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Due diligence

Posted on April 22, 2018 by

Even in a sluggish news season, it’s somehow extra-dispiriting to see a once-august newspaper like the Sunday Times fill its pages by trying to flog its readers reheated old cobblers from the previous day’s Daily Mail.

We’ve already shredded the towering stupidity of the story itself (the Times dutifully repeats all the exact same drivel about meal deals and loyalty vouchers), so we were pleased when social media presented a new angle on it.

“Social commentator and freelance journalist” Lt-Col Stuart Crawford (ret’d) drew the attention of the paper’s Scotland Editor to a letter he’d had published in the (the) Times last year on the subject:

And just for the sheer mental exercise, we thought it might be interesting to examine that business model.

For a would-be bootlegger to procure these lavish profits (Lt-Col Crawford suggested over £1000 a trip) by exploiting the new law, they’d need to satisfy several criteria.



This one’s easy enough. Anyone can hire that “small van” (say a Renault Kangoo) for around £40 a day, drive it over the border to Berwick or Carlisle and stuff it with giant bottles of dirt-cheap chemical “cider” at the nearest cash’n’carry. You can get 3 litres of Omega 7.5% (“It’ll be the end of you”) for £3 a pop, for example.


The Kangoo has a payload of 650kg, so it’ll hold about 216 bottles (not the claimed 400 or 600). In order to collect our £1000 profit, therefore, we need to make £4.63 on every bottle before costs, ie we need to sell it to our thirsty connoisseurs for £7.63.


And that gives us a big problem straight away. Because where are you going to find a market that’s both close enough to the border to make the venture cost-effective for you, but also far enough away that punters couldn’t just hop into their cars or on a bus to Berwick themselves and buy the product legally and conveniently for less than half of what you’re charging?

(Plus Berwick is quite a pretty place to pass out and you’ll have some nice sea air to help with your hangover when you wake up.)

The Borders, after all, isn’t a famously very densely-populated region. We’re not sure there’s a massive wino community in Hawick or Wigtown that’s going to be sufficiently easy to reach that you could get over 200 of them to congregate in the same Lidl car park or lay-by at midnight one evening to buy illicit booze at an inflated price.

To get a big enough audience you’re pretty much going to have to go to Edinburgh, a 120-mile round trip to your nearest supplier in England. Realistically that’s at least £20 in fuel a time, added to the £40 cost of hiring the van, which means you need to hike the cost to punters by another 30p a bottle to cover your expenses, assuming you’re doing all the work yourself.

If you’re paying some other sap to do all the lugging (or provide you with security, which you’ll probably want to if you’ve got 200 desperate alkies on your hands) you’re going to have to be making it worth their while, given that they’re risking arrest while you sit at home watching telly, so that’s probably another £100 a time onto your costs.

So we’re now near or above £8 a bottle, and your customers are saving barely £3 for all the hassle of having to somehow know where and when to go to buy illegal cider from a dodgy bloke in a van, surrounded by some highly questionable characters in an environment that’s obviously very attractive to predators as well as the police.

 4. RISK

Oh yeah – the police. They’re unlikely to look very kindly on this entire operation, and it’s not exactly going to be tricky to uncover. Even the dopiest bobbies aren’t going to have a hard time sitting in an unmarked car outside the Berwick wholesaler spotting the guy loading hundreds of bottles of white cider and nothing else into a van on a regular basis and heading for the border.

(Or just bribing the local boozehound in Edinburgh to spill the time and location of the latest impromptu boot sale.)

So you better factor quite a few fines, at the very least, into your margins. Suddenly the profitability of this business is looking fragile.


In short, then, it’s a complete imbecile’s plan. Your potential market is tiny and almost entirely comprised of poor people, the margins are trivial and the risk of capture high.

Your customers can realistically only buy a few bottles at a time (because they’re big and heavy), so you need to somehow gather a huge number of punters together in one place at a time, which is going to be somewhat conspicuous even if you were able to get the information out.

(Obviously there’s no motivation for anyone – shopkeepers, say – to buy from you in bulk, because you’re charging twice what they can get the product for perfectly legally. Minimum pricing isn’t a tax – the money doesn’t go to the government, it goes in the retailer’s pocket, so they have no reason to dodge it.)

Suggesting it as a flaw or loophole in the legislation, then, is some distance beyond even the common-or-garden level of moronic SNP BAD kneejerkery we’ve all come to wearily expect of the Scottish press, and we’re a bit alarmed to have such a ludicrous idea given credence not only by a supposedly-respectable broadsheet newspaper but also by someone who used to be in charge of weaponry and soldiers.

The Sunday Times costs £2.70 (which is incidentally almost three times as much as the Daily Mail you’d have got the same story in a full 24 hours sooner). We’d suggest spending the money on Frosty Jack’s instead. It won’t be any more enlightening, but it’ll leave a less unpleasant taste in your mouth.

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    1. 22 04 18 12:56

      Due diligence | speymouth

    194 to “Due diligence”

    1. Smallaxe says:

      Rev Stu,

      I’m only six miles away from Carlisle and you’ve just torn my business plan to ribbons.
      Ahm no’ happy!

    2. louis.b.argyll says:

      Very Good Rev, top of the class.

      ‘..beyond even the common-or-garden level of moronic..’

      They try to drag us down to their level of toilet politics.

    3. Ronan says:

      Excellent piece, as always but which wigton do you mean? The one in Cumbria (?!) or the Wigtown in Galloway (not in the borders)

    4. Street Andrew says:

      Smallaxe says:

      “Rev Stu,

      you’ve just torn my business plan to ribbons.
      Ahm no’ happy!”

      Don’t see why not . You can pay a fortune to business consultants and you got this for free. 🙂

    5. Smallaxe says:

      Street Andrew,

      Very true!
      Ahm happy again

    6. Muscleguy says:

      You seem to be right about the Polis. I recall for a time there was a worry about untaxed fags brought over the channel in large vans and sold on poor estates. Plod went down hard on it using ‘intelligence’* and there doesn’t seem to be much of a problem any more. Maybe in Englandshire.

      *Used obviously in the Polis parlance. No allegation of actual intelligence being needed should be impugned from it.

    7. Bob Mack says:

      I think the good Colonel should get out more. Spending time at home thinking of this nonsense will not be doing him any favours.

      I like to think of him with a map,compass and price list, sitting in his living or “drawing”room. plotting out how this could be achieved in the style of Captain Maintaining and his platoon.

      They don’t like it uppem sir

      Is he a comrade of Annie Wells perchance?

    8. Robin says:

      I remember Delboy and Rodney trying a similar plan in “Only Fools and Horses” and it didn’t work out well for them either.

      Keep up the detective work Rev.

    9. Richard Smith says:

      As a Scottish resident in his 60s, I have a bus pass that will take me to Berwick or Carlisle for free. Were I languishing on a miserly pension, I could spend my days on a nice cosy bus, shuttling back and forth with my nose in a good book. A tenner or so a day is not to be sniffed at.

      Had I no friends or hobbies and were basically waiting to die, this might not seen a bad life. Also, I would save on heating and the bus pass is also valid as a library card, so the books would be free. I imagine there would be some kind of drop-in centre for the elderly at the far end, where I could obtain a cheap plastic cup of terrible coffee and maybe a cake.

      I suppose I could randomly alternate between Berwick and Carlisle for an added frisson.

    10. galamcennalath says:

      Good analysis. There won’t be much of a future in cheap cider ‘smuggling’!

      What the Scottish Parliament has done is reasonable and will hopefully be successful.

      There’s another side to all this. The SP has probably done all it can with the powers it has. If it was the fully empowered legislature of iScotland, it could do much more. (Understatement of the century).

      The Alcohol Duties are set by WM. They seem a bit of a mess, frankly. Different categories of booze attract different rates – beer has more duty per percent of alcohol than cider. It would seem sensible and healthy to set all Alcohol Duty at a standard £X per cl of alcohol the can/bottle.

      Tax the alcohol, not the label!

      The other power reserved by WM is the definition of cider for duty purposes. It need only contain 35% apple juice in the initial pre fermentation liquid. The manufacturers achieve their cheap end product by adding a lot of grain alcohol and sugar.

      Clearly another approach to healthy drinking behaviour would be to outlaw what the Rev justifiably refers to as “chemical cider”.

      Sadly, Brexit is likely to herald the erosion of food and drink regulations rather than improve them! If you want a fairer more just society … and better regulation of what you eat and drink … then we need Indy, and soon.

    11. Clydebuilt says:

      Scottish Drinkers Will Cross the Border for Cheaper Alcohol

      That’s not what the Times believes, it’s what they Hope happens.

    12. RogueCoder says:

      I hope we didn’t put Lt-Col Crawford in charge of any serious military operations, because he really didn’t think this one through. Maybe that’s why he’s retired.

    13. Clootie says:

      Now the target clientele for cheap nasty cider sold from the back of a van may well decide to acquire the goods without any outlay…so factor in a few heavies for security or the write off of a few shipments and the cost soars further.

      The good news is that this is the level the media have to sink to in order to have an SNPbad story. Which suggests that the Scottish Government must be doing a pretty good job of running the country.

    14. Northern Rock says:

      And after consuming all this cheap cider, we can head to Ibrox and singalong with the rest of our fellow Orangemen/women about being “up to our knees in Fenian blood” without the risk of arrest.

      Oh what vision our Unionist leaders have.

    15. Croompenstein says:

      You could open a wee speakeasy in Gretna smallaxe.. 🙂

    16. Weechid says:

      Smallaxe says:

      22 April, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Rev Stu,

      “I’m only six miles away from Carlisle and you’ve just torn my business plan to ribbons.
      Ahm no’ happy!
      Just hire an army of pensioners armed with shopping trolleys to go through on the bus for free. I get mine in January – If I can bring myself to cross the border again I’ll let you know:-)

    17. Doug says:

      Is that the same Stuart Crawford – erstwhile independence supporter and subsequent Lib Dem candidate? Sounds somewhat bitter.

    18. Weechid says:

      Richard Smith – that’s my plan. The govt won’t give me my pension for another 6 years so I’ll have to make money somehow:-)

    19. Arabs for Independence says:

      It’s too easy for you Mr Campbell – neatly done all the same

    20. Kenzie says:

      “RogueCoder says:
      22 April, 2018 at 12:16 pm
      I hope we didn’t put Lt-Col Crawford in charge of any serious military operations, because he really didn’t think this one through. Maybe that’s why he’s retired.”

      Chances are that he was a Major and was given the courtesy title of Lt-Col on retiring. It happens.

    21. Smallaxe says:

      Gretna Speakeasy Opening Soon!

      Wingers and Pensioners: 15% discount
      Waspi Women & Disabled: Cost Price

      Bring your own glass.

      The Management reserve the right to Refuse Admission to Guess who?
      Answers written under a bridge, please.

      Keep those ideas coming, Croompenstein & Weechid

      A’hm gettin’ excited noo.

    22. Hamish100 says:

      To sell drink don’t you need a licence? As well as register as a business etcetera.(isle of Man presumably) All costs.
      Retired col McBlimp will have to rethink. Can he call on another colonel? She drives a tank I believe and could help? oops too busy moving a fish business from the borders to Engerlund.

    23. geeo says:

      My brother in law is a hopeless alcoholic, drinks the cheapest, nastiest stuff out there.

      I ask him if he will keep drinking when his gutrot is £11/bottle.

      His answer, “aye, but obviously i will not be drinking as much”.

      Maybe when withdrawal kicks in, he might actually get dry and stay dry the next time. (Dried out twice, lasted 45 minutes from leaving hospital clinic 1st time and a week the 2nd time).

      If nothing else, he might stay alive longer, long enough to get help he will stick with. If not, he WILL be dead sooner rather than later. Might be withdrawal that finally kills him, but that will be HIS fault, not the Pricing policy, a point he makes himself, to be fair to him.

    24. Arbroath1320 says:

      I have to admit that, like smallaxe, this was one of the wee “business plans” I have been considering for some time now. However, like Smallaxe I was initially disheartened after reading this article.

      I can now say however, that thanks to the forward thinking of Croop combined with that of Weechild I think that an idea is beginning to formulate in my singular wee brain cell.:D

      Perhaps I could go into partnership with smallaxe and we could open a whole load of speakeasy’s across Dumfries and Galloway. As highlighted by Weechild our “delivery” costs would work out to be negligible, after all we’d only be paying our delivery “agents” for their time which, as they are pensioners, would be a hell of a lot less than “normal” costs. 😉

    25. galamcennalath says:

      I remember reading the article below about booze smuggling between Norway and Sweden last year. There will be no smuggling issues between Scotland and England after May 1st. However, some of us look forward to a time, not too long I hope, when there will be a visible border between iScotland and England!

      After Indy, I certainly expect to see BIG differences develop between IScotland and our southern neighbour. Taxation and duty will certainly be one area. Obviously the points raised also relate to Ireland.

    26. Jock McDonnell says:

      Just FYI, before people go too far – I suspect this particular Lt Col is the same one who was an open ‘Yesser’

      Just saying.

    27. Smallaxe says:


      I’m drawing up the partnership papers as I type.

      BTW, Rev Stu, Omega 7.5% (“It’ll be the end of you”) it’s awe Greek tae me.
      😉 😉

    28. MTH says:

      Really excited by prospect of smallaxe’s speakeasy. I’m a Winger, a pensioner and a WASPI woman so my discount is shaping up to be huge ! I may even be paid to take the product off your hands ?

    29. Ken500 says:

      It’s the same as the Calais carry on to get a carry oot. Are people still doing it? Travelling thousands of miles. Effort and time not even worth it. Hire a van etc. Who could be bothered. To poison themselves and die younger. Then get depressed and go to the doctor for depression pills to speed up the process. Incomprehensible. Everyone is happier and healthy drinking less. The young are realising that with better information. Drink’s in the wit’s oot. Everything in moderation. Perspective.

      Pubs are closing. Gyms are opening. People are increasingly into health and fitness. People are socialising. The establishments that make a profit sell drink with meals. It is the food side that makes a profit. Not the drink. Even soft drinks can be quite highly priced. Water on tap is usually fine. People can get a cup (paper?) of water in any cafe or outlet. They usually get tap water free. Or carry a container – refillable.

      There is absolutely no need for all the plastic bottles. The (UK) Gov should be a tax on it. To ensure manufactures move to more disposable containers. Instead of exporting it overseas. Massive waste. Nuclear waste is being illegally dumped on Scotland and flown about the world.

      Any Gov has the responsibility to try and keep the citizens healthier and happier. Well done Scottish Gov. A hard battle but well won.

    30. Sarah says:

      Can you hear me sniggering, all the way from Wester Ross to 6 miles from Carlisle, Smallaxe and all?

      I love these business plans!! You’ve cheered up a damp and gloomy Sunday nicely.

    31. Jock McDonnell says:

      Nope – I’m out of date – he’s been a lib dum for some time

    32. Jock McDonnell says:

      Nope, my info is out of date – he was laterly a lib dem

    33. Ken500 says:

      The real problem is the whisky companies tax evading. Getting all the resources and not paying any tax on vast profits because of Westminster Treasury policies. Defrauding Scotland.

    34. Arbroath1320 says:

      Looking forward to receiving them Smallaxe.

      I think I have even come up with a name for our wee *cough* “enterprise” …

      We could call it Scruffy Fluffy’s!

    35. Smallaxe says:


      Stay happy, plans are coming along nicely;

    36. HandandShrimp says:

      Contraband cigarette smuggling is worthwhile. Cigarettes are small, high value and light. Smuggling bulk liquid which is large, heavy and relatively low value is a different matter. It isn’t a great business model. One bust and the stock is gone, a criminal record secured and all for fairly small returns.

      Home brew hooch might be viable but the risks in drinking that stuff are considerable

    37. Smallaxe says:


      That’s a great name, I was going to call it ‘The Gretna Gargler’ but your is better.

    38. Weechid says:

      Arbroath 1320 This could be the new Modern Apprenticeships for pensioners they talked about. Give us enough for our cup of coffee and a cake in Asda with a copy of the People’s Friend and you’ll be quids in.

    39. Arbroath1320 says:

      HandandShrimp says:
      22 April, 2018 at 1:45 pm
      Contraband cigarette smuggling is worthwhile. Cigarettes are small, high value and light. Smuggling bulk liquid which is large, heavy and relatively low value is a different matter. It isn’t a great business model. One bust and the stock is gone, a criminal record secured and all for fairly small returns.

      Home brew hooch might be viable but the risks in drinking that stuff are considerable

      Thing is HaS in the business plan Smallaxe and I are currently working on we are not smuggling bulk loads of booze across the border … we’re only smuggling a few bottles a time (per O.A.P.)

      Should our ever diligent polis ever stop one of our “couriers” then they will be passed on after all as we all know oor polis are a caring lot and seeing an O.A.P. with a few bottles of booze will not raise their suspicions. The worst thing that will happen is our “courier” will get a wee bit of “friendly” advice about their drinking habits! 😀

    40. Bruce L says:

      Wait till they start picking up the “moonshine gangs” batshittery that’s also been doing the rounds in the yoonbat brigade.

    41. Arbroath1320 says:

      Glad you like the name Smallaxe. 😉

      Now THAT is something I had not thought about Weechild and as we’d be running an “apprenticeship” doesn’t that get some sort of support from … erm … the Scottish Government? 😀

      I’m sure we could stretch to a couple of cups of coffee Weechild and throw in a choccy biccy and a copy of the National as well. 🙂

    42. crazycat says:

      A long time ago (so long ago I can’t remember if it happened to an acquaintance of an acquaintance, or was something I read about) I heard about a van being stopped by the police after a trip to France for cheap drink.

      The van was over-loaded, and not only were the contents confiscated, so was the van. A hire company wouldn’t be very pleased about that.

      (The story could be apocryphal, of course.)

    43. Colin Alexander says:


      I know you’ll be scared to answer me directly, as the Wings SNP cheerleaders would be on your case.

      However, consider this:

      Westminster claims it is ultra vires ( outwith the powers of the current Scottish Parliament to hold an indyref without the say so of WM. (That Scottish sovereignty lies within the parliament at WM because of the Union).

      As it is the PEOPLE of Scotland who were / are sovereign, not the Scottish Parliament or the monarch, that begs the question:

      Was it within the LEGAL powers of the Scottish Parliament in the 1700s to create the political Union with England?

      Was the sovereignty of the people of Scotland “owned” by the Scottish Parliament, so that it could be legally transferred from the Parliament of Scotland to Westminster without the permission of the people of Scotland?

      Robert Peffers regulary reminds us monarchs are not sovereign in Scotland. What about the Parliament itself?

      Did the Scottish Parliament have the legal power to transfer (or even loan) the sovereignty of the people to Westminster, so that nowadays Westminster tries to claim the right to overrule a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland as to when they hold an indyref to dissolve the union?

    44. Daisy Walker says:

      Distillation is the means by which alcohol is physically separated from another liquid.

      The most common method is to apply heat, the alcohol boils off at a significantly lower temperature than the water based compound it came from within its initial fermentation liquid.

      A funnel attached above, which leads and cools the alcohol then captures it in a container.

      Alas, it gives off a very distinctive aroma, which can lead to capture if not done legally. So it has its downsides.

      At the other end of the temperature scale, take your fermented liquid and freeze it down to, somewhere about -8 degrees C, and the alcohol still hasn’t frozen, and you can pour it off into your new container. No smell at all. Still illegal under ‘distillation’ laws, but very difficult to detect.

      Just a thought;)

    45. Colin Alexander says:

      For those who try to compare Scotland deciding to end the Union with England as the same as Catalonia.

      It’s like comparing chalk and cheese.

      Spain has a written constititution claiming it is one and indivisible. Whether that overrules Catalonian self-determination is a matter of politics, democracy and law. I believe democratic self-determination overrules that constitution.

      Scotland, the United Kingdom, is not Catalonia and Spain.

      Each situation has to be judged on its own merits.

      As far as I’m aware, even Unionist politicians have never challenged the legal right of Scotland to become independent if the people choose to do so.

    46. Meindevon says:

      A bit off topic but alcohol related. I have confession. I spent last evening in the Dartmoor Whisky Distillery at a very enjoyable quiz night to raise funds for a local chap cycling the TdF route. I only mention it because this Whisky distillery was talked about on Wings a while back re non Scotch Scotch. In my defence I drank Edinburgh Gin (rhubarb &ginger so nice!). The good news is the whisky is not ready yet. The even better news is that by the state of the owner (alcohol and fags) it might never come about.

      Also as at the other end of the ‘country’, it is highly unlikely to be a profitable smuggling route to Scotland.

    47. Tackety Beets says:

      Aha, the Col what’s its!
      The brightest light on the tree.

      If his assertions were that f@@@@@g good for making major bucks, he would keep stummmm an get on wi’ it himself.


    48. Dr Jim says:

      If such an enterprise were to be considered by anyone stupid enough to believe what these moronic newspapers propose they might also have to factor in the shops selling the cheap booze on seeing their sales begin to increase would do what all shops do and put their prices up to realise a bigger slice of the pie for themselves making your average wee booze smuggling enterprize useless, so really this is only a possible boon to those borderers who fancy blowing their brains out on the cheapo lightning, and given that many of them who now live over the border from England to Scotland vote Tory maybe this is a clever SNP plan to encourage those border Tories to do themselves in

      Only joking! No I’m not LoL Hee hee smiley face

    49. Dan Huil says:

      @Daisy Walker 2:19pm

      Thanks for the info, Daisy. I have a relative who’s a plumber so I might be able to get some copper tubing on the cheap.

    50. Capella says:

      @ Smallaxe Kool Aid & Co – I recommend a tanker. Your product could be matured in an aged cask of petroleum fumes for extra flavour. Essence of Brent crude.

    51. auld highlander says:

      Ach, am no buying that gut rot cider anymore, am goin back on the METHS cos ye can get 20 ltrs for forty two quid. Save masel a fortune.

    52. Jock McDonnell says:

      Elsewhere in the Sunday Times, as Stu has probably squirrelled away for use later & Just in case you miss it on the BBC – some comparatively +ve stats on Scotrail v other rail providers.

    53. louis.b.argyll says:

      Can I just say to a couple of folk.

      Nicola Sturgeon is the most well-informed accomplished and true to task active politician in the UK.

      We trust her, as the roots and fruit of our movement are the truth, here and now.

    54. Smallaxe says:


      That would get us well oiled, wouldn’t it?

    55. louis.b.argyll says:

      Need to refine these oil-based puns.

    56. Al Dossary says:

      It could well be that we see a proliferation of “home brew” aficionados. Let’s face it, a bit of apple juice, some sugar, turbo yeast and bobs your uncle. Your average Frosty Jacks drinker is not going to be too worried about the taste – just so long as it gets the job done.

      About £1.50 max per litre for some 15%-20% rocket fuel if you use the right yeast at UK prices. The recipe of desert expats in certain dry countries. Just add water, sugar and yeast. It can’t be any worse than white lighting, that’s for sure.

      Google for “The Blue Flame” and you’ll see how easy it is.

    57. sinky says:

      Good old Bbc Politics Scotland having two anti Snp Unionists on as independent commentators.

    58. Craig P says:

      Stuart Crawford did some good work in a paper on the costs of a defence force for an independent Scotland. But on this issue it’s the small-time thinking that depresses me.

      If you’re going to work up a moral panic, why not do it about the imaginary container ships each transferring over potentially ten *million* bottles of wreck the hoose juice into circulation on the Scottish black market?

      In truth, maybe there’s half a dozen alkies in Gretna and Coldstream who will avail themselves of cheap foreign gutrot. Anybody doing it on a more systematic basis will likely be already selling harder and more illegal shit than really bad cider.

    59. Indy2 says:

      We can only hope that the silence regarding any date for IndyRef2 is designed to let soft NOs realise that there is an alternative to following Brexit england off the cliff.

      And any details on Brexit will not become apparent until October of this year.

      Meanwhile we continue to convert as many soft NOs as we can.

      50% plus one vote and we are free of London Rule.

    60. Smallaxe says:

      Two workers were refuelling Concorde at Glasgow Airport, both are desperate for a drink so they decide to see what the fuel tastes like.

      Next morning, one guy phones up the other and asks how he’s feeling.”Awful” he says, “my heads thumping and my stomach is killing me,” the first guy says “FFS whatever ye dae don’t fart, I’m phoning fae New York!

    61. Weechid says:

      By the way Stu – Sorry to be pedantic but Wigton is in Cumbria in England. Wigtown is in Wigtownshire which isn’t in the Borders but in Dumfries and Galloway. Call us The Borders and WE WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS:-)

    62. Soon all the Rags merely will print ‘Fuck You, Scotland’ in their largest font on the front page.
      well done, Stu.
      It is clear that the Brit Nats have nothing left in the barrel.

    63. yesindyref2 says:

      Ford Transit Connect, payload 630 Kg = 200 bottles. 7 day hire £119 from an excellent place I’ve used before, unlimited mileage, includes VAT and comprehensive insurance (with excess). 50 mpg minimum at £1.21 per litre is 11p per mile. Pickup and dropoff mileage 50 miles, £10 including buses (free if you have a bus pass).

      Round trip Glasgow to Carlisle 200 miles almost exactly, legal limit time 4 hours plus 1 hour loading unloading (quicker if a europallet is used), 2 trips per day, 7 days a week, 14 trips = 2,800 bottles at £2.50 = £7,000. Total mileage 2,800 at 11p per mile = £308. 10 hours a day for a driver at £8 per hour = £560 per week.

      Van hire £119
      Diesel £308
      Cider £7,000
      Total cost £7,427 for 2,800 bottles = £2.65 per bottle. Include paying a driver £8 an hour, and you get 20p per bottle for a total of £2.85 per bottle. All for a RRP of £3.99 – profit – totally legal profit – £1.14 per bottle, never mind the minimum price legislation.

      That’s what some small shops who don’t buy via SPAR or other wholesalers do totally legally, for their living, though their trip to the cash and carry is usually weekly (and they get VAT back on van hire and diesel). It’s what some people do for a living even now, work on margin, including wholesalers.

    64. Jack Murphy says:

      Off Topic for the weekend: From the BBC today the 22nd.

      “The vetting files: How the BBC kept out ‘subversives’.” 🙁

      The article states everything is now completely transparent at the BBC. That’s nice.

      It’s a long read but may be of interest to some. 🙂

      There was a ‘Room 105’ operating in Broadcasting House,London.

      The article begins,”For decades the BBC denied that job applicants were subject to political vetting by MI5…”

      BBC Archived today:

    65. cearc says:

      smallaxe, Arbroath,

      Never mind an illegal speakeasy, just get a boat. Floating gin palace, eh?

    66. Daisy Walker says:


      I’ve posted over on OT a reply to Pete Wishart – its very long. For your info.

    67. yesindyref2 says:

      @Jock McDonnell
      Thanks for jogging the memory, Lt-Col Stuart Crawford co-wrote A’ the Blue Bonnets, the first attempt in 2012 at defining the defence forces of Independent Scotland, and a not bad one apart from being army-centric (50 sub-sonic Hawks to defend our airspace against supersonic Sukhov SU-27s tut tut). Budget £1.8 billion a year.

    68. Dr Jim says:


      Jacob Rees Mogg says basically *stick up a hard border in NI why should we care*
      Vince Cable says to the SNP *Join us to save England then we’ll F..k you up after coz if you don’t you’re just self serving nationalists only interested in your own country*

      The EU says: What kind of xenophobic nasty arseholes are these British

      Sir Mo Farah says: *Thanks for the cash and the knighthood thank Allah I don’t live here* then grasping his massive cheque goes off to his home in America after winning the London Marathon by coming third

      I guess the Non British Windrush people after helping paying to support Mo for all these years wished they could run fast, they’d maybe get asked to stay, but then again maybe they’re just the wrong kind of brown folk and didn’t wave the flag enough

      Jeremy Corbyn says: *As long as I keep repeating Mr Spocks for the many not the few it’ll defo work just don’t tell the Jewish folk we don’t think of them as part of the many*

      Nicola Sturgeon says: *We’re nearing the end game*

      Is there anybody in Scotland NOT saying *We need to sod off away from these people*

    69. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Things are getting pretty bad when an august old institution like the Sunday Times demeans itself by promoting lawbreaking by selling alcohol without a licence and in violation of the alcohol pricing legislation. (Harold Evans would surely be turning in his grave were it not – happily – that he’s still alive and living in New York.)

      Ah, but it’s Scotland, and different Times indeed.

      It reveals though just how slowly and painfully the English Establishment is learning to cope with the concept of a land border on its very own doorstep. NI is one (distant) thing, Scotland quite another.

      But we’ll all just have to get used to it. =shrugs=

      I agree with Al Dossary upthread, far easier and cheaper surely to revive an old native tradition and brew/distil your own?

    70. velofello says:

      I bags playing Elliot Ness.

    71. Paisley bud says:

      What they are forgettin is that seeing as it’s a good idea, and we’re all better together. It’s would just be a matter of time before Westminster followed the SG example and did the same south of tit border. On the other hand, as shop keepers get to keep the difference they could just introduce a pricing structure that means Scottish accents get charged more.

    72. Smallaxe says:


      We’re gonnae need a bigger boat…dum dum…dumdum…dumdumdumdum…

    73. galamcennalath says:

      Robert J. Sutherland says:

      … slowly and painfully the English Establishment is learning to cope with the concept of a land border on its very own doorstep. NI is one (distant) thing, Scotland quite another.

      But we’ll all just have to get used to it.

      Indeed. In 2014 the prospect of a visible border between England and Scotland was used negatively and as a threat.

      They still think that way with their ‘UK single market’ crap.

      However, everything is changing rapidly and I hope we reach the situation soon where Scots realise we are going to need the protection of a border between mad bad hard Brexit England and ourselves!

      The clock is ticking. Today we see the passion a suggestion of customs union with the EU is raising. That would still be an unacceptably hard Brexit from a Scottish perspective … and that doubtful outcome is the best that is likely to now happen!

      Brexit is shite and England is going down the pan. We must chose a different path and that now seems inevitable to mean having the protection of a controlled border. As you say … “shrugs”.

    74. Robin says:

      There is definitely a movie in there for the making.

      Starring Arbroath 1320 and Smallaxe.

      Whisky Galore has already been made though.

    75. Ghillie says:

      Arbroath 1320, Smallaxe and Weechid,

      I can see you all staring in a Bill Forsyth film…

      Whisky Galore meets Restless Natives mibee 🙂

    76. yesindyref2 says:

      @Daisy Walker
      Great posting Daisy, I read it on Pete’s blog. Says it for me. But don’t be discouraged, perhaps he’s a lone voice and the depute leadership election will show he doesn’t have the mood of YES with him at all.

    77. Robert Louis says:

      Daisy Walker at 448pm,

      I have read you comment regarding Pete Wishart and his unmitigated, out of touch nonsense, and I totally gree with every word.

      Here’s the real catch though, if we did follow Pete Wishart’s plan, and waited until the next Scottish elections etc.. Guess what the Tory theme at the election would be? Tories would tell everyone, that the SNP had a mandate to ‘save’ scotland from brexit, but CHOSE not to use it. The Tories will also say, the SNP do not keep their promises, and have deceived the people of Scotland. Such is the duplicity of the Tories.

      Fact is, though, THEY WILL BE RIGHT.

      What worries me most about the nonsense from PW, is the absolute deafening silence from the SNP leadership. They need to know, their are many such as myself, who will not dream of giving them my vote again, if they do not call the referendum. I’ll be done with it all. And they will be booted out of office.

    78. Robert Peffers says:

      @Colin Alexander says: 22 April, 2018 at 2:12 pm:

      “As it is the PEOPLE of Scotland who were / are sovereign, not the Scottish Parliament or the monarch, that begs the question:-
      Was it within the LEGAL powers of the Scottish Parliament in the 1700s to create the political Union with England?”

      An interesting point, Colin, but as usual you have not thought the matter out properly before putting fingers to keyboard.
      In 1706/7 the Scottish parliament did indeed have the right to create a union with the Kingdom of England and that was because of, “The franchise”, but the franchise is an ever changing thing.

      To clarify the above needs definitions:-

      1. – an authorization granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities, for example acting as an agent for a company’s products.

      synonyms: warrant, charter, licence, permit, authorization, permission, sanction. concession, privilege, prerogative.

      2. – The right to vote in public elections.

      We are concerned here with definition #2.

      And in in 1706/7 the legal franchise was quite different from today. To get a good idea of what I’m talking about please read this article from, (Sorry Rock). “The National”:-

      Not only will it highlight the little matter of, “The Franchise”, but may explain to many Wingers why I have used the phrase, “but they don’t want you to know that”, on several occasions on these subjects and may also explain why Scottish history is an almost closed book to most of Scotland’s population.

      In plain language the franchise was legally held by mainly landowners at the time leading to the signing of the Treaty of Union. Yet the commoners, the non-landowners of Scotland, were rioting in the streets and after the signing the landowners were running for their lives.

      As a youngster in Edinburgh I was told, by a wise old semi-retired QC that I had befriended, that the last signature on the paper was signed in, what was then a cellar, in a building across the Royal Mile from the old parliament. At the time he told me this that cellar had become a ladies toilet it a restaurant. The reason it was signed there was because the signatory was hiding from the crowd who would have hanged him if they had caught him. But … “They don’t want you to know that”.

      Since then the franchise has changed to include other than only the landed gentry and thus so also has the sovereignty. However, this is not unique for so also has the franchise in the Kingdom of England. To state that plainly – only with obtaining the legal franchise have the common people of Scotland gained the legal right of sovereignty.

      It boils down to this – the right to exercise legal sovereignty was in the hands of the landed gentry but has now widened to include almost everyone over the legal age of 16 in Scotland. So it was legal for the landed gentry, (a.k.a. the parliamentarians), to sign away Scotland’s independence but it is now legally the commoners who vote for our parliamentarians and no longer the accident of birth.

      So now, among other things, you know why most Scots don’t know their Scottish history but could instantly tell you the date of the Battle of Hastings.

    79. ronnie anderson says:

      Am buyin mair shares in the Copper Coil company if you’s lot ur gonnae be dain distilling lol .

    80. Smallaxe says:

      ronnie anderson,

      Aye Ronnie, the share’s are sure to go up wi’ you as oor best customer.

    81. Abulhaq says:

      Scotland needs to get really selfish. Forget the greater British interests ie the stuff Unionists not in power, on the schmooze, feed into the turgid mix. Before long there will be a showdown between Edinburgh and London. Their way or ours. Let the knives, ours, be made keen. Go for, as they say in Catalunya, the ‘collons’…assuming there be such. The future’s bright, the future’s blue and white.

    82. Robert Peffers says:

      @Colin Alexander says: 22 April, 2018 at 2:23 pm:

      “For those who try to compare Scotland deciding to end the Union with England as the same as Catalonia.
      It’s like comparing chalk and cheese.”

      Correct – two different matters.

      “Spain has a written constititution claiming it is one and indivisible. Whether that overrules Catalonian self-determination is a matter of politics, democracy and law. I believe democratic self-determination overrules that constitution.”

      Wrong – The natural order is that ultimately sovereignty, a.k.a. self-determination, has always rested in the people and it always will.

      This is usually what has been behind all the greatest revolutions in the history of the World. Basically sovereignty rests with those who can enforce it. When they cannot enforce it they cease to be sovereign. Thus, the majority i.e. the common people, will always be the ultimate holders of sovereignty – or to put that another way – the law is a tool used by the present holders of sovereignty to enforce their sovereignty upon the majority. When the majority revolt against the current law they are taking back their natural sovereignty/

      Catalonia is still attempting to enforce the sovereignty that was held and established under General Franco. In the end game the natural order of the people’s sovereignty will, in both cases, assert itself as it always has. Ask the French, The Russians or even the USA that only began by revolution against the English Monarchy and parliament.

    83. louis.b.argyll says:

      Robert Louis, Daisy,

      There Robert, you hit the nail on the head, it’s the ‘leadership’ not prominent opinions that must/should bend to the will of the movement.

      A will that should be displayed as behaviour or activism, not a decrying negative narrative.
      (including from PW who’s dramatically reserved opinion I’ll defend while also disagreeing with)

      Nothing has changed in the FM’s position. Look how many Tory UK Ministers go off message with hurtful opinions, do they damage ‘conservatism’? What has Pete done?

      The YES movement is new, seperate from the governing party but not as irrelevant as many fear, stand together in mutual respect, until a unifying campaign lifts us out of Westminster’s binding swamp.

    84. Capella says:

      If you were thinking that the propaganda megaphone volume had increased recently – you’re right. Good discussion of the pitiful state of the press these days by Chris Hedges and Mark Crispin Miller in On Contact.

      Some telling comparisons with Dr Goebbels 1930s techniques.

      It’s on RT so watch it while you can. 30 mins:

    85. Richard Smith says:

      I’m coming round to the notion of spending my declining years as an international booze mule or, might I venture, CiderNat…

      If it could be done with a plausible veneer of legality, this mooted speakeasy could be run as a tourist attraction. Some sort of authentically low-roofed shebeen, dimly lit, manky straw on the bare-earth floor. A byre, basically. Industrial rotgut served in ill-assorted jam jars by a one-eyed barman with a bad attitude.

      It would become a place of pilgrimage for hipsters. Many years ago, an old friend published a small-press magazine called The Border Ruffian. We could do worse for a name.

    86. Dan Huil says:

      @Richard Smith 7:14pm

      “I’m coming round to the notion of spending my declining years as an international booze mule or, might I venture, CiderNat…”

      Cider with Hosie?

    87. Dorothy Devine says:

      Robert Smith , count me in as a Cider Nat I’m plenty old enough and have the bus pass at the ready – need to invest in a trolley though.

    88. ben madigan says:

      @Richard Smith – better talk to the boss men Smallaxe and Arbroath,

      Smallaxe seems to have a far more upmarket joint in mind – with a floor show and dancing girls in silver shorts.

      Which vision would attract more customers?
      And more work for our couriers?
      More funds for Pensioner Apprenticeships?
      Choices, choices – decisions, decisions . . .

    89. Breeks says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      22 April, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      It boils down to this – the right to exercise legal sovereignty was in the hands of the landed gentry but has now widened to include almost everyone over the legal age of 16 in Scotland. So it was legal for the landed gentry, (a.k.a. the parliamentarians), to sign away Scotland’s independence but it is now legally the commoners who vote for our parliamentarians and no longer the accident of birth.

      In many ways, the ironic thing about Scotland’s sovereign constitution is that coming to terms with all that it means seems a reckless thing to do when the Constitution itself is under existential duress. How can we deconstruct our Constitution and Sovereignty at such a time? What if we discover a big Constitutional plug hole in the bottom of our boat and inadvertently pulled it out before we realised what it was?

      Scotland’s popular sovereignty is a very simple principle to grasp, but extraordinarily complicated to implement. It is such a logistically challenging thing to do to physically canvas the opinion of a sovereign population that it requires something like a legal franchise, where the power of the many is channelled through the hands of the few. It’s a practical necessity.

      It occurs to me that Scotland really needs a new Constitutional Convention, but not a lame do-Gooder’s Charter, I mean a detailed Constitutional handbook of what Scotland is, and how it must function.

      I fully understand our Sovereignty needs a Franchise so that the Sovereign will of the people is compatible with a functional and practical modern Government, but just like the 18th Century Franchise of the Scottish Parliament, indeed the Franchise of the Union itself, there is a very necessary delegation of authority from the multitude of the people, and placing such authority in the hands of Scottish Lords or elected Governors.

      That’s all fine. It makes sense. The disconnect occurs where the Sovereign Scottish people are held to have delegated the very essence of Sovereignty itself.

      At its heart, the question is whether the Scottish Lords in the 18th Century we’re empowered to act as Scotland’s legitimate Government by the Franchise, which they indisputably were, but whether that power was an absolute delegation of sovereignty which empowered the Lords to actually forfeit that sovereignty. I don’t believe it ever was.

      There is another complication too, and that is whether Scotland’s unique Constitutional Sovereignty was created by design or accident. The concept is sound enough, the people can depose the king so the King cannot be sovereign. However for all there is a rudimentary principle of popular sovereignty, the principle is unfinished. There is no concept of practicable 18th Century democracy, and there is no formal mechanism of Government which is capable of accommodating the wishes of 1 million largely illiterate and innumerate Scots in the early 18th Century.

      We have a Sovereignty primarily designed to save the integrity of our Nation from military conquest or betrayal from within, but it is a truly cumbersome and unwieldy type of Sovereignty when it comes to actual government, and to have populations sovereign will implemented by a Non-Sovereign Government.

      I think Robert is spot on that the Franchise has changed as societal advances have allowed; in the 18th Century it needed a Parliament of Lords, in the 20th Century it took to democracy like a duck to water, and in the 21st Century it will surely evolve again through some derivative of electronic blockchain voting system which might at last be equal to the task of actually implementing the 300 year old concept of Scotland’s popular sovereignty.

      The big point to make however is that this evolving concept of Franchise is necessary to implement the will of the people and make the Nation governable in practical terms. But it is forever a servant of the Sovereign people and can never be anything greater. Just like the 1707 Union, the Franchise cannot resolve the process of removing the sovereign birthright of generations of sovereign Scottish citizens yet to be born.

      We need a Constitutional Convention which does not concern itself with socialist ideals or ephemeral principles, but gets right into the nitty gritty “constitution” of our Constitution, and serves as an instruction book to explain the practicable methodology of how you run a Nation where every citizen has the sovereign credentials of a monarch.

      We truly are Borg. Resistance is futile. And Sovereign subjugation isn’t happening either… ever.

    90. Richard Smith says:

      Tartan trolley. Made for it. Fill it up, drag it to the bus, driver slings it in the underfloor locker. Yeah, that would work. Probably get 6 bottles in it.

      (HT @szikratigris)

      (snort at “Cider with Hosie”)

    91. Merkin Scot says:

      Dear Agony Aunt, I have a connection who does cheap hammers.
      Should I declare this to the Mail so they can feature it as one of their Special Offers? They certainly seem to be on the ball with regard to some of the things they punt.

    92. Smallaxe says:

      Richard Smith says:

      “If it could be done with a plausible veneer of legality, this mooted speakeasy could be run as a tourist attraction. Some sort of authentically low-roofed shebeen, dimly lit, manky straw on the bare-earth floor. A byre, basically. Industrial rotgut served in ill-assorted jam jars by a one-eyed barman with a bad attitude.”

      When were you in my home, sir! I demand an explanation and an apology, the place is well lit, not dimly, as you stated.

    93. Fred says:

      “Scruffy Fluffy’s!” sounds the business Smallaxe. The new cry at the Barras will be “Erra Cigarettes, DVD’s, Viagra n White Lightening!”
      Trying to stamp out the smuggling in all weathers is wot killed Rabbie Burns!

    94. yesindyref2 says:

      There was an outside bar like that north of ‘haracle, draught beer no sawdust, opening hours erratic, owned by a musician. Stayed a couple of times before it was sold off done up and about 10 years outside my price range.

    95. Rock says:

      Clydebuilt says:
      22 April, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      “Scottish Drinkers Will Cross the Border for Cheaper Alcohol

      That’s not what the Times believes, it’s what they Hope happens.”

      Rock (30th May 2015 – “Another question answered”):

      “It is in the Establishment’s interests to keep the plebs drunk and ignorant.”

    96. Smallaxe says:

      Watch out for our stall adjacent to the Wings stall on 5/5, Fred, there may be some free samples.
      Jist tae see if it works, ye know?

    97. Rock says:

      Colin Alexander says:
      22 April, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      “Scotland, the United Kingdom, is not Catalonia and Spain.”

      Of course Scotland is not Catalonia.

      Catalonians have the guts to defy their Spanish masters, even at the risk of being beaten up and jailed.

      Scots, including the pro-independence First Minister, are gutless when it comes to standing up to their Westminster masters.

      The most disgraceful political thing that has happened to Scotland since it was sold 311 years ago has been the Scottish First Minister from an independence supporting party standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Saint Theresa and the “ghastly” Boris Johnson as they declared war on Russia after a false flag operation.

    98. Smallaxe says:

      MTH says:
      22 April, 2018 at 1:30 pm
      Really excited by prospect of smallaxe’s speakeasy. I’m a Winger, a pensioner and a WASPI woman so my discount is shaping up to be huge ! I may even be paid to take the product off your hands ?

      My apologies, MTH, my dear wife (I worship the ground that’s coming to her) is also a WASPI woman so you’ll be in good company.
      While you’re here, why don’t you post more often? I may have missed your earlier comments but if not, stay with us, my friend

    99. Richard Smith says:

      I grovel, I abase myself etc. I merely hoped to suggest that an artistic dearth of luminance might endear the establishment to the stripe of ne’er-do-well that could be expected to favour such a place with their custom and society. It was never my intention to imply a deficiency of brilliance.

    100. Colin Alexander says:

      So the ruling classes had the political franchise, suffrage or right to vote in 1700s Scotland. Whether that gave them the right to loan, transfer or sell Scottish sovereignty is debateable.

      Now, we have universal suffrage for 16 year olds upwards.

      So, the EU-Ref:

      Why didn’t the Scot Govt put forward that argument at the Supreme Court that the sovereign people of Scotland voted Remain, so Scotland must be allowed to Remain (instead of arguing Sewel Convention?)

      The Scot Govt took the view prior to the EU-Ref that the component parts of the UK must have a unanimous vote, that Scotland must not be dragged out the EU against her will, so why did they switch arguments at court to the devolution Sewel Convention, which is a modern construct of Westminster?

      Also, Why did the Scot Govt not ask the people of Scotland about the EU in a referendum of their own? e.g. Should Scotland remain part of the EU? (When it was obvious unionists would argue the EU-ref asked: should the UK remain a member of the EU?

    101. ronnie anderson says:

      Smallaxe One wee slight problem wie yer wee stall next tae the Wings stall AM in charge of the placement of stalls on the day lol an we’re in enough bother wie the cooncil withoot selling bootleg booze BTW GCC Cooncil are monitoring oor Yes sites so’s you may hiv drapped yersel in the smelly stuff lol .

    102. louis.b.argyll says:

      Breeks, Robert Peffers,

      Is a focus on reserved powers and abuses the place to start?

      To see which sovereign practicalities we currently ‘pass up’ to an (all too often) incompetent Westminster.

    103. Daisy Walker says:

      @ the Smallaxe Shebeen….

      I’ve been asked to put my OT letter to Pete Wishart on the main thread.

      Its a long one and I’d hate to break up a good session.

      I think maybes I’ll just mention it again and let folk have a look themselves.

      Best wishes to all.

    104. Colin Alexander says:

      How the BBC kept Out Subversives

      MI5 vetting.

      Of course, it doesn’t happen nowadays. Right?

    105. Capella says:

      @ Dorothy Devine – Trolleys are easy. You get them for a pound at the supermarket. A bargain.

    106. Smallaxe says:

      Richard Smith,

      Sir, I thank you and accept your abject apologies. As one gentleman to another, I will no longer require satisfaction of my honour by duelling at dawn. I consider the matter closed and forgotten.I bid you, good evening sir.

      That wis ma’ telephone voice writin’, so it wis.

    107. Smallaxe says:


      Consider it done, those who haven’t read your comment on O/T can view it here;

      By all means, post the full comment, Daisy, it’s well worth a read, my friend.

    108. Fred says:

      An apple a day Smallaxe!

    109. Liz g says:

      Breeks @ 8.33
      Great post,I totally agree that we need a Constitutional Convention of some sorts.
      I would also add that I think we need one…. Yesterday…
      for the very reason you say,our Sovereignty!
      We need to be thinking about how we “The People” want Holyrood to be run,not just the voting systems,but Constitutionally.
      I have mentioned before that I think Holyrood should be forbidden from signing Scotland up to ANY and All Treaties,that could last more than 25yrs without being put back before “The People” for an approval that it is indeed good for Scotland and should continue…

      But there’s lot’s of issues we as a Nation need to be considering,before it gets considered and ” Written up” for us.
      One example,that gets right to the heart of our Sovereignty is …. The Head Of State….
      What do we do about the Crown of Scotland?

      If,and it’s a big if I know,but thinking back to the “Interim Constitution” of 2014 as in the line “Scotland will be a Constitutional Monarchy” what did/dose that – Even – mean for this Country?
      What terms and conditions are on offer for the Crown of Scotland?
      Are we really going to go along with an “Heirs & Successors” bit?
      If not how do WE choose who we want to offer the Honours of Scotland to?
      While some might want to “keep the Queen” they might no want Charles!
      So how do the Sovereign Scots express this before he gets himself crowned,and we then have to try to get rid of him?

      Its all very well sayin that we can remove them when we want to,but we don’t as yet have any suggestions as to what steps to take to achieve it!!

      While I am not a supporter of a Monarchy at all for Scotland,if it is the popular choice,then fine!
      But I would want the Duties and Responsibilities defined,before the offer is made…none of this Tradition guff!
      Who knows mibbi the Windsors might no fancy the joab..

      If we are to have a Monarchy,are we having any of the rest of it,Peers,Lord Lieutenants,Privay Councillors?
      What about the Judiciary?
      If Scotland doesn’t want a Monarchy???
      Well what are the other acceptable options?
      How do we get there?

      It seems to me that,these are the kind of questions that should have been getting discussed in 2014,no bloody DR Who.
      But they weren’t
      And, they and questions of that sort, are long overdue now!

      The People should be made aware not only of their power,but also,what to do with it,and most importantly How to keep it for themselves and Their Own Heirs & Successor’s

    110. Smallaxe says:

      ronnie anderson,

      Don’t worry Ronnie discretions ma’ second name, on ma’ faithers side, ye’ll no’ even kno’ a’hm ther and as fir drappin’ masel in the smelly stuff, a’ve been swimmin’ in that fir years.

    111. ronnie anderson says:

      Smallaxe Ah’ll no say ah word ah hiv extra capes fur yer gizbo if you require them

    112. Smallaxe says:


      You’re a real gentleman, sir, rest assured, your kindness will not be forgotten. Any danger o’ a wee help oot wae bail money, ye kno’…jist in case!

    113. louis.b.argyll says:

      Tricky part of the deliberately buried sovereignty issue is the HM part of HM Treasury, for example.

      Replacing Lords, commissioners and trust funds with elected and proper civil service positions will be a necessary but essential task.

      Extracting the processes of government from the traditional inadequacies and corrupt inherent inequalities of numerous conventions will take some time.

      We need to switch suppliers, not close our accounts by tearing up everything and starting from scratch, we’ve come through a union, not a natural disaster, although…

    114. Cactus says:


      What shores?


    115. Smallaxe says:

      I’ll have a Remy Martin, Cactus, then I’ll go and let some people do some serious talking on the main thread while I jump back to off topic.
      Much to everyone’s relief.

    116. Golfnut says:

      @Liz g,

      What to do about the monarchy, certainly a pertinent question once the political union is ended.

      Scotland is the oldest surviving Kingdom in Europe, and I think it should remain a kingdom, but should we have another monarch, certainly not one of the present bunch.

      Apparently, I read recently, their are about 17,000 people in Scotland alone which are closer to the Scottish throne than the current crowd, it probably means they are closer to the English throne as well, but leaving that aside, do we really want to have to go through a process deciding who should wear the Crown.

      Traditionally, in times of war, or minorities, Scotland elected a Gaurdian or Gaurdians to represent the Crown, and their is no reason why Scotland couldn’t resurrect this position. The people elect a Gaurdian as Head of State, time limited of course. Maybe they could act as Scotland’s remembrancer, remind Politicians they are there to serve and not to rule. He/She/they would represent our Sovereignty in Parliament, not politicians. Republicans and monarchists might find common ground with this.

    117. Grouse Beater says:

      Over 6,000 readers in 30 hours worldwide – the Highland Clearances and what’s happening now:

    118. cearc says:

      Well, the guinguette in smallaxe’s garden seems to be shaping up nicely and it’s mobile offshoot.

      Although the buspass/shopping trolley business plan is clearly more profitable than van hire it would rather encroach on the party-time and hooch would clearly be more profitable.

      I’ve got a few odd bits of copper pipe that I could donate to the Wings’ Still.

    119. t42 says:

      “The people elect a Gaurdian”
      Tell me more about this “named gaurdian” or “named person” that creates another layer between us peasants and power? Sure i heard something similar before 😀

    120. ian murray says:

      The NO to Independence told us over and over that we were Better Together that was 5 years ago.

      Is this it?

    121. Gary says:

      Well, I disagree with your business model. You could already have access to a van for other business reasons. Perhaps you own a small shop or business? I really don’t believe you need a second person on this either. And fuel can be had for less, eg LPG or even red-diesel (why not, you’re already bootlegging?)

      Still, after saving ALL that money and then taking into the minimum pricing per unit of alcohol, even if you were to buy bottles of ‘Glens Vodka’ (my personal favourite) it’s still a wafer thin margin EVEN IF you buy at cost and sell at the full (new) retail price.

      Why would anyone bother when it’s so easy to bring it in at a FRACTION of the cost direct from the EU via your best mate who drives a lorry??

      Yeh, exactly – NO ONE WILL BOTHER THEIR ARSE doing this. Unless you are LITERALLY down the street from the border it makes NO SENSE.

      But why would The Daily Mail and The Sunday Times let a wee fact like it’s complete tripe, stop them wasting a page of print on it.

      Thanks, Stu, for reading these rags so we don’t have to…

    122. Cactus says:

      The 5th May 2018.

      Grassroots Scotland relaunches Yes!

      Let’s do this good thing 🙂



      Last orders coming soon…

    123. dakk says:

      @ Grousebeater

      Going to not do that Grousebeater!

      I rightly hate them enough as it is.

    124. Cactus says:

      Imminent infact.

      And indeed.

    125. Golfnut says:

      I didn’t use either term, ‘ named guardian’ or ‘ named person’ in my comment, sounds a bit like contrived association to me. Scotland peasants( your terminology ) will probably elect some sort of Head of State, a President or maybe along the Irish lines, so I have little doubt their will be another layer.

    126. Mary miles says:

      Hi from Tassie:

      Any comments on Gordon Ross Indycar message for 22.4.2018?

    127. Liz g says:

      Louis b Argyll @ 10.32
      Wrote a reply that hasn’t gone through but will try again while also answering
      Golfnut @11.01
      I am not suggesting changes for the sake of it Louis and I have no great objection to a Monarchy if it’s what the Scottish people want.
      Or a Gaurdian
      What I am saying is we should have the conversation.
      The things I was suggesting….. no hereditary elements and a sunset clause on Treaties written in the Constitution …
      Was more about protecting Scots of the future from being stuck with the mistakes of the past.
      To actually learn from the history of “us” …
      And pointing out that if we don’t pay attention to these things, we will find that they get decided for us rather than by us.
      I am not talking about changing things just because we can,like some sort of year zero option.
      But we should not hesitate to dump the baggage , to try to ensure that we don’t just recreate a Scottish ruling elite who can sign us up for Centuries, of either Monarchs or Unions
      We are about to author Scotland’s Constitution if not now then when?

    128. Cactus says:

      Should auld acquaintance…

      International Scotland.

      It’s all hours.

      That’s us.

    129. louis.b.argyll says:

      Grousebeater, outstanding.

      ‘We are at a point where Westminster under Tory and its alter ego Labour aim to keep the populace uncertain, busy watching our backs, our tomorrows not quite guaranteed.
      They are imposing constant political upheaval, or as Karl Marx put it, “an uninterrupted disturbance of social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation”.

      The clearances, Kilbride passage fairly puts things in context.

    130. Liz g says:

      t42 @ 11.20
      Well I hope you were being funny and not unkind.
      But Someone has to sign things into law,doesn’t much matter what you call them…. no pesants required.
      And don’t ye think The Guardianship of Scotland has quite a gravitas to it?

    131. dakk says:

      Doubt there is enough money in gutrot bootleg cider to cover the overheads of the Speakeasy project.

      Now if the shebeen had a mezzanine with a home abortion chair to service the wee English colony across the water from Stranraer,then we might have a goer.

      Throw in eloping Gratna style same sex weddings and Bingo!

      High priest Torys like Mundell and Davidson might even endorse such entrepreneurship.

    132. Smallaxe says:


      We already have eloping same-sex couple marriages, my friend.
      My wife and I have been witnesses at two, so far.
      Love is Love

      Goodnight, Wingers, it’s been fun.

    133. Cactus says:

      A double hauf of Remy it is Smallaxe.

      Ah was staggerin’ aboot the coastal path earlier an now ahm HOME.

      Watching the snooker on a guest tv.

      Cidernat is funny good.

      Scotland is home.

    134. Golfnut says:

      @Liz g
      Totally agree Liz, we the people need to make these decisions, not have them made for us, and a constitution is the way to make sure that remains the case. Limiting the power of politicians, making them accountable is an issue for me. We have to my mind a venal and corrupt government in Westminster, unimpeded by democracy and of course the very recent example of a Spanish Government using violence to thwart democracy.
      I like the sound of Gaurdian of Scotland as well, but remaining a Kingdom even in the short term after Independence is a must, it is without doubt one of the biggest levers Scotland has, and we have quite a few, when dealing with westminster.

    135. Still Positive says:

      Golfnut @ 12.40

      Agree for the most part. Westminster is totally corrupt and we should rid ourselves of it as soon as we can.

      Like a Guardian for Scotland. And I would vote for getting rid of the monarchy.

    136. Dr Jim says:

      We used to have the title Lord Protector, we could make it unisex and have Lady Protector if it’s a woman, although that does sound a wee bit like a product if you know what I mean

      Historically if memory serves Scotland has the right to elect a Monarch if we feel that the current Monarch isn’t serving the country well (check with Robert Peffers on that)

      Anyway what’s in a name, it’s the person who stands up for it that counts but something gaelic might be fun also giving certain folk difficulty in pronouncing it

    137. yesindyref2 says:

      I like the idea of a Guardian for Scotland, whether or not Scotland has a monarchy, or a monarch old enough to sit on the throne without slipping off. Job to be able to challenge Monarch / PM / FM / Parliament if they fail Scotland, and at least push the issue to the Constitutional Court.

      Maybe we should have our own on a weekly rota, based on current performance I’d nominate Daisy Walker.

    138. Iain mhor says:

      I don’t know about ‘Guardians’ but we do have a High Steward of Scotland.
      Currently Chairlie, Chooky Rossy, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince of Scotland.
      What a waste of a titles they’ve been. Though I did see him a Renfrew once decades ago. But he’s more often at his drum, Dumfries House in Cumnock.
      Always Prince of Wales you notice, never Prince of Scotland.
      There will be a reason for that nae doot.

      High Steward though… that’s risible.

    139. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Liz g @ 23:52,

      With all due respect to your ever-inquiring mind, Liz, the monarchy is another of those divisive issues we should NOT be having a conversation about right now. (Or any time before IR2.) For one thing, before you know it there would be another unnecessary effusion from the “multi-question referendum” folks.

      “Maximum continuity” should be our motto. The appropriate time will no doubt come, very possibly when the current monarch finally shuffles the inevitable mortal coil, but in the meantime no need to frighten any horses. No need to create any unnecessary excuses for people to backtrack and vote “no”.

      Personally I’m fairly neutral on that particular issue, but I can see some advantages of monarchical continuity in the short term – it would offer some reassurance to disappointed Unionists, and consequent stability from their wilder elements, and also considerably ease the transition for the armed forces. And I quite like the idea of having a shared monarch if only for the lovely historical symmetry!

      We can easily dispense with all the flummery straight-off, and keep it very low-key like the Danes and Norwegians.

    140. Liz g says:

      Golfnut @ 12.40
      Yes I agree,but its so hard to get people interested in how important this is.
      Yet I would have thought that given we are all relentlessly made aware of how “wonderful” the American Constitution is ment to be.
      The concept of writing one would be an easier sell.

      Even suggesting that… ok lets have a Monarchy,but we should define what the role actually is for and what power it does and doesn’t have,is taken as some sort of republican sentiment.
      When really it’s about how our Sovereignty is defended!

      That right we have to get rid of a Monarch and choose another,….. should we not design how this is to happen,just in case we needed it?
      Otherwise its a stupid thing to include in our Constitution!
      Which worries me,because then it might not get in there!
      And there are those who would be very happy not to draw attention to its absence.
      While everyone else just assumed we still had it,yet if it’s not actually in there then we don’t actually have it anymore.
      That’s quite a thing to be giving up!
      Especially since the current candidates have other Kingdoms!

      As you say its not just about Monarchy,the state violence from Spain to Catalonia,under the Spanish Constitution should caution us to have a great deal of care what we do and do not allow Holyrood to do in times of dissatisfaction with Government.
      No one currently mentions that after Brext Westminster can put Capital Punishment back on the statute books,and anyone who thinks they wouldn’t are worse than stupid.
      Yet we could make damm sure that Holyrood can’t ever even debate, giving the state the right to kill it citizens by forbidding it in the Constitution,we would not need to depend on ECJ membership for it.

      The same would apply to any deployments of our armed services
      in other Countries,especially since our two neighbours,one to the south and one to the far west are likely to put pressure on Holyrood to join their warmongering .
      The Constitution in this instance should protect Holyrood from that pressure,because it won’t have that kind of power?

      Sooner or later Scotland will elect a bad Government,its only sense that we retain the ability to keep them in check,and that ability won’t come from within Holyrood.

      Loads to sort out, Golfnut, I just hope that enough people get on board,when the time comes.

    141. Liz g says:

      Robert j Sutherland @ 1.54
      I can see what you are sayin Robert.
      Indy First…

      But as I hope you can see from my last post,the issue is no actually the Monarchy.

      It’s about not getting caught up in what can be centuries of stuff, by NOT engaging in the Writing of our Constitution.

      And above all else
      When we get our government within slapping distance,keeping the ability to slap them!

    142. twathater says:

      Daisy read your comment over on PW blog and agree with every word , hopefully the SNP and Nicola will take cognizance of YES people’s feelings , I also commented a couple of times indicating much the same feelings . I also highlighted that the commenter who calls himself ( geacher ) trolls various indy sites ( notably Peter A Bell ) and spouts the usual unionist too poor , too wee , too stupid meme . Peter doesn’t even bother responding to him it’s too tiresome .

      BTW I agree with others about posting it on Wings I know it is long but it is well worth reading and discussing

      BTW LIZg I am in total agreement with you re politicians restraint and enshrining sunset clauses and many many other restraints POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE

    143. yesindyref2 says:

      At least geacher is an open unionist, and doesn’t hide it. Interesting and useful to see the arguments he / she uses.

    144. yesindyref2 says:

      Oh, and the origin of those arguments. One for instance comes from average’s blog, and I think originated there. I’ve seen it used a few times. Now’s not the time as they say, but if at some time it becomes neccessary, pull the rug out from the source and the whole house of cards built on it falls flat.

    145. Graeme McAllan says:

      Sundry pishflappery, thanks to Thingy for this 😉

    146. Robert Peffers says:

      @Breeks says: 22 April, 2018 at 8:33 pm:

      replying to :Robert Peffers says:22 April, 2018 at 5:52 pm:

      “It boils down to this – the right to exercise legal sovereignty was in the hands of the landed gentry but has now widened to include almost everyone over the legal age of 16 in Scotland. So it was legal for the landed gentry, (a.k.a. the parliamentarians), to sign away Scotland’s independence but it is now legally the commoners who vote for our parliamentarians and no longer the accident of birth.”

      I initially spent a long time and much effort replying to your comment Breeks, but it was far too long and far too complex so most Wingers would not follow through the complex arguments.

      So after thinking some more about it I’ll try to keep it very brief.

      You make a big mistake when you refer to the people of Scotland’s legally sovereign peoples as, “a popular sovereignty”. This is the Westminster, “popular”, propaganda they have always propagated but it is demonstrably wrong. The truth will always be exactly as I have been saying for decades. Sovereignty is naturally that of the people.

      To put that in basic terms – if the people do not accept the legal sovereignty of whoever is presently exercising sovereignty over them then the sovereignty reverts to the people or again sovereignty belongs to whoever can enforce it, either by, accepted law, or by any form of force. i.e. police state or military might.

      The truth then is that the Scottish legal systems right of independence, as is agreed in Article #19 of the 1706/7 Treaty of Union and is sacrosanct. This together with the legal claim that the Westminster claims of absolute sovereignty over Scotland have no place under Scots law remain the truth and the claim that the people of Scotland is, “Popular Sovereignty”, is only Westminster propaganda.

      The fact is that ultimate sovereignty naturally reverts to the people makes the Westminster Establishment’s claims wrong and thus it is the, “Popular”, sovereignty of only Westminster.

      To put that in basic terms it’s Westminster propaganda and a form of brainwashing going back many hundreds of years and can only be upheld as long as the majority of the people of Scotland allow it to be upheld.

      Forget the Westminster claims of the people of Scotland being sovereign being only, “Popular Sovereignty”, for it indeed has no place under the rule of law of Scotland and, in any case, sovereignty can only be maintained if the people allow it to be maintained. When the people say we are sovereign then they are no matter what the previous holders of sovereignty care to claim.

    147. Robert Peffers says:

      @Iain mhor says:23 April, 2018 at 1:43 am:

      “Always Prince of Wales you notice, never Prince of Scotland.
      There will be a reason for that nae doot.”

      Aye! There certainly is, Iain Mhor, and I’ve highlighted that on many, many occasions here on Wings.

      Gwenllian of Wales or Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn (June 1282 – 7 June 1337) was the only child of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last native Prince of Wales (Welsh: Tywysog Cymru).

      In 1284 the King of the Kingdom of England who had defeated the last native Prince of Wales in war when both states were under the rule of law of, “Divine Right of Kings, issued a proclamation – “The Statute of Rhuddlan”, and thus annexed Wales as an integral part of the Kingdom of England.

      In the event the English monarch vowed that the Next Prince of Wales would be a native born Prince of Wales. Then he sent his pregmant queen to Cardiff Castle to give birth to the, “Next native born, Prince of Wales”. To this day the Prince of Wales is the first born male child of the monarch of England but as all this was before the Treaty of Union then that title has no place under Scottish law.

    148. robertknight says:

      Anything which appears to erode the concept of a United Kingdom of Greater England & British Ulster will always be fair game for the Yoon establishment.

      That Scotland can still be found on a map is bad enough, let alone that a difference can be found in how things are done across these islands.

    149. Dorothy Devine says:

      I like the title Guardian of Scotland -now all we need is a modern William Wallace to step forward.

      Capella , duly noted for the inspirationally cheap trolley – though I do much prefer the tartan trolley as it has that “alliteration factor” , something I may not be able to say after a visit to the Smallaxe Shebeen!

    150. Smallaxe says:

      The ‘sweet spot’ of catastrophe;

      Sorry, Mr Wishart, but you are factually wrong: there is no “indy-gap”

      Liam Fox’s trade deals come up against the reality of public opinion;

    151. Smallaxe says:

      Customs union U-turn by May could provoke Brexiter cabinet revolt;

      Labour ‘promises promises’ four more bank holidays if it wins general election; (Warning Flegs!)

      WATCH: Muslim Ex-Tory Minister says there are now “weekly occurrences of Islamophobic incidents” in the Conservative Party [VIDEO];

    152. Smallaxe says:

      Brexit: GCSE customs union;

      Tom Swarbrick Tells Theresa May What To Do To Avoid Another Windrush Scandal;

      Accountability in modern government: what are the issues?

    153. Smallaxe says:


      Another headache for the government as disabled politicians launch legal action over equal access;

      Revealed: new cracks at Hunterston nuclear reactor raise radiation accident fears;

    154. Smallaxe says:

      The Queen is probably hoping we’re too distracted by the royal wedding to notice she’s ‘welcoming a dictator’;

      Have A great day, Folks.

    155. Abulhaq says:

      Most Scots I suspect are republicans. The SNP’s dalliance with monarchism is unnecessary. It annoys nationalists and does not convince unionists.
      A new Scottish state ought to have a constitution guaranteeing the sovereignty of its peoples.
      Would that state need a symbolic head? Might not the president of the peoples’ assembly suffice if called upon to ‘represent’ the country? We need to move on from the conventional.

    156. Smallaxe says:

      Dorothy Devine says:

      “though I do much prefer the tartan trolley as it has that “alliteration factor”, something I may not be able to say after a visit to the Smallaxe Shebeen!”
      Should circumstances see someone so socially serene and sensibly sophisticated succumbing to the sensuous sensation that surely awaits at Smallaxe’s Shebeen, we’ll no doubt see you soon.

      Whit dis alliteration mean?

    157. Legerwood says:

      An article on fishing/EU/quotas by Polly Toynbee in today’s Guardian is worth a read. Several points of relevance to Scotland’s fishermen

    158. Legerwood says:

      Smallaxe @ 8.14 am

      Duchess of Cambridge now in labour apparently

    159. yesindyref2 says:

      @Abulhaq says: “Most Scots I suspect are republicans

      Even if true that would mean that many are not, and why lose their YES votes over something that is not the prime objective – Independence?

      Personally I’m not fussed either way, and I doubt very much that abolishing the monarchy would be a vote winner amongst the current NO voters. Has anyone heard anyone saying “If only the Indy movement would promise to abolish the monarchy I’d vote YES?”.

      And does anyone say “Since they’re keeping the monarchy I’m voting NO”. Even the “famous” P Dow doesn’t go quite that far.

    160. Famous15 says:

      Richard Leonard says thr Duchess of Cambridge news is good for “Scottish Labour” and a slap in the face for the SNP.

    161. Shakespeare`s birthday today,

      could have been written today,

      Stands Scotland where it did?

      Alas, poor country! almost afraid to know itself.

      it cannot be call’d our mother, but our grave;

      where nothing,but who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;

      where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air
      are made, not mark’d;

      where violent sorrow seems a modern ecstasy;

      the dead man’s knell is there scarce ask’d for who;

      and good men’s lives expire before the flowers in their caps,dying or ere they sicken.

      And Happy St George`s day to all our many English settlers/refugees/immigrants.

    162. Smallaxe says:


      I bet you’re just as excited as me to hear that great news, in labour, you say, I always took her to be a Tory.

      Today, a fck shall not be given.

    163. Smallaxe says:

      Scraping beneath the bottom of the Vow barrel

    164. Tinto Chiel says:

      Very lively on here this morning, much of it due to Smallaxe’s Cider Stall and to some excellent links, particularly to the devastating Kelly article on Mr Wishart’s position.

      Special award, surely, to cearc for being the first person to use the word guinguette on Wings.

      I also like “Cider with Hosie” and “Discretion’s ma second name on my faither’s side” (you know who you are).

      You pure get an edumacation on here.

      *feverishly knitting matinee jacket for the new Royal*

    165. Smallaxe says:

      Tinto Chiel says:
      “*feverishly knitting matinee jacket for the new Royal*”

      I’ll feed wool to my cat again and it’ll have mittens.

    166. Les Wilson says:

      Henry Mcleash given a EBC platform this morning, on a federal solution to the Uk,he goes we need for a valid case for
      federalisation to fight Indy2. He would like to see it on the Indy2 ballot, in order to save the Union, but of course it has to be fit for purpose.yeah.

      We would get real power within a UK framework, it could work he gushes. Suggesting it would be replacement for the Act of Union.
      Why though would he not mention that the existing “Union” is not, and never has been a union of 4 nations.

      The same crap from the Lords. This will be our Vow2.
      The Scottish Government needs to refuse to consider this, or Indy will be over forever, we would never again have the chance that we have now.

      Get a date in The SNP conference and let’s get on with it. Let’s kick these Union shenanigans into the dust.

    167. Abulhaq says:

      Read what i wrote, not what you fancy i wrote.
      The SNP is not a ‘conservative’ party or am i being misled?

    168. Iain mhor says:

      @Robert Peffers
      Aye I ken weel why he has the Prince of Wales title.
      I was being somewhat facetious in speculating why his Scots titles are never used. I would venture that very few people know there even is a Prince & Princess of Scotland far less a Great Steward.
      You never hear these titles reported anywhere even when Chairlie & his Squeeze are in Scotland or he’s wandering Lochnagar lonely as a cloud. Not in any rag, not in any TV news. I know the good bodies of Renfrew will happily tell you he holds a Baronetcy and I assume wandering Rothesay folk will tell you he’s the Chooky. Beyond that? Ooh a wee bit too much to give Scotland any airs and graces eh?

      I once posited that Chairlie should stop moping around waiting for his English crown and claim his own in Scotland along with independence. Much pomp & ceremony, much rejoicing. Much affiliation between the monarchies, bonds between neighbours cemented, constitutional difficulties resolved, confuses unionists and probably quite happily mollifies them etc – He could even chuck one of his weans at it if he was so desperate for his maws bunnet.

      But it’s not for me to point that out to him, he never worked it out himself and frankly tells me everything I need to know about “The High Steward and Prince of Scotland” So they’ve had their opportunity and done nothing with it, apart from dip Scotland for money. I’m happy to see the back o’ the lot of them. But if people ever decided an Indy Scotland needed a High, Steward, Prince, King, or Guardian, then it’s none of my concern. I’ve lived umpty decades with the wastrels so no difference to me.

    169. auld highlander says:

      Whilst I was out cutting a trailer load of peats for Smallaxe’s bothan a helper was watching the latest from

      Indycar Gordon Ross 22.4.18,

      (good signal on the Barvas moor by the way)

      can’t link it but I think it’s worth a look. If you canna find it on utube u will get him on fb.

    170. Dr Jim says:

      Stop the internet, stop social media, stop young people, mental health, while at the same time the UK Guv complains about China or North Korea being undemocratic yet the BBC uninvited continually find ways of beaming signals into those places claiming the moral high ground of free speech

      Just a theory but could it be the UK guv just want to stop people communicating with each other, and especially for free, coz let’s face it does anybody really believe the Tories give a monkeys about anybody’s health

      I’ve got grand daughters of the so called bullying age and surprise surprise they’ve never been bullied and don’t know anyone who has, except if you call pal 1 telling pal 2 to sod off because they decide to hate each other for two days and then *Fa back in* with each other

      Call me a conspiracy theorist but I suspect the government has a dodgy ulterior motive, well let’s face it they always do don’t they

    171. Smallaxe says:

      auld highlander,

      Indycar Gordon Ross 22 04 18 Indyref2 Do and D’Hondt;

      Thanks, for the peat, it’ll put some flavour into the hooch and disguise the taste of tattie peelings.

    172. Smallaxe says:

      Brexit: Government insists UK will leave customs union;

    173. Golfnut says:

      @Dr Jim,
      I think the only Lord Protector Scotland had was Cromwell, so best maybe that a body swerve.
      Yep, like the idea of the title of Gaurdian in Gaelic or maybe or maybe Doric, thumbs on that.


      My thoughts exactly, political accountability and a means for its enforcement is I think absolutely a must.
      Thanks for the recent link to your blog, agree with probable make up of the SDF Naval force, though I think I would prefer the 2/3 thousand tonne smaller Frigates with the appropriate punch and helicopters, though I would increase the number to 8.

      @Iain Mohr

      Charlie is of course a Prince of Scotland, but his Prince of Wales equivalent is as the Duke of Rothesay, which denotes Charlie as the heir to the Scottish Crown, and it is that title above all others that makes him the heir to the English crown.

      @ Liz g
      I’m with you on this. We have a Sleekit, malicious,venal and corrupt Westminster currently, it got that way because their isn’t really any method to reign them in, we should have a constitution ready, we should have a vote on that constitution before Scotland elects its first Parliament.

      Sorry everyone for the length of the post.

    174. Naina Tal says:

      Re Indycar Gordon Why are his broadcasts always shown mirror image? Thocht he jist had yin o yon furrin motors wi the steering on the ither side. But he’s driving in this broadcast an the ither cars were passin on the wrong side. Thocht he wis in anither country. Then a noticed aw the shop signs were the wrong wey roon. Should we trust a body wha cannae get the pictur oan his wee camera the richt wey roon? Jist saying like….

    175. Dr Jim says:


      William Wallace was High Protector of Scotland although it may have been Lord High Protector, my Scottish history is a bit vague on the subject I’m ashamed to say because I went to a *good Scottish school* and got bloody Shakespeare and every English war date I could memorise

      I did get Bruce’s fictional spider story though

      The colonies eh

    176. Breeks says:

      Maybe I’m not using the right word to describe Scotland’s Sovereignty as “popular”.

      I don’t mean that it needs a popular majority or populist agenda, but merely that it is “of the people”. You could equally well call it Collective Sovereignty, Communal Sovereignty, Democratic Sovereignty, Proletariat Sovereignty… but none of the adjectives seem a very good fit. You might even describe it as a Republican Sovereignty, but you still can’t hit the bullseye. Sovereignty is the preserve of the Sovereign, a title usually bestowed upon one person, and the language is framed accordingly.

      Maybe, once we reestablish our wee Nation on the world stage, and have reconciled our unique Constitution with ourselves and the wider world, perhaps the best understood most definitively apt prefix for our Sovereignty will be the word “Scottish” or “Scotch”. May the Global Community will be gracious enough to let our “Scotch” Sovereignty be as distinctive as our whisky and our beef, though somewhat less ethereal as our mists.

      It’s a bit like the word “Nationalism”. In Scotland it has its own meaning and connotations, and often demands the word “civic” as a prefix to distinguish our brand of Scottish Nationalism from the Blood and Soil versions of other “Nationalisms”.

      Maybe instead of all these qualifying prefixes cluttering up the language, Scotland just needs a couple of new words added to the great lexicon of Scots language; one for Sovereignty that is unlike any other, and another for Nationalism that is unlike any other too.

      Perhaps it is even such a basic thing as the English language itself which cannot accommodate the concept of Scottish Sovereignty. It makes it difficult to appreciate the subtleties of Scotland’s Sovereignty when we are confined to using the same words which the English language uses to define its own Sovereignty. How could you describe a rhinoceros if your language had no word for rhinoceros? Maybe it is merely a quirk of language and vocabulary which leaves Scottish Sovereignty misunderstood as something abstract because the conventional labels are too restrictive and simply don’t fit. Our Sovereignty is a rhinoceros but we have to call it a horse so people know what we’re talking about… more or less.

      For example, can we still call Scottish Sovereignty “Sovereignty”, when a Sovereign majority can defeat the will of a Sovereign minority in a democratic election? By strict definition, the majority overrule the minority, so by strict definition the minority cannot be sovereign, and yet they are. So are they lesser sovereigns, or do we have to partition the country?- Yet another Paradox we need to reconcile in our Constitution. Sovereign and non-sovereign at the exact same time…

      So too, how can we restrict the voting rights of minors? They are sovereign citizens from cradle to grave, but somehow denied the right to vote until adult. So our kids have some “lesser” type of Sovereignty than we do as adults. What do we properly call our kids? Half Sovereigns?

      It’s cheesy I know, but I have to say it… “We are all sovereign, but some of us are more sovereign than others.” Cheesy or not, Scotland needs a Constitutional solution to the circumstance.

      This does seem like speculative naval gazing I know, but the awkward truth is this business of Sovereignty and Constitutional integrity which we dismiss so lightly, is actually the white hot nucleus burning bright at the centre of our Constitutional debate. Everything else, Brexit, Devolution, IndyRef, Propaganda,EVERYTHING… is periferal to the issue of sovereignty.

      I believe this matters, but it isn’t registering with enough people. When I say we need a Constitutional Convention, I mean we NEED a Constitutional blue print to have answers to these questions. Scotland has a redoubtable paperchase to bolster our claim to be sovereign, so Westminster will require some pretty clever lateral thinking to defeat us. But Westminster is Westminster. One credible avenue of attack might be to present Scottish Sovereignty as a laudable abstract ideal, but an ideal which is unworkable in everyday reality and thus cannot form the basis of a competent and legally recognised sovereignty.

      Do you begin to see now why this is NOT the time to idle marking time while waiting for the polls to shift? We need to be getting our heads into and all over this principle of Sovereignty. It is THE battlefield where the pivotal Constitutional battle will take place. Right now we should have our Salty Pies, Assault Pioneers crawling over it, digging pots, burying mines, marking range distances, filling sand bags and digging our trenches. We don’t have very long to prepare…

    177. Dr Jim says:

      David Torrance has written the same article again at the Herald for the last time and is moving on
      So instead of Arse kissing Tories in Scotland he’ll be Tory Urinal licking at the House of Lords or similar

      Maybe Scotland has become a hostile environment for Davey

    178. Dr Jim says:

      Unionists are claiming the SNP is trying to control the media

      But that *POWER* is reserved to Westminster


    179. Smallaxe says:

      Carolyn Leckie (The National)
      My advice to SNP: set a date for indyref then focus on unity;

    180. Bob Mack says:


      You raise an interesting point, but I must insist that the evidence of our popular sovereignty already is undeniable.
      Why? Simply because if you look at the current monarchy Royal Coat of Arms it states “Dieu et mon droit”. This acknowledges the Royal right to rule and to be the figurehead if the nation.

      Interestingly this only applies in England. The Scottish Royal coat of Arms bears the inscription “in defens”,

      If the Queen was sovereign as she is everywhere else on these islands, then the Royal coat of Arms for Scotland would have the moniker “Dieu et mon Droit”

      Scotland has the ancient right to choose our Kings and Queens by popular acclaim. Concensus if you will. However,we cannot rid ourselves of that right. It is God given,just as the rights of England’s royalty is God given.

      They are answerable to us ,and not us to them. That is true Democracy., but what we have had for three hundred years are politicians who put that ancient right on the back burner, to suit the needs of the UK as a whole.

      That in no way negates our entitlement.

    181. Dorothy Devine says:

      Smallaxe , top marks my friend ! I will not attempt to compete the whole idea and additions has made it a smiley morning!

      P.S Anyone down Dunoon way give an update on the orca?

    182. Fred says:

      Dorothy, the Orca pod was apparently filmed from Western Ferries!

    183. Famous15 says:

      I got 5/1 on Gunther for Royal baby. George is taken but Kevin is 33/1.

    184. Stravaiger says:

      Regarding all this talk of a Constitution for an Independent Scotland, would anyone find any value in an online forum to discuss such things? For that matter it could be useful for discussing cranking up the Yes movement. It would be open to all committed independence supporters.

      The Indyapp is supposed to be getting a forum but it’s not there yet.

      I used to run a wee forum called ‘Quirkynats’if anyone remembers it.

    185. yesindyref2 says:

      Yes, I did read what you wrote including this: “We need to move on from the conventional.

      and my reply is along the lines of “Why lose Indy Ref 2 for the sake of a minor issue which not everyone agrees with and can be done after Independence if anyone wants”.

    186. lenny Hartley says:

      Dorothy, think the Orca have waved to Highland Mary and buggered off, wonder if the sonor of 22 Naval Ships in the Clyde at the moment had anything to do with them going so far up river.

    187. Liz g says:

      Rev Stu
      Have been having problems posting
      Tried to send one at 11am and waited till now to see if it went through
      Then tried again, still no joy.
      While I think is my end
      Apologies if this is the kind of double posting that you complain about
      Didn’t think till after I sent it

      Anyone know what best to do if a post doesn’t send?

      Stravaiger @ 3.19
      Yes I do think a dedicated forum would be useful.
      A place to thrash out ideas and hopefully where people would chip in suggestions ,that would be ready to go when the time comes.
      This subject can be wide ranging,long and boring for some,and we don’t want to derail other conversations, especially not the ones on here!

    188. Robert Peffers says:

      @Naina Tal says: 23 April, 2018 at 10:29 am:

      ” Should we trust a body wha cannae get the pictur oan his wee camera the richt wey roon? Jist saying like….”

      Mibbies that it is a dash cam lukin intil the caur instead o oot o the caur micht jist hae a wee puchle tae dae wi it, Naina Tal?

    189. Robert Peffers says:

      @Bob Mack says: 23 April, 2018 at 11:11 am:

      ” They are answerable to us ,and not us to them. That is true Democracy., but what we have had for three hundred years are politicians who put that ancient right on the back burner, to suit the needs of the UK as a whole.
      That in no way negates our entitlement.”

      Both yourself, Bob Mack and Breeks are correct — up to a point. The low down and dirty derivation of, “Popular Sovereignty”, is a Westminster Propaganda concept that attempts to denigrate our ancient civil sovereignty and, as usual, Wee Scotland led the World by a considerable margin.

      When the rest of Christendom, (at that time in history it was basically just most of Europe), The Declaration of Arbroath was such a startling concept that the rest of Europe failed to properly understand just what it was.

      Remember that in 1320 the rest of Europe was under the rule of Law of, “Divine Right of Kings”. That is they believed that God chose who was the sovereign authority of the Kingdoms of Europe. Not only that but the supreme authority was the Pope in Rome who was then the highest Sovereign authority and a prince of the church, (nae Kaffliks an Proddies back then).


      However, the real reason for the Declaration of Arbroath had not too much to do with the high ideals of democracy of the common people. It was because the English monarchy had egged on the Pope to excommunicate Robert Bruce for the crime of killing the Red Comyn on the alter steps of Dumfries High Kirk. He was excommunicated but not for murder but for sacrilege.

      As King, in the eyes of Christendom, that meant his subjects and everything else he owned in the Kingdom Of Scotland was excommunicated and the Declaration of Arbroath, that under Scottish law the people were sovereign and not the King, was the way out of disaster for Scotland.

      For if the monarch wasn’t sovereign then Scotland was not excommunicated and the reason that the Pope accepted it was due mainly to the English Monarchs declaration that the King of England was the head of the Church in England and thus was usurping the Pope’s authority.

      However, the effect was the same – The law of Scotland declared that the people were sovereign and the royal was the protector of their legal sovereignty.

    190. crazycat says:

      @ Yesindyref2 at 8.58 and again later

      I take your (and others’) point about not frightening the horses/introducing complications, but:

      Has anyone heard anyone saying “If only the Indy movement would promise to abolish the monarchy I’d vote YES?”

      …in 2014 I answered the phone in our Yes shop to a caller who asked what the policy was on keeping the monarchy. I foolishly assumed he was an anxious monarchist, and reassured him, only to have my ear bent for many minutes by a tirade about how they were German scroungers and this was the chance to get rid of them and how he wouldn’t vote Yes, etc.

      In vain did I try to explain that we could decide later and that voting No was even less likely to get rid of them, and I had some difficulty terminating the call without just cutting him off. Everyone else in the room was much entertained. (Whether he would ever have voted Yes anyway is of course unknowable – the conversation was confined to the one topic.)

      So, yes, I have heard someone say that. (I also heard the late Ian Bell come pretty close to saying his support for independence was conditional on that, at a meeting of the campaign group Republic, though later comments of his elsewhere led me to think it was just a bit of hyberbole for the occasion.)

    191. Weechid says:

      Crazycat. I can confirm what you say – I actually know someone who voted No because he didn’t like the SNP stance on the monarchy. He’d told everyone he was voting Yes but didn’t on the day and that was the reason he gave to me.

    192. hu says:

      A few problems with the artcile why would the bobbys be waiting in england or just over the scottish borders. There is no duty worry buying things in england is not a crime, there is no border controls. A repretable retailer could lose their licence. A cowboy in van has none. Its not comparable to going to france as no crown loss. There is no lack of legilsation and organisaues. In regard to a hire van, not entirely sure someone would worry about the weight limit too closley could get couple of hundered in the back and the passanger seat.

      In respect to the market being too poor may well be correct its will be silm margins no profitable enough to be big bucks. Home brew sellers may do better

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