It’s quite remarkable. There has been a series of polls all of which show that there is consistent majority support in Scotland for independence. The most recent poll showed support to be at 55%. This is, to use the words of the BBC as the result of the 2014 referendum was announced, a decisive majority. Among younger age groups, support for independence is even higher, rising to a whopping 72% in the youngest age cohort in the most recent poll. Only the oldest group in the population still has a majority against independence. By any reckoning this means that the end of the UK is now just a matter of time.

Yet from England the response to the news that the end of the UK is in sight has been greeted with a resounding silence. It may be the most important news story in Scotland, up there with combatting the epidemic, but in England it appears that it has scarcely registered. To take but one example, in the Guardian newspaper there has been just one opinion column about the Scottish writing on the wall for the UK, penned by John Harris, and even that is largely about the fact that the English response to the end of the UK is UK UMeh. In his piece he remarks, “what seems remarkable is that the increasing possibility of an end of the union has yet to enter England’s political conversation, on left or right,” and speaks of a sense of ignorance and complacency that goes right to the very top.

John at least recognises that Scotland is on the road to independence in large measure because what public opinion in Scotland believed to be a union, a partnership of nations, was traduced and wrecked by the Conservatives. He also recognises that those same Conservatives appear to have little or no recognition of their own role in the destruction of the UK. To the Tories, it’s all the fault of Thatessempee. Yet even John, who is normally an astute political observer, betrays his own ignorance of what is really going on in Scotland when he writes of the “emollient, open, progressive kind of Conservatism” he claims was practised by Ruth Davidson. That’ll be the Ruth Davidson who turned a blind eye to the sectarian bigotry that infests the Conservative party in Scotland and whose sole policy was saying no to another referendum. Scotland is already another country for the English political class, and it’s a country that they neither understand nor, for the most part, have any sympathy for.

The silence from England is highly significant for two reasons. Firstly it tells us that there is no willingness in England for any compromises which might keep Scotland a part of the UK. If public opinion, or rather the formers of public opinion, in England really cared about keeping Scotland a part of the UK then there would currently be anguished discussion about Scottish unhappiness and what steps could be taken in order to address it. Instead what little we’ve seen has been the Conservatives throwing blame on the SNP for supposedly stirring up division, yet even if that were true there has been not the slightest attempt to examine why it is that the claims of those vile separatists are so clearly falling on fertile soil. There has been none of that.

Labour’s offering of full fat federalism has even less public recognition in England than the name of the Scottish branch office’s leader, Ragnal Lastcomer. If England doesn’t want it, it’s not going to happen. England’s political and media establishment want Scotland to remain a part of the UK, but they want Scotland to remain on their own terms and not terms that may be agreeable to Scottish public opinion. There is nothing coming out of this Conservative government which is aimed at courting Scotland. Only attempts to steamroll Scotland into submission and to undermine the devolution settlement. Labour in Scotland talks a lot about federalism, but the party in England scarcely seems to notice.

Scotland isn’t going to get any substantial compromise from the British establishment which will change Scotland’s mind about the shape of the UK or the direction that the UK is taking. The Brexit ship has already sailed, and in December it will sail off the edge of the European world taking the last hopes of Scotland’s no voting remainers with it.  This is the calm before the storm, and already there’s majority support for independence.  The combination of the end of the EU transition period and the ending of economic support to ameliorate the effects of the referendum will convert that majority into the settled will of the people of Scotland.

Secondly the silence from England tells us that there is no great appetite in England to save the UK. We already know that a large and significant body of public opinion in England would prefer to get rid of Scotland, seeing us recalcitrant Caledonians as an ungrateful obstacle in the path of the One True Brexit and the Sunny Uplands. They have heard the constant refrain from British nationalists in Scotland, a siren song intended for Scottish consumption, that Scotland is a financial drain on the UK which is reliant on England’s taxpayers, and they believe it. The prevalent attitude appears to be that if Scotland wants to remain a part of the UK, that’s fine, but don’t expect England to do anything much to keep Scotland happy. It’s a take it or leave it deal, and if Scotland wants to leave it, there’s a large segment of English opinion which would not be overly bothered and would merely shrug its shoulders. There’s also a large segment of English public opinion, particularly within the Brexit supporting core base that Johnson’s Conservatives appeal to, that would be delighted to see the back of us.

The illusory sunlight uplands of Brexit and the idea that it will liberate the UK to bestride the global stage like the colossus that the British Empire once was has been described by the Irish commentator Fintal O’Toole as England’s dreaming. But the only reason that England can be dreaming is because it’s asleep. Not even the impending end of the UK seems to be enough to wake it up. The alarm clock sounded in the referendum of 2014, and it wasn’t enough to wake up England’s political classes. Now it’s too late. The Tories can have their precioussss union, or they can have their hard Brexit, but they can’t have both. They’ve chosen Brexit. That’s their loss, and Scotland’s opportunity.

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98 thoughts on “UK UMeh

  1. “emollient, open, progressive kind of Conservatism” of Rape Clause Ruthie…? and yes, it is our opportunity, but we need to take it, not wait for boris to give in and let us go……

  2. This is the bit that’s not going to sit well with lots of people. Tbf I’m not entirely happy about it myself. It shouldn’t have had to come down to waiting for hardship to come knocking on peoples’ front doors to change minds.

    All you can do is hold your hand out to people and let them know you have their back when the world is yanked from under their feet.

      • The difference between choosing to do the right thing, or choosing to do what appears to be the easy thing. Most folk will choose easy nine times out of ten. That’s just being human and change can be frightening, even when you know the status quo constituted a venal, galactic….. wossiname.

        Some folk just needed an excuse back in 2014 and project fear were more than happy to oblige. It hasn’t worked out so well. Not for them.

  3. Another good post Paul. It’s now a matter of when not if.

    One only has to compare the actions of the UK government over the past decade with those of the Canadian Federal Government during the 80’s-90s regarding Quebec. Whereas the Canadians made real efforts to reform things Westminster simply isn’t interested in (or capable of enacting) any meaningful reform which can satisfy Scottish aspirations. The Tories have never really accepted devolution and the Lib-dems and Labour only supported it because they thought it would keep them in power forever.

    • I lived in New Brunswick (next to Quebec) through the 80/90s and I agree totally. Canada really bent over backwards, to the extent that you can’t get a job in the federal government without being able to speak both English & French. It helps that Ottawa is right on the border between Ontario and Quebec, but it sure pisses off people who live west of the Great Lakes, where no-one speaks French. If the UKGov wanted to do something similar, they’d need to relocate to Berwick and require everyone to speak English & Gaelic. Right.

      • Oh I’d love to see that, what a splendid counter-factual fantasy … for an alternative universe 🙂

        But the Welsh wouldn’t like it one bit … …

      • Gaelic is not as many think the predominant language in Scotland but it has had money thrown at it by Holyrood and the SNP in particular because it is felt that Scotland should have an identifiable language of the romantic Highlands as it’s native language . The main dialect languages of Scotland and spoken regularly by manyScots today are The Doric and Lapland in their format often alike but in all Scotland terms varying greatly from place to place in their dialect forms . An old lady once told me that her father a sea captain and away from his home in the Hebrides a great deal travelling the world told the old lady’s mother that in no way was she to let the children speak Gaelic but make sure that in the home and school they spoke English ! Playground Gaelic was permitted but the Internationsl language of the world as he saw it was English not Gaelic !

        • That’s not quite true Sylvia. As far as Gaelic is concerned, the Scottish government acts as an agent for the British government which has an international treaty obligation to support and develop the Gaelic language. That’s because the Labour govt of Tony Blair signed up to the European Charter for Minority and Regional Languages with respect to both Gaelic and Scots, but decided to grant Gaelic a higher degree of recognition and protection.

          It’s only within relatively recent times that Gaelic has been confined to the Highlands. It was still spoken in Galloway and South Ayrshire until the late 18th century, and in some Lowland parts of Stirlingshire even into the early decades of the 20th. At one point in Scottish history Gaelic was spoken natively everywhere in mainland Scotland north and west of a line drawn roughly from Dumfries to Musselburgh.

        • Sylvia the reason people in Scotland and Ireland told their children not to speak Gaelic is because England introduced laws banning it , children were sent home from school if they continued to speak Gaelic their parents lost their jobs and other punishments were enforced to stop the use of Gaelic .
          The English didn’t want the Irish or Scottish people talking in a language the English didn’t understand , England forced people in many countries around the world to speak English or lose out on jobs and other necessities

          We have inherited the fear even today, it’s common to hear people in Scotland tell their children to speak proper English rather than their own local Scots that’s because our language was and is made fun of by England and it’s median

    • I’ve heard Quebec brought up quite a lot by the Unionists. Apparently, they couldn’t even gain Independence the second time around. What these people don’t appreciate is the effort made by the Canadian Government to make things so that Quebec wouldn’t leave. It was The Vow on steroids! Imagine if the Canadian Gvmt had done what the UK Gvmt had done with EVEL and the rest!

  4. The current and future direction of travel in England will be an important, but secondary factor.
    Fundamentally, is Brexitmania an expression of English nationalism or is English nationalism a by-product of Brexitmania?
    If the later, the acceleration away from the Act of Union, from an English perspective will relent next year when they achieve their “full fat Brexit”.
    If the former, then having achieved hard Brexit, they will move onto another, imagined impediment to “England once again a colossus bestriding the globe”. Another petty grievance to explain away why their international status doesn’t match their exceptionalist delusions.
    Does anyone here really think Mark Francois will be sated by hard Brexit?
    Theresa May was the first to prioritise Brexit over the Act of Union. Remaining in the EU Customs Union may not have saved the Act of Union but it wouldn’t have left the Unionists in the same existential dilemma as they find themselves in as quickly as it has. Theresa May feared Francois and his fellow Brexit berserkers. Johnson embraces them.
    My guess is that a hard Brexit will be followed by a demand for a return to pounds and ounces. “Decent English measures not contaminated by filthy foreign influence!”

    • I think, “is Brexitmania an expression of English nationalism or is English nationalism a by-product of Brexitmania?, is an interesting question and not a way of looking at this that had occurred to me before. However, the logic of an independent UK making it’s own trade relations with other states appears to be seen (by the Westminster Govt at least) to require greater internal standardisation between the four nations of t he UK. That would be an assault, I would suggest, on devolution if not the Act of Union.

      • English nationalism has been around long before brexit , even before ted heath signed us in to it
        England’s perception of itself is partly caused by its “special relationship” with USA.

        Whenever you hear people from USA talking about U.K. they always talk of the special relationship with…England

        Not with Scotland or wales or NI not even with U.K. …with England

        England thinks it’s a superpower

    • English Nationalism was always there albeit subdued politically, it was manipulated to create Brexit and the current “Brexitmania” so it is not quite the chicken and egg scenario.
      The current jingo is quite apparent when you see the stramash over “Rule Brittania”, a renewed but fake nationalism, as fake as the elitist lunatics in power in the UK prodding the jingo stick.
      HMG will continue to promote that perspective ably abetted by the media for the English populace, they need to prevent them rioting when they realise “snake oil” doesn’t cure idiocy and they’ve been asked to give 3 cheers for her majesty, my guess would be riots will prevail.

  5. When the elite of English government have been telling us, the not elite of both Scotland and England that the terrible folk in Scotland have been sucking up England graciousness in giving us all their money for years it’s hardly surprising that eventually the not elite folk in England couldn’t care less whether we the not elite in Scotland bugger off or not, and that leaves the elite governors of the UKOK a problem, how do they go about keeping Scotland leashed while appearing disinterested at the same time

    The problem they have is they can’t financially and strategically do without Scotland to bolster their new order attempt at mini empiring so what do they do, well on past performance jolly old England usually waits until the last minute and claims this is all new information and hopes to begin to talk when the talking by now should be almost done, just like they’ve done with Brexit, they cross their collective fingers and hope that by saying the words Union or British enough times that will clinch the whole deal and solve all their problems, and of course it won’t

    Then the elite Britishers move to plan *slogan* whereby they bombard us all with sound bites of gloriousness and Wellington bombers with the odd Spitfire thrown in as a demonstration of their love and admiration for Scotland the holiday park, well after all their part time Prime Minister just managed almost a weeks holiday in our glorious country before that evil SNP were blamed for outing his whereabouts to the Daily Mail so that proves they Luurve us Woad painted faced troublemakers and want us to remain Luurved by them forever until our country’s skinty broko then sadly they would agree to acquiesce to us striking out on our own

    So next on the list comes the threat, and unlike the 2014 pre planned English Independence referendum that was held in Scotland, this time it’ll be serious, but of course all of that is involved in their playing for time strategy which is the number A or 1 or A1, actually it’s their only strategy and they’ll do all of the above as part of it with cans rattling down streets the length and breadth of this benighted Kingdom if they can get away with it

    Will Nicola Sturgeon and her team in Holyrood allow this to happen again? I strongly suspect not for a couple of reasons, 1. there will never be a better time than the time that’s fast approaching now, and 2. Nicola Sturgeon wants to win this referendum not just hold it

  6. Yup, excellent article (typo “obstable” ?)
    Heartily concur with your take on John Harris, a journalist whose writings and astute observations I have always enjoyed, but who seems to suffer a perceptive block when it comes to Scottish politics for the (increasing) majority, an oddly English malaise of looking down the wrong end of a telescope much as “Ragnal Lastcomer” woodenly insists on repeating…
    English commentary on both Brexit and the Union has become breathtaking in the depths of it’s ignorance and arrogance after decades of propaganda, the vast majority of English in Scotland probably don’t understand why they think the way they do unless their sole info is the Mail.
    When England awakens from it’s hypnotic state from next January, there are going to be many angry people, so don’t be surprised if Indy2 is pushed north and south out of anger and contempt…
    Any which way….

  7. The bit that stuck out for me in the Gaurdian article was Gove explaining to Sunak how it was important to hold on to Scotland and Sunak replying “Now I understand”.
    The journo thought that strange, I didn’t, what it said to me was Gove pointing out just how much Scotland pays in to Westminster coffers compared to what they ‘Subsidise’ us with their block grant.

    I read the other day about the tariffs imposed on whisky by the US being renegotiated in the Scottish version of the Telegraph although in the English version it described whisky as ‘The jewel in the crown’ of exports.
    This is just one of many examples of how Scotland is ripped off.
    Second biggest export on that list is Scottish Salmon and seafood, including lobster, scallops, langoustines etc 80% of which goes to the EU markets.
    Duty on tobacco, alcohol, fuel and all VAT goes to Westminster.
    Scotland continually exports energy on to the grid at higher prices.
    And I’ve not even mentioned the oil and gas yet.

    That basically sums up this government, a chancellor who doesn’t know where the money comes from unless it’s coming out of the ‘City’.

    • There is more fresh water in Loch Ness than there is in all the lakes of England, Jim.
      Scotland is a net exporter of food and is self sufficient in Everything.
      There are 5.5 million of us gambolling through the green fields of Scotland, which comprises 1/3 of the land mass of this island, while England has 10 times the population sitting on each other’s shoulders and eating EU food because they only grow about 60% of their own.
      Scotland has 2/3 of the coast, and concomitants seas, and aquarian wealth beneath and above the waves.

      We are rollin’ in it.

      WE will no longer tolerate pipsqeaks like Ross Jack and Baroness-To-Be having the gall to tell us that they forbid us to be independent of England, their paymasters.

      We are taking back our country now.

      In October, the 27 EU states will meet, and sign off No Deal, since the English have taken their bat and ball home.

      So,it all kicks off in November,this year, not Jan next year.

      Indeed, it is happening now, while Mark Francois and Rees Mogg are on the beach building sand castles on their 10 week paid holidays.

      Scotland must start the ball rolling now.

      When England and poor Wales are out of the EU, and all hell breaks loose, the Brexiteers will turn their attention, hatred and bile on to the ‘minorities’ in England, and blame the dusky skinned, funny accented, exiled Jocks and Micks for England’s inevitable rapid decline into chaos and shortages.

      There are literally millions of xenophobes and fascists Down There who will turn very nasty indeed.

      It is quite remarkable that for 3 weeks in December the English parliament will shut down for Christmas holidays spanning the day England shuts up shot, and there will be nothing but Penguin Biscuits and Marmite for Christmas dinner.

      A madness haunts the green lanes of old England.

      Great piece, as per, Paul.
      It is ridiculous for any sane Scot to listen to or read the Brit Nat garbage being touted by the hacks in the Last Days of The English Empire.
      We ask no man’s or woman’s permission to be a Free Country.

      We have reached tipping point.

      Ruth Davidson backs starving the third child in a family whose breadwinners are out of work.

      She backs the Rape Clause,

      She backs the Bedroom Tax.

      She backs the HoL and will soon be raking it in as reward for being and enemy of the people of Scotland.

      ‘Emollient’, my arse.

      As you may observe, I am way past being polite with this lot of brigands, liars, and money grubbers.
      And Leonard and Rennie are absolute jokes on any level.

      • Exactly Jack.

        ‘ England could run out of water by 2040’

        One of the many many many resources we have that they want to get their hands on for free.
        No more I say, if you want what we’ve got then you’ll bloody well pay for it.

        There’s an ongoing situation with a women being held as a political pawn in Iran because Westminster reneged on a deal to supply tanks. Iran paid up front £400m but got no tanks because of a change in regime but have after 2 years still not paid the money back.

        I know I digressed but it’s an example of how this English government does so called business.
        Give them back their £400m FFS and the woman can walk free.
        I’ll add here that I also condemn Iran for using humans as political pawns.

        Anyway, back to our struggle to stop England stealing all our resources.

        In an independent Scotland they’ll pay for absolutely anything we have at our prices or they can ‘jog on’.
        As you say Jack we are ‘rollin in it’ and what terrifies them is if the Scottish public finds out the truth about exactly how much we pass on to the treasury compared to what we get back.
        The biggest con trick of the century.

        Memories of The McCrone Report.

  8. They don’t need any English commentators, they have their ‘loyal’ Scots.

    Michael Gove – A man that believes he can be PM as people like Johnson privately laugh at him but they like nothing better than a Scot telling the Scots how rubbish they are.

    George Galloway – ‘if you ever see me waving a union flag shoot me’, no takers yet.

    Andrew Neil – ex Murdoch glove puppet, only disillusioned to find he was always going to be the puppet , never the puppeteer. Now being pushed for head BBC job despite being close enough to Epstein to be in his black book.

    Neil Oliver – Not only Scotland’s greatest historian (must be what other one is ever on the BBC) but a self-proclaimed oncologist.

    They are now churning out the 2014 stuff on twitter as if nothing had happened in-between. Soon they will be wheeling out ‘crash Gordon’ and financial guru Archie Macpherson.

    • Ace, jfngw.
      I hear there are plans to hire Derrren Brown to set up a Ouija Board so that David Bowie can be channelled to spell out ‘Please Stay’ on a multi channel special in the event of Indyref 2.

      Who could they dust down and drag before us on Glenn Campbell’s Indyref ‘Debate’?
      Darling? Clunking Fist? Cameron? Clegg? Osborne? Milliband? Balls? The Alexander Brothers (and sister) ?
      Perhaps Iain Davidson, bayonet drawn?
      Looks like Lord Jack McConnell, if he’s not off on hols with Kirsty and Family?

      Will the BBC hire Peter Kaye to sing ‘Please Stay’ surrounded by clapped out old English comedians?

      Will Lenny Hendry front a Tartan Nose Day to feed the 320,000 Scots children living in Davidson’s and Rennie’s politically engineered poverty?

      Will JK Whatshername urge Scotland to seek marriage counselling again? England din’t really mean it, it loves us, they won’t hit us again, promise.

      This time, no quarter, guys.

        • Or my own spin on ‘ABBA’:

          5. “Knowing Us, Knowing You”

          Yet more carefree laughter.
          Freedom ever after.
          Walking into our new found home,
          Joy in our hearts.
          Here is where our story starts;
          This is “Goodbye.”

          Knowing us, knowing you (a-ha),
          There is nothing you can do.
          Knowing us, knowing you (a-ha),
          You just have to face it,
          This time, we’re through.
          Breaking up is never easy, we know
          But we have to go.
          Knowing us, knowing you.
          It’s the best we can do!

          [With acknowledgements]

          Songs for the New Politics

          • Or maybe you prefer some Roy Orbison:


            “It’s Over”

            Scotland doesn’t love you anymore.
            Exploiting days now come to an end,
            Your taking of her money to spend.
            Scotland won’t be near you anymore.

            Final nights before she flies,
            Bring you tears, into your eyes.
            Scotland doesn’t want you anymore.
            It’s over.

            It breaks your heart in two, to know she’s going bye bye.
            But oh what will you do? Now that Scotland said “Aye.”
            She’s gonna be free: You’re through, You’re through.
            It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.

            All the Scots who voted for “Aye”
            Start to cheer, then shout “Goodbye!”
            Now you’ll exploit Scotland no more.
            Setting empire before its fall,
            Echo to you that’s all, that’s all.
            And you’ll remain forever lonely; ‘tis all

            It’s over. It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.


            [With acknowledgements]

            Songs for the New Politics

          • WS, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, by the WHO.
            No, not the World Health Organisation; the other lot.

            During the campaign, can we arrange massive music festivals featuring pro Independence bands and musicians?
            The Proclaimers belting out ‘Letter To America in Princes Gardens and beamed on big screens in major towns and cities throughout Scotland.
            Now that’s what I call campaigning.
            On our way to happiness Uh hu?
            Off to watch some bubble gum for the mind now.

          • “Something inside, that was always denied, for so many years
            She’s leaving home, bye, bye”

            Lennon McCartney.

  9. Great article, Paul. Most of the people I work with are English and voted for Brexit or are “Scottish” unionists who vote for the Tories..every time I listen to them talking about politics I lose a few brain cells.

    Any time I’ve asked some of the English Brexiteers about some of the rights they will lose when Brexit is done, I don’t get much of a response. I can hear the hamster turning in their head as if they’re actually acknowledging what I’ve said but they go back to talking about those pesky immigrants and how Scotland would be skint without the handouts from England. It’s not easy listening to the sheer stupidity of it so this blog and the comments on it are a godsend and they cheer me up.😝

    I reckon when Brexit is “Done” and England is the biggest tax haven in the world they’ll have no need for Scotland so that’s why they don’t seem to care too much about losing us. I could be wrong.🤔

    An interesting few months ahead and hopefully the support for independence keeps rising.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  10. “Scotland is already another country for the English political class, and it’s a country that they neither understand nor, for the most part, have any sympathy for.”

    While we completely disagree on the direction of Scottish independence (I’m in favor of voting SNP/another YES party) – you are still 100% correct in your reasoning for independence.

    English progressives are generally opposed to independence, while the YES movement is largely driven by Scottish progressives.

    English liberals see independence as simply a ‘tartan Brexit’, which shows how utterly out of touch they are with Scottish politics.

    They don’t understand Scotland and get rather annoyed when you point that out. They seem to view Scotland as some kind of possession.

    There are many English liberals who don’t see the arrogance in telling us what’s best for us. Many simply view us as voting fodder. English progressives hate that Scotland no longer votes Labor.

    • I would also add that English liberals tend to believe that Scotland could not survive financially.

      We are supposed to believe that Scotland is the one thing in the universe, which the Tories are benevolent towards. That Scotland is the one thing which Tory governments are happy to subsidize.

    • I met a few from Devon in 2014 (before the vote) who from their comments almost seemed to view us as their ‘voting conscience’…. ‘I think its really selfish of you to take away all those labour votes, and leave us’… quote, unquote.

      And another, who commented, ‘I’ve never described myself as English, only ever British’, wherein lies the problem I would suggest.

      All is seen through the eyes of an English lens, and Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland are but parts of a ‘greater England/Britain.’ Bit parts at that.

      The very concept that they might be different ‘nations’, with different laws, cultures, histories and ambitions – is not something that has ever entered their brains.

      However, it really isn’t about them, its about Scotland getting to vote on the issue, one way or another.

      I don’t think we are there yet, and as much as the antics of Boris and co are entertaining – we would be naive if we lost sight of the fact that that is what Boris’ antics are supposed to be, the real power plays are elsewhere, while he (and Gove and Gallacher) run distraction.

      Once we are out of the EU, Holyrood is on a shoogly peg.

      • I reside in Japan (although currently in Scotland). We use US English out here.

        I’ve got used to the spelling and names. Eggplant, trash, soccer etc.

        I either write in Japanese or US English. It’s second nature to me.

  11. I shall no doubt get pelters for this but, is it not the end of the British Parliament/State and unfortunately not (yet) the UK until we separately, as Sovereign Scottish people, remove the Saxe Coburg Gothas and numerous hangers-on?

    • We don’t need to remove something we won’t be responsible for, if England wants to keep the Royals in position and pay for it then why should we in Scotland care if the English establishment continue to con the English into believing they have a Monarchy and a democracy simultaneously which is in fact constitutionally impossible, but the English believe it so it’ll be up to them to fork out for it on their Todd

      In one way you’d think the Royals might be a wee bit grateful for being allowed the luxury of just being ordinary members of the public when they pop up to Scotland on their holidays and would be even less interfered with than they are now, although they’d probably have to bring some of their own Polis with them to mind them or front up some cash to Police Scotland for the hire of our Scottish taxpayer funded lads and lassies

  12. Honestly this article is exactly everything i tryed to spell out now you see Englands true colours I TOLD YOU SO but you chose not to listern paul that bit of if England dont want it you cant have it has always been the English stance towards anything Scotland put forward in Westminster. there old battle cry used to be thats not fair on the english. So im really gonna enjoy the day reality kicks England right in the teeth and the supremacist twats like farage lose there minds when Westminster blames us going free for the financial crapper they put themselves in they will tear each other part like rabid dogs.

    • It really isn’t Robert. What you’ve been doing is going on about some anglophobic nonsense and giving ammunition to those who say that support for independence is motivated by hatred of the English.

      You think you’ve got some deep insight into England that the rest of us don’t. You’re wrong.

      I will continue to remove your posts when they seem to be motivated by racism.

  13. Long ago now, Margaret Thatcher made things crystal clear in her notorious “sermon on the mount” to the Scots Parliament that the only deal available was that we could leave the UK or we could stay as we preferred, but that if we decided to stay, we would have to play by English rules, not expect any change whatever to accommodate our interests. Something far closer to the political reality than the drivel we were served up in 2014 and since, not least by delusional or mendacious Labour has-beens.

    At least she was honest about it, and moreover willing to recognise that we had the absolute right to choose to leave. (In her terms of the time with a majority of SNP MPs, a hurdle of course long since surpassed.)

    Quite a change, today’s UKGov empty threats and feverish goalpost-moving within an ultimately-unsustainable miasma of cognitive dissonance: are opinion-formers down south really so very, very desperate to hang on to a country chock full of people whom they also like to claim as inveterate spongers on their scarce resources?

    • Oops: a correction. Thatcher’s “sermon” was of course delivered to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Parliament not being reconvened until the Blair era.

  14. Britnat Westminster’s xenophobic brexit will bring about the end of their so-called united kingdom. Last year’s polls about the constitutional consequences of brexit seem to be coming true. Rabid English/British nationalists have only themselves to blame. No sympathy.

    • Swinney and Wishart must be now debating their future. The time seems right with Cunningham retiring. Perthshire needs female representation. Both have served Perthshire well but must now give way to the future generation.

  15. Just read on the National online that Jeanne Freeman is standing down at next Scottish election. I am getting a worried about how many long term Snp MSPs are jacking it in.I’ve lost count re how many there are now. I know a lot of them leaving are already past state retirement age but it is a lot of experience we are losing I can’t blame them though between the hassle they get from the media and abuse they get on social media and certain other blogs who would. I should point out I am not much younger than most of them

    • Mike Russell:- ”No – truth is we are all around or above usual retirement age. A constituency member can only really retire at an election so choice is go now or wait full five years in what is a very demanding role & especially at present. All of us will keep battling for Indy I am certain. ”

    • The SNP are losing them but the experience and knowledge that they possess can help the Yes campaign without the restraining hand of the SNP.

  16. As long as the branches and constituencies pick their own and the favourites of some MSP or other doesn’t force any place men and women in. Some are there already unfortunately as councillors or research assistants.

  17. Jeanne Freeman will be 67 by the time the next election is held, now is probably as good a time as any for her to stand down, but I would guess she will still have a part to play in the next referendum campaign and I believe she would want to.

    • My own Msp Gil Paterson is retiring he is 78 I admire anyone who wants to work to that age especially in that job. Hopefully they will all still be involved in Indy movement

  18. Sorry if I burst everyone’s bubble here. But it’s not about England and the UK. It’s about Scotland and it’s immediate problem with the SNP government. Nicola Sturgeon parked the independence bus when she chose the Gold Standard road. Then next
    came the announcement of her 100% committment to dealing with the Pandemic. Then after that
    , came the added caveat of dealing with the aftermath of the Pandemic. In my book, that’s a hat-trick of denials. In the absence of a vote of no confidence in the First Minister, probably due to the self determination of the elected individuals, can anyone see a way to hand Nicola her P45? Because she will keep on refusing, to step up to the plate. We need a new driver. And we need that new driver soon…

    • Yeah right. You want to go for a referendum in the middle of a pandemic when the indy movement can’t campaign? We’d have lost heavily.

      I get your frustration, but Nicola Sturgeon’s caution is not the big problem here. It’s convincing a secure majority of Scotland’s voters that independence is the way ahead.

    • Care to spell out, even in general terms what you believe is “Scotland and it’s immediate problem with the SNP government”

      From where I’m standing it looks very much like Scotland has never been more in favour of the SNP than it is right at this moment, 57% in the polls for the Holyrood constituency vote is an unheard of level of support. 55% support for Independence is also unheard of and then you have Nicola Sturgeons own personnel approval ratings which are through the roof.

      So I’m looking forwatrd to hearing what you believe to be “Scotland and it’s immediate problem with the SNP government” that will contradict that level of support.

  19. Who would ever have thought when the SNP rose to power in Scotland they’d become the party of government and now so interested is everybody in them that some YES supporters are now complaining that some MSPs are retiring to be replaced by younger ones

    Who would have thought just a few years ago many of us would be old timers supporting a government (although devolved) we chose ourselves, look how far we’ve come in the political blink of an eye

    • I should point out, I’m not at all concerned about it look at what happened with young Kate Forbes Boom! she was in and owned it

      • You are right there Dr Jim, we were on holiday on Skye in 2016 and were lucky enough to hear Kate Forbes speaking at an event – we also spoke to some local SNP members who had nothing but praise for her, saying she appealed from the younger voters to the older crofters and everyone in between. She is certainly a rising star who is rocketing even higher

        I am concerned at the experienced folk standing down, including my own MSP Jeanne Freeman, and I hope branches will not be railroaded into accepted less, eh, suitable nominations when the time comes

  20. Another great article Paul and the best part for me is, ”We already know that a large and significant body of public opinion in England would prefer to get rid of Scotland, seeing us recalcitrant Caledonians as an ungrateful obstacle in the path of the One True Brexit and the Sunny Uplands. They have heard the constant refrain from British nationalists in Scotland, a siren song intended for Scottish consumption, that Scotland is a financial drain on the UK which is reliant on England’s taxpayers, and they believe it.”

    I don’t know how many times I’ve felt like pulling my hair out (or throwing something at the TV 😀) hearing and reading the blatant lies that are spouted about the Scots and Scotland, but as the saying goes, “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.”

    In their endeavours to vilify the Scots as being a bunch of drunken, lazy, ignorant, barbaric scroungers the British Establishment and their MSM puppets have done an excellent job to the point of brainwashing many in England. The problem for them now is should they do a U-turn or continue with the status quo? Either way the Union is over and out as (another saying) their, ”chickens come home to roost.” Then there’s ”hell mend them.” God you could go on and on with this 😎.


    Phantom Power:- ”MONEYZGONE The UK Govt wastes Billions on Scotland’s behalf. Do you want to continue with this transaction or checkout with Scottish independence? 👌”

  21. Something I read after the 2014 result has always stuck in my mind. A Yes voter on holiday in the USA in conversation with someone in a bar about Scottish independence was told to cheer up ‘don’t worry, you’ve just loosened the lid off a very tight jar’.

  22. When I think of Ruth Davidson the words “emollient, open, progressive kind of Conservatism” is not something I would associate with her. This is the women who supported the rape clause. Who attacked the named person & baby box schemes. Who once said 8/10 Scots contributed nothing of value to the UK and once joked that you needed to lock up the valuables because Scots would just steal it. Like Kezia Dugdale, she is a political weather vane and a hostage to fortune. She left her post citing family reasons. When she realised that Johnson wasn’t going to push her out after getting rid of Mundell, she stabbed Carlaw in the back so she could sneak her way back in to the position of party leader. Lets be honest, Douglas Ross can’t lead the party in Scotland, he is an MP. Its really him who’s deputy. When it comes to his competence, he is a modest man and has much to modest about.

    John Harris is of course quite ignorant of this. He is also quite ignorant of the parties record in Scotland. There is no such thing as progressive Scottish conservatism. This is a party that thought the Poll Tax was a neat idea. This is the party that thought selling of Scotland’s assets was a better kind of devolution. It thought when it sold off council housing, it would trap Scots who would have to vote tory to keep their mortgages down. We’d come round they thought. We’d see it their way at last. That they got booted in the balls in 87 and had their spine broken in 97, is something the older generation can’t get their heads round. That they are reviled and regarded as shit on the heel of Scotland’s shoe is coming as a shock to the new guard, they have never experienced this. The SNP is not Scotland is the usual refrain from the likes of Mr Harris. But neither are the tories, labour or the lib dems. But a large percentage of Scots did vote for the SNP to speak for them and 8/10 Scots don’t vote tory and more importantly never will. If there is one party in all of Scotland that has never spoken for Scotland and can never be said to be “Scotland”, then its the conservative party. Its politics are alien to Scots. They have always been outside the tent and pissing in. They were sent packing in Disraeli’s time and nothing calling itself the “Conservative Party” would show its little rat face in Scotland for 100 years. When it did return, it did it via the back door by convincing the old Scots unionists to merge with Ted Heaths tories. The old Scots unionists vote cratered the next day and the Daily Record declared itself for Labour. Even back in the 60s the taint of the tory was pure poison.

    John Harris was up here in 2015 and saw first hand the disintegration of labour. That he has latched on the tories to hold on to Scotland and keep it British, is quite shocking. Having read the article, this is a man who has written off labour, but to think that an obsequious party of vermin in ermine is going to do what labour has utterly failed to do, shows you that the UK is running out of ideas. There is no emotional case to be made for union. “Better together” was their emotional case and they let George Osborne define it as 300 year old English charity. Why? What is so terrifying about Scotland paying its own way? Is their “British” identity so fragile, that if Scots saw how well they did in the UK, we might one day wonder, How much Better off we’d be if we were Independent? I have to assume that is the case. Its the only thing that explains Osborn’s speech and the tories continued use of the GERS report to humiliate us into being British. They couldn’t make enough of us want to be British. They couldn’t say anything good about being British. So they had to scare us into being British by saying our Britishness was bought and paid for by the English. The only trouble is the English were listening, and they don’t want us being paid to pretend we’re British. Hoist on their own petard, the Unionists can’t tell the truth to the English or the Scots. All they have left is to say No and No is not going to be enough. Just ask the Ghost of Thatcher, just ask John Major. Thatcherism and Conservatism died in Scotland. Scotland hasn’t forgotten them and in large part, it has not forgiven them. The ghost of the iron lady looms large over them as does the considerable incompetence and corruption of the Johnson government.

    The UK gained a reprieve in 2014. It effectively ended with the brexit vote. the collective pronoun that is British identity in Scotland is next.

  23. You tell him Richard 😀.

    Richard Murphy:- ”Addressing Andrew Neil on Scottish currency issues.’

    ”Andrew Neil was ranting (I think it’s fair to say) on Twitter yesterday on Scottish independence and Scottish currency issues, so I wrote a thread in response. He’s been rude to all-comers on the issue so far and no doubt he will be to me. But he will have to address some issues now, or be shown to simply be making assertions that are without foundation:”


    BBC *at it* again. The ordinary guy (Tory youth wing chairman in 2018), lives in London but wants a vote in Scotland.

    ”BBC Scotland’s The Nine allows Young Conservative accused of anti-Semitism to promote racist ideas

    ..”Now, on The Nine we have a young man allowed to make a passionate plea for Scots born in Scotland but living in England to be able to vote in the next referendum, in the hope that they may stem the swelling tide of support for Yes. In addition to this being a form of blood nationalism rejected by most in the UK, James Bundy is not as he appears. Not only was Bundy the Tory youth wing chairman in 2018, he was also accused of anti-Semitism.”..

  24. I’m afraid the explanation is very simple.
    a) Decades of propaganda by the media that Scotland is a burden and therefore worth dumping.
    b) A firm belief that England has the final say on the matter.
    c) England is all that really matters.

  25. God it gets even worse for England. The Coronavirus crisis, Brexit and the loss of Scotland’s lucrative assets and resources. Noo pan breed is under attack plus their Yorkshire puddings, Cornish pasties, Eccles cakes, Pontefracts etc, etc, leaving Boris unable to say of the starving masses, ”Let them eat cake.” Woooooo 😱😱.

    ”The National Farmers’ Union warns that Britain could face the worst wheat harvest in 30 years… & if we leave the EU with no-deal, we could be looking at a tariff of £79 per tonne on imported wheat from the EU… & that cost will be passed on to the consumer.”


    Philippa Whitford:- ”Why Scotland needs its own ferry connection to EU to avoid delays to export of Scottish seafood and other Food and Drink products. #BrexitShambles New ‘Brexit lorry park’ planned for Hull – Hull Live.”

  26. Latest from West of Offa’s Dyke.

    Leaked document shows Labour decided not to defend Welsh seats – despite knowing 18 could fall


    “Unless Labour wins seats from the SNP and Plaid Cymru, winning a majority would require us to win everything up to and including Jacob Rees Mogg’s seat of North East Somerset, which has a Conservative majority of 26.2 per cent,” the report said.


    In your dreams, Labour.

  27. ‘Labour HQ strategists admit Scotland is a lost cause in leaked memo.’

    ..”The SNP say the memo proves Richard Leonard’s party is “finished”.

    ”It reads: “There is no evidence that organisational investment in Scottish seats will deliver improved electoral outcomes and there is abundant evidence from the analysis of recent general elections that spending money in contests where we are not competitive (almost all contests in Scotland) is a much less efficient way of achieving changed electoral outcomes than investing in tighter electoral contests elsewhere in Britain.”


    Check out Ann’s links on the Indyref2 site.

  28. I know that astrology isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however I thought I’d post this anyway. Cutting through the astrological gobbledygook Gove and Johnson are up sh*tcreek without a paddle 😀.

    ‘Brexit – grinding towards a gridlock.’

    ”Gove’s personal chart is similarly afflicted with tr Pluto square his Mars/Uranus and Uranus/Neptune midpoints now to late November this year, suggesting acute stress, losses and catastrophes; and his troubles won’t lift in 2021 with a nasty sinking feeling from tr Neptune square his Sun/Saturn and Mercury/Saturn midpoints picking up in April and running on and off till late 2022. As he no doubt surveys the proof of the pudding with the Brexit consequences becoming clear.

    This would fit with the Boris Government chart indicators – see previous post August 3 2020 – which has a panicky dip from this October onwards. And many pointers on Boris, the Government and Cummings’ charts that suggest 2021 is not going to be a celebratory feste to the joys of UK freedom.

    Sorry if that all sounds gloomy but they don’t look like happy campers any of them.”

    • “Nicola didn’t extend Evans contract” glad to hear that but did she object? Is our FM just someone who accepts things she doesn’t like? So the FM of Scotland has to just accept a permanent secretary for as long as the UK civil service says they have to stay in place. A pretty pathetic state of affairs.

  29. As a camper I would opine his visit was a stunt, a staged stunt. No where near enough wear and tear on the grass either around the tent or indeed indeed under it which over 3 days I would expect to be flattened. Not exactly the style I recommend either with baby to protect from the terror midges. The fire was a joke, 3 days would have produced a fair amount of ash. So whatever was going on there, they weren’t camping.

  30. I think your article is very accurate Paul. The continuing series of disasters initiated by WM will get worse. Of course Covid19 wasn’t their fault they just killed people by incompetent handling of it.

    The fact it is not a reported issue down south shows to me that the people in the media there simply just think of England as they have Scottish editions, as has the BBC.

    The two recent opinion polls by Yes Cymru and by Business for Scotland that highlighted roughly 50% of Labour and Conservative voters want to bin us is great news. The issue here is getting the English media to pick up on this news so that it helps our cause by making the political idiots take note down south of what their voters want which is non the Jocks.

  31. Happy Birthday, Big Tam Connery, milkman of Newhaven; 90 today.

    Proof, if seriously, proof were needed, that Big Sean IS James Bond is contained in the following wee joke:-

    “Mish Moneypenny, you’re a shite. A shite for shore eyes.”

    It’s the way he tells ’em.

    • You really need to learn how the law works. They have not been found to have lied.

      In any event, the question you pose is not the question which has been raised by this article. Try to at least pretend that your comment has some bearing, however tangential, on the topic. This is not a forum for you to indulge your favourite conspiracy theory hobby horse.

      • I never said they had been found to have lied in a court of law. It is my opinion that they lied in a court of law based on the reported facts. It’s not illegal to express an opinion.

        With regard to knowing how the law works I have served on a jury on 3 occasions and studied law at university but as I say above I never said a court of law had said they lied – that’s my opinion.

        Plenty of people post comments that do not relate to the article in question. I always try to do so after many others have commented on the article.

        I do not have a favourite conspiracy theory hobby horse. The matter is being discussed in the Scot parliament at the moment.

  32. I’m really sorry to see Jean Freeman leave our parliament and position as health secretary next year, not only because of her age but because of the amount of online personal abuse she has and is bombarded with on a daily basis
    A certain amount of abuse directed at politicians has always been there but since the invention of the Internet this has been able to provide the cowardly with somewhere to hide and practice the kind of behaviour they wouldn’t dare to in public

    What makes some of this behaviour worse is it’s now practised by opposing politicians and journalists as though if it’s alright for the public it’s alright for them to show which side of the particular argument they’re on or to help sell their ailing newspapers

    This morning on just a cursory look around the Twitterspheric commentators engaging in this abuse I spotted two well known Unionist journalists, two Noble Lords two well known Labour politicians and three Tory politicians, then we move on to the so called academics of which there was one well known Twitter abuser a retired professor and the famous dog food salesman who purports to be an expert in economics plus all the nastily behaved supporters of these people that we all see on a daily basis filling up Twitter with fake pictures and even fake documents in the hope the less well informed believe the stuff they post and increase their abuse at whoever they’re directed to that day

    These abusers have become so sick in the various ways they direct this abuse now that they’re faking allegiances to abuse their own side in order to make it appear that it’s the other side who’s guilty of more abuse than them

    This abuse is mainly by men directed towards women politicians, but not by much because women are almost as many now in this pursuit

    The opponents of Scottish Independence would have everyone believe it’s the nasty Nationalists or Seps as they like to call us who are responsible for all of this abusive behaviour but statements like that on examination just don’t stack up when you ask yourself one simple question

    *When the Labour party were in charge in Scotland who can remember when they were attacked in this volume and by as many vile commentators pouring out the amount of filth we have today*

    After all the Internet was around then too, so on reflection just who are the guilty parties here, and yes, it’s the ones who have lost and are continuing to lose the rational argument so they turn to this vile abuse as their last resort exactly in the same way the Union they support abuses Scotland every chance they get

    They’re copying their masters

    • It revealed that to the knowledge of the civil servants involved in setting up the new complaints process that no other gov in the UK or anywhere else has a process that includes FORMER Ministers.

  33. The guardian …..” Conservative party members agreed that Scottish or Northern Irish secession was a price worth paying for our exit from the European Union. Brexity patriotism is a strange thing: always clad in the union jack but so defined by a crazed and zealous Englishness that it embraces a surreal contradiction: that in pursuit of a supposedly reborn United Kingdom, the UK itself can be written off as collateral damage.“

    The simple explanation of this is that England thinks England is the U.K.
    England thinks the United Kingdom is England
    That’s why they can easily write off Scotland and Northern Ireland they just do not believe Scotland and Northern Ireland actually exist
    In their world there is one country …UK
    When they talk of losing Scotland or Northern Ireland it’s their fantasy world belief that it’s a loss in nothing more than name
    They still believe England will continue to be called U.K. or Great Britain or “the country” they still believe they will own this whole island
    Weird , insulting to us in Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland

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