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Reheats and revisions

Posted on December 10, 2017 by

Alert readers of the Scottish Mail On Sunday – if any such people exist, that is – will have noticed that the paper has of late been cutting both costs and the middleman by giving Tory MSPs entire pages to spout party propaganda for free rather than paying a journalist to slightly rewrite it.

First Ruth Davidson, and now the party’s finance spokesloyalist Murdo Fraser, have recently had free rein to say whatever they liked to the paper’s readership, and today Fraser chose to go with the topic of “waste”.

(Following on from a bizarre Scottish Daily Mail piece last month about which we’ll have some startling new information for you very soon.)

It seemed oddly familiar, with one rather significant alteration.

Fraser raged that “more than £100m of public funds has been chucked in the bin during a decade of SNP financial mismanagement”.

Now, at an average of £10m a year, that would represent something like 0.03% of the Scottish Government’s budget, which would be a pretty phenomenal 99.97% level of spending efficiency for any government on the planet to achieve, even if one were to agree with every item on Fraser’s hit list of “waste”.

(Only three examples of which are actually listed, totalling just £2.9m, none of which were actually the Scottish Government’s fault. Incidentally, there are 44,000 people employed in the civil service in Scotland, so a “lost phones and computers” bill of £32,000 in three years comes to a “waste” figure of 24p per civil servant per year.)

Thing was, we seemed to remember Murdo Fraser trotting this line out before.

And sure enough, almost a year ago to the very day (12 December 2016) he’d been honking on about alleged “waste” over the same decade-long period of not £100m, but almost TEN TIMES as much – a whopping £947.7m, to be precise.

We can only think of three possible explanations for the enormous reduction:

(1) The story got so little traction in the press last time that Fraser concluded he was over-egging the pudding and decided to have another go with a slightly more believable figure this time;

(2) He decided after a period of sober and thoughtful reflection that £847m of the 2016 money had in fact been well spent after all but was too embarrassed to apologise for his previous mistake; or

(3) He’s a brainless clown who can’t count any better than he can win elections.

We’ll leave you to decide for yourselves which applies.

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    120 to “Reheats and revisions”

    1. Vestas says:

      Anyone who actually buys & reads the Daily Mail is a racist and quite probably has extreme right-wing views.

      No ifs buts or maybes – last time I said this on here some people came out with crap about womens pages/sport/squirrels/substitute meaningless excuse which surprised me a lot.

      If you see someone buying a Daily Mail then 99.9999% they’re a racist little Englander. Like pretty much everyone where I live 🙁

    2. naemairmaisters says:

      To be fair he doesnt even need to count votes.

    3. MajorBloodnok says:

      Option 3) please Bob.

    4. RogueCoder says:

      If the Tories ever got into power in Holyrood, this zoomer would be the Finance Minister. How scary is that?

      But it’s staggering that our “press” not only allow this bollocks to be printed, but actively encourage it. The Tories own the media, and they can say whatever they like with impunity. Makes me sick.

    5. Hamish100 says:

      Nipped into the supermarket. Plenty of Scottish Mail on Sunday’s lying unsold. Moved a union jack adorned magazine from another right wing rag aside to find Sunday Heralds underneath hidden from view. naughty naughty.

      Do you think Rock has been about?

      The simple fact is that the tories are more right wing and intolerant.

    6. Bobp says:

      I’m not a violent man, but this cretin has got a face that makes one want to rearrange his dentition

    7. George johntone says:

      ……currently waiting in anticipation of the prepacked party-media handouts over the Xmas period. I wonder what goodies Ruthie, Wullie, and the other bloke will out in the press’ stocking?

    8. Capella says:

      The Daily Mail isn’t really a “newspaper” as such, other than the fact it is printed on paper. Probably.
      Thanks for reading it so we don’t have to.

    9. harry mcaye says:

      The only folk under the age of 60 that buy the Daily Mail are “Rangers” fans who loathe the Record and Sun, even though both rags give their teams oodles of free publicity on a daily basis.

    10. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      These English Nationalists, for that’s what they are, give me wind.
      They publish rubbish in the so called media, press and TV.
      They know it is inaccurate or down right lies

      The problem is less aware folk don’t understand it’s nonsense and propaganda so they accept it as fact.

      It is time for legislation to create an offence of publishing on any media inaccurate or misleading information.

      Reference material for any story should be retained for 6 years for inspection by any interested party.

      Large fines and jail for repeat offenders. It is an attack on democracy after all.

      I know there would be support from the English Nationalist party’s if not why not.

    11. call me dave says:

      Private Fraser’s missing millions, just in time for the Scottish budget, surprised not. 🙂

      O/T but not really.

      Impact assessment Brexit from WOS twitter post for those who don’t tweet.

      Scotland etc. Conclusions.

    12. Clarinda says:

      1 and 2 require a basic level of critical thinking ability – so it has to be 3?

      The glaringly obvious (although Mr Fraser appears oblivious) to Rev Stu’s reverse point of therefore “97.97% … efficiency” marks out the constant theme of stating apparent deficiencies, percentages in whatever SNHS, police or education toot the unionists churn out. The alleged 200 missed or badly handled police emergency calls sounds terrible (which for the individual concerned is admittedly a concern) but in the context of the millions that are handled well and effectively – 200 becomes the major story and the mud has well and truly stuck.

      Last week waiting time under-reporting was the story from some hospitals – it may be interesting to find out the actual deficit. No doubt Mr Fraser will let us know but not about the vast majority who were treated effectively – more than is being achieved anywhere else in the UK.

    13. Ian McCubbin says:

      Was having a nice day till I read this. Glad that accordung to one commentator many Sunday mails lying unsold. My day just returned to being nice ?.
      Well analysed Stu.

    14. Scottish Steve says:

      Have unionists not yet realised that this constant, hysterical SNPBaddery all the time in the media is having the opposite effect on the Scottish electorate? If the SNP are doing stuff that the Tories disapprove of then they must be doing something right.

    15. wull2 says:

      I used to buy the DM 40 years ago for the cartoon in the back, I don’t know if it still there, you have to touch it to find out.

    16. Bill Glen, says:

      If he had Brains, He might get Elected, That record alone is Unmatched In Scottish politics

    17. Arbroath1320 says:

      I agreewith Major Bloodnok …Option 3) please Bob.

      Bobp says:

      I’m not a violent man, but this cretin has got a face that makes one want to rearrange his dentition

      Would a slap aboot his ugly mug wi a fresh wet fish be of any good Bobp? 😀

    18. Kevin Evans says:

      just pish

    19. annie says:

      I’ll go with 3, the brainless clown option.

    20. heedtracker says:

      I know there would be support from the English Nationalist party’s if not why not”

      Because who censors the censors?

      It would all end up with just another bunch of tory twats, private school chancers, over confident oxbdridge gits, Sirs and Lords and all of it wrapped up in royal emblems and union jacks.

      And then they come for you and what you think is the right stuff.

      Just let them get with it. Its a free country, still.

      It is, right:D

    21. PictAtRandom says:

      ” Vestas says:
      10 December, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Anyone who actually buys & reads the Daily Mail is a racist and quite probably has extreme right-wing views.”

      I used to buy the Mail on Sunday for the Prize Crossword.

      But then again I do have robust views on English immigration (which it confirmed).

      OK, it’s a fair cop guv, as they say in civic regionalist speak.

    22. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Ach, this is just Murdo trying one more time to “muddy the water” over the alleged “incompetence” of the SG. It’s entirely cynical – I can’t believe that even doltish Murdo actually believes it.

      Nor does anyone specifically have to buy The Sunday Heil for it to have the desired effect. It’s all part of conjuring up a negative miasma that is spread around like a gloomy fog, not least by the BBC and its narrowly-selective news review progs.

      If this kind of thing simply disillusions people into thinking “they politicians are all the same, no good, why bother to vote?”, that’s just as good a result for the authors. Even though they will also hypocritically discuss election results on TV panels and wring their hands about the decline of democracy, turnout, etc.

      The antidote is to have a political platform that goes beyond mere “good management” and “mitigation”, and inspires people that there is a far better future waiting out there, just ready and waiting to be grabbed with both hands, if we simply have the faith in it and ourselves.

    23. The Queen’s Eleven abject failure never disappoints.
      Yet here the DM are bunging him a nice little earner for allowing his Duck Bill Platypus Face to appear above this load of pointless shit.
      Ruth and her Senior Ultras sat in a room and awarded this incredibly stupid nincompoop a seat at the banquet table. £1200 per week plus exes, and god knows how much in fees from the Dead Tree Scrolls to put his name to Ultra Right Wing Brit Nat garbage like this.
      He must think that he’s died and gone to Tory Heaven.
      Well done, as usual, Stu.
      I wonder what his family think?

    24. Swiss Perspective says:

      Now, now, don’t be so negative. The Mail has excellent absorption qualities. Perfect for drying out wet shoes.

    25. Muscleguy says:

      And I see Richard Leonard’s at it too. Blaming the fact that Labour lead councils are running out of money on the Scottish govt instead of the fact that they are the only councils who have not raised the council tax via ScotGov’s more progressive banding structure. This 3 bed semi in the Dundee ‘burbs is not going to cost us much more. It isn’t worth enough.

      It’s perfectly fine for Mrs Muscleguy and me though, room to stretch out now the spawn have grown and flown. She can sit down here in the lounge watching her interminable cooking competitions or playing on her PS4 while I’m upstairs in the Fish Room using this laptop on my standing desk or out in my garage workshop or actually cooking something.

      She’s in China for work at the moment so I’m down here on my tod with some Jamaican jerk chicken simmering away about to make the rice and peas to go with.

    26. Macart says:

      The serially un-electable Mr Fraser…

      … Option 3.

    27. ima narse says:

      I’m offended at the degradation of one of our finest MSP’s. He’s almost as intelligent as me.

    28. Andy-B says:

      Definitely number three, and then some.

    29. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Muscleguy (Jamaican jerk chicken simmering away about to make the rice and peas to go with. ) U sound like BDTT lol.

      Dont bloody post yer dinner menu AM oan ah bloody Porridge an Bannarama DIET lol.

    30. ahundredthidiot says:

      it’s terrible i know, but if the person behind my trolley has a Daily Mail with just a few things to buy……they dont get to skip

    31. TheItalianJob says:

      Definitely no 3. I’ve always felt he was an ignoramus buffoon.

    32. gerry parker says:

      Between Private Fraser and the Nutty Professor – We’re Doomed, Doomed I tell yez!

    33. Clarinda says:

      As 1 & 2 require an element of critical thinking – I’m with everyone else at 3 being the clear winner.

      Despite the obvious rationale of Rev Stu’s point at therefore “99.97% …. efficiency” – which has passed over the head of Mr Fraser – mud sticks, job done. Compare with the 200 missed/badly handled police emergency calls (admittedly a serious concern for the affected individual) but in context with the millions effectively dealt with – it is the unionist way. Whether it is alleged deficiencies, suspect percentages or ‘missed’ targets in the SNHS, police, education or travel sectors – non-constructive unionist toot satisfies the SNP Baaad news sells credo.

      No doubt Mr Fraser will be on the case of the recent alleged waiting time deficiencies (if true or indeed significant) at some hospitals ignoring the hard and professional work of our SNHS staff to achieve the best results in the UK.

    34. TheItalianJob says:

      Then again, it’s not surprising. Murdo Fraser is of the same ilk as the late MP Jim Hood.

      Jim Hood MP 2014 in HOC.

    35. TheItalianJob says:

      Jim Hood MP 2014 in HOC

    36. TheItalianJob says:

      Looks like the Jim Hood link isn’t working.

      Anyway here is what he said in 2014.

      In February 2014, Hood outlined his opposition to Scottish independence in a commons debate, stating “Even if the SNP was right and there was a grand, great thing at the end of the rainbow for the SNP and its debate for independence, I would still be against it. If the Scottish people are going to be better off economically and so on, I would still be against breaking away from the Union”

      This is what we are up against by so called Red Tories never mind the true Blue Tories like Murdo Fraser.

    37. dakk says:

      I have to say you do Clowning a grave injustice in associating Fraser with that profession Stuart.

      Howsabout brainless wannabee English bigot?

    38. Kenster62 says:

      Turdo strikes again…..

    39. Marcia says:

      Perhaps Mr Fraser would like to comment on the huge rise in the wage bill for the Scottish Office run by his Tory friend Mundell? Or is it Tories paying Tories?

    40. Stoker says:


    41. Ken500 says:

      Scotland missing £Billions. £20Billion a year lost to Westminster mismanagement. Oil revenues. Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion.

      Murdo Fraser has never done a job in his life. A total waste of space. The unionists corruption of the electoral,system in Scotland. Unauthorised and illegal.

    42. Auld Rock says:

      Looks like Murdo has been using Jackie Baillie’s, ‘Idiots Guide to Arithmetic’.

    43. Patrick Roden says:


      Just saw a strange ‘mistake’ made by BBC Scotland online’s, ‘What the Papers Say’ section.

      There was the usual list of Sunday Papers showing their front page headlines. and under these headlines was a brief description with a little more details of what the story behind the headline was.

      The brief descriptions covered all the headlines except one:

      The Labour Party Caught in a £2 Million pound Bribe Scandal!

      I’m sure this was another ‘Honest Mistake’ by BBC Scotland, that will be rectified as soon as they realise that they are a ‘neutral’ public broadcaster (stop laughing at the back)

      The Labour Party taking bungs eh, who’d ever have thunk it!

    44. Greannach says:

      Looks like the Mail on Sunday is filling the gap left by the Sunday Sport. Minus the fun.

    45. Robert Graham says:

      Oh what’s the f/n point in discussing this clown , in your face downright lying seems to be the norm with all Unionists no

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Baillie lent him the special abacus didn’t she?

      Really hard to take Murdo seriously.

    47. James Sneddon says:

      The media should invite Mulder Fraser on to one of their political discussion programmes, confront him with both articles and go through the “waste” piece by piece for an explanation as to why it went from £947m last December to £100m this December.
      But sadly they won’t as it doesn’t fit in with their agenda.

    48. heedtracker says:

      Greannach says:
      10 December, 2017 at 6:55 pm
      Looks like the Mail on Sunday is filling the gap left by the Sunday Sport. Minus the fun.

      Ew, just the thought of tory dopes like Murdo having a tug over his Sunday Sport/Heil.

      Its not even good headline. Bonfire of Vanities comes to mind, Tom Wolfe. Its a great read and topical too, although 3 decades old, about a Wall Street Master of the Universe and an English hack grubbing a living in New York. Both are repulsive, one obscenely rich living like a 5th Avenue god, the other a creepy alcoholic, but somehow they make it through their own self inflicted and appalling catastrofucks, much like real life.

      Great satire because its based on reality. Although New Labour’s socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor, City and Wall St crash, still 20 years away. Their great socialist saviour Crash Gordon, barely starting his career as a temp lecturer of politics at Glasgow College of Technology. Who knew.

    49. Highland Wifie says:

      “The only folk under the age of 60 that buy the Daily Mail ..”

      Don’t diss the over 60s, we’re not all that thick!
      Here’s an idea. Get your mum/ granny or dad/grandad on Twitter. Show them what fun it is with something they’re interested in, then casually show them where to find the news.
      They’ll get so hooked they’ll forget all about reading any of these dirty rags.
      OK maybe a bit optimistic…

    50. Nana says:


      I have posted some new links on the previous thread as I won’t be here tomorrow morning.

    51. Robert Graham says:

      Oops pressed submit comment to soon.

      Anyway I was about to say , all Unionists have cottoned on this telling the truth or something resembling the truth is a mugs game ,
      Why bother when the whole media are on your side any old pish will do , just get it out there , it used to be the Record and maybe some other papers would have a go and laugh at the Tory party for their twisted view of the world ,
      No more ,
      Their precious Union has to be protected at all costs ,The Union takes precedence over everything , the left and right cheeks of the same arse are working hand in hand , the Labour Party and members should hang their heads in shame, a disgusting betrayal of everything they once stood for , now it looks like they will stand for anything so deep is their hatred for the SNP .

      It wouldn’t surprise me if all the shenanigans over Brexit are in order to stop an other vote, they just managed to swing the last one it was that close, I bet it was a lot closer than was admitted, maybe we even managed to win would a Unionist government just say ok you won , Hell will freeze over before this lot give in . Expect a bigger dirtier encounter next time they don’t give a monkeys about trying to tell the truth, who’s going to pull them up ? their pals , aye right .

    52. Capella says:

      @ Patrick Roden – The newspaper review on RScotland this morning told us what every paper had to say about the Scottish Budget, which hasn’t yet been presented.
      None of the front page stories were covered, and absolutely no mention of the Labour scandal.

      It was odd because I happened to be scrolling through the BBC website newspaper front pages as they were speaking.

      Next Sunday will probably be all about the Scottish Budget – again. SNPBad news forecast – SNPbad news confirmed.

    53. call me dave says:

      @Nana: OK.

      Some polling info for those who missed it.

    54. Effijy says:

      Its what you get when a fascist propaganda leaflet gives space to the village idiot where he can lie with impunity.

      This guy as stood for office so many times and been soundly rejected on every occasion and now finds a job via the back door with STV system designed to stop Scotland getting an SNP Government.

      Its such a good voting system that it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the UK??

    55. Scott says:

      The manner in which the so-called “mainstream” media keeps providing coverage to the likes of Murdo Fraser is alarming, to say the least.

      The only way to overcome it is by raising awareness of how people are being misled, which Wings is very good at.

      It won’t change the opinions of everyone, but over time, it will change enough.

      Keep up the good work.

    56. CameronB Brodie says:

      So it looks like Murdo is concerned about bureaucratic excess and waste, so he might be a fan of Rational Choice Theory and perhaps even Constitutional Choice Theory. So here’s a little background reading for him to hopefully fan his enthusiasm for a written constitution for an independent Scotland.

      Introduction: Rational Choice Politics and Political Institutions

      The book is about constitutional design, but the term constitution as used here is not limited to the formal procedures and constraints included in a country’s written constitution. A political constitution is defined more broadly as the fundamental and durable procedures and constraints through which laws and public policies are adopted. For representative democracies, these include election laws (which often are not part of a nation’s written constitution) the general architecture of government, statements of citizen rights and obligations, the legal system, and the formal procedures for reforming those procedures and constraints. Great Britain does not have a written constitution and lacks a formal process of amendment, but clearly has constitutional governance, as the political and historical literatures on “the” English constitution clearly attest.

      Five general areas of empirical research on constitutional design are analyzed in this volume. Part I analyzes the effects of electoral systems on public policy. Part II analyzes the effects of alternative decision-making processes within the legislatures of representative democracies, including the effects of bicameral legislatures. Part III analyzes the effects of decentralization on public policy formation. Part IV examines the economic effects of a nation’s legal and regulatory setting, what might be considered a nation’s “economic constitution.” Part V analyzes dynamic aspects of constitutional design.,%20RDC%20and%20BS).pdf

      Historical-Institutionalism in Political Science and the Problem of Change

      The Problem of Change

      Departing from the March and Olsen definition, it has become common to divide new institutionalist writings into three groups: rational choice or positive political theory; sociological institutionalism (or organization theory); and historical-institutionalism (See Hall, Taylor 1996; Peters 2001; Rothstein 1998). Despite their different analyses of the inefficiencies of institutions, however, all share a limitation when it comes to explaining institutional change. Rational choice institutionalism refers to the effort to understand political behavior based on micro-economic models of individual choice. One important building block of many rational choice analyses is the Condorcet paradox or Arrow theorem, which demonstrates that even if individuals have coherent preferences (they prefer chicken to steak to fish, for example), there may be a problem in aggregating these individual preferences into a collective choice using majority rule (a group cannot decide which restaurant to choose).

      One solution to this problem is that institutional rules for political decision-making may allow for stable political outcomes by setting limits on the political process, such as granting some actors a monopoly on the setting of the political agenda, or the custom that more radical amendments are voted on first, the status quo ante last. Such a decision outcome has been termed “structure-induced “equilibrium, in order to distinguish it from a “preference-induced” equilibrium. (For good overviews see Riker 1980; Shepsle 1986, 1989; Weingast 1996.) If particular rules stabilize outcomes, however, it is not clear why institutional arrangements should become unstable (Colomer 2001; Shepsle 2001; Shepsle, Weingast 1981: 516-517).

      PHILOSOPHY – Rational Choice Theory: Collective Action Problems

    57. stewartb says:

      Robert J. Sutherland @ 4:43 pm

      You said: “Ach, this is just Murdo trying one more time to ‘muddy the water’ over the alleged ‘incompetence’ of the SG. It’s entirely cynical – I can’t believe that even doltish Murdo actually believes it.”

      And you added: “Nor does anyone specifically have to buy The Sunday Heil for it to have the desired effect. It’s all part of conjuring up a negative miasma that is spread around like a gloomy fog, not least by the BBC and its narrowly-selective news review progs.”

      This makes a great deal of sense.

      Mr Fraser may well match, by common consent in today’s BTL responses, option (3) i.e. “He’s a brainless clown who can’t count any better than he can win elections.” but (to be more serious for a moment) it is wrong to dismiss and under-estimate one’s opponents.

      Whilst it may have no effect on most folk who read WoS – it may even attract their derision – this kind of material being pumped out by the British Nationalists in Scotland is not a random, brainless act. And it will not just be a product of Fraser as a sole actor.

      Candidly, it is better to acknowledge that it is part of a thought-through communications strategy. That way there is a better chance of designing an effective counter. (And that may well be to exploit ‘humour’ and ‘ridicule’ as antidotes – especially if these approaches can somehow reach and have an impact on a wider, non WoS reading, audience.)

      I agree with (what I took from) Robert’s post: this is a BritNat ploy to ‘muddy the water’ – at the very least it may contribute to dampening down the development of momentum towards Yes amongst those that voted No in 2014. For those on the cusp of changing their minds, pumping out this kind of stuff can be influential – especially if they are not reading Wings!

      It may be in our view a crap, and an ultimately ineffective, strategy (time will tell) but it is a ‘strategy’: it is not in my view in any sense brain-‘less’!

    58. yesindyref2 says:

      The frightening thing is that Murdo Fraser, who looks more and more like Michael Portillo, appears to take himself seriously.

      It won’t be long before Andrew Neil snaps him up, and we’ll have Portillo and Fraser, we look from one to the other, from the other to the one, and even Andrew Neil won’t be able to tell the difference.

    59. Dr Jim says:

      Does the Sunday Mail feel it elevates its position in “journalism” by the inclusion of a man whos own supporters don’t even vote for him

      To be fair Murdo Frasers own supporters hands are not used often to vote

    60. Murdo was groomed as the future leader of the Tory`s in Scotland,once Goldie retired to Heavens/Hells waiting room The Lords,and who knows maybe a tilt at the Tory Leader England in the future,

      but he was seen by the Grey Suits that rule Tory England as `not the right sort a bit too much coal dust behind the ear`

      so they put their connections/Tory friends,(controversial BBC,Daily Mail,Express,Telegraph,National Trust for Scotland etc)behind right wing zealot Colonel Ruth Davidson,

      right wing zealot Colonel Ruth Davidson`s victory pushed Murdo to the sidelines of rag drunken tweets and spouting drivel to the red trousered Scot Tory and the many many brown Labrador expats from Englandshire.

    61. heedtracker says:

      right wing zealot Colonel Ruth Davidson`s victory pushed Murdo to the sidelines of rag drunken tweets and spouting drivel to the red trousered Scot Tory and the many many brown Labrador expats from Englandshire.”

      He must be a very poor candidate then. Colonel Ruth had only been in Holyrood for 6 months before she got the top tory job in their Scotland region. BBC Scotland ligger/reject, they already have dozens of beeb gimps just like the Colonel, dole, gets in to tory politics, 6 months later, head of the tories,, arsing about on tanks.

      SLabour dudes really like Colonel Ruth too. Here’s nice but dim Murdo again, though.

      Colonel Ruth is not a tory beeb media sock puppet at all,

      “Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said: “Even top Labour spin doctors are recognising the remarkable success of the Scottish Tories under Ruth Davidson’s leadership. However, the extraordinary aspect of this is that, rather than learn lessons from this success, Labour seem determined under Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard to drag themselves to the extreme irrelevance of the far left.”

      Murdo’s far left doesn’t bear thinking about, probably paying any taxes is far left for Murdo and the gang.

    62. heedtracker says:

      Iceland also showing the progressive lefty way forward. This is unlikely to be reported on the ever hideous beeb gimp network in Scotland but Iceland is one of Scotland’s neighbours.

      Is Iceland still on Crash Gordon’s UKOK terror state list?

    63. CameronB Brodie says:

      Why do I keep banging on about effective political agency? Well, apart from the fact the Scots lack it, in the context of the ad-hoc tradition of UKOK constitutional government. A tradition that does not provide a mechanism to enable an equilibrium of power among the constituent nations.

      Introduction: Rational Choice Politics and Political Institutions

      VII. Conclusion: Democratic Constitutional Design Affects Public Policy

      ….An important finding, which runs through many of the contributions in this volume, is that representative systems of governance are subject to a variety of political agency problems. Elected representatives do not always represent the shared interests of their electorate. Agency problems can be reduced through several institutional features, although a tradeoff often exists between benefits and drawbacks of particular institutions. Institutions that can reduce political agency problems tend to be those that ensure some kind of division of power, and include:

      • Direct democracy
      • Divided government (bicameralism or presidentialism)
      • Decentralization (fiscal federalism)
      • An independent judiciary

      It is not the division of power itself that reduces agency problems, of course, but rather the additional information generated and the productive forms of competition engendered by that division.

      The stability of a particular government depends, as noted, on a number of micro rules determining government formation and dissolution. Constitutional stability similarly depends upon both formal and informal procedures of amendment. Democratic constitutions tend to be more stable if unproductive conflicts about political decisions are avoided by depoliticizing some potential areas of policy, whether formally in constitutional documents or with informal agreements among political elites.

      Of course, the conclusion that “political institutions matter” has long been present in comparative political research, and it has also long been implied by the rational choice to analyses of constitutional design. In this respect, the new empirical research provides additional support for those strands of research that accord significance to a nation’s institutions. Agreement, of course, is not the same as redundancy. That scholars from different academic backgrounds independently reach largely similar conclusions suggests that the effects of constitutions are real rather than imagined….,%20RDC%20and%20BS).pdf

    64. stu mac says:

      @Hamish100 says:
      10 December, 2017 at 3:16 pm
      The simple fact is that the tories are more right wing and intolerant.

      The Tories still call themselves Conservatives but they are not. Back in the days of McMillan and Heath they were Conservatives (still right wing but with a modicum of decency and not wanting to change things to much).

      Since Thatcher and her successors (which include Blair and Brown) drove out all the old true conservatives – including old Labour who were a kind of conservative in a different way – we have had an extremist ultra-right wing neoliberal political elite in this country.

      They have deliberately pushed the boundaries (of decency as well as politics) with the aid of an almost completely far right MSM including undoing parliamentary and government rules about politicians and civil servants taking jobs with big business so that they’ve not only made politics and government far more right wing but much more corrupt as well.

      So no we don’t have a conservative government – one that wishes to conserve and only change slowly. We have had for decades radical and extreme governments who have been ripping apart the old rules and decencies and creating an illiberal, corrupt and much more miserable society.

      Rant over.

    65. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thatcher was a neo-liberal revolutionary not a conservative.


      Traditional conservatives have extolled the virtues of tradition in a number of ways. For some conservatives, tradition reflects religious faith, being fashioned by God the Creator. Traditional institutions and practices therefore constitute ‘natural law’. A more widely held view portrays tradition as the accumulated wisdom of the past. The institutions and practices of the past have been ‘tested by time’, and should be preserved for the benefit of the living and for generations to come. In this view, society consists of a partnership between the living, those who are dead and those who are to be born. It has also been described as a ‘democracy of the dead’, reflecting the fact that the dead will always outnumber the living. A third advantage of tradition and continuity is that they help to generate, for both society and the individual, a sense of identity. Established customs and practices are ones that individuals can recognise; they are familiar and reassuring. Tradition thus provides people with a feeling of ‘rootedness’ and belonging. Such an emphasis on tradition has meant that traditional conservatives have usually venerated established institutions and been at least cautious about change. Change is a journey into the unknown: it creates uncertainty and insecurity.

      The New Right has significantly revised the relationship between conservatism and tradition, however. The New Right attempts to fuse economic libertarianism (the liberal New Right or neoliberalism) with state and social authoritarianism (the conservative New Right or neoconservatism). As such, it is a blend of radical, reactionary and traditional features. Its radicalism is evident in its robust efforts to dismantle or ‘roll back’ interventionist government and liberal social values. This radicalism is clearest in relation to the liberal New Right, which draws on rational theories and abstract principles, and so dismisses tradition. New Right radicalism is nevertheless reactionary in that both the liberal and conservative New Right hark back to a 19th century ‘golden age’ of supposed economic prosperity and moral fortitude. However, the conservative New Right also makes an appeal to tradition, particularly through its emphasis on so-called ‘traditional values’.

    66. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Come on folks, fair’s fair. That Mail on Sunday piece was by far the best thing Mad Mental Murdo wrote all week.

      Mind you, the only other thing he wrote was that Rangers’ press release after Derek McInnes said he was staying with Aberdeen.

    67. twathater says:

      What really P’s me off about this feckin idiot and the rest of his merry band of brainless britnat parasites , is that they are raking in millions from genuine hardworking taxpaying Scots , i mean c’mon kelly , sarwar ,baillie ,tRuthie , carlaw ,briggs . wells , cole hamilton ,rennie you would really have to go very very far to find so many brainless TWATS congregating in the one place

      All this while thousands of Scots kids are facing increasing levels of poverty and hardship , thousands more families are facing the REAL prospect of homelessness , while these bastards are carping from the sidelines instead of acknowledging the very real determined mitigation of brutal policies imposed by the Brutish Government and their faux socialist pals Labour .

      Anyone who votes for these self serving parasitical bastards are doing it in the knowledge that OUR poorest and most vulnerable citizens are being thrown to the dogs and i hope your conscience never lets you have peace

      I am sorry but i have lost patience with the stupidity and greed of britnat voters

      Please Nicola at the next FM questions expose these LIARS for what they are

    68. Cadogan Enright says:

      BBC been reporting with a straight face all day ‘clarity’ on English Labour Party’s position on EU/Brexit

      But not reporting what it is in reality – IE “Wot Barnier said, and Wot Teresa signed last week”

      Pay loads, have no say, stay in single market, EU Court deciding EU citizens rights in the UK, using Irish peace agreement as a foil to cover total lack of competence, ability, understanding or interest or expertise

    69. Artyhetty says:

      Re: Robert J Sutherland @4.43pm

      Excellent comment to an excellent article.

      & Clarinda@5.46pm

      You obviously mean that the Scottish NHS is actually being invested in by the SNP Government, but of course working agai nst huge odds, ie, huge cuts coming from UKGov and so Scotgov having to continue to mitigate things like the bedroom tax, keeping EMA, ILF, prescriptions free, NO tuition fees, and on and on! Basically, any cuts that come from the UKgov means money taken out of Scotland, out of local communities, out of our wider economy.

      Credo? Such words having absolutely no meaning really.

      You seem to be keen on pointing out negatives, obviously attempting to cover yourself with counter negatives. But you know, we know that it’s the Scottish government, the SNP who are working for Scotland, investing in people and industry, and you know, at long last, decent infrastructure.

      Hard for the British Nationalists to accept, but they can’t get away from facts, no matter how hard they try.

      Scotland would be a basket case on it’s knees if any Britnat party were at the helm at Holyrood of that we can be absolutley sure, it’s what they always did. Kept Scotland poor and begging and they hate that the SNP are not allowing them to continue to do that, even against huge odds.

    70. mark robertson says:

      If ever i am an arsehole which is often i can always say at least am not as bad as murdo fraser

    71. ronnie anderson says:

      Nicola should put in a written question for FMQs , to ask Murdo Fraser where he got the figures he quoted on both occasions , & embarrass the clown .

    72. CameronB Brodie says:

      ….That scholars from different academic backgrounds independently reach largely similar conclusions suggests that the effects of constitutions are real rather than imagined….

      The UKOK ‘constitution’ has just allowed a Tory government, that was essentially voted into power in England, to ditermin we all leave the EU. This decision was made despite there being no impact assessments conducted and apparently little understanding of the procedural requirements. Think on that No voters.

    73. Robert Peffers says:

      @Jack Collatin says: 10 December, 2017 at 4:50 pm:

      “I wonder what his family think?”

      You can stop wondering, Jack. Murdo comes from a very long line of non-thinkers. Unthinking is in his genes.

    74. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Vote Yes and you are out of the EU. Vote No and you are in the EU, with lots of ships to build and things.

      How did that happen why have there been no explanation from bitter together.

      At least the Unions are in uproar….no wait they haven’t said anything yet…. they will be along shortly honest good old trade unionists thank goodness they are here.

      Still royal wedding to look forward to. Anyone managed to buy any cups or plates with their engaged highness yet I haven’t seen any.

    75. Clarinda says:

      Artyhetty 10.16pm

      I’m not sure of what point you are making. My comment is merely supporting the consensus that unionist attempts to constantly wallow in negativity is contrived to make mud stick to the SNP despite the actual facts. I chose the word “credo” to describe what seems to be their customary belief and habit – the Bain Principle?
      Having worked in the SNHS for almost forty years I’m very well aware of how hard it’s staff work and the support and mitigation from the SNP government to limit the financial cuts from Westminster. Why you think I’m covering myself in “counter negatives” (whatever they are) I have no idea. Perhaps I need to make my point more clear next time.

    76. boris says:

      In 2014, before the referendum I brought to the attention of readers of my blog the perverse record of one Tory minister. Ian Duncan Smith. Murdo Fraser might be asked to justify the massive overspends and writes off.

    77. Brian McHugh says:

      Can it be all 3 options?

    78. Colonel Ruth is like a saggy old balloon that needs reinflated every day by the controversial BBC.

    79. Ricey says:

      FFS. My auld mither is a Daily Mail reader. I cannae believe she agrees with all the shite that rag lies about.

      I asked her why she continually buys that bog paper.

      “It’s 5p cheaper than The Daily Record and 20 pages bigger”.

      So “The National”, there ye have it. Print more pages than the Daily Mail and sell it for 5p less than The Daily Record and the pensioners of Faw’kirk will be won over to the Indy cause…

      It ain’t easy – ye just have to keep on believin’.

    80. Dr Jim says:

      Been doing a lot of reading today mostly through Labour supporters Tweets and bloggy stuff and I’ve discovered that all Labour supporters believe Jeremy Corbyn supports everything every one of them thinks

      The supporters who believe JC is Anti Trident are convinced and the supporters who are pro Trident believe he’s Pro Trident, and it goes on to the fantastic level of tax no tax, Brexit and no Brexit and they all believe he’s telling the truth to them all

      What level of intelligence do these people have that a man who has four faces so he can face every direction at once hasn’t been seen through yet in England

      Well except for most of us smarter folk in Scotland thank God
      Coz we’ve seen this before so let’s make sure our young kids who have no memory of Labours treachery don’t fall foul of this guys multi faceted lie machine thinking it’s some new kind of democracy

      Remember kids the SNP don’t lie because if they did it would be on your TV constantly and on every front page in giant headlines if they did, so the media go with lack of competency because that’s easier to get away with than end up being sued by the government and made to look like what the media are which is big fat liars

      Look stuff up kids, evidence evidence evidence and believe nothing till you check, you know it makes sense

    81. manandboy says:

      Never vote Tory. You’ll never regret it.

    82. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Ricey @ 00:47,

      But does she actually consciously believe any of it? (If you don’t mind me asking.) Or is it subconscious: low-level conditioning by continual mud-slinging at the SNP just to keep older voters like your ma unreceptive to change?

      More generally, I once observed someone coming into the newsagent’s and picking up a copy of The National and the Daily Heil. I’ve never worked that one out!

      (There’s usually always plenty of the BritNat papers too, even late into the afternoon. They seem to be able to afford the many inevitable returns.)

      As for “never mind the quality, feel the width”, one time as I purchased my National, the assistant commented on the thinness of the paper relative to its price. I replied that there’s no money worth paying for rubbish and lies, and I wouldn’t take the Daily Express even if you paid me to do it!

      So, clearly there are people who judge “value” by weight rather than by content. Political content, that is, to be specific. I’m not sure how much of that stuff is read right through by most buyers, just the inescapable – and typically toxic – headlines. Which is plenty bad enough.

    83. Still Positive says:

      Robert J Sutherland @ 1.23

      The National may be thin but there is a lot of reading in it.

      Particularly the Scottish history and other things relevant to Scotland which other papers never print.

    84. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      Cameron B: “Thatcher was a neo-liberal revolutionary not a conservative.”

      Absolutely; she was a faithful disciple of Friedman. She was a bit of a libertarian, too. Robert Poole, founder of the Reason Foundation (google it), certainly won her over with his ideas about contracting public servives to the private sector. Her former adviser Blundell spoke of her meetings with Poole.

    85. Giving Goose says:

      The thicker the paper the more times you can wipe your arse with it. Mail, Express, Record etc are ideal in that respect.

    86. manandboy says: and Ireland: The contradictions that will plague the deal

      Q. What have Scotland, Ireland and the 27 Member Countries of the EU got in common.
      A. They all have to deal with Westminster.

      Their common problem lies in Westminster’s long history of treachery going back to at least the start of the so-called British Empire and the rise of ‘British Colonialism’.

      As the EU and Irish Brexit negotiators are finding out, getting Westminster to agree to a guaranteed commitment with a genuine and sincere will attached so to do, is well nigh impossible.
      The English ruling classes simply do not have any belief in the equality of peoples and nations and therefore find respect for others incompatible with their elevated status of being effortlessly superior.

      Westminster and treachery go together like snake and rattle.

      Unfortunately for Scotland, too many Scots fail to grasp this fundamental truth about Westminster.

    87. Dorothy Devine says:

      My vision of hell is not escaping the clutches of Westminster , the BBBC and the media .
      I see trident allowed to continue to pollute the beautiful Firth of Clyde by it’s very presence and by the radio active effluent pumped out by its delivery submarines – not to mention drink and drug fuelled carelessness.

      Beware young of Scotland , you may well become the cannon fodder of future illegal wars and come back in bits and boxes – and for what?

      I see education and health being the place for the wealthy only and everyone else excluded. I again thank the BBBC in Scotland for its contribution to the wellbeing and moral of NHS staff.

      In terms of Police Scotland the same applies . Thank you BBBBC Scotland for the attacks and denigration of all those hard working folk too.

      Then we have the farmers and fishermen. I worry that large supermarkets can screw our farmers into the ground and also starve them of outlets – a country that cannot feed itself is in a hopeless situation. Every union flag slapped on a bag of spuds stops me from buying them and Scotty Brand seems to be vanishing from the shelves.

      The fishermen are really on a hiding to nothing if they think their catches are protected – they are bargaining chips to pull anti UK countries of the 27 on board.

      Sorry everyone ,I have sunk into gloom and doom and am in dire need of a bit of cheering up or a slap on the back of the head!

    88. Greannach says:

      I don’t have much time for poor Murdo Fraser, but I do have a certain about of sympathy. Can you imagine what it must be like knowing that when tomorrow comes and you wake up, you’re still Murdo Fraser.

    89. galamcennalath says:

      Dorothy Devine says:

      My vision of hell is not escaping the clutches of Westminster, the BBBC and the media.

      The is a truly awful thought, Scotland not escaping this foul Union. Each day spent in it is a day of national humiliation and suffering when we could all be on a completely different road. Independence won’t be easy, especially initially, but our decisions will be ours and our aims will be for a better Scotland.

      I am impatient, fair champin at the bit! We have our country to win back!

      With Indy support at 47%, no significant pro Indy campaign yet, the Beeb and the Tories inadvertently helping us … we will be out of this Union soon.

    90. Al Dossary says:

      I wonder how much of the blue Tory resurgence in the central belt at the GE was due to the hatred of the blue-nose brigade of Corbyn due to his IRA connections over the years.

      One of the Northern Irish Yoon blokes I work with has just returned from his leave with his Eire passport.

      So basically they are prepared to throw all their principles out of the window when it is for their own benefit.

    91. FlytE says:

      I’m looking forward to next year’s Christmas edition of Fraser’s waste ramblings. Shall we take a bet it goes down to 10 Million?

    92. Iain mhor says:

      An anecdote:
      Many moons ago contracting at a large Scottish council, I had to track down all I.T assets for reasons – I found a considerable amount of equipment to be missing. They knew ‘some’ equipment was “lost” but had no information on it apparently – ‘Odd’ I thought, as I managed to produce a database and put a figure on it.
      Being naive and dilligent, I actually tracked almost all of it down over time – Some with The I.T equivalent of the polis posting fake prizes to the wanted and nicking them when they turned up to claim. The crestfallen faces as I banged an asset tag on didn’t sink in at the time.
      Anyway, long story short, presenting the findings and recovery of equipment and consequent savings did not earn me a pat on the head. Oh no, not at all – The gear was not missing, it was just “acquired” by personnel. I have no doubt it is still the same today everywhere. In any government offices of any denomination. The mobile phones and computers are not “lost” at all. I learned about Finance departments as well that day…

      A figure of £32000 in a 1 year probably wasn’t far from the value I discovered, nearly two decades ago in one council, never mind the whole of Scotland over 3 years. I’d say if Murdo’s figures are to be believed, then the SG has seriously improved asset tracking and should be applauded!

    93. Abulhaq says:

      The imperial vanity project of saving the Westminster parliament’s buildings from structural collapse is variously estimated to cost the taxpayer anything from £3bn to £7bn.
      Building project timings tending to over run the final cost could exceed the estimates.
      Do we hear inquiring Scottish Tory voices raised?
      The current Euromillion jackpot stands at close to headlined £100m, perhaps Davidson’s Darlings might invest in a ticket? Should pay for some scaffolding on the ‘great project’.

    94. galamcennalath says:

      Been reading about Geraint Davies’s Bill on a second EURef ….

      Undeniably, the facts have changed since June 2016: only a fool would say otherwise. My bill offers a blueprint for a way out of this mess: by giving people the final say, the government would allow the British people to choose between its negotiated arrangement and the option of reversing article 50 and remaining in the EU. This honours the will of the people. But it also honours the economic and political reality that is increasingly catching up with our leaders in Westminster.

      Fair enough. I would say that the facts haven’t changed at all since June 2016, it’s just that the Leave fantasies and downright lies have been exposed for what they are!

      What are the chances of Leave winning a second vote, this time next year say, when the actual leaving terms must be agreed?

      MORE IMPORTANTLY when I read what Geraint Davies has to say, Scotland’s situation jumps out!

      Think about how much things have changed since September 2014! The UK NO voters chose has evaporated completely. The way out of our mess is to allow the Scottish people to choose between what the UK is developing into and Independence.

      This too “honours the will of the people” because a huge chunk of NO, plus all YES voters, never got what they chose. Like EURef, we need a chance to express our opinion on the world as it is, not on deceitful unlikely visions presented originally.

    95. harry mcaye says:

      Highland Wifie says:
      10 December, 2017 at 7:24 pm
      “The only folk under the age of 60 that buy the Daily Mail ..”
      Don’t diss the over 60s, we’re not all that thick!
      Here’s an idea. Get your mum/ granny or dad/grandad on Twitter. Show them what fun it is with something they’re interested in, then casually show them where to find the news.
      They’ll get so hooked they’ll forget all about reading any of these dirty rags.
      OK maybe a bit optimistic…
      Touchy! Where did I say ALL over 60s buy the Daily Mail. I keep an eye out for these things and believe me, the vast majority of buyers are over 60.

    96. Its very easy for Murdo Fraser and other British nationalists like him to spout rubbish about waste.
      Especially when they are never challenged to define what they mean by waste.

      If asked I suspect many people would rightly describe the House of Lords as being a complete waste of money as is Trident, £8bn for the refurbishment of that Westminster museum, Liz and her hangers on.

      Though I bet you won’t get Murdo describing any of those as being a waste of tax payers money.

    97. Highland Wifie says:

      @harry macaye

      I know, we1950s women a bit sensitive. Waiting another six years for our pension has made us a bit prickly lol.
      All the msm buyers I see well over 70 but I take your point.

    98. Thepnr says:

      What’s Theresa May like? Check out the state of this quote from today:

      “But there is, I believe, a new sense of optimism now in the talks, and I fully hope and expect that we will confirm the arrangements I have set out today in the European Council later this week.

      “In doing so we can move on to building the bold new economic and security relationships that can underpin the new deep and special partnership we all want to see.

      “A partnership between the European Union and a sovereign United Kingdom that has taken control of its borders, money and laws once again.”

      She hasn’t closed any border to EU citizens, she’s giving at least £39 billion in compensation to the EU and is still under the auspices of the ECJ when it comes to EU citizens rights for at least the next 10 years. Taking control hahahaha.

      I think the huge balls she is wearing around her neck in that picture together with their alternative, the huge chain links she wears often is symbolic of something. Can’t put my finger on it though 🙂

    99. Glamaig says:

      Thepnr 11 December, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I don’t think in my lifetime I have ever heard so much volume of utter bullshit and drivel spouted by a government as I have over Brexit. And there’s years of it still to come during which we will have to suffer a constant stream of verbal gymnastics, meaningless phrases and complete guff, just to try and save face and convince just enough people that the Conservative party aren’t a complete bunch of criminally incompetent wankers. And Labour aren’t any better.

    100. John H. says:


      I read somewhere months go that Theresa May is known in Westminster circles as the submarine, because she lies low and never commits herself to anything. It must be true, because that’s how she got to be PM in the first place. She let remainers and brexiteers alike think that she was on their side.

      Now we are seeing the same thing with the EU and Ireland. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve heard over the weekend in the media entirely convinced that they are getting their way. With the exception of Nigel Farage, who is raging over the deal, because he wants a hard brexit plain and simple.

      Even more than your average tory, May is not to be trusted.

    101. Dr Jim says:

      Apparently there are supporters of the two big football clubs,
      that’s Celtic and Rangers in case anyone was in doubt, who are against Independence soley for the reason that they hope one day their clubs will join the English Premier league and that can’t happen if Scotland is Independent

      Let me just gently point something out to those folk

      It will never in your lifetime or anyone else’s happen that either of those teams will join the English premier league, and here’s why

      First there’s massive money available in England so why on earth would the other Premier teams there want to vote to dilute their share of that
      Second if Scotlands big two played in England there’s a possibility one day one of them could win the English league with the other one coming second does any football fan in Scotland really believe the English as nation would ever contemplate such a thing ever happening due to the shame of diddy wee Scotland winning their football

      So Rangers and Celtic folk if you haven’t noticed those wee difficulties with that which I have described somebody’s telling you giant porkies and filling your heads with a deluded view of how Englands football works

      So don’t look forward to the thought of a welcome by yer Manchesters or yer Liverpools or yer Chelsea coz it aint never gonna happen, you’re not invited to share in the lovely Moolah

    102. Thepnr says:

      This article by Stephen Kinnock (yes I know) is closer to the truth about what the agreement reached with the EU on Friday really means. Well worth reading.

      The Great Brexit Reality Check

    103. geeo says:


      This is a cracker as well.

      Love this bit…ouch!
      “Despite May’s jubilation at surviving a tumultuous week, nothing is resolved: in fact, things are a lot more complicated. Right now, Britain is like a patient who is receiving a blood transfusion in one arm and has slashed the veins in the other”

    104. Thepnr says:


      Yes, both articles basically saying the same thing. The agreement is an illusion and the “Brexit Breakthrough” as reported by the BBC was utter hogwash.

      It was the great “Brexit Climbdown” and though loathe to admit it Farage was right when he described it as an humiliation.

      Anyway, I see from the picture in that article May had another set of huge balls hanging around her neck. I’m telling you it means something 🙂

      Lat article for now I think but here’s McDonnell, the shadow chancellor now realising that remaining in the “single market” requires accepting free movement of labour.

      So he has come up with a grand stratagy for Labour’s position on the EU:

      Labour would try to stay in a “reformed single market” if it was conducting Brexit negotiations, John McDonnell has said, in a fresh signal of the party’s support for a “soft” withdrawal from the European Union.

      The shadow chancellor said he stood by his assertion that remaining inside the single market under current rules, which include accepting free movement of EU citizens, would not respect the Brexit referendum result.

      Hahaha he only want’s to keep three of the freedoms of the single market and get rid of one. Cake anyone LOL

    105. Breeks says:

      Thepnr says:
      11 December, 2017 at 12:32 pm
      This article by Stephen Kinnock (yes I know) is closer to the truth about what the agreement reached with the EU on Friday really means. Well worth reading.

      The Great Brexit Reality Check

      I don’t think people are fooled by Theresa May’s bluster, nor indeed the hot air coming from the Brexiteers. They talk shite, they don’t do their homework, they don’t listen to reason, they defy incredible odds and promptly fail, and they are tolerated in positions of power because frankly, however dire they may be, they are still considered the safer option than the flotsam and jetsam loitering in the wings ready to replace them. You think May is bad, just wait until Field Marshal Davidson and Walter from the Beanno Rees-Mogg put together a cabinet.

      Michel Barnier has the Westminster Government on the ropes with the Lisbon Treaty, the Taoiseach has the Westminster Government on the ropes with the Good Friday Agreement, the DUP has the Westminster Government on the ropes with the balance of power in Parliament. So why not Scotland??? Here in Scotland we allow the BBC to keep us pinned to the ropes.

      The only people who do not seem able to bend Westminster to its will are Corbyn’s Labour Party, who are working very hard to abstain themselves into forgettable irrelevance, and the SNP who seem to be waiting for the perfect planetary alignment before putting their own canoe into the water.

      Nicola and the SNP say they want Scotland to tell them when the Nation wants another referendum, but when people do try to energise precisely that notion, it is interpreted as criticism of the SNP’s leadership and the master strategy which will reveal itself any day now.

      You know what? Just for the morale booster, I’d like to see the SNP Government holding Westminster on the ropes regarding Scotland’s sovereignty, and the constitutional ramifications of Theresa May’s Government, with no electoral mandate in Scotland, dragging Scotland out of Europe against the democratically expressed wishes of the sovereign people of Scotland.

      Every one of us in Scotland should see it as a gross insult to our Nation that the DUP in Northern Ireland can contrive a roll for itself in crisis talks over Brexit, while Holyrood is still treated like a child who should be seen but not heard.

      Yes, of course Scotland has a very great deal to thank the SNP for, from our free education, our NHS, protection from the worst excesses of Tory austerity. Yes, yes, yes, it’s all good, and I wouldn’t vote for anybody else, but come on! It’s the “I” word we are all waiting to hear.

      When, where and how do we reach the point where Michel Barnier can neither go forward nor back without first resolving the UK’s constitutional conundrum of Scotland?

    106. Mike d says:

      Dr jim 12.12pm.yes I was once one of those fan’s who thought the English premiership was the pinnacle for my team Celtic. Speaking now as someone who has followed them all my life, and once a fortnight travelling from england, all over Europe. Etc etc. Now in my sixties, i can categorically state, i would rather see an independent Scotland than celtic ply their trade down here.

    107. Petra says:

      You have to laugh. Really folks! We’ve got this innumerate Tory moron, Murdo Fraser, who has never EVER been elected, over something like 20 years now, but has taken over £1 million in tax-payers money having the brass neck to complain about waste!

      Add to that the hundreds of billions of Scottish oil revenue that has been squandered by the red and blue Tories, the PFI billions botch-up, loss of billions in relation to the Military, billions used to destroy the Middle-East, such as Cameron and Libya, billions to leave the biggest single market in the World, and well the list just goes on and on and I’m sure that many on here could add to it.

      His argument is so blatantly bankrupt, that I’m sure that even the last few Scottish Mail on Sunday readers can see right through the blockhead.

    108. Mike d says:

      Petra you nailed it in one.

    109. Lochside says:

      Breeks…seconded by me. I heard Ian Blackford blethering about single market and customs union ..if only Labour would align themselves…etc.

      Why are the SNP still clutching at straws? Trying to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic is a complete and utter waste of time. Our democratic sovereign rights are being trampled on day and night by these criminal cretins. The Act of Union is bust. Time for our Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon, to finally call time on this circus. Let all the little England/New Brittania Empire self deluding dickheads wallow in their arrogant self regarding dungheap and let us break the chains that bind us.

    110. geeo says:

      The SNP gave us a referendum in 2014.

      WE, as a people, let THEM down, so it is understandable if they are cautious this time around, since it will be probably the last chance in a very long time.

      The SNP WILL do their bit, AGAIN.

    111. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi geeo says at 9:41 pm.

      You typed,
      “The SNP gave us a referendum in 2014.

      WE, as a people, let THEM down, so it is understandable if they are cautious this time around, since it will be probably the last chance in a very long time.

      The SNP WILL do their bit, AGAIN.”

      That’s a good point. There’s no point in the SNP leading us to water if we refuse to drink.

    112. Chick McGregor says:


      “Walter from the Beanno Rees-Mogg”

      Don’t forget that other Beano character, he looks ready to return to the fray.

    113. Chick McGregor says:

      Dr Jim

      If you assume advertising revenue should dictate TV payouts then Scotland’s teams should get a tenth of England’s teams just on a population ratio basis. It is nothing like that in practice.

      And that does not take into account Scotland’s higher level of support for football or Scots’ greater disposable income.

    114. Petra says:

      @ Lochside at 8:08pm ……. “Why are the SNP still clutching at straws?”

      Lochside I can relate to your total and absolute sense of frustration here, but we’ve not got long to go now.

      Nicola Sturgeon has been outwitting them by playing by the book, imo. Not barged in prematurely to see the baby getting thrown out with the bath water: Meaning holding another Referendum far too soon and losing it.

      She stated that “if there was a significant and material change in circumstances such as Scotland getting dragged out of the EU against its will it would constitute the call for another Referendum.” (or words to that effect).

      Now no one knows, even now, how that will pan out, for example what if Westminster decided at the 11th hour to remain in the EU? How would that go down if she had held a Referendum before knowing the outcome for sure? Announced a date previously for 6 months away with no one having a clue as to what was going to happen or worse still in the interim period Westminster deciding to, say, hold another EU referendum and the decision was reversed. If something like that had to happen she’d be made to look like a right fool and few people would turn out for Indyref2.

      I reckon that she’ll stick to her guns and hold a Referendum when she initially said that she would, that is around autumn of next year when the type of trade deals, or not, are known for sure. At that time she’ll have even more facts and figures to back up how catastrophic Brexit will be for Scotland. As an example Treeza May’s decision last week to afford NIreland a unique deal is going to have an even greater negative impact on our economy. One that hadn’t been factored in by so-called experts such as the Fraser of Allander Institute.

      She’s been giving them enough rope to hang themselves with and they are falling into line, the trap, such as they’ve just destroyed their hard border argument (the EU might not agree of course). I wouldn’t be surprised either to find out that they, lazy and inept, have just used the contents of Nicola Sturgeon’s White Paper “Scotlands Place in Europe” to resolve (so far) the Irish border fiasco.

      Don’t be conned either with the great sovereignty “argument”. It’s a ‘distraction’, imo. Many members of the UN and the EU are absolute experts when it comes to understanding the background of this Union: 1707, no written Constitution and all that. They know full well that the Scottish people are sovereign. What they’re waiting to find out is what percentage of the sovereign people of Scotland actually want their Independence. If more than 50% great, no problems, but if it’s like last time round you can forget it. In their eyes, and those of many others, if more than 50% of sovereign Scots still want to remain in the Union then to their mind the sovereign people of Scotland will have spoken.

      The bottom line is that it’s actually US, NOT Nicola Sturgeon, that can make this happen. She can go ahead and announce a date, add to her massive workload, know that she’s putting Scotlands future on the line, maybe for evermore, and also putting her own career on the line. All we’ve got to do is get out there and push support to over the 50% mark. Around 4% to go. She’s just one individual. She and her party can’t do it on their own. It’s down to US now.

      But have faith Lochside. We’ve experienced another three years of the MSM biased onslaught. It isn’t working and we’re getting there. Independence is on the way, (far) sooner than later.

    115. Lochside says:

      Petra, I’ve always admired and enjoyed your enthusiasm for the cause. I hope you are right in your analysis.

    116. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      It’s nice to see a page ending with POSITIVE comments, rather than the negativity of others – you know, “others”.

      Yes, I was/am a fan of “Absolutely”.

    117. Willie says:

      Geeo, the SNP did indeed give us the referendum. I don’t however agree that the people let us down.

      There are some truly cretinous people who are incapable of assessing what is best and what is worst. Moreover for a lot of the simple, and indeed selfish older folks, who voted to remain in the union, they were aided, abetted, and maybe even frightened into their vote by an all pervasive medium that told them they would lose their pension, be out of Europe, be in a bankrupt country that couldn’t afford health care etc etc.

      And of course for the unions , like those on the Clyde, they were going to get building thirteen warships.

      Ah well, the tuckers are getting all the austerity benefits now and whilst one may say good luck to them, enjoy the priveledge, the rest of us suffer in a country that could be so much better.

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