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New military spending plans revealed 139

Posted on November 21, 2020 by

Taking the wheel 176

Posted on November 18, 2020 by

Some years ago, a friend of mine was on a car journey along the motorway, with their brother driving. The night before there had been a storm and high winds. The bad weather had continued into the morning before easing, but the wind was still strong.

They were chatting in the car and as they continued to chat, my friend noticed that further along, a motorway stanchion that holds the lights had fallen across their path. It was blocking two of the three lanes, including the one that they were on. Despite that, they continued to chat as if it wasn’t there.

The obstacle drew nearer and nearer. Finally my friend said to his brother, “Aren’t you going to drive round that light?” His brother swerved and made it into the unblocked lane with feet to spare.

I asked my friend why they hadn’t swerved sooner. “Neither of us could believe it was there”, he said.

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Agents of fear 288

Posted on November 08, 2020 by

No explanation is given for why “writer at large” Neil Mackay has suddenly conducted a “wide-ranging, exclusive interview” with “one of Britain’s most senior spy chiefs” for today’s Herald On Sunday.

As far as we’re aware absolutely nothing has happened in respect of the UK’s nuclear “deterrent” to make the subject topical. Maybe Mackay just coincidentally bumped into Sir David Omand down the pub or something.

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The Scottish Toady 139

Posted on November 07, 2020 by

The fireworks factory has not exploded 430

Posted on October 15, 2020 by

We’ve had another Freedom Of Information response from the Scottish Government.

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Life at the poles 162

Posted on October 14, 2020 by

We just noticed a finding from the most recent opinion poll that surprisingly seems to have escaped the attention of every Scottish newspaper except the Press & Journal.

As far as we can ascertain, the P&J was alone in reporting the obviously newsworthy fact that just a quarter of Scots believe the First Minister’s ridiculous cock-and-bull story about “forgetting” the occasion when she first heard that her friend, colleague and mentor of 30 years was facing charges of trying to rape some of her other friends.

But the figures are part of a wider and depressing trend.

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Tumbleweed Halls 224

Posted on September 26, 2020 by

Fair’s Fair: the Brexit case for indyref 2 154

Posted on September 20, 2020 by

As a right-of-centre English conservative, there are Scottish National Party concepts I haven’t so far been able to comprehend. Perhaps it’s because I don’t follow Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford. Should I keep an eye on what The Scotsman is saying?

SNP leaders talk in the same sentence of a “free” and “independent” Scotland having a future as a member of the EU. My grasp of those words is not theirs. Distinguished lawyers – be they Remainers, Leavers or Don’t-Care-Just-Pay-My-Billsers – all agree that a series of European Court of Justice decisions have established the unqualified supremacy of European Union laws – disguised as “Regulations and Directives” – over the national laws of EU states.

By 1970, the court ruled that Community law must take precedence even over the constitutional laws of member states — including basic laws guaranteeing fundamental rights, such as in Internationale Handelsgesellschaft mbH v Einfuhr- und Vorratsstelle für Getreide und Futtermittel.

I see this as vassalage, not independence.

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Testing times 93

Posted on September 19, 2020 by

Cracks in the fog 320

Posted on September 17, 2020 by

Over the last year or so, this site’s commentary on matters surrounding the attempted imprisonment of Alex Salmond over false allegations of sexual abuse has attracted a considerable amount of ire from a section of the readership, demanding “proof” of the involvement of the current First Minister.

Such proof has been impossible to provide for legal reasons. But it’s always been the case that the truth could only be suppressed for so long, and events in recent days have brought the first chinks of light through the wall of smoke and mirrors the Scottish Government has been attempting to surround the matter with.

So in our very lightest and softest shoes, let’s tiptoe through what is both a labyrinth and a minefield and see if we can make some of it a little easier to understand.

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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 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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