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Crossing swords

Posted on March 13, 2023 by

Tonight’s debate on Sky News between the three SNP leadership candidates was yet another inconclusive low-scoring draw, with each contender taking a few hits (almost all from host Beth Rigby) and also landing the odd blow on each other.

The most notable of the latter was probably when Ash Regan gave Humza Yousaf a rather uncomfortable time over his claiming credit for the Queensferry Crossing when he was Transport Secretary.

As well as frantically trying to deflect by pretending Regan had attacked the SNP’s record on the project in general, Yousaf insisted that he’d played a major role in the bridge’s delivery. So let’s just check the timeline.

On 19 December 2007 the Forth Replacement Crossing project was announced to Parliament by John Swinney, then the Finance Secretary.

The procurement exercise for the project was one of the biggest ever undertaken in Scotland. Various methods of funding and constructing the project were considered before Ministers decided the most suitable route was a traditional “design and build” contract for a fixed price and funded from existing capital budgets, saving the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds that alternative funding models would’ve cost.

(The successful tender price of £790m was significantly below the original estimated price range of £900m to £1.2 billion.)

The Forth Crossing Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament in November 2009, the same month as the procurement process. Following extensive Parliamentary scrutiny in 2010, the Forth Crossing Act was granted Royal Assent in January 2011.

Humza Yousaf was first elected to the Scottish Parliament on 5 May 2011.

The works kicked off in earnest on all fronts in the late summer and autumn of 2011. Particularly noteworthy aspects of work included the blasting of Beamer Rock to lower the surface ready for the construction of the central tower.

In the summer and autumn of 2011 Humza Yousaf was a backbench MSP.

2012 was the year of the foundations, when the caissons (and cofferdam sections for the Central Tower) were carefully located using minute GPS positioning to allow work to begin on the marine foundations for the towers and viaduct piers.

For most of 2012 Humza Yousaf was a backbench MSP.

The handover to the tower construction teams was completed on each of the three main towers during July, August and September 2012. This significant milestone saw the move from working in the wet to working in the dry, and ensured that 2013 could be focused on the building of the towers.

Meanwhile on dry land the upgraded M90 in Fife and M9 Junction 1a at the southern end of the entire scheme were both completed in the winter of 2012/13.

The southern bridge approach viaduct also started to take shape in 2013, with the first deck sections being launched over piers to where they’d eventually meet the deck sections spanning out from the South Tower. Also largely invisible to the public was the preparation for the South Queensferry Junction and connecting roads, which are largely in cuttings and behind noise bunds.

In August 2014, Transport Scotland reported that they were on course to open the bridge to traffic on schedule by the end of 2016.

Throughout 2013 and 2014 Humza Yousaf was Minister for Europe and International Development, with no involvement in the Queensferry Crossing project.

In April 2015, the first of the steel anchor boxes was installed inside the North Tower. These boxes anchored the bridge’s steel cable “stays” which, in turn, support the road deck beneath.  In August, the Queensferry Crossing’s three towers became the tallest bridge structures in the UK.

The next month Transport Scotland reported that they remained on schedule to have traffic flowing across the new bridge by the end of 2016, and “top out” at 210m on the Centre Tower and all towers was achieved by December 2015.

In April 2016, the project achieved the milestone of reaching the halfway point in the deck section lifting operations. By the end of March, 55 out of a final total of 110 sections had been lifted. Transport Scotland reported no delays in the project update.

In May 2016 Humza Yousaf became Transport Minister.

In his first announcement as Transport Minister on 8 June 2016, Humza Yousaf announced that completion of the Queensferry Crossing would be delayed from the target date of the end of 2016, and the new aim was to open the Queensferry Crossing in May 2017.

The Queensferry Crossing was opened to traffic on 30 August 2017, a total of 3,542 days after being announced. Humza Yousaf had had any responsibility for it for 468 of those days. (And all that really amounted to was announcing delays and handling press interviews. At that point there were no major governmental policy decisions to make regarding the completion of construction.)

On a bare graphic that looks like this:

But it doesn’t really paint the picture. Here’s where Humza joined the project, in terms of the bridge itself – well after all three main spans, halfway along the exit ramp and most of the way to Kirkliston:

So readers can judge for themselves how much of it was down to his efforts, and how much of the credit for it properly belongs on his CV.

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0 to “Crossing swords”

  1. Mark Boyle

    ‘There’s not a word of truth in anything that I say,
    I claim credit for the bridge at Queensferry,
    I’ll play the race card, so I never need to try,
    If you ask me why am I so useless I just humbug and lie,
    I’m a liar, liar, I never tell the truth!
    I’m a liar, liar, I never tell the truth!’

  2. Mario

    Cough, that’s the south Queensferry end!

  3. robertkknight

    The Irish have a lovely word which comes to mind…


  4. Morgatron

    He speak with fork tongue.

  5. Ian Brotherhood

    What an eejit.

    He doesn’t know – by now! – that anyone can check these claims?

    He’s in for the full John Terry treatment now and has nobody to blame but himself.

  6. Lizzie55

    You could also do the same comparisons with the vaccine roll out where it was Jeane Freeman that was health sec during the implementation stages of the roll out. He is again taking credit where none is due. He walked into the job when all the hard work was done. Nasty piece of work.

  7. sarah

    I quite see why the SNP think you are vile, Rev. How dare you print this terrible truth stuff? It is an outrage.

  8. Bob Mack

    A bridge too far for Humza.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “Cough, that’s the south Queensferry end!”


  10. Garavelli Princip

    What a useless Humza he is!

    We can only hope that Murrell is arrested before the count.

    But I fear the establishment will hold off until his work for them is done.

    Their chosen balloon will then finish the job. And the SNP!

    Scotland deserves better

  11. Big Jock

    “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people; those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”

    Indira Gandhi

  12. William G Walker

    Dear Rev.


    Thanks for highlighting the miniscule “work” that Humza Yousaf made towards the design and construction of the new Queensferry Crossing. As a former Fife Councillor, a member of FETA and a former MSP, I was closely involved with the whole project from before 2007. As you say, Yousaf was only “involved from mid-2016, before the bridge opened in 2017.

    He would have got away with that lying boast, if it had not been for Ash Regan who, in my opinion, is always factually correct in her questions and answers!

    May God save use from Humza Yousaf!

  13. Ian M

    All true, but don’t expect that condescending headmistress at Sky to have raised any relevant questions. The atmosphere she created managed to make me feel sorry for all the candidates having to suffer her vile, patronising questions, as if she was some kind of expert judge. While of course clearly being clueless about the details of Scottish politics. But it was never about that, was it?
    Craig Murray has called out her ludicrous posturing as she attempted her gotcha questions to Regan on currency – with an agenda based on her own ignorance and bias. And guess which part of the debate are being headlined? How convenient for the incumbent.

  14. Anton Decadent

    This site excels at stuff like this whilst the MSM fails miserably.

  15. Beauvais

    An OBE* for Humza.

    *Other Buggers’ Efforts.

  16. Daventry Flange

    What a beautifully constructed timeline of events.

  17. Lainers Balardy

    His face was a picture. When he was questioned about missing the same sex marriage vote, all he could talk about was the “rival” Alba party. So another Indy supporting party is a rival?!

  18. Geoff Anderson

    I think it’s time to move abroad. It is bad enough that Scots are so pathetic on pursuing Independence, but that they would put a basket case in charge of a TransCult Government to make us a laughing stock, is too much.

    I have two weeks to see just how pathetic my old Party has become before I need to start planning.

    FFS….Humza running a Government!!!

  19. Effijy

    Lying is essential in the Tory Party but we need someone who can change this in Scotland.

    Ponte Dei Sospiri
    The Bridge of Sighs Hamza!

    Caught out again.

  20. Big Jock

    I wonder when his ex-wife will spill the beans on him. Apparently he was pretty awful and dismissive of her.

  21. socratesmacsporran

    Haunless Useless – proof positive – they don’t like it up ’em.

    He’s a waste of space, no wonder The Scottish/British Establishment wants him to win.

  22. Republicofscotland

    Christ the usual shite on STV’s tonight programme a Sun newspaper mouthpiece and ex-BLiS mouthpiece and Ruth Wishart, all painting Ash Regan as the loser, and out of her depth.

    They really do fear Ash Regan winning.

  23. I. Despair

    Ah, here’s my e-mail from WoS to say there’s a new post. The quoted text, before you have to click through to the website and read more, ends with “The most notable of the latter was probably when Ash Regan gave Humza Yousaf a rather uncomfortable […]”
    I will forever be heartbroken that the next word was not revealed to be wedgie.

  24. I. Despair

    Effijy @ 10:45pm… ponte di bugie for Humza: bridge of lies.

  25. ronald

    Humza Yousef

    What a piece of work wouldn’t put him in charge of a street sweepers barra

  26. Andrew scott

    A word to the three
    When you are in a hole STOP DIGGING
    That was truely awful tonite

  27. shiregirl

    All very depressing.

    Cheering myself up by watching Dennis Skinner calling Stewart McDonald a piece of S*$t in Westminster best bits.

    That’s how bad it is.

    (the Rght Hon Gent for Bolsolver had a valid point, though…)

  28. Anonymoose

    Should Yousless win this internal SNP election (it certainly wont be due to his own pathetic lie-filled efforts as he’s clearly being PR managed by more capable people than himself as can be seen when he’s flopping about solo during these “hustings”), then I might get the popcorn out for the day the Scottish Parliament refuse to appoint him as First Minister** which will no doubt be a fiery occassion and that event will likely trigger a Scottish general election as a delay of that nature can be drawn out for as long as the members of the Scottish Parliament choose to withold their nominations.

    ** Remember folks it’s not the people who appoint the First Minister of Scotland, it’s the elected members of the Scottish Parliament [], so all that PR guff you’ve heard over and over during elections for the entire duration of Nicola Sturgeons time as leader of the SNP about the election being to elect her as First Minister is, technically, complete bollocks.
    We the people of Scotland have no say in who our First Minister is, the Scottish Parliament do as does the UK Monarch who could also potentially refuse to appoint them.

    With all of that said, I really do hope that Ash wins, not for the sake of the SNP as I left the party a number of years ago, but for the sake of Scotland and getting out of this 316 year old union trap which simply wont happen under any of the other candidates.

  29. PhilM

    ?? …like a Bridge built by Troubled Humza…

  30. gregor

    Carl Peterson (2015): Remembers The Alamo: Draw The Sword Scotland:

    “…The pibroch is pealing! pealing! pealing!
    Who heeds not the summons is nae son o’ thine

    The Clans they are gath’ring!…”:

  31. charlie

    So far from implementing or mebbe building it single handed, he stepped in and managed to delay an on target project. Quality work, to be followed up by delaying the Scottish independence project…

  32. Curtain-twitcher General

    @Mark Boyle
    A true “Damned Disciple”, eh?
    Would you be the same Mark Boyle who has worked as a singer/songwriter in the Scottish punk scene, supporting many of the original ’77 bands, and even featuring in the soundtrack in a David Arquette movie..?
    If so, how’s that A.R.M Marvel Box working out for ya..? 😉

  33. PhilM

    In Humza’s own mind…
    The Biography in 5 Volumes (published by Weidenfeld and Nicholson, Gallimard in France, Simon and Schuster in US)

    Volume 1 Sacrifice and Dedication – Hearing the Voice of Destiny
    Early Youth, Family, School and University
    Volume 2 Reaping the Bounty – An Apprenticeship of Stunning Achievements
    The anchor in the Cabinet, The Counsellor, The Steady Hand
    Volume 3 The Long Hard Road to the Summit – Bringing Wisdom to a Grateful Nation
    Teaching the People, Leading the Nation
    Volume 4 Planting the Flag – The Triumph of One Brave Unwavering Man
    The Harsh Demands of Power, The Keys to the Auld Kingdom
    Volume 5 The Prince of Europe, A Second Metternich
    A Contented Nation Bids Farewell, The Great Universal Peace Agreement of The Americas, Europe, and Asia
    Humza Yousaf (1985-2135) A Statesman Unequalled

  34. Rab Davis

    That evil twisted bastard Sturgeon has her dirty paws all over this.

    She has every media outlet covered.

    She has every one of her SNP lapdogs working against Ash Regan.

    She is STILL doing everything within her power to block the road to Scottish independence.

    She must never be forgiven.

    I hope the bastard dies a slow horrible death, it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

    Rot in hell Sturgeon.

    FFS SNP members, prove us all wrong, and vote in Ash Regan as your next leader, surely you all realise a vote for any of the other two will delay our chances of Scotland becoming an independent nation by up to a decade.

    And if you decide to vote in Yousaf as your new leader, then you will see the rapid downfall of a once (not so long ago), great Party.

    Vote with your head, and NOT who your local SNP rep is telling you to vote for.

  35. Smitty

    HQ has denied that it has visibility over the voting but it was confirmed last night that they have a live feed of results and this has been made available to the Humza camp. They were given 2 updates yesterday; at 17.30 and 22.00. I do not know what the results are.

    Also, HQ still has ‘ghost’ memberships on the system. Members who have left have been kept live. Many ex members have received their voting forms yesterday even though they had left the party. Myvoice who runs the vote are given few deaatils of the voters. HQ retains a function that allows lapsed members to be kept on their electoral role, but have their email address changed, allowing the vote to be sent to a central contact without the ex member being aware. HQ also has the ability to create fake accounts and add them onto the system. Myvoice just runs the vote as how HQ wants it and does not act as an independent observer. It is being ran entirely by Peter Murrell with no oversight. The fact that he will not even tell the candidates how many voters there are does not offer and confidence or visibility in the process.

    There is no suggestion that the voted is being rigged, however HQ retains the ability to do so with no oversight. However Peter Murrell is in the middle of a fraud investigation. As I previously stated, there are going to be a few people potentially going to jail if Humza loses and a layer of protection on some people is lifted. I am not referring to the missing money case but another one which will likely open.

  36. Oneliner

    ‘Crossing Swords’

    I see what you did there

  37. stuart mctavish


    “There is no suggestion the vote is being rigged”

    Other than the time frame for the count reflecting the 2020 US election?

    Strikes me that a sensible way to elect the leader of an independence seeking political party would be to have each constituency office phone in their favourite and take it from there – otherwise you might end up with a situation where 21524 students from Liecester/ Lahore get a loan off some joker for some premeditated mischief involving gay muslims and closet unionists.

  38. Frank Gillougley

    His use of language is not authentic. It is adopted by him. He and people like him are known in the construction industry as dickswingers.
    On the other hand, Ash Regan comes across as the most refreshingly normal.

  39. Peter A Bell

    “At the moment, we’re obviously in a political stalemate where Westminster are denying the voice of Scotland being expressed, so a Section 30 order would be an obvious way to go there.” – Ash Regan

    Ash Regan just blew it! She has now stated that she is prepared to compromise the sovereignty of Scotland’s people by going down the Section 30 route. SNP members who consider popular sovereignty to be non-negotiable now have no candidate to vote for.

    To request or accept or even concede the validity of the Section 30 process is an act of treachery. We are comprehensively betrayed.

  40. Jason Hoffman

    Like most politicians, he knows that very few people will actually bother to check their claims as to what they did or didn’t do.

    WoS is brilliant for doing the fact-checking.

    But even when faced with the actual facts, I’m not sure many of our representatives will change their story.

  41. John Main

    I have been refreshing my memories of the bridge opening ceremony by looking at archive images from the day.

    Exactly as I recall it, there was a mahoosive, great ribbon, and Her Late Majesty duly rocked up to cut it and thus open the bridge.

    I am no fan of Yousaf, but none the less, reluctant credit where credit is due.

    That ribbon did not organise itself.

    In the interests of fairness, I call on Rev Stu to amend his graphic at top, to show the ribbon, its position on the timeline (and on the bridge), and Yousaf’s role in arranging for it to be there.

  42. Geoff Anderson

    The TransCult Stormtroopers back Humza…..mmm!

  43. Robert Hughes

    @ Peter A Bell

    I haven’t seen any of the hustings or debates ( don’t have a TV ) so don’t know the context that statement by A.R was made what preceded & succeeded it .

    As quoted , above , it doesn’t even make sense eg the Brit State have consistently and confidently said ” Fuck off Jocks , yr getting nothing ” since Sadie Macbeth started the Nu SNP gameshow of LET’S ASK WM FOR PERMISSION ( knowing they’ll refuse ) what seems like years n years ago now n nothing can/will compel them to agree a S30 ; so continuing to follow that Yellow Brick Road would NOT be ” an obvious way to go there ” . It should be ” obvious ” that ” way ” must be abandoned , permanently .

    Just when * you * thought someone in the SNP might be representing a real alternative , confrontational , non-pussyfooting approach to Independence , they go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like ……… ” geez a S30 pleeze “

  44. Mac

    Seems crazy to me that these hustings are conducted on a news platform that is brazenly hostile to the entire raison d’etre of the SNP (or what used to be it prior to the Sturgeon era of slow death).

    This is the organization who employs Kay Burley FFS. A bigger c**t the world has never seen. Whose sister paper hacked the phone of a kidnapped, raped and murdered child giving her parents false hope she was still alive as they could tell someone had accessed her messages…

    Sky News along with BBC News are scum.

    Personally I’d prefer all this was done online with proper neutral moderators instead of vile specimens like Beth Rigby or whatever snarling wanker they happen to have on that day.

    The BBC is still the worst by far though. Britain may not be a military superpower anymore but it is still a propaganda superpower for sure.

    Hence we are living in an empire of lies. (Hmmm who said that again…) It is absolutely true. It is everywhere.

    Personally I feel we have entered a post-democracy age. We are simply not allowed to pick our leaders anymore (Salmond, Corbyn, even the horrifically naïve Trump).

    Gore Vidal wrote that he thought the US was in a proto-fascist state and he died over 10 years ago now, so it must be nearer 20 years since. I think it is already here, we are in it right now. Look what is being done to Europe and internally to the US. Our ‘leaders’ do not pursue our national interests, quite the opposite in fact.

    Hundreds of thousand of people, young and old, have been tossed into a meat grinder, on mainland Europe, right now, in scenes reminiscent of WWI trench warfare. It is beyond insane in the modern age and I never thought I would witness such events.

    Imagine the evil to knowingly send so many to their deaths based on endless lies. Crushing Scotland’s nascent democracy is nothing to them in comparison.

    Organizations like Sky News and BBC News are at the forefront of peddling all the lies to engineer consent and shape public opinion by framing the whole debate / conversation. They are far worse than the bent politicians that they corral IMHO.

  45. Breastplate

    Peter A Bell,
    I understand what you are saying and I have already stated that Ash Regan is the person talking the talk of independence who seems most likely to walk the walk but there are no guarantees with any of this.

    Regarding a S30 and the FM asking/telling Westminster for one, this is surely the first step of a new FM who expects the immediate refusal so they can get on with the actual plan for independence.
    I would be more worried if Regan had said it was the only way to go rather than multiple ways.

    I have every confidence that Ash Regan will not be FM and I will be absolutely flabbergasted if she is the winner however, let’s imagine she does win, she is still a politician that has to walk the talk, they are a rare breed, possibly extinct.

    Alba will be the long path forward.

  46. Stuart MacKay

    Peter Bell, Robert Hughes

    I’d hazard a guess that’s she lacks conviction in her “independence, no compromise” position and is worried that the members are not really up for an official position that is a radical change from doing nothing.

    Given she’s relatively new at this, it can be excused but perhaps not forgiven. The Reganites are likely few in number and are expecting to be all out of jobs in pretty short order if they lose. Hence the apparent lack of spine – which is exactly what is going to get them thrown out into the street in the first place.

    The conclusion is then that the current crop are not up to the task of delivering independence. They simply don’t have the balls to do it.

    Maybe it’s not the politicians’ fault. You can’t really expect them to die for their country while everybody else is on the sidelines watching the spectacle.

  47. Den

    An old journalistic adage for you “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” think that’s in play here.

  48. stuart mctavish

    @Peter A Bell

    Section 30 agreement remains a good option if both/ either of the parties to it are still trusted

    You’ll know better than I if that’s the case but, if it does become feasible, its worth recalling that the EU’s local election rules no longer apply by default and voting franchise will necessarily form part of the negotiation.

    Odd therefore that the two candidates you dont mention appear not to have been questioned on their preferred voting franchise despite offering no alternative route to independence.

    Perhaps that’s because everyone knows they’d run with exact same format as before but, since asking the question opens the door to a follow up in pursuit of more transparency*, its quite telling that it hasn’t been addressed (yet?).

    *ie wrt non resident members voting in the leadership election

  49. Cat-Sith

    Peter A Bell 6:57am
    “Ash Regan just blew it! She has now stated that she is prepared to compromise the sovereignty of Scotland’s people by going down the Section 30 route.”

    The three candidates were to my understanding specifically asked what would be required for the SNP if led by them to give their support to Starmer if he required SNP MPs backing to become PM.

    Does Regan saying she would demand a Section 30 in that situation change what she has said about popular sovereignty? It doesn’t have to be either or, why not both should the opportunity arise?

  50. David Holden

    We can have a national vote on Independence in a 24 hour period with the result known in a couple of days so what is the need of a couple of weeks for 100,000 people tops to press a button and vote online. There are already claims online of SNP members getting harassed about their vote so it looks like big brother is watching who has voted and when. The whole thing stinks.

  51. Peter A Bell

    @stuart mctavish

    Compromising the sovereignty of Scotland’s people can never be a “good option”.

  52. Ottomanboi

    MAC. 08:27
    French has the mot juste to describe the current condition of government, FASCISANT roughly «fascistizing». The tendency is everywhere the system puts a fabricated ad hoc secular doctrine, usually disguised as a safeguarding protective, before democracy. The one of «human rights» springs to mind, an amoeboid concept that just grows and grows and grows limiting and digesting basic freedoms in the process.
    Fascisant régimes love experimenting in the rights lab.
    Even written constitutions, the Golden Calves of democracy, offer no protection.
    Pro active dissent has much to commend it, before the shifting sands of democracy escape.

  53. Robert Hughes

    ” Given she’s relatively new at this, it can be excused but perhaps not forgiven. The Reganites are likely few in number and are expecting to be all out of jobs in pretty short order if they lose. Hence the apparent lack of spine – which is exactly what is going to get them thrown out into the street in the first place. ”

    Indeed , Stuart . Which is why PAB ( and others ) have recommended A.R goes for broke . We pretty much * know * she won’t be allowed to win , so she has nothing to lose by letting rip and exposing the feeble nature of , principally , her opponents Independence * strategy * ; more accurately , the complete absence of ANY strategy . From what I’ve read , she appears to have already done that , to some extent . Maybe she needs to pull less punches .

    Understandably , she no doubt thinks she still has a fighting chance ( n maybe she does ? ) , ergo … is being a bit circumspect/cautious in her statements . As you say , this could be a big mistake on her part .

    This is definitely not the time for caution or tailoring every statement to suit the perceived values of every SNP Membership faction .

    If yr goin’ out Ash , do so with a smash , not a crash

  54. Daisy Walker

    A question, if the information from Smitty is correct, and Humza’s corronation was arranged a full 2 weeks before Nikla resigned, then it puts all theories about the ‘male rapist in female jail, Galloway Butcher’ reasons in the bin.

    So what and why this timing?

    The only 2 times the British Establishment have been on the back foot to the Scottish Indy movement, was a week before the ’14 vote, and the 2015 GE when the SNP got 56 seats… and even then, in the months that followed, Leslie Evans was put in place, the Civil Service Hubs were implemented with no discussions/votes/need for same (at a time of max austerity).

    We continue to play catch up to their game plan to our loss.

  55. akenaton

    This forum is all over the place, most condemning Forbes over Sec 30 and praising Reagan as the saviour, then making excuses when Reagan copies Forbes.

    I thing many here don’t like Forbes’s social views and their opposition to her has nothing to do with Independence.

  56. Ottomanboi

    Mr Hassan’s independence wet dream.
    Today’s «National»

    «Independence has to be about creating a fairer, more equal, diverse and inclusive country and that involves the rights of LGBT people and standing up for their equality. If we allow LGBT people and equality to become a second-order issue or something reduced to a matter of conscience, then the idea of independence as being about a progressive Scotland is severely weakened with enormous consequences for its prospects»

    In effect a minority interest, a very small minority interest <1% maybe, has the Scottish lion by the tail. Note «REDUCED to a matter of conscience».
    Very FASCISANT, very progressive.

  57. Mac

    I find it hard to be enthusiastic even if Ash Regan or Kate Forbes won they are both inheriting a party riven with hanger-on arseholes like Mhairi Hunter, Mhairi Black, Pete Wishart, Rhiannon Spears, Alyn Smith, etc..

    Realistically I would say it will take years to clean up the mess that Sturgeon created. Probably at least one year for every year she was in power…

    Sadly Kate Forbes is going to be overwhelmed and at age 32 I just don’t think she will have developed the street fighting skills necessary to reverse the SNP out of the ruinous mess it lies in now.

    Nor will Forbes be given the support from the unionist media that Sturgeon was given throughout her reign right up to her very recent demise. (Only right at the end did the unionist media give Sturgeon a taste of what Salmond dealt with every day as FM an she was immediately badly out of her depth and drowning.)

    Forbes wont get protected like that if she shows even the slightest hint of actually fixing the SNP.

    Still think they might just go for the Humzafix. They have invested quite a bit in positioning him as a ‘front runner’ when he is not, nobody likes him, not even his fellow Muslims, especially them…

    The problem here is we are not seeing all the candidates.

    Think of the great candidates that should be in the SNP’s ranks right now. People who were marginalized and pushed out by Sturgeon.

    Think of all the people who never made it through selection, or never even tried, because they were the ‘wrong’ sex, race, or sexual orientation… So many excellent candidates were lost… and replaced by incompetent second raters. In fact there are not even close to being as good as second raters…

    No disrespect to Regan and Forbes but it is ludicrous that these are our only choices after 9 years of enormous mandate after enormous mandate… Where is the strength in depth? Where are all the seasoned strong deputies ready to take over the reigns?

    Sturgeon created a wasteland and it is going to be very difficult to regenerate it back to the 56 seats out of 59 party and hydro full of adoring fans feelgood buzz that Sturgeon was gifted to her by Salmond.

    Sturgeon squandered golden opportunity after golden opportunity, she left the SNP in a complete mess, she viscously smeared the one person capable of fixing it all in an act of monumental betrayal.

    And people still wonder what she was / is… you are having a laugh right. Look around… compare this to what she inherited.

    For the SNP to be in this mess after being given the support that it has for nearly ten years is disgraceful really.

    What a truly dreadful legacy Sturgeon and her snide back stabbing husband have left behind.

  58. Robert Hughes

    Mac @ 8.25

    Excellent post . Gore Vidal was right then & it’s got even worse since .

    Look at the corporate monkeys n botoxed airheads that comprise our Political & MSM class , parroting whatever intelligence-insulting pabulum they’re handed by their * sponsors * .

    If a U.S TV Network News programme is ” Brought to you by Pfizer ” it should come as no surprise that programme will not be airing ANY criticism/concerns re that company’s products . Hence the almost total silence on the vast numbers of ADRs .

    The Political system is not much different . * Sponsors * of one kind or another buy their chosen puppets , get them into positions of power/influence and then proceed to manipulate the strings to their advantage

  59. Peter A Bell


    There is no “long path”. That is the kind of complacency which has allowed eight years of paralysis.

  60. Ottomanboi

    So called Section 30 is history.
    No future leader should even refer to this Unionist road block.
    New leader, new strategy, new road map.

  61. Breastplate

    I really couldn’t care less who delivers self determination for Scotland, the important part of that is what is delivered not who is delivering it, I would imagine many, if not most on here, feel the same way.

    What are your thoughts on Scottish people making their own decisions?

  62. John Main

    @Mac says:14 March, 2023 at 8:27 am

    Imagine the evil to knowingly send so many to their deaths based on endless lies. Crushing Scotland’s nascent democracy is nothing to them in comparison


    Care to define them, Mac?

    You leave the reader to just imagine your swiveling eyes. Help us bring the picture into sharper focus. Thanks.

  63. sadscot

    Thanks for this. It shows the state our media is in that this compulsive liar gets away with claims like this constantly without challenge. Just like he gets away with the lies over that missed vote.

  64. Ottomanboi

    «ENTRYISM, also called entrism, enterism, or infiltration, is a political strategy in which an organisation or state encourages its members or supporters to join another, usually larger, organization in an attempt to expand influence and expand their ideas and program. If the organization being “entered” is hostile to entrism, the entrists may engage in a degree of subterfuge and subversion to hide the fact that they are an organization in their own right»


    Involves grooming i.e. schmoozing, ingratiation, sycophancy….before the shafting.
    So much in common with the sexual predation.
    Is there a link?

  65. Paul Davis

    There is no way that Starmer is going to agree to a S30 as the price for SNP support in becoming PM. For a start it would make Labour unelectable in perpetuity. Not even he is desperate enough to go there.

  66. Breeks

    Mac says:
    14 March, 2023 at 9:48 am

    I find it hard to be enthusiastic even if Ash Regan or Kate Forbes won../em>

    There’s sense in what you say Mac, but we do have a way out of this mess if the SNP embraces a Constitutional Convention, or better still, a SALVO style Convention of the Estates, and shifts the epicentre away from the SNP and Scottish “Government” and more towards a YES style Independence Movement that is ready, willing, and able to take Independence over the head of Holyrood and domestic Westminster legislation like the Scotland Act, and pursue Scotland’s Constitutional legitimacy under International Law at the UN.

    OK, that’s not exactly what Regan is saying, but she’s the only one of the three who might be persuaded in that direction by input and dialogue which will arise from the convention that she is proposing.

    “IF” the SNP is on trajectory for a disasterous implosion of whatever sort, we need the Indy batton passed on, and passed on as far as possible to an apolitical YES body; apolitical in the sense that it isn’t dominated by any one Party.

    Let us please get our Convention of the Estates established, populated, codified, and recognised by ALL Independence Parties and factions, and put the CLiam of Right and Scotland’s sovereign Constitution at the heart of an Independence Movement that is NOT centered around Holyrood or Westminster, but swears fealty to the Community of the Realm; the Scottish people.

    Ash Regan doesn’t need to be the messiah, or the last hope. We don’t need inspiration, we need a restructuredand rebalanced YES Movement that ISN’T dependent upon an SNP party that is a dishevelled remnant of it’s former self.

    Ash Regan is half way there, by at least trying to unite the clans and pull together. If she succeeds in nothing more than that, she might still be the toast of the YES Movement and savior of Scottish Independence in the short term.

  67. Martin

    Given his subsequent record it’s probably just as well he only had a token PR role for 13.2% of the project. Otherwise we’d already have had a major disaster and/or embarrassment.

    Humza Yousaf is the polar opposite of King Midas. He hs the knack to touching gold and turning it to excrement.

  68. Bob Mack

    Given the state of the UK economy, Westminster is never going to agree a section 30 with any Scottish leader unless they have multiple polls showing a huge decrease in the desire for Indy. They need the oil and gas fields too much and a base for nuclear subs given the current tensions in the world.

    That means only one thing. We want freedom? We have to take it.

    We set the rules in Scotland not Westminster.

    If the SNP cannot do this they should step aside and give way to those who can. I do not see a leader among the 3 candidates, but at least someone with the seed of an idea which can be taken forward

  69. Mac

    Robert Hughes says:
    “Gore Vidal was right then & it’s got even worse since”

    It is right in front of eyes as well Robert.

    Bent Police.
    Bent Judiciary.
    Bent Media.
    Bent FM.
    Stitching-up and smearing a former FM to take him out as a threat.
    Sending Craig Murray to jail.
    Introducing sinister legislation that we are told has ‘good intentions’ but which just coincidentally could be exploited by an authoritarian leader with bad intentions to persecute people.
    The fact I have to come here and Craig Murray’s blog (for example) to find out the truth about my own country.

    Exactly how much further does it have to go before we call it what it is?

    And looking south at the treatment of Julian Assange and the stitch-up Corbyn (to take him out as a threat) it all has a familiar flavour to it…

  70. Peter A Bell


    Requesting or accepting or conceding the validity of the Section 30 process is a denial of the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. I acknowledges an authority above the people – the British parliament. It is an acceptance of the principle of parliamentary sovereignty.

    The principles of parliamentary and popular sovereignty are mutually exclusive. They are entirely incompatible and totally irreconcilable. Sovereignty means ultimate authority. There cannot be two ultimate authorities.

    The Section 30 process cannot lead to the restoration of Scotland’s independence because it cannot facilitate the exercise by the people of Scotland of our right of self-determination. It can facilitate only a referendum which is, to use Nicola Sturgeon’s words, “consultative and non-self-executing”. Which means the British state can choose to ignore the result and that nothing ensues from that result.

    A Section 30 referendum has no consequences for the Union. If it did, it would not have been permitted in 2014. We all thought we were voting in an independence referendum back then. We now know that we were not. If Yes had won in 2014, precisely nothing would have happened. Having dutifully jumped through that hoop, the British state would simply produce another that they insist we jump through. The British state has an infinite supply of such hoops.

    Scotland’s independence can only be restored the Scottish Parliament in a process that is entirely made and managed in Scotland with neither reference to nor participation by the British government.

    There is no route to independence that does not pass through a point at which there is direct and acrimonious confrontation with the British state. Nicola Sturgeon did noting for eight years because she had convinced herself she could find a way of avoiding this confrontation. She was wrong. I suspect she now realises just how wrong she was.

    No matter what precedes, ending the Union and restoring Scotland’s independence inevitably demands that the Scottish Parliament does something which the British will deem unlawful on the grounds that Holyrood does not have the competence required. There is no way to gain that competence other than taking it ? asserting it. Power is never given. That which is given is never genuine power. Devolution is not genuine power. Power is only ever taken. If the people of Scotland are to be enabled to exercise our right of self-determination then the only way this can happen is if the Scottish Parliament ASSERTS the competence to conduct an appropriate democratic exercise (referendum) and dares the British state to challenge it. There simply is no other way we can have a democratic event which will stand as the formal exercise of a right guaranteed to us by international law – the founding principle of the United Nations.

    I thought Ash Regan maybe understood all of this. Evidently, she doesn’t. None of them does. Not one among all of Scotland’s political class ? not excepting Alba Party recognises that there can be no route to independence through the legal and constitutional framework developed over 300+ years to protect and preserve the Union. To end that Union we must step outside that framework while strictly observing the principles of democracy.

    The way forward is clear, and has been for several years. If there is to be a de facto referendum then it should not be on the question of independence but on the question of the powers of the Scottish Parliament. Not least because many more people will vote for the Scottish Parliament to have powers than will vote for independence. All the pro-independence parties must include at the top of their election manifestos the basic elements of a #ManifestoForIndependence –

    Renounce Section 30 process
    Assert competence of Scottish Parliament
    Recall MPs to join MSPs in National Convention
    Propose dissolution of Union subject to referendum
    Call referendum entirely made and managed in Scotland

  71. Breastplate

    I don’t understand what you mean, so perhaps you have misunderstood what I mean, so allow me to clarify.
    I don’t believe the SNP in any future form are going to deliver independence, the party has been hollowed out, people are entitled to believe that isn’t the case.

    I understand that you have believed it is better to be inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in, (I don’t know if this is your current view on the matter) but inside the tent is a cesspit and everyone is up to their neck in it, there will be no pissing out of the tent.

    Alba in my view is the way forward but it will take time hence the mention of a long path ahead.
    I see nothing complacent in my thinking, on the contrary, it’s been clear to many that there has been very little progress from the SNP regarding independence, the people who think that a tweak here and a tweak there can fix the SNP, I would accuse them of complacency.

    Would you not agree?
    That’s a rhetorical question, Peter.

  72. Liza Lane

    I don’t understand why Humza Yousaf is getting such a hard time. He did an amazing job leading the Apollo programme. After that, he single-handedly brought down the Berlin Wall, ended apartheid and once went to the shops to get milk and tea bags for the Murrells. I might have lied about the last one on that list.

  73. Geoff Anderson

    The plan was simple.

    Humza thought he was being picked due to being a remarkable Stateman qualities.

    HQ fought they had a patsy to take the flack for what is about to hit the Fan.

    The ambitious career vultures planned to stay low profile until Humza crashed then rush in to “save us”

    Two other candidates coming forward spoiled these plans. The door was cracked open enough to let us see what has been hidden for 8 years. Once seen it can never be unseen.
    We have no Party of Independence. We have Murrell Enterprises.

    I must thank Ash and Kate. Without them coming forward the Coronation would have passed as planned. You can throw rocks at their efforts if you wish, but taking on the Murrell Machine was a big move. The wider public know much more about the NUSNP than they did a few weeks ago.
    Attacking Ash is akin to blaming the whistleblower in a corrupt organisation for not fixing the issue….that was aimed at Peter A Bell, the greatest sage of the Indy Movement.

  74. Stravaiger


    Yes, that’s what I thought. The SNP are a busted flush and it’ll be a long road to rebuild what has been squandered from scratch. Complacency is voting SNP. The future now lies with Alba and Salvo.

  75. Geoff Anderson

    Lisa Lane 10:52

    First Class….that made me smile!

  76. Doug

    Yousaf is just another unionist liar. The snp is stuffed full of unionist liars. Maybe that’s why so many of them are keen to subject themselves to unionist interrogation on unionist TV programmes.

  77. Scotsrenewables

    Liza Lane says:
    14 March, 2023 at 10:52 am
    I don’t understand why Humza Yousaf is getting such a hard time. He did an amazing job leading the Apollo programme. After that, he single-handedly brought down the Berlin Wall, ended apartheid and once went to the shops to get milk and tea bags for the Murrells. I might have lied about the last one on that list.

    Absolutely fucking brilliant. Stolen and posted on the National comments among other places.

  78. socratesmacsporran

    Liza Lane

    You forgot Haunless Useless’s wonderful record as manager of Rangers, then Celtic; not forgetting how he got Scotland to the World Cup Final.

    On a more-serious note. I realise Craig Murray has a huge Establishment target on his back and has to be very-careful, or he might end up back in his old cell at Saughton.

    I further realise, lawyers do like to take their time on things, however, a month has now passed since he announced he had passed the McDonald Files onto a lawyer for checking, prior to publication, and it has all gone quiet.

    What is happening?

  79. stuart mctavish

    Peter Bell

    On contrary, whilst it needn’t be the only one, pre agreement on competence with a contracting partner is always a good option – see specifications & plans of the type that allow the building of bridges, etc.

    Better yet, as the word “agreement” infers, there can be no loss of sovereignty involved in coming to one.

    That said, the Edinburgh Agreement that enabled the S30 order does not anticipate returning the legislative competence to Westminster (ever), so absence of further agreement on the matter is unlikely to be the main obstacle in any event.

  80. Republicofscotland

    Ash Regan gives us a time scale for independence and its 2026. Forbes and Yousaf don’t even have a plan for independence let alone a time scale

    “Ash Regan has vowed that Scotland will be an independent country within three years if she is elected Scottish National Party (SNP) leader and First Minister.”

  81. Doug

    @ Republicofscotland 11:32am

    Thanks for the link. Aye, that article pretty much sums it all up about liar Yousaf and his self-serving supporters. They are political cowards; they are Scotland’s shame.

  82. Geri

    Geoff, I agree.

    If Ash doesn’t win then the SNP is finished.

    They have proven they’re not the party of Independence these last few weeks. Shitting themselves indyref2 would be back on.

    Now it’s upto the membership & I fear they’ll choose Kate, the continuity *build support, beg WM, keep the gravy train* candidate to the same pish we’ve just wasted 8 yrs on.

    To much has been revealed. Its rotten to its core & the angry incel mob is just the fkn maraschino cherry on top of it all to make it totally unelectable.

    R.I.P SNP

    Indy needs to find another party that’s not a fkn embarrassment. Indy also needs to organise & get behind an independence convention that’s external from party politics.

    Our Independence shouldn’t be reliant on MSPs & MPs to constantly fk up for us or be used for ransom.

    We should never have put all our eggs in one basket. It was madness. Especially with Sturgeon at the helm. We were warned she was a control freak & we should’ve listened when she said a vote for her wasn’t a vote for indy.

  83. Rev. Stuart Campbell

    “On a more-serious note. I realise Craig Murray has a huge Establishment target on his back and has to be very-careful, or he might end up back in his old cell at Saughton.

    I further realise, lawyers do like to take their time on things, however, a month has now passed since he announced he had passed the McDonald Files onto a lawyer for checking, prior to publication, and it has all gone quiet.

    What is happening?”

    What’s happening is that they’re really not very interesting.

  84. James Che

    I note in England that the people are beginning to stand up to their local councils, that are attacking the (publics) human rights and rights to freedom with refusing to cooporate.

    But what is interesting in ( Scotland) regards Councils is even more interesting as the Councils are not named particpants, and cannot take on political decisions,
    Such as deciding marches, or what it takes on board with political legislation.

    If you want the legal perspective on this, and to understand this legal position of the Scottish Councils the best place to go is the SSRG.

    The Councils in Scotland have a bigger conundrum on their hand than in England with how they behave to the public.

  85. Merganser

    Geri @ 11.59.

    I would prefer that the SNP didn’t rest in peace. I hope it is tortured in hell for a thousand years for what it has done.

  86. Luigi

    Geri says:
    14 March, 2023 at 11:59 am

    If Ash doesn’t win then the SNP is finished.

    Surely you mean: “When” Ash doesn’t win the SNP is finished.

    Kate could maybe hold the fort for a while, but the current SNP leadership (and their handlers) cannot afford to let her see the books. We are talking about potential jail sentences. Not going to happen, so Humza it is (by hook or by crook), then it really is over for the SNP. On that cheery note, I’m off to lunch. 🙂

  87. akenaton

    Breastplate says,
    What are your views on Scottish people making their own decisions?

    “THE PEOPLE is a beast of muddy brain
    That knows not its own strength, and therefore stands
    Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
    Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein;
    One kick would be enough to break the chain,
    But the beast fears, and what the child demands
    It does; nor its own terror understands,
    Confused and stupefied by bugbears vain.
    Most wonderful! With its own hand it ties
    And gags itself—gives itself death and war
    For pence doled out by kings from its own store.
    Its own are all things between earth and heaven;
    But this it knows not; and if one arise
    To tell this truth, it kills him unforgiven.”

    Tommaso Campanella

  88. James Che

    The local Councils have NO part to play in the Treaty of Union as the three estates, the (Burghs) no longer exist and are defunct. And are not included in the Scotland Act as representatives.

  89. James Che


    The issue under discussion was the gender recognition bill, and that the Local Councils were unable to implement this at a political level.

  90. James Che


    Indeed the Scots do not know that Local Councils have no authority as there are no local Burghs to represent in the Scotland Act.

  91. James Che

    Legislation. Acts and laws.

    Are a important research tool for Scotland.

  92. James Che

    The SSRG also explain that the Three Estates Scottish parliament is defunct.

    This confirms my claim that a Scottish parliament that was extinguished and now defunct cannot send members from the last 1707 Scottish parliament down to Westminster any Scottish Parliament represenatives for the past 300 years.

    When we joining the EU, it was the EU that stated Scotland should have some form of voice in The British parliament,

    Hence it had made the point that Scotland had not been a legally active 1707 Scottish Parliament in the Treaty of Union since 1707.

    That was when devolved parliament came into being,
    Except it is still a british legislated parliament from England imported into Scotland and is not legally correct as a Scottish parliament in the treaty of Union.

  93. Breastplate

    Your quote only serves to expose your hypocrisy.

  94. mark

    @Bob Mack

    All this talk of just taking independence is well and good, but there is the small matter of the voters. You don’t have enough of them. Talk of process is irrelevant when you can’t command a majority of votes and you, indeed, going backwards. But I suppose process is easier to talk about that trying to persuade no voters to change their minds.

    It is just another form of navel gazing in the echo chamber.

  95. aLurker

    @James Che @1:03pm

    >When we joining the EU, it was the EU that stated Scotland should
    >have some form of voice in The British parliament,

    >Hence it had made the point that Scotland had not been a legally
    >active 1707 Scottish Parliament in the Treaty of Union since 1707.

    I am not quibbling with your main point but would be interested if you could post a reference that I could read further about that first point.

    I am not an expert, but my understanding is that it was the Council of Europe, not the European Union that forced Thatchers Westminster regime to comply.


    Thanks. 🙂

  96. Peter A Bell

    @Geoff Anderson

    Ash Regan is condemned by her own words no matter how much irrelevant waffle you shovel over her validation of the Section 30 process in an effort to bury it out of sight. She said what she said.

    “At the moment, we’re obviously in a political stalemate where Westminster are denying the voice of Scotland being expressed, so a Section 30 order would be an obvious way to go there.” – Ash Regan

    To request or accept or even concede the validity of the Section 30 process is an act of treachery. We are comprehensively betrayed.

    #DissolveTheUnion #ScottishUDI #NoSection30 #ProudMalcontent

  97. Peter A Bell


    The navel-gazers are those who talk endlessly of their ‘vision’ for independent Scotland but refuse to consider the process by which we restore Scotland’s independence. A ‘vision’ without a plan to make it reality is just wishy-washy, wooly-minded, air-headed wishful thinking. Navel-gazing!

    A plan is a series of related operations leading to a predetermined outcome. A plan identifies the process. Process is crucial.

    Politicians don’t want to talk about process because process is difficult. Any fool can recount a ‘vision’. To identify a credible process takes a certain intellectual effort. Although it is hardly necessary to be a “sage”. Just a person of normal intelligence who has acquired the habit of thinking things through.

    As a process for restoring independence, a Section 30 referendum does precisely the opposite of what it says on the tin. A Section 30 referendum CANNOT lead to independence. Section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 is just one more device by which the British safeguard their precious Union. It also allows the British to claim there is a democratic route available. A claim that was powerfully, if thoughtlessly, reinforced by Nicola Sturgeon hailing it as the “gold standard of democracy”.

    Has it really never occurred to you to wonder why nominally pro-independence politicians go to such lengths to endorse a process which denies the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and allows invites foreign interference in a matter that is rightfully the exclusive preserve of Scotland’s people? You’ve never wondered about that?

  98. The Honktipus

    Christinw Grahame criticises Bumza for misleading Queensferry Crossing remarks –

  99. John McGregor

    Dumb Dumb n Yousless going by last nights sky offering

  100. McDuff

    Great stuff rev real journalism, truth and facts backing up every article.
    I do worry about achieving indy with this crop in the SNP as we will need sharp minds in dealing with the the foxes at Westminster when negotiating the logistics of separation and ensuring we don`t get screwed which will be London`s main objective.

  101. Geri

    Two points:

    1. Regards indy *You don’t have enough voters* Who says? An indyref is different from elections. Give or take, it starts at approximately 45%.
    Sampling 1,000 ppl in a poll to speak for 5 million is a bit of a stretch to determine outcomes is it not? (Apologies to Stu – I’m not well versed on the science of them) Surely a campaign, momentum, build up, all factor in on the actual day of the vote that render polls useless.

    2. Section 30. That path is closed. *Process* exhausted. Route closed. Ash has it right – the ballot box is the only process needed. It’s recognised the world over. Win the box democratically & everything is else is just unnecessary noise.

    & Any *Westminster won’t accept that* is rubbish. Of course they will. They’ve no choice. They don’t hold all the powers over the Act of Union – they know they don’t, that’s why they’re trying to write a new one to lock us in. Funny that if we are supposedly locked in already! If not, it’d be time for King Chucky to enter the stage. His union is by the consent of the Sovereign Scots. He’s about to be crowned. Perfect time to ask him. F sakes, what are Scots KC doing? Would it be with one crown or two by force on his televised coronation? There is also the international community, especially the EU, who would recognise us.

    Or it’s off to Decolonisation dept.
    The time is now. SNP is fkd. Crippled from the inside.

  102. Rogerborg

    Rather depressing to know for a certainty that whoever our next FM is that they won’t even be capable of handling the likes of Beff “But can I go sumbavin’?” Rigby.

  103. Stephen

    Pause the election and open up SNP membership registration to allow those of us that left to rejoin and vote!
    Let’s then see who wins?

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