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A quick morality check

Posted on November 06, 2018 by

There was a certain uncomfortable 2018 inevitability this morning over the fact that where people were offended, arrests would follow.

And the burning of a cardboard model of the Grenfell Tower last night was certainly right up near the top in the pantheon of cretinously offensive things. Many victims of the appalling tragedy, which killed 72 people and injured many more, still haven’t been properly rehomed almost a year and a half later.

But if it’s a CRIME, we have some questions.

Because the crudely-decorated cardboard box burned in someone’s back garden as a hugely tasteless joke was put together on a night when much of the British population gathers in their towns and cities to celebrate the torturing to death of a Catholic man by burning effigies of him in a happy family atmosphere.

In some places, mobs also burn huge mocking effigies of current living politicians, sometimes depicted as Christ, or even of the Pope, and nobody gets arrested.

And in other areas of the UK bonfires are the centrepiece of an openly and proudly sectarian (and racist) annual festival of hatred, which can cause real physical damage and injury to people and property, which the BBC doesn’t condemn but instead makes a huge cultural hoopla about.

Nobody gets arrested for any of that either.

Despite what all the pitchfork outrage would have you believe, there’s no evidence of racism in the video from last night. The figures in the windows of the cardboard tower are of all colours. There’s even a ginger. The only thing that could be argued as bigotry – rather than just appalling taste – is when a single unseen person somewhere in the vicinity makes a reference to a “ninja”, which it’s not too unreasonable to presume means someone in a niqab.

But again, that’s no worse than the sort of thing columnists like Rod Liddle or Richard Littlejohn write for large audiences in respectable broadsheet newspapers for money every week, and nobody goes round and arrests them.

Nor do you get arrested for tasteless mockery of the single worst event in all of human history (unless you get a small dog involved, of course.)

Even when you offend people by referring to it.

Or make a party out of it. (Double meaning intentional.)

And perhaps most to the point, while five people have been arrested for setting some cardboard on fire in their own back garden and hurting nobody, not a single one of the people responsible for the burning of the ACTUAL Grenfell Tower, and the dozens of ACTUAL deaths that resulted, have been hauled down to a police station, had their DNA swabbed and been thrown in a cell, and nor will they be.

(Nor, come to that, have any of the politicians whose policies have brought about tens of thousands of premature deaths of UK citizens in the last few years alone in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy. Maybe instead of arguing with them politically we need to claim that it’s hurting people’s feelings and call the cops.)

We’d love to explain these double standards to you, readers, but we’ve got nothing. Except, perhaps, that if you want to be racist and/or offensive in Britain in 2018, you better make sure you’re either famous, rich or middle-class, or that you get a decent number of people together for it first.

Because apparently it’s only a crime if there’s less than 10 of you.

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  1. 06 11 18 13:56

    A quick morality check | speymouth

135 to “A quick morality check”

  1. John Dickson says:

    I agree, it was crass and distasteful, but a crime, no not really. If they had been wise enough to not put it on Twitter no one would have known.

  2. Stravaiger says:

    Ah, but it’s tradition see, so that makes it OK.

    The UK is seriously fucked up. Time to go.

  3. Liam says:

    Yep. Arrested for being too stupid to know they were stupid.

  4. Les Wilson says:

    Faux anger as the real Unionists never blame their own.
    Racism of many colours is very much alive in little england.
    Note, reported today that in London a youth was stabbed to death, the 5th this week.

  5. Capella says:

    Some tabloid set fire to a baby box earlier this year. I was offended by that. Should I call the police?

  6. ronnie anderson says:

    Its seen a offensive if you call people Moron’s so I wont , but there moronic actions need exposed & ridiculed in there own wider community .

  7. Artyhetty says:

    It was in very bad taste, and offensive in emotional terms for sure. The relatives of Grenfell would I am sure be very distraught that their loved ones that died were being mocked and laughed about.

    However, you are correct in saying that there is one law for the rich and powerful, and another for the sheer idiocy of others in this case.

    There seems to be a rise in normalising any kind of suffering of others, that’s the problem, whether from idiots like those arrested, or whether at the hands of the UK London English government, where they tell people to eat more fruit or not have children if they want to actually have a life of any kind. The Britnats in power take from the poor and give to the rich, criminals of the highest order.

    The blame culture is here, it’s normalised by the UKgovernment and others of course, and it’s very sinister.
    We live in strange and dangerous times. There seems a mass madness of some sort going on, it’s hard to fathom at this stage quite why.

    Have a peaceful, day with loved ones where possible folks, including pets. Now where is our kitten who loves getting kisses and cuddles. His innocence is refreshing.

  8. HandandShrimp says:

    The decision to make a Grenfell Tower bonfire is undoubtedly supremely insensitive and deliberately, unpleasantly offensive. While it is hard to feel sympathy for such apparent twunts some pause for thought over what constitutes a crime is required.

    An utterly bizarre thing to do. Were they all out of trees or something?

  9. Taranaich says:

    Was discussing this with Mam today. I would be surprised if any criminality was found in this case: due to the circumstances, it’s difficult to nail this as a hate crime since it was not meant to be shared with the public, or – more to the point – targeted towards anyone.

    If no crime was found, then the achingly inevitable outcome is that many people will feel vindicated & justified in committing actual hate crimes, not least due to the accusations of racism & xenophobia in this instance. Just like Brexit: once it was clear Leave had won, a lot of people thought it was an endorsement of anti-immigrant & anti-EU national sentiment.

    Much like yourself, Rev, I’m more interested in questioning why the people responsible for the real Grenfell won’t see any consequences for their actions, while a group of cruel, insensitive idiots act as an effigy of their own. They will be punished in the real criminal’s place by the court of public opinion.

    The whole thing, everything about this, turns my stomach.

  10. Les Wilson says:

    O/T on Bloomberg just now, ” The UK cabinet fail progress on Brexit”

  11. galamcennalath says:

    I can’t imagine what was going through those idiots’ heads, having ‘fun’ reenacting Grenfell. Why was it considered ‘entertainment’? Did no friend or family member say that perhaps it might not be appropriate? Horrible idea! Criminal? Probably not.

    Perhaps it was symptom of changing attitudes around a wider theme of them-and-us. Clearly none of the perpetrators felt either sympathy or empathy for the victims of the actual disaster. The gutter media continually fosters notions of ‘people like us’ and ‘others’.

    Nastiness and uncaring attitudes are being made fashionable.

  12. Weechid says:

    Thanks – what I’d been thinking. I believe I may have offended several locals by telling them that I wouldn’t be at the local bonfire as I didn’t wish to celebrate the burning of a Catholic(even if he was anti Scottish) and that I find the burning of any effigy distasteful. Time this “tradition” was stopped. In Dumfries, on 20 November 1706, the Articles of Union were set alight on the Plainstaines in front of the town’s Midsteeple – that is a burning I would be more than happy to celebrate.

  13. Portjim says:

    Guilty of gross insensitivity, poor taste and poor judgement (why anyone puts anything on Twitter, I don’t know).
    In the final analysis, however, it is their failure to allow profit opportunities for big business that is unforgivable.

  14. Taranaich says:

    As an aside: when me & my friends play Cards Against Humanity, I might never win, but I always – without fail – manage to play the most horrifically offensive option. We agree that the reason I can do this is precisely because I’m the nicest member of the group, and the last one they’d expect to do that (although now, ironically, the *most* likely, given the number of times I’ve pulled some wickedly dark humour).

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    Well put together argument Rev, it’s made me keep an open mind.

  16. I commented on all of this on Sam Miller’s excellent piece over on WGD ‘Stronger Than Fear (Part 2) over on WGD 4th November.
    I repeatedly observe that England has gone mad, homicidally insane,and their fervent Brit Nat Fifth Column Up Here are more than willing to plunge Scotland into the Brexit abyss.
    There are dark days ahead very soon now, but not before Christmas.
    May and Co., will simply ignore the EU and Scotland and the North of Ireland until after the December Shutdown.
    Fiery crosses and Eleventh Night bonfires: the Fires of Hell.

  17. Bob Mack says:

    I would normally agree with you Rev, but I think this was indeed hateful. Why? We have all heard that Grenfell was full of ethic minorities. It’s been on every news channel since the event. The perpetrators most likely know that as well.

    Why have they been arrested? Nothing more than to try and soothe the conscience of an Establishment who made Grenfell possible, rather than for hate crime which is generally ignored in this country if it is politically expedient.

    In this instance it was hate. Why did they not make a model of the twin towers and watch it burn and fall ?

    Personally I would not jail them ,but I would make them work at a Burns unit for a month. I think that would focus them a bit more

  18. Proud Cybernat says:

    We may find it is the person who uploaded the video of this act onto Twitter rather than those who actually perpetrated the act.

    Under the 2003 Communications Act (not sure if this applies in Scotland), anyone sending “by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing nature” can find themselves on the wrong side of the law and could find themselves doing jail time.

  19. Proud Cybernat says:

    Guardian article from 4 years ago pretty much discusses this situation:

    “There always used to be a protected space, so you could say things in private you could not say in public. With social media there is no protected space, and that’s what there needs to be a debate about. The notions around place and reaction just don’t work with social media. You could have a situation where two people in their living room make remarks to each other for which they would never be arrested, but if they make these remarks by email, they could be, as the legislation covers any public electronic communication system.” –

  20. Dr Jim says:

    Yes but I’m outraged outraged I tell you because the news told me to be…

    Tomorrow they’ll say something else and I’ll be outraged at that, unless it’s somebody they don’t want me to be outraged at


  21. wull says:

    The Fascist state is well on its way. In fact, it’s pretty much already here. And it will seek to extinguish Scotland altogether.

    That’s what Brexit means – authoritarian fascist-style government, with no possibility of appeal either to a European or to any other court enshrining and protecting human rights. Or, indeed, the national, historically and legally enshrined rights of one of the two nations that form the UK.

    That union – the very union that brought the UK into existence – is not just being disregarded or undermined, it is being abolished in front of our very noses. Not by the SNP, but by the ignorant halfwits that have the temerity to call themselves Unionists, and who may even believe they are such.

    They are very clear about it. Scotland is not a nation, it’s a region; it was never a constituent partner with England in the creation formation and continuation of the UK. Didn’t you know, it is a plain fact of the New Unionism, contrary to all legal reality (who cares about the rule of law?) and in despite of every clear historical fact (what makes you think that actual evidence has any part to play in our hallowed courts of law?) that Scotland was colonised by England.

    Like the rest of the world has been, and still ought to be as well. What a privilege for everyone … You lucky little Scotties …

    Didn’t you know that in 1707 Edward I (died 1307) finally achieved his objective? That’s what really happened; that’s what I read in my (English) history book. The History of England says so, so it must be true. David Mundell read it there too, and he never said a truer word: Scotland was abolished, and became part of England.

    In 1707, that dear beloved Edward I, England’s Justinian (= trick lawyer), 400 years old (older than he was in 1307, at least) and still going strong (it was only a myth that he had died, spread around to confuse you lot – what a devilishly cunning little English ploy – ha! ha!), got his way, and reduced your pretendy Kingdom of Scotland to a mere land … Just as he had done in 1296 already … That is, he reduced it to an estate, a piece of property, which belonged personally to him.

    No greater or more successful feat of larceny and theft had ever been accomplished, or would again … So long as you make abstraction of King Leopold of Belgium, a man after King Ed’s heart, who likewise turned the whole of the so-called ‘Belgian!’ Congo into his own personal estate in the 19th Century … Although the Congolese did not acquiesce in it …

    Back to our topic … OK, in 1707, King Ed dressed himself up in drag for the occasion, and went about calling himself ‘Queen Anne’, but that was simply part of the joy of it all. After all, with the acquisition of a whopping big piece of real estate like that one (‘the land’ called ‘Scotland’), it was carnival time for cool ol’ Ed and his backing group, The Hammer Boys. And what a carnival it was – whoopee!

    This is the English version of ‘British history’, and it’s the fuel on which the Great British Brexit runs. It’s the wind that fills the Good Ship Brexit’s sails, as the New UK – BritNat England – launches herself on the waves of the world. BritNat England – taking back control, breaking up Europe, trashing the rule of law and bringing fascist autocracy to the world … And – Oh what a glory to be alive in such a world and in such days – abolishing Scotland.

    Small though it seems, therein lies the key to the whole en(g)terprise … Abolishing Scotland … Edward’s project brought to a (happy!) conclusion, at long last. And the whole wide world will suffer from it …

    This is what Brexit means.

    Wake up, Scotland. Not just to save ourselves. Time to wake up to the bigger picture. The world may ignore us but right now it needs us far more than it knows. Desperately, in fact.

    Time for Scotland to stand up – and save the rest of us from the rogue state being born so suddenly and swiftly among us. The last thing the world needs right now is a New UK, uncontrolled and out of control, uncontrollably selling its shoddy wares and awful ideas around the globe to whoever wants them, at whatever price it can get for them, without fear or favour – or any decency or principle whatever.

    David Cameron was wrong about almost everything. Even false prophets sometimes inadvertently and despite themselves utter a truth. Not usually in the way that they intended, but the words come true anyway. (Think of Caiaphas – if anyone here remembers him). Cameron said ‘Brexit means World War III’. Everybody laughed. But he might just never have said a truer word – although he didn’t even believe it himself. (Did he ever believe in anything he said? Did May? Did any of them … ? A Rogue State and a Liar State amount to the same thing.)

    How do you prevent the impending disaster from happening, with Brexit just around the corner, and already upon us? How do you take the wind out of its sails, or suck the fuel out its tank? How do you take its strength away, even if it does still happen? How do you stop the coming-to-be of the New UK, with Scotland extinguished and subsumed into it? How do we strangle the impending Disaster at its birth? How do we prevent any ripening of its poisonous fruits?

    Simple – Scotland at last stands up. The ‘take back controllers’ will then have lost their control altogether. And the New BritNat uber-alles-Engerland (still officially but meaninglessly calling itself UK) will be done for. Suddenly kept at home and hemmed in, instead of spreading itself and its destruction abroad, no longer able to post its effects far and wide.

    All we – Scots – have to do is claim our rightful independence. Which means we will have scuttled that Bad Baaaad Ship, Brexit, and scuppered the New English BritNat UK once and for all. And all it hopes and stands for will go down with it. Hitting Davy Jones’s Locker is a better fate for all its nonsense than letting it hit the high seas in order to assault the world at large.

    In the last post on WoS I ended up watching the half-hour video of Alan Bisset and George Reid that showed up with the one intended. Both of them talking good sense, especially Bisset, who showed exactly why it is ‘now or never’ for Scotland. He displayed an urgency that is more than ever needed. We should take heed. If we grasp the nettle and claim what is rightfully ours – in the circumstances, the only rational option available to us (full independence, of course, and no shilly-shallying about it) – if we do that, besides being good for us it will have a world-wide benefit.

    It would be immensely irresponsible of us not to do it.

  22. Liz g says:

    Glad you put this article together Rev… I can’t see what the actual crime is either.
    Couldn’t even see why it made the “so called “ news, never mind the hushed tone of the voice over telling adults that they were stopping the footage partway through.
    It does raise the question…. what would be achieved by the authorities here.
    Is this the latest attempt to add the old tried and tested a “sin” is a crime trope, that all the religious used for centuries, to the public perception? Shock the public and they will demand and agree to all kinds of restrictions on themselves.
    Only for the masses of course!!!

    If nobody is hurt and nobody’s lost anything and nobody is injured, then it has to be said where is the – actual Crime – ?
    If the Grenfield victims want to sue their arses and hit them in their pockets, that’s one thing!!
    But a Crime…. It isn’t.
    But here’s the rub…. If that’s what people like them really think if that’s the mind set.. then I’d say we as a society need to know, we need to see, otherwise how can we disagree.
    How can we address those sick attitudes if they are hidden from us?
    Being prevented from burning that box does nothing to stifle the desire to?
    Are they even real attitudes or a drunken attempt at humour, that’s an important difference!
    Could an attitude even be proved to a legal standard in a criminal court, that’s dangerous!
    Even then…
    How do we measure if there’s a problem if it’s pushed under our radar…… we cannot just sit back and say call the police, find or make a law they’ve broken … that’s not what the police, or justice systems are for (or at least it shouldn’t be) and we cannot legislate for bigotry!
    And more to the excellent point you made… it cannot be done fairly, otherwise it would need to start right at the top and in N Ireland July next!!!
    Seems to me this is another MSM pick a controversy to play with public opinion effort.

  23. Ghillie says:

    It goes beyond offensive.

    I don’t care how offended I am or Mr Jones next door.

    I AM worried about the effect on the people closer to this tragedy.

    And those responsible for every single Grenville death and injury should be very very aware that they should be brought to justice.

  24. Pete says:

    Great argument, well documented.
    This is never a crime.
    Insensitive, yes.
    Interesting point about ‘not paying any rent’.
    Is that true for a lot of them?
    It’s a bit like all those knife murders in London.
    No one ever seems to mention that most of those murders are black on black.
    If so, surely the police should be targeting and upping stop and search in the black areas.
    Seems logical!!

  25. Q. says:

    Those responsible for the arrest of a bunch of people with a collective IQ of 71 are the very same ones protecting the class of people being charged with corporate murder. If there was any justice in this world (and there isn’t) then the dominoes would start toppling.

  26. Mogabee says:

    If it is not witnessed by someone who takes offence then by rights it is not an offence.

    I paraphrase slightly but that is the opinion put forward by a gentleman on sky short time ago. I believe he was a barrister.

    Still not my view as I think people taking offence need to get a grip in this and other recent public faux outcries!!

  27. The first thing this government. Did after the tower fire was to declare an amnesty for all those in the tower who were found to be illegal emigrants why ??? Because they are trying to hide just how many there were now they are. Having to be rehoused and paid compensation when really should be deported the government are more anxious to cover their failings than they are about the people involved

  28. Bob Mack says:

    Faux outrage? That takes the bicuit. It’s only bad taste.

    I suggest anyone who posts on here about Loyal Orange Order marches and the burning of saltires in George Sq on the evening of indy now shut up. You are faux outraged you see.

    Or is outrage only reserved for things that matter to you?
    Common decency at the ridicule of enormous suffering is missing here. People were burned alive and mentally scarred for life, including those who had to fight the fire.

    To make that an object of fun is utterly despicable.

    Mind you,I could post you all videos of people being rubber necklaced with burning tyres. Would that be just bad taste ?
    Anybody got a good joke about it?
    After all they’re dead now anyway and we didn’t do it eh?

    @Pete, That must be one of the dimmest postings I have ever read on Wings.

    Try to create a better fairer society in Scotland? I think many would have to find a moral compass first.

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “To make that an object of fun is utterly despicable.”

    Sure it is. The question under debate is whether it’s a CRIME.

  30. Bob Mack says:


    In my mind it bloody well is. The very minute we treat these thing as anything else,we could not complain if someone stood in the street making jokes about starving Yemeni kids dying of hunger.

    Remember the jokes about Biafra. So do I.

    I repeat. Why try to build a better fairer country when your values or sense of liberties allow you to do this. Immigrants in the UK have a hard enough time. Some message to say if anything happens to you at least we can laugh about it.

    If that doesn’t send out a wrong and hateful message what does?

  31. ScotsRenewables says:

    Not sure why this post is here . . .

    Possibly an interesting jurisprudential , moral or philosophical point, but surely a testimony to a very slow news day in the Scottish media . . .

  32. Scottish Steve says:

    I am sure if these idiots had lost loved ones in a fire, they would also find it hilarious if people burned effigies of their dying relatives.

    Or not. It’s only funny when they do it because they weren’t affected by it. Absolute pond life.

  33. Corrado Mella says:

    At the core of all the rot we’re wading through is a sociopathic culture of bastard individualism.
    No sense of belonging to a common cause, no unifying goal, no shared vision.
    Only a bleak life marred with a constant struggle to accumulate things that we cannot carry in the tomb with us.
    A lifetime of isolation, stomping on anyone daring to be on our path towards the next loot.
    Miserable, stupid, pointless existences that won’t leave a mark on this ball of rock wobbling through the Universe.

    There must be another reason we’re here.
    Are we just an accident of fate poised for self destruction?
    All pointers tell so.

    I know it’s depressing. Don’t tell me.
    Do something. Be the change.

  34. Auld Rock says:

    As others have said, offensive yes but should the Met be wasting valuable Police resources when they should have every ‘boot’ on the streets trying to eliminate/reduce the number of stabbings among their young, especially young blacks and their gang culture and these include white kids.

  35. Liz g says:

    Pete @ 3.08
    Naw Pete what nobody is mentioning is that these crimes are gang related…. and they are not because it invites the comparison with the USA..
    In the US there is no social security system to speak of.
    When you are disenfranchised from society there, you really are out on your own. Therefore they have a massive gang problem,a problem so much a part of US culture that it’s rarely remarked on now.
    The Westminster government’s dismantling of the welfare state is pushing the rise of the gang culture,resulting in the rise of violence…. These kids have no stake in society and are left to sink or swim with their local gang’s.
    Colour is relevant only in that the disadvantages that those kid’s already had makes government policies hit them faster.
    Government’s cannot leave these kids to their own devices and then wonder at why they organise a counter culture.
    No kid went to school sayin “I want to be a great knife fighter when I grow up,with a little jail time on the side”!
    They want to succeed as part of society somewhere.
    It’s the taking away of that route thats the problem…
    AKA. the failure of the UK government to govern for them like they,matter,too.
    All that youth,energy and talent left to rot…but make the pensioners work on till 70… Its no rocket science,Pete and its definitely no Colour!

  36. yesindyref2 says:

    Sure it is. The question under debate is whether it’s a CRIME.

    I actually mentioned this to my wife and she was outraged. And asking me did I not think it was disgusting?

    Well of course I do, if I was there I would leave, if I was friends with them I wouldn’t be any longer, if my kids were associated with them I’d suggest they not be any longer, and if someone I knew thought it was funny I’d doubt I’d want to know them any more.

    But a crime? Jings.

    Courageous article.

  37. Valerie says:

    Talk now that the “crime” is likely to be malicious communication, arising from the posting of the vid, and then going viral.

    The pug dog dickhead was also charged under Communications Act.

    We can’t stop the gammon being hateful, thinking racist thoughts, but I’m glad we can charge them over seeking a wider audience, and garnering encouragement or inciting others.

    The only example in Rev’s article, that I see equivalence with is the example of NI. It covers persecution, religion, ridicule.

    In NI, it’s decades of persecution and bias against Catholics, tackled to some degree by laws, but why these bonfires are permitted by Police and politicians??? Who can honestly think it’s fine?

    Grenfell was seen as a home for poor immigrants. Years of disinvestment, clad in cheapest materials due to pressure from rich neighbours, not happy with the eyesore.

    We have the most overt persecution of immigrants ever seen now. Far Right having Beeb platform repeatedly to spout their shite.

    Over one year on, approx 150 families still in temp accommodation. Families devastated, ongoing enquiry with no one semmingly held to account.

    I hope they throw the book at the 5 arrested. I get that there is unfairness, but that’s no excuse to let this vile act slide.

  38. Bob Mack says:

    @Liz G,

    Correct Liz. I remember as a teenager when Glasgow was officially labelled the “murder capital of Europe” Murders of young white men by young white men. There was barely a black youth in the city. The reasons were exactly as you have outlined above. You cause deprivation it has inevitable and well documented consequences.

    In these areas of London there are very large populations of disenfranchised black youth. They join gangs for all the same reasons as they did in Glasgow. Protection, money from criminality etc etc etc.Fix that,fix the crime

  39. yesindyref2 says:

    @Bob Mack
    But I presume it was done in the privacy of their own garden rather than on the street, but as Proud Cybernat says, it’s more the person who uploaded the video, and that might be a crime – and maybe should be.

    With all the political point-scoring and incorrectly offended sensibilities, such as with Grouse Beater’s blog, it’s topical for all of us who post, tweet, blog, commit anything to social media – or even indorectly, if for instance, someone else names and quotes us.

    It’s actually a serious issue, about freedom of speech, and one which perhaps the traditional media should be thinking about carefully and also writing opinion articles about. Sadly they won’t, it’s only their own freedom of speech in writing, and possible defamation caes, they seem to care about. Never mind us plebs.

  40. Rock says:

    The rotten to the core and cowardly police have plenty of time and resources to arrest, harass and bully “plebs”.

    They are petrified of taking on the real criminals in society.

    And if any “pleb” needs reminding, the Scottish justice system is rotten to the core and the vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

    That basically applies to justice systems throughout the world, but I only mention the Scottish one as this blog is about Scotland and its road to independence in 2640 AD.

  41. Rock says:

    Bob Mack says:
    6 November, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    “Why? We have all heard that Grenfell was full of ethic minorities.”

    What do you think of the “freedom of expression” to publish naked cartoons of the prophet of over one billion people?

    Are you “Charlie”?

    For the record I am not. It makes no sense to increase the hatred which already exists, just for a laugh.

  42. Rock says:

    Isn’t it a crime to dress up as a Nazi or to give a Nazi salute?

    Why was Prince Harry of Scotland not arrested?

  43. IZZIE says:

    The only ‘crime’ is that it offends good taste. What I find concerning is these people were in their own space so who posted it on social media?

  44. Cactus says:

    Fire and water. SO what would happen if someone got hold of a replica toy ship of the Titanic (c/w iceberg accessory)… who then proceeded to run a bath full of water, then reenact the original story with the eventual sinking of the ship.

    If the above was filmed and shared online, would that attract similar interest.

    Another thing ah was curious about, with regards to the towers of wooden pallets decorated with various assorted organisational flags, banners and messages…

    Do they remove their ‘club’ flags before they set it all alight, or are they quite content to burn the flags of what they represent.

    fyi November the 30th is on a Friday this year… could also be timely good furra gathering of iScotspeople.

  45. Bob Mack says:


    The cartoon was wrong, but I have to also say that only last week Pakistan media distributed a cartoon of figures crucified on telegraph poles which was intentionally anti Christian.

    Free speech and all that, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

  46. Cubby says:

    Rock = Nostradamus.

  47. Clootie says:

    A good article which brings into question which acts are offensive/poor taste and which (…if any) can be classed as a crime.

  48. Hamish100 says:

    Personally this was more than crass and what happened is disgusting. Placed on the web for all to see. I hope there is a successful prosecution.

  49. Fred says:

    Readers of Rockshit need their heads examined!!!

  50. Rock says:

    Bob Mack says:
    6 November, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    “Free speech and all that, but two wrongs don’t make a right.”

    Free speech for the elite to make fun of the “plebs” and “foreigners” but not for the “plebs”.

    Would you agree that the rotten to the core and cowardly police have plenty of time and resources to arrest, harass and bully “plebs” but are petrified of taking on the real criminals in society?

    Don’t answer if you are afraid to do so.

  51. Cubby says:

    I find Britnats offensive can they be locked up.

  52. Fred says:

    The problem with “Gangs!” in Glasgow back in the day was nothing to do with deprivation or criminality, there was full employment & youngsters were better housed than their fathers were!

  53. Rock says:

    Cubby says:
    6 November, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Rock = Nostradamus.

    Fred says:
    6 November, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    “Readers of Rockshit need their heads examined!!!”

    That is aimed at you Cubby. Anything to say?

    Don’t answer if you are afraid to do so.

  54. manandboy says:

    The burning of effigies of people.

    It breaks all the laws of decency.

  55. Rock says:

    Hamish100 says:
    6 November, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    “Personally this was more than crass and what happened is disgusting. Placed on the web for all to see. I hope there is a successful prosecution.”

    I totally agree.

    Would you agree that the publishers of Charlie Hebdo should also have been prosecuted and locked up for abusing the right to freedom of expression for their own selfish motives?

  56. eric russell says:

    while no real crime may have been committed during the burning of that effigy. i suspect the reason these clowns gave themselves up to the police is to preserve their own necks from getting burned and possibly more than that. they will have had thousands of threats by now, and will have been bricking it from the moment the video hit the public. that is the real price you have to pay for so called free speech, and a horrific sense of humour, if you can even call it that.

  57. Colin Alexander says:

    The Duke of Edinburgh is infamous for his comments/jokes which offend some. eg.

    “It’s a pleasant change to be in a country that isn’t ruled by its people.”

    No, he wasn’t talking about Scotland. But the comment would be apt.

  58. Bob Mack says:


    Your having a laugh. We lived in water soaked tenements with 3 or 4 to a room. Do you actually know anything about Maryhill, Possil, the Gorbals etc? Being a chippy or spark apprentice didn’t make you rich after you paid your digs, and going out in the area could be very dodgy if you were not well known or in the gang.

    What years are you talking about?

  59. ronnie anderson says:

    Fred quite correct a lot of Gang action was territorial & boredom , after working all week & there was plenty of work available & it wasn’t just in the housing schemes , even the middle classes were into gang action ie the Mods .

  60. manandboy says:

    Meanwhile, the prospect of a Brexit Agreement moves closer to being thrown on the fire.

  61. Bob Mack says:

    Suggest you read up on Glasgow gang history Ronnie. Maybe you can tell me of the middle class families who flocked to live in Possil and Calton tenements. Should be interesting

  62. yesindyref2 says:


    Now THAT made me laugh 🙂

  63. Calum McKay says:

    A crime, I can not say!

    Hugely offensive, crass, stupid and completely inhuman, absolutely!

    As for it being planned on the night, it looks a more planned and elaborate event to have been prepared on the night. Therefor I’d say it looks premeditated and not on the spur of the moment act. Also I assume it was the work of more than one person!

    Why is this different from burning effigies of politicians is, that their loved ones know they are still alive and hale and hearty. Nevertheless a deeply unpleasant act, but nowhere near the scale that these people acted out!

    I would not jail these people but I’d like to see an apology to the victims families and some form of public contrition!

  64. Muscleguy says:

    Nicely done showing up the hypocrisy there Rev Stu. It is I agree a travesty. I very much hope the CPS throws this one out and the bonfire 5 refuse to accept a police caution.

  65. ronnie anderson says:

    As has been said up thread there is a issue here under the Telecommunications Act , had they not exported that video online there would have been no issue , as it now stands a possible criminal offence but they’ve been found guilty in the court of public opinion by their crass actions .

  66. vlad (not that one) says:

    Rev, spot on, as usual.

  67. galamcennalath says:

    manandboy says:

    the prospect of a Brexit Agreement moves closer to being thrown on the fire.

    Exceptionalism and entitlement are proving to be fatal conditions, it’s a long slow lingering death for the UKnotsoOK.

    The UK and Tories in particular are looking like a bunch of untrustworthy delinquents!

    Good article on the same vane ….

  68. Davie Oga says:

    Liz G and Bob Mack
    Spot on analysis. In Scotland, where there is minimal black street gang culture, black murder victims and suspects are roughly in proportion to population.

    You need to take of the colour tinted glasses and look a little deeper

  69. Gary45% says:

    Stu, This is one of the many reasons I come to WoS for my factual news.
    You continually shine a light on the deficits of the MSM.
    Nice One.

  70. Cubby says:

    Rock@ 5.30pm

    Hey Nostrodamus

    Have I anything to say – already said it.


    Nostradamus this is aimed at you.

    ” I find Britnats offensive can they be locked up”

  71. Ian Mccubbin says:

    We are in scary times with worst of right wing Facism in decades around our towns and villages.
    I wish I could suggest a solution.

  72. galamcennalath says:

    On the theme of bonfires, gunpowder, and Guy Fawkes, here’s an interesting article suggesting why Fawkes hated Scots so much.

  73. doug_bryce says:

    Peston on point.
    His brexit views worth reading.
    Summary : customs union or no deal

    In Brexit talks which always seem on the brink of disaster, it’s tempting to see as a decisive triumph for the prime minister the decision of her divided cabinet to give her a mandate for the intractable last phase of negotiations.

    This would be a naive mistake.

    Because although it matters that ministers gave her more latitude to negotiate the so-called backstop – an arrangement to keep open the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic – it would be mad to assume that the other side, Brussels and the EU27, will swallow whatever she serves up.

    In fact my strong view, based on soundings made with relevant people on the other side of the Channel, is that issues of very significant principle remain to be resolved – and actually for the UK as much as for the EU.

    I am afraid this is dense complicated stuff. But it matters. So please bear with me.

    Let’s start with today’s reworking by the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier of the cynosure of Mayisms – his statement that “Backstop means Backstop”.

    This was not flippant.

    It was to make the significant point that there will not be a Withdrawal Agreement, or an orderly negotiated Brexit, unless it contains a guarantee that in all conceivable and notional circumstances the border between NI and the ROI will be kept open.

    So this means that even if the EU agrees to May’s request that the “primary” backstop should be a UK-wide customs union, and that there would be a process with dual UK and EU controls to terminate the backstop, by definition this could not be the only backstop.

    The reason is simple.

    The whole justification for a backstop at all is that there is considerable doubt what kind of future relationship and technological innovations could provide an alternative route to keep the border open.

    If there weren’t this doubt, there would be no need for a backstop, because the new institutional arrangements could be specified now and implementation could start.

    So here is the dilemma on whose horns Theresa May may well be skewered.

    Any mechanism written into the Withdrawal Agreement that provides certainty to the UK that it could get out of the Customs-Union backstop at some future point is not the “all weather” one that Barnier insisted on again in a Tweet tonight.

    Which is why he and the rest of the EU, and especially the Republic of Ireland, have not yet abandoned their view that there must be a backstop to the backstop.

    And the backstop to the backstop would inevitably apply to Northern Ireland only. So it would be unacceptable both to the PM and the entire cabinet.

    In other words, the PM has not yet found a device to eliminate any risk of that which she abhors, namely a new border through the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    That said, if the PM could specify at this juncture a deal that the EU could accept as the long-term relationship between it and us, then the backstop to the backstop would become a disintegrating gossamer, a mere nothing.

    But she cannot do that – partly because her first attempt, the Chequers plan with its Facilitated Customs Arrangement, has been rejected by the EU, and partly because the EU is insisting that the future relationship cannot in any legal sense be negotiated till after 29 March next year.

    All hope is not lost.

    There is a caveat – which May’s Brexiters will find less palatable than a plate of steaming sick.

    If May and her cabinet were prepared to say that the UK’s ultimate destination, its long term relationship, looked a lot like her preferred backstop, then the backstop would look like a stable and sturdy bridge to a visible and sustainable future – and again the hated backstop to the backstop would become almost otiose.

    But she can’t say that because that would be to accept two conditions of such horror to her Brexiters that they would probably rather cease being Tories than accept them.

    Those conditions would be

    1) the UK would never have the right to negotiate free trade deals with third countries;

    2) Brussels would forever set UK rules for consumer, environmental, competition and labour standards, to maintain a level playing field between UK and EU marketplaces.

    It would be a Brexit that not only doesn’t take back control but actually cedes control.

    Or to put it another way, her cabinet has not yet been asked to face up to the properly difficult choices that need to be made to reconcile Brexit with keeping open the Irish border.

    May told her ministers to keep their diaries flexible enough to accommodate an emergency cabinet meeting later this week or early next to settle a deal once and for all.

    I suspect this is when the Cabinet’s Brexiter members would finally have to choose between swanky job and chauffeured car on the one hand and their commitment to what they would see as a true Brexit.

    Or to frame it in a more altruistic way, they will have to choose between a negotiated Brexit that many of them would see as more notional than substantial and a real or no-deal Brexit, whose hallmarks would be that it is both unilateral and potentially chaotic

  74. Frank M says:

    This is Unionism for you. A false identity. England has lost any soul it had. Parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland are also infected.

    Fascism, racism, sectarianism, KKK, English Nationalism, Orange Order, Hate, Disorder, playing the victim, fake news, deflection and a sense of entitlement are the symptoms of this disease.

  75. galamcennalath says:

    doug_bryce says:

    Summary : customs union or no deal

    Not quite. May is painting herself into a corner where it’s more like customs union with considerable regulatory compliance, or no deal.

    Being in customs union alone won’t solve the Irish border. Nor would it be acceptable to the EU because it would give the UK an unfair advantage. As Peston says, there would need to also be “rules for consumer, environmental, competition and labour standards, to maintain a level playing field”. I’m not convinced that May is willing to accept this is what customs union would actually mean.

    And also, there are other choices. May could ….

    – accept an Irish Sea border. Walk away from the DUP. This would allow rUK to adopt a harder Brexit. ‘Canada’ style for instance.

    – stay in the single market, ‘Norway’ style, as Nicola would advise

    – if the ECJ says Article 50 can be cancelled unilaterally she could do this, resign, give up, and call an election.

    Loads of choices! She only needs to make her mind up who she kicks in the balls.

  76. Q. says:

    You have to seriously question the motives of fifth columnists like Bella and Vonny. Seem intent on trying to split the indy movement along gender (can i still say that?) lines. The English pound is more attractive obviously.

  77. sandy says:

    Blair Patterson, for God’s sake, read your texts before posting.

  78. Jock McDonnell says:

    @Frank M

    Nice & Succinct Frank.

  79. Fred says:

    @ Bob Mack, born in a water-soaked Springburn tenement, long gone thankfully but no Frankie Vaughan in them days, he popped up in the sixties to disarm the clans in Greater Easterhoose who certainly weren’t living in water-soaked tenements. I live in on now & wouldn’t live anywhere else!

  80. Breeks says:

    doug_bryce says:
    6 November, 2018 at 7:48 pm
    Peston on point…

    Whenever you throw all that in the air and watch it fall to Earth, the unpalatable reality I see is Westminster betraying the DUP and agreeing a deal of sorts where NI is treated differently from the UK and stays in the Customs Union, with the EU/UK Border in the Irish Sea.

    That might very well imperil the Good Friday Agreement, and could lead to a return of “the Troubles”, however that scenario also poses the existential dilemma for Ulster Loyalists, who will see themselves as having been stabbed in the back by a very “disloyal” Westminster.

    Step forward a compassionate and conciliatory Irish Government which is happy to respect a degree of open ended autonomy for the Northern Irish Provinces, and suddenly the prospect of a fully United Ireland seems thoroughly inevitable… eventually.

    Meanwhile, in Downing St, May’s majority collapses without the DUP, and May’s cabinet collapses into acrimonious civil war, with both lame duck Tory factions obliged to court the reciprocal lame duck factions in the equally polarised Labour factions, as Westminster “Government” moves to resemble a party game of musical chairs.

    The other unthinkable option is that May’s Flying Circus simply sticks two fingers up to Europe, and breaks the Good Friday Agreement, or at any rate makes it unsustainable. That Devil-may-care attitude might appeal to the reckless flag waving BritNats, but it’s going to invite international sanctions, pariah status, and perhaps blockades which will be the last thing a Brexited Britain can afford or cope with.

    Nope. Whichever way you throw it, I very much fear the DUP are going to get royally screwed. It’s the least worst catastrophe for May’s “one nation” Britain amongst a host of epic clusterf___ks brought to your door courtesy of BritNat Conservatism and flag waving Unionism, where the only thing they can agree on is the subversion of Scottish Democracy and a big NO to a second referendum… which the impotent bast___ds can’t stop anyway.

    Had enough of this shite? C’mon Scotland. Let’s just go.

  81. manandboy says:

    The Tories have a propaganda plan to ‘sell’ to the Electorate

    This the full text:

    Brexit Communications Grid Summary

    Cabinet reviews the deal this Tuesday, the 6th November. They expect all the details to then leak.

    “A moment of decisive progress” will be announced this Thursday. Raab to announce.

    The narrative is going to be measured success, that this is good for everyone, but won’t be all champagne corks popping.

    Then there’s recess until 12th.

    After the announcement of decisive progress there follows the 10 days of Sherpa meetings with EU 27 and then daily themed announcements.

    19th November – “We have delivered on the referendum” PM speaks at the CBI conference.

    Saying this deal brings the country back together, now is the time for us all to unite behind it for the good of all our futures etc. She will also hold a business reception.

    This is the day both the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Framework will be put to Parliament by way of a statement from Raab who will also do media. Junior ministers are doing regional media all day. Government lining up 25 top business voices including Carolyn Fairburn and lots of world leaders eg Japanese PM to tweet support for the deal.

    20th – Theme is Delivering for the Whole of the UK – PM to visit the north and or Scotland and the Commons will debate in business motions the date of the Meaningful Vote.

    PM will be back in the house to vote. The Cabinet Office publishes its explainer of the deal and what it means for the public, comparing it to No Deal, but not to our current deal.

    Other business leaders to come out and back it eg Adam Marshall from Chambers of Commerce and supportive voices in devolved regions like Andy Street and Andy Burnham. Also hoping to get 3rd Sector voices out supporting it.

    21st – Theme is Economy, Jobs, Customs. Philip Hammond to open debate in Commons and Raab to close it. Institute of Directors to speak out.

    Hoping for Stephen Martin, Martin McTeague etc

    22nd – Theme is immigration – take back control of our borders. Home Sec doing media and visits. Raab on QT in the West mids.

    Hope Mike Hawes of SMMT will speak out in favour along with influential voices from the rest of the world saying how great this is for the flow of global talent.

    23rd – Theme is money – NHS funding and structural funds. Matt Hancock hospital visit. David Everett to welcome the deal alongside Tech for UK.

    24th Theme is Northern Ireland and The Union – no hard border in the UK and the integrity of the Union is protected. PM visits border communities and business in NI and maybe also to Wales to visit agri and export businesses. Karen Bradley doing media.

    Trying to get Varadker to support and Anand Menon and Henry Newman too.

    25th – Theme is global Britain. We can strike trade deals with RoW (rest of world) security in this one too.

    Speech from Liam Fox. Jeremy Hunt on Marr. Hope Miles Celic to come out in support (City UK).

    Lining up lots of former foreign secs to come out in support and Mark Littlewood of the IEA.

    26th – theme is taking back control of our laws, Raab doing media. PM interview with Dimbleby.

    27th – morning theme is agri and fisheries. Gove doing a visit and media.


  82. galamcennalath says:

    Breeks says:

    I very much fear the DUP are going to get royally screwed

    Yup, something has to give, and they would seem the most straightforward to shaft.

    From a Tory, Brexiteer, English Nationalist perspective, allowing NI to stay in CU and more or less single market while rUK gets a hardish Brexit, seems the obvious plan. They can then move to a ‘Canada plus’ trade agreement and forget about customs union and regulatory alignment. They can make as many trade deals as they want.

    May’s next step would be to get all Tories plus a few Labour onside and the WA Bill gets pasted.

    But … best laid schemes o’ mice an’ Tory PMs gang aft a-gley!

  83. velofello says:

    Well Rev this article will crank up your infamy with the Unionists. Well done, a brave and troubling exposure of an offence assessment procedure that appears to be … inconsistent?

  84. schrodingers cat says:


    wos is now the 2nd most read blog on politics in scotland after craig murray

    see scot goes pop

  85. Meg merrilees says:

    re the proposed leaked plan for Brexit –
    3 questions: –

    Am I right in thinking that the ECJ Scottish Government contesting of the Withdrawal Bill is due on Nov. 29th? Would seem May is heading for a Parliament vote on Nov. 27th ( if this leaked plan has any credibility)

    Anybody know the timetable for the WM appeal against the Scottish Government going to the ECJ – is it not this week sometime?

    If WM lose the appeal does Holyrood get the ability to postpone any WM Parliament vote until the outcome of the ECJ case has been announced?

  86. Famous15 says:

    This reminds me of the debate at one of Professor Gordon’s tutorials where one student enquired cheekily could you be guilty of murder if you caused someone to die of a broken heart.The conclusion was yes if etc.

    In the bonfire case if their actions inspired others to try to tear them limb from limb and put their heads on spikes then I hazard a guess that a public order crime may just have been committed. Crime or not,the horrifying thing for me was the jollity and acceptability in that group of such gross wickedness. I saw racism in every pixel of that video.

  87. Breeks

    I agree – I think the DUP is on a shoogly peg. They are the expendable ones to square this circle. We’ve to believe that 50% of the English voters are prepared to lose N. Ireland and Scotland to take back control.

    If there is a border in the Irish Sea that apparently breeches Clause 4 of the 1707 Union but
    she may be banking on the new Act of Union being through Lords by then – hence she can hang onto Scotland and take control of the 11 devolved powers and under the Sewel Convention can effectively rule Scotland.

    If she ditches the DUP she is only losing 13 votes but if it means she can deliver on the ‘people’s vote’ ( and keep up the anti-semitic attack on Corbyn) she is certain of a majority in a swiftly following G Election and would not need the DUP.

    She is certainly spinning quite a spider’s web but I’m not sure she is quite as close to ‘home and dry’ as she thinks she is.

  88. Lenny Hartley says:

    SC Wos is not the 2nd most read Scottish Politics Blog after Craig Murray, Wos is the most read Scottish Politics Blog, Craig Murray’s blog readership is more UK wide.

  89. Phronesis says:

    The only certainties of Brexit are that companies will relocate out of the UK, many jobs will go, farming and food markets will be destabilised, there will be food insecurity, the NHS will be de-nationalised. In this brave new world of no hope or glory the poor, the ‘left out’ and ‘not existing’ who were duped by the cheerleaders for Brexit can take heart that they remain as always voting fodder for those who can short the markets and move their lucre around the global markets.

    Scotland can take heart and create the ‘Scotland Model’, a new democracy, and Ireland can do the sensible thing and unite.

    ‘German manufacturer Schaeffler has said Brexit is a factor in its decision to close two UK plants, with 500 jobs expected to be lost.
    The company, which employs just over 1,000 staff in the country, said uncertainty over the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU had helped shape a review of its global interests’

    ‘The first survey of its kind the “Unifying Ireland Tracking Poll” commissioned by Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly showed that 73.4% of residents in the Republic of Ireland would be in favor of unifying the people of Ireland…The wish of the vast majority of Irish people is for peaceful unification and there is a growing belief that a referendum will happen in the near future, in fact, Unionist MP for North Down Lady Sylvia Hermon, said the “there will be a border poll in her lifetime.”

    ‘Threat of post-Brexit tariffs prompts concern…While the UK has some of the highest farm animal welfare standards in the world, a potential increase in imports from countries operating with lower farm animal welfare standards following Brexit could leave UK producers out-priced and at a competitive disadvantage, it said’

    ‘The UK must “abandon its ambition” of a cheap food policy which will “ultimately lead” to the destruction of EU and UK farming post-Brexit, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has warned…For this to happen, the UK must abandon its ambition of a cheap food policy which undercuts European food standards or offers increased imports that would destabilise our food markets and damage all European farmers’

    ‘Brexit will have profound implications for health and health policy yet, while much attention has focused on health professionals, medicines and health protection, the risk of food insecurity, and thus health, has received less attention. We identify five major threats to the availability and affordability of food supplies. These are a lack of regulatory alignment restricting ability to import foods from the EU and beyond, a shortage of agricultural labour in the UK, increased prices of imported foods due to tariffs, damage to supply chains, for example, due to customs delays and loss of interoperability of transportation, and damage to agricultural production and food flows in Ireland’

    Lang, T. and McKee, M. Brexit poses serious threats to the availability and affordability of food in the United Kingdom. J Public Health (Oxf) . 26-4-2018.

    ‘The debates relating to social class and whether it is still a useful concept in describing a lived reality of the British population has never been far away from media, political and academic dispute. Thatcher’s Britain throughout the 1980s attempted to dilute class meaning with what was called ‘a home owning democracy’ and thus end class collective politics through easily available credit for the working class while simultaneously attacking trade union organization, recruitment and political action. During the late 1990s and into the noughties a ‘New Labour’ administration attempted to exacerbate the end of class politics through an agenda of a ‘cultural distinction’ to class identity. Class struggle, class politics and class identity is embedded deep within the cultural norms practices, and history of British democracy. Consequently it is difficult if not impossible to prise class inequality in the UK away from and out of national, local and personal politics (Savage et al. 2015: 393-8). This paper focuses upon the sense that class politics, and cultural class distinction, within the UK had the biggest influence in determining a working-class ‘Leave Vote’ in the 2016 referendum within the UK. This paper explores accounts and narratives from working-class ‘leave’ voters though an ethnographic study of the political and social viewpoints of working-class communities of East London, and of ex-mining towns of Nottinghamshire. Framing into fuller context the anger and apathy of being ‘left out’, arguing that being ‘left out’ has been part of working-class political narratives for over 30 years. Going beyond frustration and apathy, a significant part of the narrative of working people was of ‘not existing’, suggesting certain important linkages with ongoing debates about new ways of conceptualizing class differences and class structures’

    Mckenzie, L. The class politics of prejudice: Brexit and the land of no-hope and glory. Br J Sociol. 68 Suppl 1, S265-S280. 2017.

  90. Robert Louis says:

    Mer merriless,

    I guess you know this supposed new ‘act’ of union is baloney? Think about it, the power for westminster to legislate for Scotland comes from the TREATY of union. If Westminster says it is replacing that treaty, then QED, the Treaty of union ceases to exist in law. In such circumstances Westminster would no longer have the power to legislate for Scotland, or in other words, Scotland would become independent. In effect, Westminster would have unilaterally ended the treaty of union. Westminster would then need to ask the independent Scotland if it wanted their new ‘act’ of union, written in London, so Scotland is once again ruled and abused by English MP’s and Governments. I can only imagine the answer…

    No article in the 1707 treaty, provides power for either signatory to amend or re-write the treaty. The treaty either applies, or it doesn’t. What the old unelected duffers in Westminster are up to is just nonsense.

    Think about it, if Westminster really could do such a thing, don’t you think they would have done it a very long time ago.

    The whole thing is baloney, and would be laughed at if more people knew of it.

  91. Jock McDonnell says:

    @Robert Louis

    Damn right. If the treaty is broken, it falls.
    We do not make enough of that.

  92. Suzanne says:

    @Bob Mack

    ” … I would make them work at a Burns unit for a month. I think that would focus them a bit more.”

    Precisely. I’ve been saying that a period of community service might be of use, but your suggestion is much better. They will never, ever forget the smell of charred flesh, or the agony of burns patients.

  93. Cubby says:

    We need a crowd funder to buy Murdo Fraser a great big can of brasso for his brass neck.

    The Britnat Tory writing in one of the biggest ( very low in sales but big on propaganda) Britnat propaganda pamphlets – The Scotsman – says we all need to call out fake news when we see it. What he really means is call out any SNP fake news but just carry on regardless with all the Britnat lies, misrepresentation, deceit and deliberate omissions of pertinent facts and whole news stories if it aids the Britnats maintenance of Scotland as a colony.

    Murdo get polishing the neck. A dirty neck won’t look good in front of the Queen when you pick up your reward for selling out Scotland.

  94. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    I wept for the illegal immigrants in the Grenfell fire. Wept for days and days. Weeks, months even. Non-stop.

  95. Robert Louis

    I agree totally with your logic – seen from our point of view, the New Act of Union surely can’t get off the ground BUT…..

    seen from the Tory point of view, they already believe that they are three quarters of the way there.

    In 2014 we voted to stay in the UK. So they effectively think they own Scotland now…

    Following the Sewel Convention ( the bit about WM not ‘normally’ legislating for Holyrood) these are not ‘normal’ circumstances therefore the Tories have decided that they can legislate Scotland with impunity.
    They back this up by stating that Scotland voted to stay within the UK in 2014 so, arguably, we voluntarily gave up our equal partnership status – witness Mundell’s statement in Parliament that ‘Scotland is no longer an equal partner in the UK but is now a part of the UK’. They have certainly demonstrated that thinking by the arrogant way they have ignored Scotland’s wishes, her situation and totally neglected to consider any aspect of how Brexit will impact Scotland

    The Withdrawal Bill has resulted in a situation where WM will presume consent to all its legislation regarding Scotland whether we consent or not so they need to win this challenge in the Supreme Court this month and prevent the court hearing in front of the ECJ. They also need our Continuity Bill to be rejected. If they win both of these cases then I think they truly believe they can force this New Act of Union through.

    They have effectively taken back control in N. Ireland and Wales and think they have almost spun a web around Scotland. If they can pull this off it does, of course nullify the 1707 Union but it also removes clause 4 obligations about freedom of trade, customs and movement within all the ports of the UK and allows May to abandon the DUP and put a border in the Irish sea a few months after March 29th 2019 with a hard border in Ireland unless it re-unifies.

    The stakes are high for the Tories but I believe this could be her strategy. I don’t begin to judge whether it will work or not. This is just an attempt to try and join up all the various strands floating around just now and imagine how they all relate.

    Sincerely hope it isn’t her plan and that it would not work.

  96. Gary says:

    Agreed. Utterly tasteless, offensive and crass. Those involved should be named and shamed. Disgusting.

    But a crime? No.

    I definitely agree that the press REEKS of hypocrisy over this. You can burn effigies as long as they’re the ‘right’ effigies. Maybe it would’ve been okay if they’d said the figures were Catholics??

    But the press LOVE outrage. Some moron has filmed themselves doing this and no doubt put it on Facebook. Instead of having any kind of thought for the families and friends of the deceased ALL of the papers and television news showed the video (although they cut the bit where it actually burned – not that it made much difference)

    If their outrage was ‘righteous’ they would have decided not to show any of it. But they know that readers/viewers LOVE being outraged and will keep on buying their rag or watching their tripe providing they can keep them ‘spitting out their cornflakes’ on a daily basis.

    The double standards make me sick…

  97. Breeks says:

    Meg merrilees says:
    6 November, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    If there is a border in the Irish Sea that apparently breeches Clause 4 of the 1707 Union but
    she may be banking on the new Act of Union being through Lords by then…

    By its actions, you would have to suppose Westminster believes it can retain control and affect what happens in Scotland by maintaining its faith that a pro-Union majority in Scotland will truncate and hamstring indefinitely any material realisation of distinct Scottish Sovereignty or Constitutional ultimatum, and make no mistake, Westminster will open the dirty tricks cupboard to dispute and obstruct international recognition of Scotland.

    But for all it’s bluster, the Westminster Government might find the unfolding legal consequences of reneging on the formal peace treaty that is the Good Friday Agreement will be mirrored by a similar legal minefield when Scottish Constitutional issues are judged in an international courtroom rather than the traditional backroom in Westminster.

    I wouldn’t say I was satisfied with this state of affairs, but to summarise my own reading of the scenario, I don’t any longer see IndyRef2 as a primary event or game changer. I don’t believe there is the time or unobstructed opportunity to get it underway and resolved by March. Win, lose or draw, would you trust the result? Furthermore, I fear there may be insufficient time to secure a judicial Independence for Scotland built upon sovereignty, because even supposing the principle was successful and started tomorrow, there would still be the protracted negotiations associated with deconstructing the UK. With a strong following breeze that might be a work in progress by March, but I seriously doubt it can be meaningfully resolved.

    So to cut to the chase, I expect a legal judgement from the ECJ to rule Scotland’s Sovereignty should be respected, and this Constitutional fissure will be large enough for Scotland to insert the mother of all crowbars into the crack and lever it open for all that it’s worth. The SNP MUST seize hold of this Constitutional fracture and make it safe. No more compromise, no more contrition, no more pandering to the mere concept of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty. We jump into the breach and let NOTHING shift us.

    With regards to saving ourselves from Brexit, I think the best we can expect by March is the transitional “holding pen” status for Scotland which the EU was talking about merely hours after the Brexit Referendum result was known. Our European interests will be cocooned in a steady holding pattern until we formally extricate ourselves from the defunct UK.

    Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t believe it will be EFTA Membership. I don’t even think it will even resemble EFTA. It will be exactly what it says on the tin – transitional status in lieu of full EU Membership for Scotland once formally emancipated from the UK. It will set its own precedent, as it properly should.

    The objective within reach might not be salvation through Scottish Independence by March next year, but the safe harbour in the interim of a disputed UK Sovereignty where the EU and International community at the very least recognises the Scottish Government as a sovereign Interlocutor. The Treaty of Union may be dead, and the dissolution of the UK inevitable, but I fear that is all we might achieve in the timescale we are left with.

    It should not come as any surprise that I harbour disagreements with the Scottish Government’s somewhat anaemic and enigmatic strategy which has brought us here, but such grievances are academic. We are where we are. We must try to be confident…. the end game is about to begin.

  98. Breeks says:

    And just to comment ON topic, just to prove I occasionally can, I am not going to lose sleep about these five individuals facing prosecution.

    I acknowledge and respect the concern that such prosecutions would represent an erosion of civil liberties and curtail a person’s right to be an embicile, but I don’t believe that is true. I know an undergraduate in Law who destroyed his professional career before it even began through an isolated act of drunken stupidity which hurt nobody. I know of businesses which have been forced into liquidation and lives destroyed by the criminal indifference of the state, not the company. Zero f__ks were given about actual justice.

    There are a lot of good people who have their reputation and character casually destroyed by the existing law of the land in all its frailties. In the great list of judicial injustice, these five low-lifes barely register I’m afraid.

    If they were rich boys from Eton, or untouchables like some of the Stephen Lawrence killers, of course they’d have gotten away with this conduct. But that’s a different story. South of the border, England is simmering with hate crime soaring, and they need to make an example of “somebody”. Might as well be five embiciles without any brain cells between them. Let them scream about the injustice, but if they have any kind of a conscience I kinda bet they don’t.

  99. Craig Murray says:

    Lenny Hartley @10.59pm. Scotland accounts for just under 50% of visitors to my blog but over 80% of subscriptions paid, which is interesting.

  100. Petra says:

    @ Meg at 10:49pm …… “ECJ Court ruling and Westminster vote.”

    Joanna Cherry puts the question to Big T.

  101. Nana says:

    Just as I suspected & asked @theresa_may 2 weeks ago. She wants the Vote on #Brexit deal on 27 Nov before #CJEU hears Scottish parliamentarians’ case on unilateral revocability of #Article50 because she’s afraid of consequences if MPs know it is

  102. Nana says:

    In the midst of Brexit chaos, Scotland is about to create a series of new energy storage systems that will allow all energy from our renewables to be stored until the demand needs it. Turning the highlands into a giant limitless battery.

    Committee questions Electoral commission. Brendan O’Hara asks about dark money/Dup

    This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time

  103. Nana says:

    Facebook used to ‘incite offline violence’ in Myanmar, says report

    SO. #Brexit boils down to how – or if – the UK can ever leave the dreaded Irish backstop. There is talk of a “review mechanism”. So what might that be? How might it work? Some thoughts after chats with both sides + experts 1/Thread

  104. Nana says:

    Brexit: alphabet soup


    New York Times confirms – Robert Mueller has obtained the records of Arron Banks’ communications with Russian officials
    Link to the article here

  105. Footsoldier says:

    The Herald has almost completed its morphing process into a broadsheet version of the the Scottish Daily Mail.

    One sided headline attacks almost every day now, today’s being a £1300 tax disparity with England for middle class Scots. Any prominence given to the value of benefits paid for by taxes? Of course not.

  106. Nana says:

    Attorney-general holds the key to unlocking a Brexit deal

    Prime Minister launches Brexit ‘business councils’

    Democrats take control of House but Republicans tighten grip on Senate

  107. Tinto Chiel says:

    Nana, particularly enjoyed Dunt’s Oldest Brexit Lie and Barrhead Boy’s On Your Marks in your links.

    It’s all gone quiet on the Supreme (sic) Court front, which I thought was due to magisterially rule on our sovereignty in October, so Joanna Cherry’s tweet may be on to something.

    You can never be cynical enough when it comes to the Tories.

  108. Sinky says:

    BBC Radio Scotland still haven’t got the hang of devolution as just heard reference to “the Health Secretary Matt Hancock” who of course only covers England.

  109. Ken500 says:

    The Bonfire of the Vanities. Instead of putting out a fire Westminster unionists fuel the flames.

    There will be a GE which the Tories will lose. The only way for the Tories to get out of the mess. Labour are absolutely useless. They do not want the poison chalice. Abstaining and not turning up. They could have voted May down. September 2017. The LibDem enablers did not even turn up. Absent without leave, Just a bunch chancers.

    Criminals trying to ‘arrest’ others. On ‘charges’ which can never come to Court, Westminster unionists sanctioning and starving vulnerable people illegally. This will drag on and on damaging the economy until May is voted out. Down and out. The usual Westminster shambles. From one to the next since 1928 and before.

    The only way out of the complete and utter Westminster mess is another IndyRef. After the lies deceit and broken promises. Stop the Westminster criminals illegally taking Scotland’s wealth the and resources. Trying to keep it secret under the Official Secrets Act. Iraq, Dunblane, Lockerbie kept secret for 100 years. No democratic rights in Scotland. Westminster unionists abuse of power. Worldwide.

    The 1WW millions died. Caused by the British/European monarchy. Victoria’s children. Victoria was German, her mother and husband were German. Cousins married cousins. The ‘divine right to rule’. Inter State rivalries, Sanctioning, starving people worldwide and causing millions of death.

    The Spanish flu killed even more. Starvation, misery and death. The British Empire. They are still at it. Sanctioning and starving their own citizens. Just despicable and causing the worst migration crisis in Europe since the 11WW then blaming the victims. Bullying and abuse of monumental proportions. The Westminster unionist liars. Lying their own pockets on other people’s misery.

    The British Royals survived by backing down. After the carnage. Universal Suffrage 1928. Still interfering in matters of State. Tax evading, supporting illegal wars. Commemorating when they should be apologising. They have turned it into a celebration. A State publicity stunt. They should be ashamed.

    Illegal wars still killing and maiming millions by the British State. Breaking the Laws that they make and are supposed to uphold. Never out of the Church. ‘Thou shalt not kill’, but sanctioning and killing others. Lying hypocrites causing mental health problems. The exorbitant displays of excess. ‘Let them eat cake’. The bonfire of the vanities,

    ‘Austerity’ was totally unnecessary. The tax take was up more than the cuts, Up £95Billion. Cuts £13Billion+ a year. Taking from the poorer to give to the richer. The UK one of the most unequal wealth gaps in the world. Totally illegal practices. Tax evasion and criminality. The useless Westminster sycophants.

    Thank goodness for the SNP Gov and the internet. Standing up for Scotland.

  110. Ottomanboi says:

    Think you might sum up Scotland’s predicament in ‘its the demographics, stupid!’.
    Scotland has an ageing ‘conservative’ electorate and a long term declining population. SNPs answer, immigration.
    The pro-abortion policies of government in a country with a population problem have not been wise.
    Scotland needs to reproduce, in effect to ‘rejuvenate’. Without it we can kiss independence goodbye. A country of old people would hardly need such a luxury.

  111. Nana says:

    Morning Tinto, cynical is my middle name!

  112. Just heard a ridiculous statement on R4 this morning about 8.50

    Discussing the deals for Mayor of Manchester and Birmingham and how successful it is proving to be but how there are also limitations…

    ‘… it is just proving how successful Devolution is and , my goodness, and it brings us unity and, isn’t unity something that we all need in politics just now…’

    Not sure if he understands what devolution means!! – isn’t devolution a de-centralization, a move away from unity???

  113. David McCann says:

    ‘The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.’
    American writer H. L. Mencken

  114. mike cassidy says:


    That ‘last poppy’ link really hits home when you realise it was written in November 2013.

    And it looks like he’ll be thinking of those people on Sunday at the age of 95.

  115. galamcennalath says:

    Nana says

    An excellent overview of how things stand and how we got here. Also, what happens next.

    I particularly like ….

    ” That in the face of this shitstorm of British Propaganda not only has the SNP vote stayed constant it is showing an increase.

    The Britnats have given it their all however the canny Scots have taken it with huge lumps of salt.”

  116. Nana says:

    @mike cassidy

    Harry retweeted the article yesterday and after reading I thought it worth posting.

    Harry the world’s oldest rebel

  117. Fred says:

    Tata Bella I think Nana!

  118. Brian Powell says:

    Grimly the cost of T May getting her Dunkirk glory moment is years more of Tory rule. Labour is unlikely to win anyway but the Tories will trumpet.

    The sad scurrying fearful folk in Scotland might have their excuse of not taking the control decision and leaving Scotland in Westminster’.s hands

  119. Socrates MacSporran says:


    I see from the Rev’s twitter feed, that a You Gov poll for the Sun concluded: across the board, Colonel Yadaftie is the UK’s most-popular politician.

    This, to me, seems to verify that old Yes Prime Minister episode in which PM Jim Hacker ran down who read what paper – the Mirror, Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Mail, Financial Times and Morning Star. Then, Sir Humphrey asks: “What about Sun Readers?” To which PPS Bernard says: “Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, so long as she has big tits.”

    In that respect, the Colonel clearly has the biggest tits – Murdo WATP Fraser, Jackson Carlaw, Annie Wells, Miles Briggs, the Mundells, Ross Thomson and the linesman, to name but a few of the tits in the Scottish branch of the Tory party.

  120. galamcennalath says:

    Nana says


    Ian Dunt’s article is a cracker!

    “… when people realised what this entailed, which was a trading border down the Irish Sea. It was a telling moment, because it answered the vexing question of whether Tory Brexiters were idiots or liars.

    If they were idiots, they would have accepted the backstop. …. They condemned it. Because they were not idiots. They were liars. “

    He is spot on. Lie built upon lie. The core lies are that the UK could have comprehensive trade deal with the EU without giving up control over regulations, and this in turn led to the lie the UK could have ‘Canada’ and a frictionless Irish border.

    What MUST happen now is May rejects her fundamental underpinning lies.

    The truth – a free trade deal with control for rUK means a border in the Irish Sea.

    She still has other options – cancel or ‘Norway’.

  121. Cubby says:

    Socrates MacSporran @10.55am

    Comedy gold. Thanks for that post.

  122. Capella says:

    @ Meg merrilees – Yes – unity as in:
    The British people, the precious union and the supremacy of Westminster and its PM. Or one People, one State and one Leader as they used to say.

    Sounds like the Westminster doctrine. Devolution good as long as they hold the reins of the devolved parish councils. Power devolved is power retained.

  123. Cubby says:


    All the Britnats are liars. The Brexiteer Britnat Tory liars have just demonstrated that they are the turbo charged Britnat liars. If there was a gold medal for lying the Tory Britnat brexiteers would win it easily.

    Britnats have been lying to Scotland for a long long time. It’s just amazing how many people in Scotland are still not paying attention.

  124. Marie Clark says:

    Ronnie Anderson @ 10.59 says it all really Ronnie.

  125. galamcennalath says:

    Cubby says:

    If there was a gold medal for lying the Tory Britnat brexiteers would win it easily.

    Indeed. All of Brexit ‘negotiations’ can be summed up simply ….

    The EU know the Tories are a bunch of cheats and liars and have responded by nailing them down with legally binding commitments. The lying cheating Tories know this and are therefore hesitating from signing up to legally binding documents.

  126. Effijy says:

    The DUP Leaders recently deleted a video that they know was being filmed where they sang the song “We hate Catholics” from the Train Spotting Movie.

    All the main leaders including Apocalypse Arlene were all their dancing with joy as they sang.

    Now in Westminster world that’s all fine because their morals go out the window when a paramilitary mob can keep you in power for only a couple of £Billion of a bribe.

    I have a relative who lives over in N.I.but was brought up here in Scotland.

    He is gob smacked at how mobster governance operates over there.

    Gangs of grown men march into businesses and demand pallets etc for their many bonfires which often show the Pope as a centre piece.

    The bonfires are built anywhere they like, even when its obvious the the building close by will very likely be set on fire.

    The Police don’t dare do anything, nor the council and the Fire Brigade will call out to spray water on the building in danger but they risk their lives if they turn their hoses on the bonfire.

    I’m not Catholic but I do have morals and a good sense of what it right and what is wrong.

    These people are barbarians who have mob rule of Government, Local Authority, Police and the local knuckle draggers.

    Of course there are good people over there but they dare not call a spade a spade or they will be targeted.

  127. CameronB Brodie says:

    “There’s even a ginger.”

    Truely the test of tolerance in a modern, multicultural, society. 😉

    IMHO, it’s the morality of neo-liberal governmentality that is probably to blame for Grenfell Tower. A penny pinching logic, ideologically driven out-sourcing of public services, and inadequate acknowledgement of, and responce to, real social needs. I wouldn’t expect that to come out in the enquiry though.

    Thatcher’s English/British nationalism is very much alive and contiues to threaten Scotland, in the present (see Brexit).

    Neoliberal meritocracy and financial capitalism: consequences for social protection and health


    There is inherent tension between the idea of health as a social right and of health as a private good. From the latter perspective, healthcare provision is brought closer to the logic of ownership, where access depends on ability to pay. The prioritization of markets (over governments), economic incentives (over social or cultural norms), and entrepreneurship (over collective or community action), one of the hallmarks of neoliberalism, constitutes a project to dismantle the welfare state, defined as a set of policy mechanisms designed to meet collective needs. This article examines the above process and its consequences for social protection and health by reflecting upon two phenomena that threaten the principle of health as a social right: neoliberal ideas and policies; and financial capitalism. We argue that the common good must be defended or insulated from the negative effects of financial capitalism and from the erosion and fragmentation of public institutions and social protection systems caused by neoliberalism.

    Key words: Capitalism; Commodification; Public policy; Public health

    The ideological foundations of neo-liberalism

    Introduction: Law and Neoliberalism

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