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Wings Over Scotland


Flying with Wings

Posted on September 18, 2019 by

As the mandate for a second independence referendum currently sits gathering dust in the SNP vaults, discussion has started on ways to generate some movement. One of these has been the possibility of a Wings political party being set up to campaign for Holyrood list seats, which has generated rather a lot of attention.

Various pundits have been loudly vocal about the perceived pros and cons, but I’ve been extremely dissatisfied – in particular with those dismissing the value of a Wings party – with the quality of evidence and analysis that they’ve produced to justify their negative opinion. So I thought I’d use my day-job skills in commercial data science to analyse and understand the benefits, or otherwise, of the idea.

NOTE: I strongly believe in the democratisation of information, so at the end of this article you’ll find the data and the Excel files I’ve used in my analysis. If you think I’ve cherry-picked circumstances that suit my personal views you can play around with whatever scenarios and numbers you want to.

Firstly, I’m afraid we need to dig just a little into how the voting system used in the Scottish Parliament works, to understand the difference between constituency and regional votes and the impact of the first on the second. There’s a good explanation on Wikipedia if you want more depth on it, and if you already know how it works I’ll indent this bit so you can skip past it.

Your first vote, the constituency vote, is a straightforward First Past The Post (FPTP) contest, where you directly elect a single MSP to directly represent your local seat, just as is done at the Westminster UK elections.

For the second vote – the regional assignments – each seat is awarded in a round of calculations. The twist is, the winner of the first list seat in each region isn’t necessarily the party with the most votes in that region. That’s because each party’s regional vote is divided by [the number of constituency seats they won in the first vote +1].

So let’s say Party A has 9 constituency MSPs and 10,000 regional votes, while Party B has zero constituency MSPs and 1,200 regional votes. Who gets the first list seat?

Party A first round : 10,000 / (9+1) = 1,000 effective regional votes
Party B first round: 1,200 / (0+1) = 1,200 effective regional votes

Party B wins the seat, even though Party A has massively more votes.

This a key point of the Additional Member System used in Scotland. The more constituency seats you have, the more difficult it is for you to win regional MSP seats. In the 2016 elections, the SNP’s 953,587 regional votes got them just four list seats (238,000 votes per MSP), whilst the Greens’ 150,426 regional votes got them 6 list MSPs (25,000 votes per MSP). Labour’s MSPs were the cheapest of all, needing less than 21,000 votes each – under a tenth as many as the SNP’s.

So now we all know that people giving both their constituency and regional votes to the SNP was very inefficient in gaining an pro-indy majority. And the question under debate is whether there’s a better way.

One option is for SNP voters to give their list vote to the Greens, but for a variety of reasons many people are increasingly uncomfortable with doing so. At the last election RISE and the SSP also tried to win over SNP list voters with radical left-wing manifestos, without success. So what if there was another pro-indy choice?

To assess the prospects you need to model how the Holyrood system works, so that you can plug in various scenarios and see how they play out. Luckily, Steven Kellow has already done the hard work by constructing an Excel macro workbook, which you can find on his website.

A very important point, compared to what you might have already seen elsewhere from other pollster bloggers, is that this has been modelled at a region level and then totalled up, rather than applying uniform figures across the country. Why? Well, there are significant variations in how people vote across the Scottish regions.

Here’s an example using the regional vote from 2016.

Simply applying percent shifts at a national level will often give very misleading results. Just look at the variance in Lib Dem vote share in particular across regions – from less than 2% in Central to over 14% in Highland.

The method we’ve used here is much more accurate and we can perhaps tweak our strategy a bit by what we learn. So let’s cut to the chase.
.

SCENARIO 1 – THE 2016 HOLYROOD ELECTION
.

As our start point, we’ll use all the data from the 2016 Holyrood elections and pose a simple question:

If we could have persuaded some SNP voters to give their regional vote to a Wings party, would it help to gain a larger majority of pro-independence MSPs? If so, what’s the tipping point and are there ways it could backfire and LOSE the indy majority?

This graph – based on individual regional modelling rather than a national uniform swing – shows the overall result:

Up to 5% of SNP voters (that’s about 2% of the total all-Scotland list vote) switching to Wings in 2016 would have made no difference to the size of the indy majority. Between 5% and 12% we’d have lost one SNP list seat (I’ll get to that in a moment), which would have had no meaningful impact – there’d still be a pro-indy majority of 6.

But at 12% (under one in eight SNP voters) we reach a tipping point where SNP voters giving their list vote to Wings instead starts to dramatically increase the pro-indy numbers (You can find the full breakdowns in the Excel workbooks.)

But how? Where do those Wings seats come from?

At the 12% tipping point, we gain 4 Wings list MSPs, at the expense of 2 SNP, 1 Conservative and 1 Green (so a net pro-indy gain of 1). After this, it becomes a avalanche of Conservative and Green MSPs over to Wings ones.

By the time we reach 35% of SNP voters going Wings on the list (the highest point we counted to), the figures are:

WINGS: +16
SNP: -3
CON: -6
LAB: -3
GRN: -3
LIB: -1

So we’ve turned 6 pro-indy MSPs into 16, a net gain of 10. The pro-indy majority at Holyrood has rocketed from 8 to 28.

But do we have to lose SNP list MSPs to gain Wings ones? Not necessarily. There’s no obligation to stand in every region, and we can be picky about where we run Wings candidates.

These are the actual 2016 results:

If we start shifting voters across, the first loss of an SNP list MSP happens at a 5% shift from SNP regional votes to Wings and it happens in Highlands & Islands (You can plug in the data if you want to see this yourself). The second loss of an SNP list MSP happens at the “avalanche” point of 13% and it’s a loss in the South Scotland region.

But by that point, for 2 SNP losses we’ve gained 4 Wings MSPs. (Workbook “2016 Regional Shift from SNP to Wings.xlsm”, tab “Projection 13pc SNP to Wings”).

So what if we don’t stand any Wings candidates in Highlands & Islands or South of Scotland, the only two regions where the SNP have any list seats?

Now there’s no negative effect for ANY size of Wings vote, and a potential pro-indy gain of eight (trebling the size of the indy majority).

The downside is that because we’re not sitting in two large regions the total benefit is lower, as we’re not eating into the Conservative and Labour MSP numbers in those regions too.

Splitting the difference, let’s say we avoided the South of Scotland but did stand in the Highlands, where there’s only one SNP list seat:

Again we have a worst-case scenario of -1 overall indy seats, but the potential gains go up to 10. (In the case of H&I, at the expense of the Tories and the single Green.)

That’s what would have happened on 2016 numbers. But 2016 is in the past, so what about the here and now?
.

SCENARIO 2 – CURRENT POLLING
.

Luckily for us there’s a very recent YouGov poll (fieldwork 29 Aug to 3 Sep) that we can examine. I’ve used the data from this poll to get estimated constituency seat counts from Election Polling, from which we can base the regional seat assignments.

The projection shows Labour losing all three of their existing constituency seats, which I’ve assumed transfer to the SNP as they were in second place in all of them in 2016 and it shows their numbers increasing by the same amount.

To estimate the regional vote volumes, I’ve used the regional table each party’s list vote from earlier in this post, using the regional variations to calculate votes in each region from the Scotland-wide regional-vote figures in the YouGov poll.

What happens if we plug the poll (including constituency seats) into our model?

As we shift regional votes from SNP to Wings, we initially lose one SNP list seat to the Conservatives, but then, as before, we start eating into the regional seats of all the other parties – the Greens and Conservatives are first to fall. And again we shift the balance of power towards pro-indy parties.

That’s been a lot of data to absorb, so let’s have a pause and a quick summary. We’ve looked at three options:

 – What would have happened in 2016 if Wings had stood all across Scotland.

 – What would have happened in 2016, if it had avoided in standing in South Of Scotland, where 75% of SNP list seats are.

 – What might be the effect if a Scottish Parliament election happened now, going by the latest polling data.

So far we haven’t found a single case where the existence of a Wings party poses any threat to a pro-indy majority, and a strong suggestion that it could very significantly strengthen one. So we need to go further and test some possible scenarios.
.

SCENARIO 3 – SNP FALLBACK
.

If the SNP do as well or better in the constituency seats as in 2016, there’s no conceivable danger to Yes – they’re already pretty close to a majority on those alone. The example cited by those opposed to the idea of a Wings party is a situation where the SNP don’t sweep the FPTP seats in the constituencies.

At the moment, they have 59 FPTP seats, but some are narrowly held, and future events might reduce their vote. So what if we chopped 10 seats off that 59 and give them to the Lib Dems and the Tories? And what if we additionally drop the SNP’s regional vote share by 5% and give that to the Lib Dems and Tories too? (Because there appears to be zero current prospect of a Scottish Labour revival.)

How bad could it be? The SNP would still have a majority of constituency seats and with a lower divisor would surely pick up enough regional seats from their still-huge list vote to compensate for a few constituency losses, right?

(You’ll find the workbook for this scenario in the files as “Simple regional shift from SNP to Wings Tough scenario 1.xlsm”)

The reality is a nasty shock. The way AMS works still gives the overwhelming balance of regional seats to the Unionist parties, even though we’ve lost 10 SNP constituency seats. The small number of additional regional the SNP pick up are swamped. We lose the Yes majority in Parliament.

In this tough scenario, does voting for Wings instead of the SNP on the regional vote help, or does it make it worse?

On first sight it looks bad, as we’re now dropping more SNP seats (7) than we were before. But the Wings increase (16) is also more. So the good news is that yes, with enough of a list-vote swing to Wings – around one in five SNP voters – we’d actually get the pro-indy majority back even if the SNP had a bad night.

The most sobering aspect of all this analysis is that the AMS system used in the Parliament works very hard to not give ANY party a majority, by using a two-stage seat-assignment system with a heavy penalty to any party that’s “too popular” at constituency level and therefore is disproportionately favoured by FPTP.

The multiplicity of Unionist parties versus a single major pro-indy party actually gives Unionism a serious advantage in how regional votes are assigned, by applying fewer/smaller divisors to their vote. A strong second pro-indy party balancing that out could be the difference between holding onto Holyrood’s pro-indy majority or not.

You’ve done very well to get this far, so here’s one last chart, covering the range of possibilities we’ve examined in detail in this piece.

As you can see, it demonstrates that a Wings party would in any currently-plausible circumstances pose no risk whatsoever to the Yes majority, and might well produce some significant or even critical gains. But I’m sure that certain other rather sensitive commentators will as we speak be frantically searching for permutations where it could do damage, in order to justify their increasingly-heated opposition.

The documents are below. I invite them to make their case.

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Excel workbooks download

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    616 to “Flying with Wings”

    1. SilverDarling says:

      @Liz g 1.55

      Here is a paper trail of the requests made to engage with the SG. It is really dispiriting. Of note the Tories are already making capital out this by raising questions. We can see what a disaster this is, why can’t the SG?

      https://forwomen.scot/17/09/2019/consultation-with-stakeholders/

    2. Daisy Walker says:

      What is more demoralising? Thinking things are a certain way, motivated by certain events and played to certain rules with a clear destination ahead.

      Only to find out later that the above set of circumstances were just a smoke screen to keep you all occupied and the real deal is somewhere else.

      Because the latter example is a killer, from which one does not return.

      Or to say OK here is how it looks, but what are the other factors motivating the key players, the stuff they never put on the table, the stuff they never acknowledge – the McReady reports of our age? How does that factor into the game plan.

      And if you speculate about those motives, those dynamics, how do they play out.

      Now if you make those possibilities public, you give people options. And with options they can plan for contingencies and not get the wind taken out of their sails, or their tyres.

      Every government, every company, every emergency service plans for, researches and game plans for things going wrong. And they are correct to do so.

      It has Never been my intention to demoralise anyone in the SNP or wider Yes Movement and I have and continue to contribute to both.

      I will not apologise for looking behind the curtain, trying to see a different, perhaps more accurate, picture and holding my elected reps to account for what they were elected to do on their own manifesto.

      41 days to No Deal Brexit Day.

      Parliament shut.

      OO Marches authorised (by SNP lead GCC) for George Square on the day of Hope over Fear rally – cause that’s not a recipe for a riot is it.

      Do you feel lucky?

      This is not a time for steady as she goes, business as normal. This really is a UK wide right wing coup on democracy. Emergencies do not get any more real than the one we are currently days away from.

    3. Heart of Galloway says:

      Breeks@1.46pm.

      Aye, very droll son.

      I can assure you that your defeatism is misplaced. There will be no ‘normalisation’ of Brexit as far as Scotland is concerned.

      Instead there will be an immediate move to restoring EU membership to Scotland via IndyRef2, with or without a Section 30 agreement.

      And for the upcoming GE? The harsh lessons of 2017 have been learned. Independence will be front and centre of the campaign.

      I hope you devote as much energy and time to winning the battle ahead as you do in sowing doubt and cynicism.

    4. Daisy Walker says:

      For McReady Reports please read McCrone Reports. No idea what the McReady report is!

    5. Liz g says:

      Silver Darling @ 2.10
      I have to hope they do see it Silver Darling,because this is campaign dynamite. At the last election the SNP tried to campaign on the issues and the Unionists made it all about Indy….
      Well this time the SNP are sayin they will be all about Indy.So I’d say it’s fair to assume the Unionists and their tame media will try to make it about issues and try to put their new found opposition to the GRA font and centre..
      The SNP and the Greens don’t have a leg to stand on over it,and on the door step the activists need a solution to offer.

      If there’s a Wings Party any amplification of it by the media would help Wings and not the Tory’s so on that issue at least the Unionists guns would be spiked at no cost to the SNP or more importantly Indy…
      …………….
      Cubby @ 1.55
      Very true…. Let’s keep the petrol topped up…
      But let’s not forget that sometimes when stuck in a rut sometimes letting a little air out the tyres can create the momentum he need tae get going….

    6. Scozzie says:

      Bawjaws missed Merkel’s 30 day Brexit deadline and we’re about 4 weeks away from the European Council meeting on 17th October.

      Meanwhile, the Referendums bill is not due to complete stage 1 until 8th November according Scottish Parliament’s timetable. Where is the sense of urgency of this being fast tracked?

      It’s no wonder a Wings party is being proposed to fill a vacuum of inaction, albeit with an eye on 2021 as I expect Stu sees in the tea leaves, like some of us, that the SNP is sticking with their latter part of 2020 timetable and thus it’s not implausible that they would kick the can down further with lots of platitudes to the independence movement to seek another mandate at the 2021 election.

      However, the sting in the tail is that the EU may not be so willing to grant a lengthy extension which I’m sure is what the SNP would prefer. This means we could be Brexited against our will which categorically the SNP said we’d get to have our choice before we Brexit. So it’s a strategic tightrope they’re most certainly walking on.

      We could find ourselves out on 31st October, and there’s absolutely no chance we can have our referendum before Brexit day if this occurs. So we’re already being sold a pup by the SNP.

      Ian Blackforld’s recent comments in the National did not bode well when he says they’ll be pursuing the gold standard of 2014 so essentially obtaining a S30 is still the plan.

      As for GRA – as Silver Darling and others have pointed out the SNP have totally failed to communicate with Women’s groups. People on here who spout that the SNP has ‘paused’ the GRA reforms are not up to speed. It’s still very much their intention to bring forward legislation and self ID is very much on the table.

      Quite frankly, the SNP is becoming a total enigma to me.

    7. Heart of Galloway says:

      Breeks@1.46pm.

      Thank you for your customary optimism.

      I hope you devote as much time and energy in contributing to the battle ahead as you do presently in sowing doubt in the cause.

    8. Proud Cybernat says:

      SNP this, SNP that.

      Will we all still vote YES when the time comes?

      Course we will.

      (Well, except you – you know who you are and we know why you’re here. But the rest of us will regardless of your efforts here).

    9. defo says:

      Daisy
      I’d be astonished if the City of London not liking the looks of the imminent EU tax avoidance/transparency legislation didn’t have a part to play in the madness that is Brexit.

    10. Hamish100 says:

      Daisy

      You attacked the snp for not doing enough and not having plans. I’m sure they have they just wont divulge until it is absolutely necessary.
      *a

    11. Hamish100 says:

      Daisy

      You attacked the snp for not doing enough and not having wplans. I’m sure they have they just wont divulge until it is absolutely necessary.

    12. Daisy Walker says:

      Hamish100 -‘ You attacked the snp for not doing enough and not having plans. I’m sure they have they just wont divulge until it is absolutely necessary.’

      You use the word ‘attacked’. At the very least that word is inaccurate, if not aggressive.

      I did not say they were not doing enough, I suggested they may be getting hoodwinked (like they were the last time) into thinking that a GE is forthcoming.

      And I never said anything about SNP Plans. They may have plenty. Us voting fodder dinnae get tae ken such things.

      Hopefully the next 41 days will clarify that aspect. No rush, its not like there’s a national emergency brewing or anything… oh wait.

    13. fraser says:

      getting a bit annoyed at the SNP turning Mandate Collecting in to a sport and doing little else in the way of independence but spending loads of resources on Brexit. We need wings party getting into action asap to get the independence movement going again….

    14. manandboy says:

      8 months ago, Theresa Hong, who wrote Trump’s campaign Facebook posts, spoke to the BBC about working alongside Cambridge Analytica using their data. “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won,” she said. https://t.co/3SIodUyR2Y

      So, Cambridge Analytica targeted 200 million Americans during Trump’s Presidential campaign. He won, but ‘couldn’t have done it without Facebook’.
      Cambridge Analytica is stocked with senior Tories, who are desperate to hold onto their Scotland Colony. And we are expected to believe that Cambridge Analytica had no involvement in Indy2014.

    15. Dr Jim says:

      The SNP are not trying to stop Brexit and neither are most of the other politicians from other parties who are involved
      Brexit is the symptom and the excuse everybody’s using because nobody wants to openly say what the real reason is all about

      It’s stop Boris and the ERG from doing what the real reason is, take a look at 1930s Germany and the tactics being employed by Jacob Reese Mogg and Michael Gove who are using idiot child Boris Johnson who just wants to be the Prime Minister and doesn’t care how he becomes that, to subvert parliament and the law and replace them with what

      Brexit was and is the big giant smokescreen they’re using to blind people to what they’re really up to, before the Tories came up with this *take back control* nonsense nobody in Britain could’ve given a monkeys about any Brexit, all of a sudden it’s the most important thing in the world to people who never gave it a second thought till they were told it was important to them for all the wrong reasons, now they’ve turned into an angry nasty mob of Patsy party brownshirts

      It’s much easier to invade a country from the inside than the outside
      If Brexit happens because the Supreme court doesn’t find a way to put the mockers on the ERG plan there’ll be far more to worry about than any trade deal

      And that’s why the SNP is treating this as a priority

      But Shhoosht! nobody’s supposed to talk about it because they’ll call you a nut case if you do

    16. Johnny says:

      In all this talk about maths and whether “gaming the system” can work, has anyone got any advice for people looking into the future and thinking how annoyed they will be if the promised indyref hasn’t arisen by the time we are voting in 2021?

      Who do they vote for if, on principle, they want to kick those who promised it up the bum and are wondering why a pro-indy majority (seemingly in itself) will definitely guarantee an indyref when it didn’t the last three times?

    17. RobertTheTruth says:

      @DrJim

      Are you seriously suggesting no one else can see the ulterior motives that the ERG have had from the beginning? Or Corbyn’s anti globalism agenda?

      Are you suggesting only you and the SNP, for whom you speak, can see this?

      Well that’s OK then, we’ll wait for our Independence while they get on with saving Democracy.

      Christonabike, the SNP spinners here are working overtime.

    18. Capella says:

      @ Lollysmum, Silver Darling, Liz g and others – I completely support your comments about the SelfID issue and the SNP. They have NOT parked this issue, as anyone with a twitter account can verify.

      They refuse to engage with women who object to SelfID as forwomen.scot have detailed.

      https://forwomen.scot/17/09/2019/consultation-with-stakeholders/

      I have written 4 times to get clarification on this issue and have had zero reply, not even an acknowledgement.

      As a member and delegate I regard this as an appalling way to engage with women – 52% of the voting public. It is, infact, the typical trans activist mantra of “no debate”.

      There is no doubt that the Tories will weaponise this issue and the SNP and Greens will sink beneath the tsunami of rage that will ensue. They better do something fast.

      Of course I would vote YES in a referendum. But I will never vote for a party that won’t unequivocally protect my rights and the rights of my daughter and granddaughter. So this referendum better come along before there is another GE or Holyrood Election.

      I’m still a member, but only just.

    19. Has anyone any idea what happened to http://www.indyref2.scot website

    20. Simon Curran says:

      silver darling@2.10
      GRA is a real vote loser so its disappointing to see the lack of engagement. Is this just a hot potato for the SNP? What I don’t understand is that it doesn’t seem to be the same issue down south. I can’t remember Boris for instance being asked for his views. if Jo Swinson got asked it would certainly make some Lib Dems think twice about voting for them and I would imagine that Labour are divided between ‘traditonal’ and ‘progressive’ attitudes. Is it just the SNP’s misfortune that they are in government trying to deal with this?

    21. Juteman says:

      @Daisy Walker.
      Some interesting posts from you this afternoon.
      Hopefully folk will think about what you posted, and wonder why certain folk have tried to put you down.
      Keep on posting.

    22. twathater says:

      @ Daisy Walker Daisy , Hamish 100 is the very same person who believes that if you are not a SNP member your opinion doesn’t count , even although the SNP were voted in by the voting population and not just the 120000 members , and when asked to justify his views , replies dismissively aye right

      —————————————–

      Liz g , Siverdarling , Lollysmum and others who have commented re the GRA , IMO the SNP SG have FAILED to research the meaning and impact of this proposal to the wider FEMALE population within Scotland before launch and are currently having to manage and balance expectations from one group whilst FAILING to engage constructively with it’s opposers .

      As for pausing the bill for further consultation , that is meaningless unless ALL views from ALL interested parties are taken on board and according to information I have read women’s groups are being sidelined and ignored
      IMO again this bill should be WITHDRAWN until PROPER scrutiny and impact can be assessed and the relevant interested parties can work towards a resolution that benefits both sides

      I have visited numerous twatter sites related to the GRA and read some despicable and obnoxious comments , some even from persons who have an attachment to the SNP . I sent screenshots of these comments by email to approx 20 SNP MSP’S and have not received 1 response
      I also feel that this PC enablement will have a serious impact on the SNP FEMALE vote
      BTW I am male and not a troll or britnat or 77th brigade member , but a SNP voter and independents ta

    23. Dr Jim says:

      Robert the Truth

      Either you don’t read well or English isn’t your first language because nowhere did I suggest any of your invented tripe, but then again I am an unwelcome SNP supporter so you jumped right in with your attack instructions and the very reason why I and many do not post on this forum any more

      But you have just made it abundantly clear again, so I will refrain from further postings

    24. Douglas says:

      Daisy Walker says:

      20 September, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      For McReady Reports please read McCrone Reports. No idea what the McReady report is!

      I would like to think that the McReady Report is what is in place to make sure that Indy2 is a success!!!

    25. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Just to clarify matters at SNP HQ request SNP branches all across the country are going round the doors (with a leaflet that promotes independence) identifying YES support. Some folk in my area have been doing so for weeks. My branch is drawing up energetic plans right now.

      There is a whole lot of utter pish on here from folk that have no idea what is going on (or maybe they do and they don’t like it)

    26. Daisy Walker says:

      thanks folks. Hopefully my comments can be seen/read in the light of – hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    27. sassenach says:

      Dr Jim @ 5-44

      Such a pity you are no longer going to post, your posts were always ‘on the nail’.

      There is now a whole slew of faux indy posters on here, and it makes it not worthwhile bothering.

      The Britnats are really running scared with all their ramblings on here. Good, hell mend them.

    28. Robert Peffers says:

      @Colin Alexander says: 19 September, 2019 at 11:53 pm:

      … Can you remind us again of your great strategic political skill when meeting Mr Heseltine?”

      I believe, Colin, that as usual, you have things a wee bit wrong. Now there’s a surprise.

      In the first place I did not meet Heseltine alone. There were representatives of every Trade union in the Dockyard at that meeting and there were a great many trades in the yard.

      In the second place Heseltine didn’t have a single plausible argument or answer to put forward.

      In the third place what the hell does any of that have to do with anything in relation to current matters? Nothing about it had the slightest relationship to law never mind international treaties, Scottish or English law or even UK constitutional law.

    29. Hamish100 says:

      Twathatter

      Just fed up with all the non snp members who believe they can dictate policy of the snp

      You can’t.

      Guess why?

    30. Hamish100 says:

      Twathatte

      Leafleting tomorrow for the snp. Are you helping out? No?

      Didn’t think so.

    31. TJenny says:

      Dr Jim – please don’t go, ’cause as they say,

      sticks and stones may break my bones, (but leather and whips excite me)!

      Just for a wee bit of levity. 😉

    32. manandboy says:

      LONDON : ORGANISED CRIME IN PINSTRIPE SUITS

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/20/the-men-who-plundered-europe-city-of-london-practices-on-trial-in-bonn

      But in continental Europe what Le Monde has described as the “robbery of the century” has done almost as much to shape the view of Britain as Brexit itself, with Dutch media calling it “organised crime in pinstripe suits” and one of the original German whistleblowers saying he now welcomes Britain’s exit from the EU in the hope it could weaken the influence of London investment banking on European financial institutions.

    33. Golfnut says:

      ‘re GRA.

      Right at the heart of the GRA c#ckup are the usual suspects. The civil service apparently we’re persuaded/pushed/ordered/threatened or gleefully participated in collating and providing the information for the SG that has caused this stushie. Unfortunately there are those within the SNP jumping on the politically correct bandwagon, including some who at one point I considered capable of identifying their arses from their elbows, I was wrong. The SNP are unfortunately lumbered with a hostile senior level civil service, and until they sort that out, they have bugger all chance of sorting out the GRA.

      Advice to Nicola, public statement, Apologise and blame the civil service. Go after some heads.

      @ Dave McEwan Hill.

      Got mine through the door today.

      Does anyone with half a brain actually believe that Nicola doesn’t have her finger on the pulse. Do you actually believe that Nicola isn’t involved in the Joanne Cherry court cases, Have you actually thought about where this is leading. Here’s a clue, neither the Crown or Parliament are above Scots Constitutional law.

    34. Cubby says:

      if the SNP do not use their mandate for Indyref2 or achieve independence by some other process before the next Scot parliament elections then everyone will be entitled to feel very angry at the SNP. I include myself in that. However, sorry to disappoint all the glass half empty people this hasn’t actually happened. Why get upset about something that hasn’t happened and may not happen.

      Reserve your anger for the future if ithe mandate is not used.

      Dr Jim ( some of the best posts on Wings ) saying he won’t post any more. Sad sad state of affairs.
      At least Peffers is back. Others have left for good it appears or have been banned.

      Far too many Doom and gloom posters.

    35. @DrJim,

      piease keep posting,

      you cannea let the infiltrators win,

      we all know the names to scoll past,

      they are like parasitical unionist tapeworm infesting the Scottish independence movement,

      the Brutish state has always used infiltration,take over agenda, control and destroy from within as their main stratagem.

    36. Jock McDonnell says:

      @DrJim

      Don’t let the trolls get you down. Don’t give a four-x what criticism you get, ignore them. If some people just want you silenced, make them bloody well work for it.

    37. Lollysmum says:

      Liz g thanks for your vote of confidence. Will we see you at Edinburgh. I’m going to try marching for the first time this year.

      COD don’t have a clue who you are but don’t even think about trying to tell me what to do. Right now I’m still recovering from a smashed up leg from last November so I’m not mobile enough to tramp all over the country to GRA /Self ID meetings. If I was I’d be out delivering leaflets for Tweeddale West & Penicuik SNP branches right now. So just mind your own business & I’ll mind mine.

      After ploughing through all the posts on this article, I am still supporting the Wings Party idea. We discussed it on here last year iirc or maybe 2017 & I still can’t see a valid reason for not doing it.

      I don’t post here much now as I get fed up with bickering & slagging off of SNP members, SNP etc. Same old, same old & same people (but with a change of name though writing style is recognisable.) Got more to do in life than argue here but still read Wings & am serious about volunteering for it.

      Dr Jim don’t give up on posting on Wings-hope to see you & Betty in Edinburgh too. I’ll not be at Conference though, it’s too far for me to drive just yet.

    38. Ken500 says:

      A GE is definitely coming. All Parties are getting ready for it. That is obvious. The Tories will have to have an election they will lose to get out of their mess. Westminster imbeciles do it all the time. Historically. Since 1928, Thatcher Deja Vu. Geoffrey Howe. The EU. It was only closer EU membership that improved the economy after Thatcher/Tories, Apart from the illegal wars and banking fraud ruining the world economy. The Westminster imbeciles and liars created the shambles.

      SelfID is the way gay people were treated years ago. Ignored and maliciously attacked. It affects a relatively minute number of people. It has to be legislated to stop people being discriminated again, under equality legislation. International Law. The hysteria, lies and prejudice against a small section of society is deplorable and appalling. Some people should live and let live and stop the unnecessary witch hunt.

    39. fillofficer says:

      @dr.jim
      dinnae stop man
      infiltrators are everywhere but we can spot them
      a mile awa’ be it the instant O/T or ad hominems
      even i can spot them, scroll past
      yer input is always enlightening
      it’ll get worse but we must go on

    40. John Burrows says:

      The answer to your quiz question vis a vis the distance to the next solar system, if our own can be contained inside a pea 1cm across, is 3.44 km.

    41. Liz g says:

      Lollysmum @ 8.05
      Yer welcome Lollsmum,and I mean it you would be a fantastic candidate …. and yes I will be in Edinburgh,looking forward to seeing you there and will keep a seat for ye xxx.
      …………………
      Dr Jim
      As the others have said don’t leave..
      Your input is too valuable and don’t forget it would be boring if we were all on the same page with everything.
      Take a break if ye need to it can be hard going at times..
      But remember ye love us all really 🙂 (well most of us ) and we need yer pragmatic no nonsense take on all this shit…..

    42. John Burrows says:

      Correction: 34.4 m.

    43. Ken500 says:

      The best time to have an IndyRef is when it can be won, SNP/Independence support increasing. Support getting ever stronger.

      A S30 agreement or Johnston et al goes to jail. Decisions, Decisions.

      Maybe everyone has got their flags.

    44. Ghillie says:

      Cubby @ 1.55 pm 🙂

      True colours coming more and more to light.

      Dr Jim, Haste ye back =)

      Keep doing all the good stuff you are doing folks – we are doing grand 🙂

    45. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I meant to post this comment last night but was diverted. Concerns one of THE events from 19/09/2014.

      I’m gonna paste in a comment of mine from January 2018.
      —————————————————————————–

      Brian Doonthetoon says:
      13 January, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Hi Breeks at 3:55 pm.

      You typed,
      “We were definitely getting there in 2014. That wee lass standing with the saltire beside the two neds with Union Jacks was an awesome picture… We need a lot more of that.”

      That was just before the 2015 GE, waiting for Nicola to appear – in Greenock, I recall. Her Mum has posted on WOS. The young lady’s name is Ciara. Met her and her Mum at a BBC bias demo at Plantation Quay (organised by Ronnie and others) some time later. If you go to the iScot Magazine web site, you can download a free copy of the 2016 compilation issue, which features Ciara on the cover.

      A bunch of Wingers in the YES Bar, after the George Square rally on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, were introduced to Sarah Johnston (on the right in the final link below) by Ronnie Anderson, who had ‘captured’ her to bring to our table. She was with a (rather pissed) family friend, David.

      https://i.imgur.com/Tn38gM6.jpg

      In the blethers we had round the table, she revealed that she was not aware of the iconic element of her and her sister’s action that night. She was a wee bit embarrassed when we pointed it out.

      Onnyhoo, we left her with a load of WOS goodies and an invite to visit the WOS stall at Glasgow Green the following day. She did. Here’s a pic of her with long term lurker and WOS stall staff member, “Dundee Annie”.

      https://i.imgur.com/dDqOd7f.jpg

      A few weeks later, at a Hollyrood rally, I spotted David wandering past the stalls with a couple of females. I approached him; he remembered me from the YES Bar and introduced me to Sarah’s sister, Sophie, who is on the left in the video below. On 19/09/2014, Sarah was 19; Sophie was 17.

      She just didn’t get it, either, how iconic their standing up to the yoons was. As you type, “We need a lot more of that”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9wPS78Xh6E

    46. Ken500 says:

      Have a break and come back. Everyone needs a break from some of the regurgitated nonsense. Just have a rest and regenerate.

      Big Conference coming soon. New large Conference Centre. There will be Park and Ride. Check it out. Buses and trains (short taxi ride). Quite swanky,

    47. Ken500 says:

      Interesting photos. Bet folk would vote for some of them.

    48. Ken500 says:

      The SNP members are constantly delivering leaflets. Having days of action on a Saturday. Getting the stalls oot. Campaigning in by elections. On the go all the time for the thwarts who can manage, Going to meeting. Organising getting things done. All the time. Join, donate and campaign, if folk can manage. Like minded people, quite fun. Doing something.

    49. Ken500 says:

      Trump lost by 3million votes. D’Hond’t. The loser won. Cambridge Analytica are finished. Fines etc big time. Sanctioned, still prosecutions? Facebook has been fined $Billions in the States and has to improve data protection and privacy. Investigation on going. Congressional Committees. Threatened with prison.

      EU is fining or putting tax demands on the big US conglomerates. Imposed a tax demand of €11million on one. Facebook? Google? were evading based in Ireland now being made to pay up. They are appealing. The reason for Brexit. The Tory Royals tax evade. They became extremely wealthy paying no tax for years. Charles pays £2Million tax on £20Million income revenues. 10%.

    50. Ken500 says:

      It is impossible to OO march in George Square too small. Not enough room to go round.

    51. Ken500 says:

      A L B A The Flatey Enigma. Scandi drama

    52. Jock McDonnell says:

      One of the things this last week has brought home to me is how disadvantaged we are by the lack of constitutional cases that are brought before the Court of Session. Most cases against the UK gov seem to go to the English High Court. Thus any Supreme Court decisions will originate under English Law & this then drives any eventual change to UK wide law.

      Just another little nail in Scotland’s coffin. Pity we shit ourselves in 2014.

      I’m also still not sure where the idea comes from that the law on prorogation is the same on both sides of the border. When was it made the same ? Or is it just hoped to be the same? Or intended to be the same ?

      And how is it credible to claim that: something was done like this before, therefore its OK to do it this way again. Just because it was not questioned last time does not make it the right thing to do. Or does it ?
      I suppose if a PM has a majority, it could be claimed that Parliament implicitly approves of the PM’s actions. But without a majority, that’s certainly a different matter.

    53. Daisy Walker says:

      @Ken500

      You say, ‘SelfID is the way gay people were treated years ago. Ignored and maliciously attacked. It affects a relatively minute number of people. It has to be legislated to stop people being discriminated again, under equality legislation. International Law. The hysteria, lies and prejudice against a small section of society is deplorable and appalling. Some people should live and let live and stop the unnecessary witch hunt.’

      Genuine question, in what way does the current Gender Recognition Act legislation discriminate against people with Gender health issues?

      In what way are the women groups, and concerned individuals like the owner of this site, currently, peacefully and respectfully seeking to be heard and to properly debate changes to this law being ‘hysterical, prejudiced, engaging in a witch hunt’?

      I’m genuinely baffled by your accusations.

    54. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Dr Jim @ 17:44,

      I would have responded sooner but for a dead router =sigh=, but I would just like to add my wish to the many others, and say I would really miss your often pithy and amusing takes on matters pertinent.

      We need a broad range of views on here, and yours very much included.

    55. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Jock McDonnell 21:06,

      Basically because it’s the same parliament, I suppose. We coundn’t possibly have a situation where only the Scottish MPs were sitting (and passing laws!) while the English ones were all prorogued, could we?! =grin=

      It’s only when we have our own fully-sovereign parliament that we will be able to properly develop our own constitutional situation and direction. Another good reason – if a less immediate one perhaps for most ordinary folk – of independence.

    56. Jock McDonnell says:

      @Robert J. Sutherland

      Well that’s the reality of the situation I suppose, but it is still required of the unionists that they justify our current circumstances. They are never called to explain, just taken as gospel and that’s not on.

    57. Essexexile says:

      Daisy Walker @ 9.17pm
      I’ve been there before with Ken500. I don’t think he’s capable of understanding the self id debate.
      Think of his whole argument as a pea and the distance to Aplha Centauri represents ‘getting it’.
      There’s your problem.
      (ref the Rev’s twitter feed!)

    58. Iain mhor says:

      Ach I’m shit at brevity but I’ll try;
      More than 1.6 million people in Scotland voted for Independence in 2014 – across the political spectrum (SNP voters in a minority of that)
      Yes voters have serious issues on the policies across the spectrum of political parties – or there wouldn’t be such a split on parliamentary votes.

      Write off a single issue party at your peril – single issues are primarily how an electorate thinks, it saves them thinking about greater politics. How else do you think Farage and the Brexiteer parties got there.
      ‘I’ll vote for anyone who lets me keep my bus pass’ (my auld mither).

      Single issue politics is why we are where we are now.
      Think a ‘Wings Indy party’ or any other couldn’t work – seriously think again.
      Personally voting Green/Indy/ SSP policy etc hurts, give me a straight option and you’ll have my second vote.

      Every mainstream party started somewhere, when Wings or any other Indy #1 party gets within spitting distance of government, I might ask about fiscal policies – but not before then.

    59. callmedave says:

      I have been trying, without success, to determine if Scots Law would be used by the supreme court when a Scottish case is to be judged. (No luck yet on google 🙁 )

      Anyhoo! If anybody has the difinitive answer please post the source.

      However found this relating the the Cherry case. See below last sentence first paragraph:

      Seems that.
      Scottish yes he did it verdict trumps English no he didn’t do it

      —————————————————————
      SO HOW MIGHT THE SUPREME COURT RULE?

      The Institute for Government has said that while the Supreme Court will “probably” try to render English and Scottish law as consistent – it could “in theory agree with both the English High Court and the Scottish Court of Session, and rule that the prorogation was lawful under English law but not under Scottish law. In that case, the prorogation would be unlawful in the UK overall.”

      Ministers have said they will abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling – although quite how such an unprecedented constitutional moment will play out is anybody’s guess.

      Alternatively, if the Government’s move is found to be lawful, the prorogation will continue as planned, in what will be seen as a major boost for Number 10.

      ————————————————————
      PS:

      Dr Jim. Get posting again.

      If I can read all the Sh*t that the moaners put up because SNP are bad and because independence is toooo risky etc etc…I’m sure you can too.

      I mean what has the SNP ever done for us. List too long and it’s brought back some self respect to me and Scotland for sure.

    60. Liz g says:

      Ken 500
      There’s a world of difference between Gay rights and the GRA….
      The the Gay movement quite correctly demanded equality under the law and protection from discrimination. This did not disadvantage anyone there was and is no reason that gay people should not enjoy the same rights as everyone else.
      Rights and protection that the Trans community also enjoy.

      But the Trans community pointed out that they had different needs when navigating their own particular journey and lobbied for a change in the current laws…

      So far so good they are entitled to make their case
      The problems arise when the changes that they proposed impacted on the existing rights of women and girls.
      A group who have also had to fight for the rights and protection that they too enjoy in law.
      When some of the women pointed out the flaw in the plan the reaction was to shut the women down and forge ahead regardless.
      When you consider that the problem with the proposals is female safety and dignity there in lies the issue.
      Women are warning that the unintended consequences of this legislation is to open the door to every “actual” pervert who choose to shelter under it to indulge in their perversion.
      In general women are saying that they could be convinced to support changes in the law to ease the burden on Trans People.And for this the case is theirs to make.
      But the legislation to protect women and girls cannot be rendered useless…. Up with that we will not put….
      Trans People themselves in this instance are not the problem it’s the actual perverts and predators that would use the new laws as cover…..
      There is a side issue where the Trans People themselves are the issue and that’s less serious in the immediate future but again quite sinister if it were to become the norm…
      It’s the demand that we speak and think a particular way…
      Which would be fair enough if there was any evidence that it was reasonable to take such a stance.
      So far all that we’ve been presented with is a feeling in someone else’s head!!
      This Trans Women are women notion is the most ridiculous thing since creationism.
      We have just about got the religions stopped trying to make us believe stupid things and along come this lot and demand I claim to see a Woman…. An Actual Woman…. in front of me when I honestly don’t… That’s Orwellian and anti a human thought process…
      While the above are the two most obvious issues,the list of the societal one’s are longer..
      Sport…
      Health Care… Both the giving and receiving of…
      Blood and organ donation..
      Statistics being skewed knocking on to services and employment.
      And lastly…. Male prisoners seeing a woman’s prison as a lifestyle choice…
      Nothing absolutely nothing about Gay rights had any affect on anybody,but this stuff needs looked at carefully and compromise made….

    61. Lochside says:

      cadogan Enright says:
      20 September, 2019 at 5:15 pm
      Has anyone any idea what happened to http://www.indyref2.scot website’

      This was an important site that exposed the duplicity of the BBC almost daily with great video evidence to back it up. It was helmed at one time by G A Ponsonby, the guy who created the brilliant video ‘London Calling: how the BBC stole the Referendum’.

      This video had a huge impact on the unsuspecting undecided voters back in 2014. Unfortunately,He left the site and where he is now, I have no idea. The site limped on and finally began to be swamped by trolls and halted any BTL comments eventually. It went into suspended animation several months back, with no explanation. And now has disappeared into the ether.

      Another casualty of the combined attacks of 77th brigade trolls and lack of financial support perhaps? The latter being something that many YES websites and bloggers are suffering due to disillusionment by many YES people at the current situation of invisible and remote leadership.

      A huge loss to the Indy movement, as it was relentless in its exposure of the BBC lies. Something that has been the biggest failure of the YES movement and the SNP to address..rebuttal unit anyone?

    62. Liz g says:

      Me @ 10.10
      And I forgot to add Ken….
      All this stuff is to be in the Schools.
      No one ever suggested demonstrating that being Gay to School children was just another part of the lovely crazy world we live in, should be anything other than a part of the choice of partner every child would eventually seek when they were older…….
      But this lot….just like the religions want to be in the schools and push this dogma of Gender choice before any hormones get going never mind settled down.
      Why…. Because things can be done to redirect those hormones but it’s best to be done early ( no parental involvement require) how very bloody Jesuit is that??

    63. mike cassidy says:

      Chill out time, Dr Jim.

      This will refresh you.

      Dundonian Brian Cox teaches the soliloquy from Hamlet

      To a toddler.

      https://twitter.com/mrjoshz/status/1174424378458759171

    64. Daisy Walker says:

      Bravo Lizg.

      Very well said. Thank you.

      I fear there is a very active minority within the Trans Community pushing its own agenda at the moment. My fear is that it will engender intolerance towards transgender amongst the natal female community where currently there is none intended.

      I have been a liberal (with a small L – not the libdem kind) all my life. It is a really strange experience to wake up one day and find – like the comedy sketch, ‘are we the bad guys?’

    65. dadsarmy says:

      @Jock McDonnell
      It’s possible that’s what all this is about, and if it is then it explains what some would call a lack of action over Indy.

      It’s a bit hard at times to work out which is the smoke screen and which is the path out of here. But that’s the whole idea basically, and personally I’m happy to blow a load of smoke and throw in a few mirrors as well. The more paths the better and the less-guarded they are, also the better. Confusion to the enemy!

      On that note, the SNP stink! Pooh 🙁

    66. Sinky says:

      Surprised that there has not been more comment on the Lanarkshire council by election contest on Thursday. The Lib Dem bandwagon stalled in Scotland with only 5% of the vote seemingly from former Labour voters which is good news for SNP in most areas.
      However, bad news that SNP failed to increase their vote compared to 2017.The poor turnout of 29% shows that the SNP failed to motivate pro indy supporters

    67. Sinky says:

      Some folk dismiss council by elections but on average each council ward is one third of a parliamentary constituency

    68. Daisy Walker says:

      I suspect there is a great deal of medical business money at the back of the more radical Trans Movement. That and a way of hijacking peoples normal way of expressing an injustice and creating a movement for change.

      Think about it – if you can convince people that there is no such thing as male or female, and that if a male decides to be female, by the power of magic thinking so be it – and anyone who disagrees is a bigot and should be sacked immediately, or have the Police warning them, or be banned from twitter.

      Its like some really powerful people made a twisted bet that they could do it and get away with it. And its only women who will carry the cost.

    69. dadsarmy says:

      @callmedave
      I tried as well. I thought the UKSC website had something about it but couldn’t find a thing. Maybe there was and it disappeared or isn’t easy to find. Basically my thought was that when it’s Scots Law, the other judges defer to the Scots Judges (2 of), when it’s Irish the Irish one (1 of), and Welsh the Welsh one )1 of). But I couldn’t find a definitive source for that, or in fact ANY source apart from my memory.

      Now, where was I again? Oh yes, drinking a cuppa. Who are you? And WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY MUG?

    70. call me dave says:

      Jessica Parker BBC reporter on Radio 4 there suggesting that the position of Labour Deputy Leader might be abolished in a vote.

      Tom watson look out.

      If you can’t vote someone out just abolish his job! Simples! 🙂

    71. mike cassidy says:

      For those who still think GRA is a storm in a bracup

      ” everybody now has to either affirm the absurd and crazy – that a man who is essentially a female impersonator can fairly compete against women – or they have to suffer abuse and persecution as bigots just for speaking the truth ”

      http://archive.is/VsDVZ (March 2017)

    72. Col.Blimp IV says:

      What’s new?
      Ah… loads of bickering and moaning about alleged Yoons posing as disaffected Nationalists.

      I don’t recall ever having met a bonafide disaffected Nationalist, i.e. someone who had a Damascene conversion to Britishness and can’t say that I have seen any posting here, never mind hoards of loonies posing as such.

      I do know numerous former SNP activists who through in the towel for various reasons, without in any way compromising their desire to see Scotland free.

      Deep breath folks -The SNP is not Scotland!

      And until you accept that, you will spend your time tilting at windmills – when a very real enemy is massing at the border.

    73. Liz g says:

      Daisy Walker @ 10.34
      Oh there’s definitely some power and money behind this Daisy.
      I actually feel sorry for the Trans People being used in this way.
      It feels like one more attempt to recreate the power of religions over how the people behave….
      Teach the Children/control the Women and don’t dare question the rules with science….I
      Even without the new laws the police are telling people they must comply…. Just like they used to do in Ireland not so long ago….
      Sacary stuff

    74. mike cassidy says:

      Liz g and Daisy Walker

      You better believe there’s money involved!

      Here’s one look at the issue from August last year.

      http://archive.is/X9Ex7

    75. dadsarmy says:

      From the Rev’s twitter, something like:

      “Carl Sagan demonstrates how the Earth was round and correctly calculated its circumference — 2,000 years ago:”

      Jings, the guy’s been around a long time. Unlike me he’s probably figured out how to read properly.

    76. Cubby says:

      The Scottish Greens are not Scotland.

      The British Labour Party in Scotland are not Scotland.

      The British Lib Dems in Scotland are not Scotland.

      Scotland in Union are not Scotland.

      The English Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland are not Scotland.

      The Yes movement are not Scotland.

      The Wings Party in Scotland will not be Scotland.

      The UK Independence Party in Scotland are not Scotland.

      The Brexit Party in Scotland are not Scotland.

      Oh nearly forgot The Scottish National Party in Scotland are not Scotland.

      Bring back Dr Jim. FGS

    77. Meg merrilees says:

      call me dave @ 10.00

      best to watch this interview with Joanna Cherry and Jon Snow on Joanna’s twitter feed.
      Very clearly explained.

      https://twitter.com/joannaccherry

    78. Col.Blimp IV says:

      mike cassidy Liz g and Daisy Walker

      Whoever the fuck “they” are, they are playing a blinder.

      They are brainwashing kids whose grandparents weren’t born when the Nazis were a force, into fearing the Nazis.

      Denouncing all who challenge their policies as “Nazis” and ruthlessly suppressing them in a manner which could be accurately described as nazi-lite.

    79. Colin Alexander says:

      If HM Queen has breached the constitutional principle of political neutrality, and lied about it, (during indyref1) should she abdicate or be deposed?

      aye or no?

    80. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Cubby says : “The Yes movement are not Scotland.”

      Well, in the absence of an actual Nation-State they are the closest thing that there is.

    81. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Colin Alexander

      I would also suggest that she has breached the terms of the Declaration of Arbroath – which I believe merits a straight red card.

    82. dadsarmy says:

      I’ve had a perfectly amusing evening. But this wasn’t it.

    83. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Sorry to hear that dadsarmy

      but I suppose is symptomatic of having a semi-mythical constitution, based on men in wigs’ interpretation of random historical precedents going back to Magna Carta and beyond, that nobody even bothered to wright down on the back of a fag-packet.

    84. dadsarmy says:

      That was a joke for the humour impaired.

      Mmm, come to think if it, that would actually be a waste of time.

    85. dadsarmy says:

      Sorry, was just looking through a few quotes from Groucho. It must have made some marks on me. But if you don’t like those, I do have others.

    86. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Given the people of Scotland are sovereign, and that her title up here is “Queen of Scots” rather than Queen of Scotland, should Holyrood, given her support for continuing the Union in 2014, not consider removing the current monarch from her position as Queen of Scots.

      Now, that would really get the Unionists in a tizzy, and just might be the final straw which persuades the English to let us go.

      I cannot help feeling we should be throwing everything we can think at them. Let’s keep the Court of Session very busy. At worst, we could also keep the UK Supreme Court working 24/7.

      I am sure, the UK government would get fairly pissed-off with us and perhaps decide to be rid of us once and for all.

    87. call me dave says:

      @Meg merrilees

      Thanks not seen that Cherry one before.

      PS:
      I follow Francis Alik Howard’s advice to whit…

      “Twitter ye not”. So I do miss a lot of things. 🙁

    88. dadsarmy says:

      Time for the pit, but the thing is this, spot the difference:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/WillandMarSess2/1/2/introduction

      starting off: “An Act declareing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Setleing the Succession of the Crowne. Whereas the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Comons assembled at Westminster lawfully fully and freely representing all the Estates of the People of this Realme …

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1689/28/introduction

      The Declaration of the Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland containing the Claim of Right and the offer of the Croune to the King and Queen of England.

      So yeah, that’s about it basically. Night all.

    89. Col.Blimp IV says:

      did you ever see the Japanese guy who impersonated him…and now – the prorogue

    90. cyril mitchell says:

      It is a no brainer.Wonder if some in hierarchy actually want independence

    91. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Mike Cassidy

      I’ve just finished reading that link. Wow. Thanks for posting it.

    92. Excellent analysis Stu. It`s clear we need a list party. Have you any plans / further thoughts??!

    93. Ken500 says:

      There is a spectrum people are on according to DNA etc. Some people are not born to the norm. They can relate to each sex ie the one they are most comfortable. Ie they cannot be designated as a man or a women in the norm of gender sense. So they relate to how they would like to rebate to which sex they feel comfortable.

      It is just like the witch hunt that used to be attributed to gay people. Totally misunderstood. Penalising people as to how they felt in their own bodies and how they identified as to their feelings

      Exactly how trans people feel about their bodies and their feeling which can cause major stress and difficulties. A bit of understanding of other fellow being might go some way for some compassion.

      Instead of the ridiculous witch hunt and hysteria coming into play because a very small number of people wish to selfID as to a different sex as designated often questionly or wrongly at birth. Some people are born, in fact most people, are born on a spectrum/scale of male/female attribution. In their DNA/genes. They can be more maid than female or visa/versa

      All this nonsense about changing room etc. Most of those people who wish to self ID would not hurt a fly. There has been mixed changing rooms for years. With absolutely no problems. Millions use them every day. It helps women (main careers) access more facilities. It allows more women and others more access to facilities.

      There is no where more safe for woman than mixed changing rooms. statistically.

      The place where woman are less safe is their own home. There own space. That is where women are more likely to be attacked from male family and others. Women are safer in mixed changing rooms than in their own homes. Statistically by a long shot.

      The hysteria about selfID is totally misplace and irrational. Just beyond belief by people who just do not understand the issues and the complications. Some people who want to selfID can self harm and kill themselves because of lack and compassion and understanding. A few bad apples does assimilate the whole barrel. Just as in other areas of life. The common denominator is those who usually attack are designated as Male. Ie that is a gender issue

      The arguments never seem to cover women who selfID as men for some reason. Anyone who attacks another person should be subject to the same rules which they are. Statistically the safest place on earth for women would be prison. Ie from other inmates because the rest are women. Although most of them should not be there. That is society’s failure. A failure by the whole community to help others and treat them in a humane way.

      Just as people who wish to selfID should be helped in society and treated humanely with some equality and respect. They are not freaks but fellow human beings who are just born from the norm. Most would not hurt a fly but are just as confused as everyone else as to sex and gender. That does not fit a norm. There is no size fits all. There is a spectrum of characteristics.

    94. manandboy says:

      Let’s face it. The natural world is being trashed for profit.

      As consumers, we all play a part.

      Every time we fill a kettle to make a single cup of tea, we are part of the destruction.

      Every time we buy something in a plastic bottle, water, cola, kitchen cleaner.

      That’s only two examples.

      There are so many others.

      “All over the globe, people have rejected the sacrifice of nature on the altar of greed. That should inspire us all to redouble our efforts. We need a new movement, akin to those that shook the world in the 60s and the 70s, and we have very little time to build one.”

      http://archive.is/TKoXh

    95. Liz g says:

      Ken 500 @ 7.36
      Junk science is no the point Ken 500.
      It’s about the Law!
      Trans People already have equality before the law…. They want extra legislation… And that’s fine.
      What they don’t get to do is make legislation for Women unworkable.

    96. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Sinky at 10.33
      There are 21 council wards in North Lanarkshire.

    97. Scozzie says:

      Ken @ 7.36pm

      GRA reform and self ID has many more complexities.
      The Heritage Foundation has some enlightening videos of the consequences of self ID in the medical world. This is from the USA but is very much the direction we’re already heading in. It will take 1 hour of your time but it will be an educational 1 hour.

      https://www.heritage.org/gender/event/the-medical-harms-hormonal-and-surgical-interventions-gender-dysphoric-children

      Please also google various de-transitoning sites of people who deeply regret their choices.

      And as Liz G pointed out, for self ID transwomen to be accepted in law as women it means we need to trash the biological definition of women to simply mean being a feeling in a biological man’s head. Because it’s impossible to have two separate scientific definitions of the biological sex of woman. The consequences of this is that it is then completely incompatible with the Equalities Act and so women’s rights to safe spaces are opened up to anyone who declares themselves as female under self ID. Your understanding of women’s safe spaces appear to me as misguided.
      Take for example a women’s rape clinic / refuge. It would be impossible for women to feel safe if a biological male who self declares as a women is in that space, given their rapist would have been a biological male.

      It’s also worth noting that approx 80%+ of self ID transwomen do not undergo sex reassignment surgery and a huge % also do not take hormones. So they are simply men who declare themselves as women.

      It should be noted that transsexuals are protected in law to access women’s safe spaces as they have undergone sexual re-assignmnet surgery / hormones.

      As for your point on so called male / female spectrums I don’t think biological science backs your assertions. And if you’re referring to DSD or widely known as intersex hopefully Morag can jump in to explain the biological science on that – she is extremely knowledgeable and could explain far better than I.

      I recognise that not all transwomen are a risk to women, however, please do research the TRA lobby and the very mysoginistic component of that who advocate violence towards women – it’s utterly disgusting.

      I and probably most other women do not see why the current GRA is considered insufficient. From my perspective, I think it’s entirely appropriate that under the current laws transwomen need a medical diagnosis for gender dysphoria. If nothing else it can weed out the sexual perverts who simply want access to women and girls – self ID blows that apart.

      Ken500 I appeal to you to do some research.

      Last point – taking us back to politics. If the SNP and the trans lobby advocates such as Mhairi Black who referred to us as ‘Jeremy Hunt’s’ think that they can take our votes for granted then they are very much misguided.

      Instead of brushing this under the carpet as a legislative change that does not impact on anyone – I appeal to SNP members to research it’s implications and push the SNP to drop these reforms. Women will not stand for our biological sex to be trashed or our rights stripped.

    98. Col.Blimp IV says:

      Ken500

      Broadly speaking, discriminating against a human being ( no further designation necessary), inflicting or advocating physical or mental harm on them is illegal.

      People are also permitted to practice whatever religion, politics, alternative lifestyle or sexual fetish that they please, unmolested by the state, any other grouping or individual.

      Unfortunately, some politics, religions, alternative lifestyles, and sexual fetishes. encourage or even demand that their adherents impinge on the rights and wellbeing of others.

      Which is when it is the duty of society to prevent them from so doing.

      The malevolent intent or lack thereof of any individual trans person is not the issue, it is the frankly ludicrous claim that GSA is in any way possible.

      If a bald man with a wig is still a bald man, no matter how much he wishes it to be otherwise … a bald man with a wig, lipstick and a dress is no different, and if he cannot comprehend or does not care about the distress his presence in a womans changing room might cause … he belongs in therapy or prison.

    99. SilverDarling says:

      @Ken500

      The proposed reform of legislation allows any man to say he is a woman independent of medical or psychiatric assessment.

      There doesn’t need to be any behavioural change on the part of the man i.e. he does not have to change his appearance or undertake body altering procedures. He simply says he is a woman and thereafter is allowed to take up services, rights and spaces reserved IN LAW for women.

      The problem is there are men who will abuse the those rights endangering and causing disadvantage to Trans people and women.

      The predatory male in womens prisons and in shelters is one important aspect.

      However, others consequences, for example, a firm may have a 50-50 policy for employing men and women in senior positions. If all their ‘women’ are Trans or are men who identify as women, they can avoid maternity pay and leave and fulfill their supposed obligations while employing socialised males as ‘women’.

      The same for further education scholarships in sport. All of these previously restricted to girls and women are now open to natal men who have their biological advantage. Then there is sport itself. If in football, the team you are playing has a self identifying goalkeeper, why won’t your team? Goalkeeping then becomes a an area women cannot have any equal status. If you play basketball, get a SI adolescent male of 6’6″ in school to help your team.

      It goes on. Some suspect this is a way for ‘not very good’ males to win where they could not as males competing against males. Other think there are more sinister reasons. Whatever the motives it is not about women being unkind to their fellow ‘man’.

      Body dysmorphia is a complex issue, what we do know is that individuals who go for body mutilating surgery and chemical castration still have many psychological problems after. Those who chose not to but want the entire world to relate to them differently , well that is a whole other issue.

    100. Jack Murphy says:

      I’ve just popped in and must thank Meg merrilees who said at 11:12 pm last night:

      ” call me dave @ 10.00

      best to watch this interview with Joanna Cherry and Jon Snow on Joanna’s twitter feed.
      Very clearly explained.

      https://twitter.com/joannaccherry

      Thankyou for that short video link where Joanna Cherry QC MP explains in three minutes the UK Supreme Court and the Scotland Court.

    101. David says:

      Nicola is dedicated to independence but it has to be asked .When she asks for a section 30 and the answer is no and it will be what then it will be no good saying Scotland is being ignored it will be what are you going to do .And that question should be asked and given at the upcoming SNP conference.
      So all you members no flag waving this time hold the Leadership to account .
      And a new wings party enter the political arena and SNP Greens will through everything at you its already started via the National letters page etc

    102. Meg merrilees says:

      Anyone confused about the Supreme Court v The Court of Sessions watch Joanna Cherry explain it here. If anyone understands what is going on, you can guarantee it is Joanna and she clearly explains the implication of the various options available to the Supreme Court Judges.

      https://twitter.com/joannaccherry

      Interestingly, she doesn’t mention ‘Nobile officium’ at this stage which is a unique right the Court of Session has which no other Court in the UK has.
      This means that the Court of Sessions is entitled to make a decision when no-one else is prepared to to break the ‘gridlock’ e.g. if Boris refuses to sign a letter asking the EU for an extension, then the Court of Sessions is entitled to sign it on his behalf and send off the letter.

      This is one reason why Joanna Cherry took the case through the Scottish Courts – not because the English Courts were on holiday – Smart woman.

    103. George Brown says:

      George Brown says:
      21 September, 2019 at 9:55 am
      Update to my last post Boris is toast

      The supreme court is dealing with 2 appeals , one for the goverment and one for the opposition. 1-1 as the media would have it. The london case was only about the PM’s right to set prorogation, they only looked at the procedure and the case was lost. no probs.
      the Edinburgh case was about the reasons given to the Queen about Prorgation and the Judges deemed that the time was to long and the reasons given were not valid so the goverment lost.( Boris Lied !)
      So 1-0 to the opposition. If the tories lose Boris is gone.

      If as looks likely brexit des not happen on 31st October Boris will be in his ditch. Being a clasicalist i would expect him to choose Hadrians or Antoninnes wall over Offa’s dyke. Most likely Antonnines as that is in England. Either way I can’t see how he could stay on as PM.

      If anybody agrees with this line of thinking you could avail yourself of the 3/1 offered on betfair and a couple of other sites that Boris will not be leader of the tories at the next election. You won’t get rich as they limit you to £120 bet.If anybody can find other betting sites offering this bet please let me know.

    104. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      David at 5.52

      If you actually imagine the SNP leadership do not have other well conceived options should we need them then you do not understand the SNP leadership. Of course they do.

      But shouting for Plan B is weakly conceding round one to our enemy (that we will not get the Section 30 which is the proper way to proceed)) and is political naivety of the worse type.

      Lots of politicall ynaive about,sadly.

    105. Meg merrilees says:

      George Brown
      Presume you have your walls muddled up…Antonine’s wall is in Central Scotland basically running from the rivers Forth to Clyde – Hadrian’s wall is in England

    106. George Brown says:

      Dominic cousins is one cunning bastard.

      England leaves eu, Scotland gets indepenance within the eu. tri- partisan discusions start on the 1st of November.
      Boris can’t leave the EU, even if he ignores parlament, because the Scottish courts can apply to extend membership by some Latin term I can’t spell. So Boris say’s to Nicola I agree to the dissolution of the union. What can Nicola say ? Win win all round the Tories get brexit and an inbult marjority for the forseable future as without us he loses 59 opposition MPs.
      Scotland would have left within the next 10 years or so avoids a another referendum stays in the EU and has all those exelent negotiators on our side during the break up negotiations.

      Thank you Dominic.

    107. George Brown says:

      sorry Meg.
      Your Geography is as as bad as my secondary school memory, but my daughter. corrects us both as she proved that both walls are in Scotland. So Offas dyke is or maybe not. My next post is interisting and could be very exciting. .

    108. dadsarmy says:

      @George Brown
      Meg Merrilees is right, completely. The Anotonine Wall (not a double n) is indeed from Clyde to Forth, All of Hadrian’s Wall is in England, which is why it’s looked after and promoted by English Heritage:

      https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/hadrians-wall/hadrians-wall-history-and-stories/history/

      As for Offa’s Dyke, that has nothing to do with Scotland, it largely follows the Welsh / English border.

    109. dadsarmy says:

      Antonine 🙂

      The curs of correting somone’s speeling.

    110. George Brown says:

      to dadsarmy.
      I realy don’t care it was a humures aside. Fucking read the rsst of my postings.
      Ps I believe my daughter. And don.t correct my spellinh or your wastng valoble tme.

    111. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi George Brown.

      Look at the map on both pages.
      From:-
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Wall

      “The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde.”

      From:-
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian%27s_Wall

      “A significant portion of the wall still stands and can be followed on foot along the adjoining Hadrian’s Wall Path. The largest Roman archaeological feature in Britain, it runs a total of 73 miles (117.5 kilometres) in northern England.”

    112. George Brown says:

      George Brown says:
      22 September, 2019 at 1:58 am
      Dominic cousins is one cunning bastard.

      England leaves eu, Scotland gets indepenance within the eu. tri- partisan discusions start on the 1st of November.
      Boris can’t leave the EU, even if he ignores parlament, because the Scottish courts can apply to extend membership by some Latin term I can’t spell. So Boris say’s to Nicola I agree to the dissolution of the union. What can Nicola say ? Win win all round the Tories get brexit and an inbult marjority for the forseable future as without us he loses 59 opposition MPs.
      Scotland would have left within the next 10 years or so avoids a another referendum stays in the EU and has all those exelent negotiators on our side during the break up negotiations.

      Thank you Dominic.

    113. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Ahem, George.

      Did you catch the fact that your daughter is incorrect in supposing that Hadrian’s Wall is in Scotland? Did you miss it – or choose to ignore it?

      A wee apology to everyone you accused of being wrong wouldn’t go amiss.

    114. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      By the way George,

      Why are you reposting your own comment from 1.58 this morning?

      We’ve read it. Either felt the need to respond, or didn’t. The comment is now part of what has gone before.

      Move on…

    115. yesindyref2 says:

      @Gavin Barrie
      I’ve been following this, and my advice would be to let it go. The guy insults people, and then when insulted back goes snowflake, and deletes further replies – unless he can use it to generate another insult. Instead of answering your questions, whatever their merit, in the thread itself he starts off yet another thread about you.

      If you reply on there you run the risk of any reply making your point, or defending yourself from attack, being deleted and making it look like you give up or accept the point or even insult. That’s the problem with a blog where the author has sole control. Kelvin Vague has done the similar thing, and so has a certain defence blog.

      Meanwhile, any replies from others supporting you or pointing out errors in the article, also run the risk of being deleted making it look as though nobody supports your point of view.

      You’re best moving on, the large obsessive number of blogposts speak for themselves.

    116. Matt says:

      I have no issue with any of the data. While the work that went into this is impressive, and the nerd in me is always happy to read about it all day, the conclusion isn’t surprising to me. Switch list seats from big constituency party to (closely aligned) zero constituency party will lead to gains in most situations.

      My issue is that the AMS system, while not perfect, gives a seat-share that’s very closely approximate to vote-share. Single-issue tactical voting in this manner seeks to increase the seat-share (quite significantly) without affecting the vote-share very much at all.

      In effect, if we as a movement go ahead with this move we are saying that – on this occasion – it is justifiable for our opinion to carry higher weight than the counter opinion in terms of government representation.

      I’m all for tactical voting in FPTP alone, because the system is already barely democratic and sometimes tactical voting can help reduce the power of an overpowered party. But to game a proportionate system to make it less so is not justifiable to me.

      That’s not to say you should always vote for the same party in both constituency and regional, when it comes down to multiple issues, it makes sense to place your constituency vote with a large party you broadly align with and your list vote with a party more specific to your views.

      It’s all very subjective, I suppose, and essentially comes down to intent.
      – If you vote for Wings solely to further Indy, the move is anti-democratic.
      – If you vote for Wings because the party has policies distinct from the SNP’s which you agree with, then it’s a legit move. But that’s what the other indy parties have been doing.

      The evidence we need to see isn’t whether gaming the system will work, we need to see what policies Wings would have the SNP don’t – and what evidence there is that suggests people will vote for those policies in sufficient numbers where Greens etc have failed.



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