NS and the SNP leadership’s commitment to getting Scotland out of the uk, or as I prefer to put it getting the uk out of Scotland. There are equally compelling arguments in favour of either point of view, those being a) Sturgeon is a technocrat at heart and isn’t really interested in helping to secure independence for Scotland or b) she most definitely is interested in independence and we, particularly under the current backdrop of increasing support for indy, need to be backing her to the hit and ensure a massive SNP victory at the next election which frankly WILL devastate the britnats and though of course they won’t let it show but many “ordinary” unionists will start to lose heart.

    I’ve recently been unable to make up my mind on this but now I finally have. Next time I will be voting SNP to help ensure that victory because if it’s big enough it will definitely further weaken the britnats and, even if the suspicions about the SNP leadership are founded, they will be more or less FORCED to act.

    But it will be for the last time.

  45. We could do without Tommy Sheridan as well!! It wouldn’t surprise me if the RUSSIANS are behind these alternative people to damage the SNP. Stick to the proven slogan SNP 1&2 as in 2011. Even if we lose list seats a Majority on the FPTP is what really really matters surely

  46. “Consider the following highly topical example. The potential break-up of Britain that might have resulted from the 2014 Scottish referendum is axiomatically not in the interest of the UK and is also a major problem for UK national security. It therefore has to be a concern to MI5, not least because breaking up the UK is obviously also in the interest of a hostile power such as Russia. The large political constraint is obvious. A majority in Scotland could have voted for it – and may yet do so. The agencies’ role here is obviously immensely delicate, but it is hard to argue that they should just do nothing.”

    So when the UK government cries “wolf” on Russian meddling in elections, just remember who the real experts are….

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/24/russia-report-uk-intelligence-services-moscow-mi5-mi6

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