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Six wasted years 87

Posted on September 18, 2020 by

Forgive us for not joining in the pointless and unusually muted hoopla about the latest indyref anniversary (which for the first time we can recall, nobody has bothered to mark by commissioning an opinion poll).

We’re still thinking about the SNP’s treatment of the man who was chiefly responsible for securing the only independence referendum Scotland has ever had.

And of its utter abysmal failure for more than half a decade to come up with anything even remotely approaching a credible plan to get a second one.

Our previous offer remains open: we’ll take any bet of any size from anyone against the proposition “Boris Johnson will never grant Nicola Sturgeon a Section 30 order in the absence of some sort of court judgement legally compelling him to”.

We’ve had no takers yet from the Sturgeon faithful. We don’t expect any.

Every day that passes from now until the current SNP leadership is removed is another one wasted to add to the 2,191 that have been wasted from 19 September 2014 until today, achieving nothing. Until that tally ends we have nothing to celebrate.

The Hardest Walk 207

Posted on September 16, 2020 by

“Settling up, not settling down” was the rhetoric, as Westminster reconvened and the new SNP group headed south. Fine words and said no doubt sincerely. But it’s been said by every SNP generation that’s gone there, though none possessed the authority or faced the threats to Scottish democracy as now.

But what has happened since? As ever fine speeches given and incisive questioning of Ministers made, but to what effect?

The first major debate was the Fisheries Bill. A sore point in Scotland where a Tory government sold out our fishing industry and entire communities along with it decades ago, when negotiating EEC entry terms. Now, two generations on, as another Tory administration seeks to implement Brexit, that industry and those communities face betrayal yet again.

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The value of nothing 245

Posted on September 15, 2020 by

The most recent insult handed down by the smirking, sneering Permanent Secretary To The Scottish Government to the people of Scotland, who she ostensibly works for and who pay her enormous salary (she gets more than either Nicola Sturgeon or Boris Johnson, and who knows, possibly even slightly more than Peter Murrell), is a crass and dismissive one even by her extraordinary standards.

The Woman Who Remembers Nothing, having asked for some time to think about it, concluded that there was simply no way to estimate the total cost to the public purse of the biased and unlawful fiasco she presided over regarding the investigation of false abuse claims against Alex Salmond, and which had cost taxpayers over half a million pounds in Mr Salmond’s legal fees alone.

Her argument was that because government employees are paid fixed salaries and don’t record how much of their time they spent on specific tasks, there was no way to estimate how much had been spent on the attempt to fit up the former First Minister.

But that isn’t how anything works these days, is it?

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An Alternative Route To Indyref 2 331

Posted on September 14, 2020 by

The purpose of the paper below is to kickstart the process of examining alternative methods of holding a second referendum which can claim constitutional validity and thus satisfy both our voting public and, if necessary the courts, of its legality.

At the stage when the commitment to a referendum in 2020 was dropped, questioning of our leadership on the sole reliance on Section 30 to achieve a referendum and the need to explore alternatives, made it clear that this was not a matter for debate.

Whilst the First Minister has now committed to a referendum should the Holyrood elections provide a further mandate, it would appear that the strategy continues to be a sole reliance on Section 30 and a belief that the UK Government would consider further opposition to a Section 30 unsustainable.

The dangers of both leaving the initiative in the hands of a hostile UK Government, and of depending on a sole method of proceeding, are obvious. Whilst one can accept that the leadership, faced with the joint demands of Brexit and the COVID pandemic superimposed on the “day job”, is unable itself to prioritise the necessary examination of more innovative possibilities it does not preclude it setting up an internal group to do so using the expertise that lies within the Party.

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The road already travelled 244

Posted on September 13, 2020 by

There’s a good column by Kevin McKenna in today’s Herald On Sunday about Boris Johnson, from which this paragraph in particular jumped out at us.

It did so because of something else we’d just read this weekend.

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Dark waters 245

Posted on September 12, 2020 by

A kind of transparency 209

Posted on September 11, 2020 by

On 17 January last year, the First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that she, her administration and her party would “co-operate fully” with the parliamentary inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of false allegations made against Alex Salmond.

She further assured the Parliament, unambiguously and without any qualification, that the committee investigating the matter “will be able to request whatever material they want, and I undertake today that we will provide whatever material they request”.

So just over a month in, we thought we’d check on how that was going so far.

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Into our own hands 188

Posted on September 06, 2020 by

The Scottish political focus has been on Holyrood in recent days, with the Programme For Government announced and Westminster returning from recess. But parliaments can only do so much. Extra-parliamentary action is required for many reasons, not least because activists are increasingly frustrated at delays and uncertainty.

Giving direction and something constructive to do is therefore important; and that will have to come from within the grassroots movement.

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Let’s just kill ourselves 230

Posted on September 05, 2020 by

Bad news, readers. We’ve done some research, and it’s our grave duty to report to you that according to the evidence we’ve discovered, there’s a high statistical probability that everyone reading this website will one day die.

Luckily there’s a solution: we can all just commit suicide right now.

Wait – that’s a stupid idea, right?

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Last nights of the proms 49

Posted on September 05, 2020 by

Selling the jerseys 308

Posted on September 03, 2020 by

Let’s be clear about something straight away – we’re NOT about to write an article in defence of Tony Abbott. He IS a sexist, a misogynist and a climate change denier (and a homophobe), and as far as we can ascertain he’s NOT actually all that good at trade either. So even though the bar for improving the competence of the UK government is astonishingly low, we don’t want him in it any more than anyone else does.

But this is still an incredibly brainless thing to say:

And it explains a lot about what’s gone wrong everywhere.

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Expressing a preference 310

Posted on September 02, 2020 by

Throughout the summer, the Scottish Government has been talking consistently about its goal being the “total elimination” of the coronavirus, and specifically contrasting that with England’s approach of merely “suppressing” it.

In the “framework for decision making” published in late April, the administration stated bluntly that There is no such thing as a level of acceptable loss from the virus. But then yesterday something changed.

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