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Representing Scotland

Posted on February 14, 2021 by

Two weeks ago a Wings scoop caused quite a furore to erupt around the SNP’s ham-fisted and corruptly-motivated attempts to increase BAME and disabled representation at this year’s Holyrood election.

We’ve always been opposed to what were until recently known as “quotas”, and prior to that “positive discrimination”, but have now been cunningly rebranded as “diversity and inclusion” because that’s a much more difficult thing to say you object to.

It’s easy to make an honourable-sounding case against any form of “discrimination”, because decent and civilised people are taught to automatically think of discrimination as a bad thing, even if you put “positive” in front of it.

So the word “quotas” was adopted to move the concept from a pejorative term to a neutral noun – objecting to “quotas” doesn’t sound intolerant, any more than objecting to (say) “procedures” does. So that’s fine, because you can still discuss it like adults without too much unpleasantness.

But those pushing the agenda got smarter still by changing the name again. If you say you object to “diversity and inclusion”, you sound like a monster and a racist, because diversity and inclusion are plainly good things – no decent person wants to live in a monoculture, or to exclude anybody from society – and so the debate is immediately drowned out by self-righteous tossers screaming “BIGOT!” and “NAZI!” at everyone.

And yet in the context of social policy the three phrases mean the exact same thing. They’re all systems for overriding raw democracy so as to increase the representation of selected groups at the expense of other groups, for one reason or another.

(Sometimes it’s ostensibly just penance for historical wrongs, while at other times it’s supposedly for economic benefits, and so on.)

And while the proponents of those systems will openly argue that the only group being disadvantaged is straight white men so it’s all fine (because nobody likes straight white men and anyone standing up for them can be easily dismissed as a “gammon” for lots of woke points and Twitter likes), it isn’t even remotely close to the truth.

Because in “diversity and inclusion”, some groups are a lot more included than others.

By far the most well-established form of “positive discrimination” in recent decades has been that based around sex. In Scotland it’s most prominently led by Women 50:50, a cross-party group which enjoys the enthusiastic patronage of the First Minister, who since taking the role has made a point of employing “gender-balanced” Cabinets.

The use of “at least” in the group’s banner is a fascinating one. Presumably it means that only 35% of Scotland’s MSPs being female is unacceptable, but 65% would be fine (and logically also 75%, 85% or 100% – no upper limit is specified), even though that would then be under-representing men.

That one fact tells us that despite how it habitually bills itself, the “inclusion” movement has nothing to do with “equality” – it’s simply a collection of particular pressure groups all demanding more representation for THEM, and to hell with everyone else.

Which is a perfectly respectable position to take, and also basic human nature – we live in a capitalist “look out for yourself first” society, and who doesn’t want a louder voice for their own tribe? – but it probably shouldn’t be dressed up as something that it isn’t. Because that picture of naked self-interest hidden behind a nice social-justice veneer only gets more and more stark the further you probe into the principle.

Because who decides which groups get quotas and which don’t?

If 50% of MSPs (or MPs or company directors or whatever) should be women on the basis that half of the population is, that’s all fine and dandy. But where do you stop with that logic? Let’s take a random selection, and for the sake of argument – and for the obvious direct pertinence – let’s use the Scottish Parliament as our test bed.

(Stats are from the most recent census (2011) unless noted otherwise.)

SEX

Scotland’s population is split almost down the middle by sex, with women slightly more numerous at 51.5% than men at 48.5%. So that’s pretty easily dealt with – if we want to accurately reflect the population we should ideally have 66 female MSPs and 64 men, and should take some sort of steps to achieve that goal.

It theoretically ought to be relatively easy to do in a PR parliament, although the current Holyrood system isn’t up to the job and would need significant reform. But basically you just zip lists boy-girl-boy-girl and skip a few as and when required.

(Just for now let’s swerve the issue of whether there are actually more than two sexes, because, y’know. And also whether men who identify as women should count towards female numbers.)

Now hold on, because everything’s about to get a lot more complicated.

ETHNICITY

Even this shouldn’t be TOO tricky in theory, because Scotland is an exceptionally white country. 96% of its population is white, with the next biggest group being the fairly tiny Asian demographic at 2.6% – just 140,000 or so people. Only 0.6% of Scots – a mere 32,400 citizens – are classed as African, Caribbean or black (a group most people would probably just refer to collectively as “black”).

Immediately we have a huge problem. To proportionately represent BAME people at Holyrood, we’d need 4% of the 129 MSPs, which is five – three more than the current number, made up of Humza Yousaf and Anas Sarwar.

That doesn’t seem like an insurmountable goal. But how do you achieve it? Is it okay if they’re all from one party, because that party was the only one that took “inclusion” measures? Is it okay if they’re all the same sex, or do you have to subdivide it so that BAME women are represented as well as BAME men?

And what about the subdivisions within BAME? There’s a reason there are four letters in it, after all. Are African, black and Caribbean people (let’s say “AbC” for simplicity from now on) adequately represented by Asian people? Do we just lump them all in together as “50 shades of brown”?

A proportionate representation of AbC people, combined, would only come to 0.77 of an MSP. If Scotland had just a single black MSP, that whole group would instantly be overrepresented at the expense of everyone else.

You’d need to bump the number of MSPs up to a minimum of 167 just so that you could accomodate a single AbC MSP without breaking the proportionality, and if you wanted both men and women represented in each group (because why don’t AbC women get a voice?) you’d need to go to 333 MSPs. We’re going to need a bigger Parliament building.

It’s already chaos and we’ve only done two “minorities” so far (one of which isn’t a minority). What about the defining historical and cultural identifier of Scottish society?

RELIGION

Oh please not this. We surrender. (“NO SURRENDER!” – a particular religious group.) It depends how you measure it, but at least 60% of Scots are atheists, while 16% are Catholic and 1.5% are Muslim and most of the rest are Protestant.

Dear Christ or Allah or Mohammed or Buddha or Obi-Wan Kenobi or whoever, this is going to be messy.

Why shouldn’t Catholics – who were persecuted and discriminated against for decades in Scotland, but aren’t in any real sense any more – get quotas too, to make up for all their years of suffering and ensure it doesn’t happen again? Why shouldn’t we have all-Catholic shortlists for MSP contests, just like we have all-women ones?

We need 21 Catholics (presumably 11 women and 10 men) if Holyrood is going to properly reflect our society. Have we got that many now? Does anyone know? We don’t and we’re sure as hell not going to start asking because in Scotland that rarely ends well and you find yourself talking about Partick Thistle a lot.

(NB Kingsley is a diverse and inclusive terroriser of small children. See below.)

And what of the most famously persecuted religious minority of all – the Jews? As far as we know just 0.1% of Scots are Jewish. That only gets you 0.13% of an MSP. Any more than that, by the credo of “fair representation”, is Too Many Jews, which is a viewpoint with a problematic history.

Our arithmetic skills are at breaking point here, but we think that those figures mean you’d need at least 769 MSPs at Holyrood before having even a single Jewish MSP would be a proper reflection of Scottish society. If you want a breeding pair then it’s 1,538. And if you don’t, WHY DO YOU HATE JEWISH WOMEN, YOU MISOGYNIST ANTI-SEMITIC FASCIST?

(Are there any black Jewish people? Is that a thing? We don’t know that either and we don’t want to think about it because pretty soon we’re going to need to use Hampden Park for the Parliament.)

Now, the supporters of “positive discrimination” always howl and attack the point this article is making, but only because they have no counter-argument to it. Because why AREN’T religion or ethnicity valid characteristics deserving of equal status to sex when it comes to representation? There’s no possible justification to exclude them – they’re treated the same in most equalities legislation, after all.

(We’d honestly love it if someone constructed a coherent rebuttal, but we know all we’re actually going to get is lazy abuse and brainless smears about being “white supremacists” and whatnot from people who haven’t actually read this article. In fact, let’s prove it: my favourite animal is the cheetah. If anyone attacking this piece doesn’t know that, they haven’t read it.)

In fact there are nine explicitly protected factors in UK and Scottish law:

We’ve only addressed three of them so far and we’re already in a world of hurt. What if we also throw the most fashionable one into the mix? Alternatively, someone please just shoot us.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION

On the best available figures, 2.6% of the population of Scotland is LGBT. That should proportionately mean three MSPs. Yet we already have (at least) three times that many – Ruth Davidson, Joe Fitzpatrick, Jeane Freeman, Jenny Gilruth, Jamie Greene, Patrick Harvie, Derek Mackay, Kevin Stewart and Annie Wells.

Who knows if there are any more? If you’re in the closet does it still count? What we can say for sure is that statistically LGBT people are massively over-represented at Holyrood, which means that straight people are correspondingly under-represented. Should they get a quota? If not, why not? Are 97.4% of Scots undeserving of respect and equality because of their sexual orientation? Don’t straight people’s rights count?

And again, what about the subdivisions within the category? It looks like we’re doing well at the moment – four lesbians, four gay men and a bisexual sounds about right – but what if a lesbian got voted out for a gay dude?

Should that even be allowed, or should it be one-in-one-out? What if someone shakes it all about? (For which we gather the correct current term is “pansexual”, presumably as opposed to “plainsexual”.) Do we have to do the Wokey-Cokey?

We’re really sorry.

A whopping 21% of the SNP’s Westminster cohort, meanwhile, are LGBT: ten out of 48, with six gay men and four lesbians, and seven times the proportion of the general population. Do we need to reduce their numbers to compensate for this massive over-representation, or just balance the sexes, or what?

And what about class? Half the population is working-class, or to use the fancy psephological term, “C2DE”. They’re vastly under-represented in most professional fields like politics. Why don’t they get a quota? Why don’t they get included? Why doesn’t class diversity matter? Are working-class people less different to upper-class people than men are different to women, or any less disadvantaged?

One of the biggest minorities in Scotland is actually English people, at around 10%. That ought to be worth 13 MSPs, but we don’t think there are anything like that many. Do we need English-only shortlists for the Scottish Parliament, or are all the Unionist jibes true and we’re just a big bunch of Anglophobes? Surely in that case at least THEY should have quotas for English MSPs?

How many MSPs are home-owners and how many are tenants? Those are distinct groups of people with different and often directly conflicting interests, so how do we make sure they both get their voices heard? What about married people and single people? Marriage status is another of the nine protected characteristics, so surely it’s important enough to get guaranteed representation?

What about families and childless people, whose demands for resources are also often in conflict? And if a childless single MSP suddenly gets married and has a child, do they have to stand down if they got elected through a quota?

And why isn’t Parliament quota-ed for age groups? Most MSPs retire in their 60s, so who speaks for the 20% of Scots who are over pension age? Why aren’t there 26 pensioner MSPs, including some in their 70s and 80s and 90s?

The law in Scotland was changed last year to give some prisoners the vote. But if it’s important for their voices to be heard in a democracy, as that implies, why shouldn’t ex-cons get a guaranteed number of seats in Parliament too? And so on, forever.

(As a point of fact, almost exactly the same percentage of Scots – 0.6% – have been in prison at some point in their lives as are African, black or Caribbean. Scotland’s numbers are three times the European average, so it’s clearly a significant issue. No fair argument supports quotas for AbC folk but not ex-prisoners. Or even current ones.)

At this juncture we were going to try to construct a league table of who were the most under- and over-represented groups (and therefore most deserving of priority quotas) at this point, but to be honest we’re taking regular breaks to go and curl up in a corner and cry as it is.

The only true way to make Holyrood representative is if EVERYONE is an MSP. But that’s clearly a stupid idea, so the next-best thing is to just give everyone an equal vote and let democracy sort it out, ideally via some sort of fair and proportionate electoral system (which Holyrood very broadly has, unlike the UK parliament).

Anything else creates more problems and unfairness and inequality than it can ever hope to solve, as we’ve hopefully just demonstrated. Because by the logic of the woke, if you only support special treatment for women, or only for women and disabled people and BAME people, then you’re a bigot who hates every other minority.

Johann Lamont, in a comment regularly and unfairly misrepresented even to this day, once said Scottish people weren’t genetically programmed to make political decisions:

Some of the tackier pro-independence voices at the time – not Wings – pretended that she’d meant Scots were in some way intrinsically inferior in that regard. But in fact she was saying pretty much the opposite: that we’re no more and no less capable of it than anyone else. We’re not special and we’re not different. We’re just normal.

And that applies to demographics too. Women aren’t inherently better at politics (or business) than men. Straight people aren’t better than gay people. Old people aren’t better than young people. There are clever people and total idiots in every category.

And what that means is that the minute you start using anything other than merit to decide who your politicians are (or your doctors or your police or your teachers or your scientists or your shop assistants or anything else), you’re just storing up trouble for yourself. And the more you prioritise “diversity and inclusion” over democracy the more of that trouble you’ll have, and the more victims you’ll create.

.

Soapbox is a weekend column designed to provoke debate on (usually) non-party-political issues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Wings Over Scotland, except when we write them ourselves, obviously.

If you’d like to contribute a Soapbox piece (ideally 800-1500 words), send it to us via our Contact page, INCLUDING THE WORD ‘SOAPBOX’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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    244 to “Representing Scotland”

    1. Sandra says:

      I wish they would start prioritising TALENT. We might get a parliament that looks like it could run a country then.

    2. Captain Yossarian says:

      It is also worth noting that other Scottish party leaders have fallen over smaller matters. The so-called “office-gate” of former Labour first minister Henry McLeish’s rental income, unregistered donors who backed Wendy Alexander’s Labour leadership bid and taxi expenses claimed by former Tory boss David McLetchie seem trifles in comparison.

      From today’s Sunday Times – a long article, this is just the second last paragraph.

      You’re forgetting of course, space has to be found on the list for Humza’s wee brother, cousin and auntie.

      Allow a few more BAME’s in just to make-up the numbers.

      The calibre of Holyrood parliamentarians from Nicola Sturgeon downwards is lamentable and we all know that. Bag the lot of them and that would save Scotland an awful lot of embarrassment in the years ahead.

    3. ian foulds says:

      well said

    4. SaorsaCat says:

      Cheetah. I like all cats, are animal lovers fairly represented in Parliament?

    5. Bob Mack says:

      Soap Box? More like Pandoras Box. !!

    6. Eileen Carson says:

      Brilliant!

    7. Bob Mack says:

      It’s really a heading to let them give their pals a job for five years isn’t it? They choose carefully those who will for God the-party line.

      Nice little earner!!

    8. Bob Mack says:

      For god? insert” toe the”

    9. ahundredthidiot says:

      This is why communism doesn’t work.

      The human race isn’t designed to live with equality of outcome.

      It can work on equality to become a better species, yes, but equality of outcome is a folly, childish and dangerous road to go down.

      Funny how these idiots never want 50% of binmen to be women, or grave diggers, or road workers – always firemen and the like, the sexy stuff.

      And they never ask to sack all the woman in the medical sciences.

      Agenda driven nonsense, wrapped up as something nice and fluffy.

    10. Captain Yossarian says:

      In comparison with the phallanx of arseholes that Aberdeen City Council has delivered to the Scottish body-politic over the past decade, a few BAME’s sound like a bargain.

    11. susanXX says:

      I agree with what you say Stu, scrap the discrimination and get the best person for the post instead. Why should my list MSP have to be disabled, surely the best person, irrespectively of the protected characteristics, should be put forward.

    12. If it truly IS a “gender-balanced cabinet” why aren’t there about 79 (and counting…) folk in it?

    13. M_Alc says:

      Sandra says:
      14 February, 2021 at 10:14 am
      I wish they would start prioritising TALENT

      But then we’d need a quota for the kind of talent.
      A. Talent for the task
      2. Talent at describing how they are right for the task
      • Talent at saying the right things about the task without ever actually detailing their suitability for the task
      ? etc.

    14. Happy Valentine’s day ??

    15. Cath says:

      I understand totally the need for inclusion – the under-representation of women being a historical travesty which really did need addressed.

      However I was struck recently watching the snooker that there are no female snooker players, and started wondering why. It’s not like snooker is a particularly physical game where women would have an obvious disadvantage, and I’ve never heard of a female snooker league. So I googled a bit, and the prevailing thought seems to be just that ‘women generally aren’t that interested in snooker’. It’s a game which involves spending huge amounts of time practicing snooker shots and demands a certain mindset which, statistically, tends to be more male. Women statistically, for various reasons tend to have less time and inclination for the game. Hence statistically it tends to be men who are good at it.

      That being the case, there is no reason at all that women need to be represented in the game. Of course, politics is different. Women have a different slant on things and should be represented in policy making, given that policies affect them, often in a bigger way than men, eg benefits policy, carers policies, employment policies. However, the female politicians we see don’t really represent the women at the front line of their policies either. They’re predominantly middle class, ambitious, and few of them seem very caring at all: most seem cold and calculating at the moment.

      It would be far better to adjust democracy so that the best candidate wins. If that is predominantly men, so be it. That’s democracy. However, there needs to be something like a second chamber made up of a diverse, representative sample of ordinary people who can scrutinise and debate policies. The fact is, the political class is not representative, and has never seemed more remote and out of touch. That’s as much the case with the female breed of ambitious politician as the male one. Another option for improving democracy would be to only allow people who’ve already had careers and experience outside politics to stand for office. Either way, just labelling unpopular political staffers as ‘disabled’, while potentially excluding excellent candidates who could bring something else isn’t the way to do it.

    16. Captain Yossarian says:

      Ash Denham is a woman…and she’s a Minister (Public Safety – whatever that entails) Can anyone recall a single contribution she has made to Holyrood, because I can’t.

    17. Craig P says:

      The fairest way of appointing politicians is not election, but random selection, like jury service.

      It would be an absolute pain in the arse to be chosen – unless you were in that wierd minority who wanted to be a politician – but how else to get a system without bias?

    18. Contrary says:

      Brilliant, what a truly brilliant article – entertaining and very illustrative of a serious flaw in some people’s thinking/reasoning.

      ‘…a breeding pair’ 😀

      (o/t Have to say, I miss the tweets of the emergency kitten most of all.)

    19. Milady says:

      Hard to disagree with any of that, and also thanks for putting Lamont’s quote into paper context. It slightly irritated me at the time that it was seized upon and misused in the way it was. In fact I’ve often wondered if Labour regret ousting her.

    20. Milady says:

      *Proper, not paper. Argh.

    21. Patsy Millar says:

      Excellent. Ability to do the job well and as honestly as possible should be the main criterion for any would be candidate. I like cheetahs too but my favourites are ducks!

    22. shiregirl says:

      I have red hair. I feel picked on and singled out.

      I am at a genetic disadvantage as I go bright red when you turn a light on and fry in the sun.

      I demand equality.

      LOLZ. I love ma hair.

    23. Cuilean says:

      The greatest singer in the ‘rat-pack’, Sammy Davis Junior, African-American/Jewish,

    24. Astonished says:

      I’ve always thought the “self-serving, utter bastards group” was significantly over represented.

      And the SNP lately have done absolutely nothing to dissuade me of that notion.

    25. Mark English says:

      Channeling Douglas Murray ….and rightly so on this topic.

      Good essay….

    26. Effijy says:

      Exactly!
      There is no such thing as a positive discrimination.

      Tell anyone they can’t put themselves forward as you prefer someone else and you discriminate.

      There are very few mothers with babies only months old
      so should we demand they have someone else nurture the
      Child while they devote themselves to becoming an MSP?

      We are short of MSP’s who have been imprisoned for violent acts,
      Should we be seeking more?

      We do need great minds, people with vision, people who have experience,
      people with drive and an understanding of the public’s priorities.
      Do we tell these people to get lost as Sinita with one leg and a 10 meters
      Breast Stroke certificate fancies a high paying job rather than disability benefits?

      Yes encourage everyone to get involved but when you overlook the best to
      install someone completely unsuitable the world is lost.

      A friend new to a boardroom role asked a trusted colleague who the guy was who kept
      interjecting with the dumbest of comments.

      He was advised that this chap is called Broken Arrow.
      Why was that he enquired?
      He is the nephew of the main shareholder so he can’t be fired.

      Don’t vote Broken Arrow!

    27. David Holden says:

      I am not sure what percentage of the population are idiots but my gut feeling is that they are over represented at Holyrood.

    28. Caledonia says:

      Is this a Soapbox post or a Rev one
      Or is it a soapbox post written by the rev

      Either way i am a best man/woman for the job.

    29. tartanfever says:

      Funny, I mentioned the Johann Lamont quote yesterday, and I think it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard said by a Scottish politician.

      ‘Genetically programmed’ is pretty specific term, there’s not a lot of wiggle room there. She could have used a whole raft of alternative phrases, but she didn’t, so we can only presume she knows what the words mean as an educated woman.

      Has anyone ever heard any other politician anywhere in the world tell there own countryfolk such a thing ? – because I really can’t remember anyone using such a phrase to describe their own electorate, who she needs to ‘persuade’ to vote for her.

      My interpretation is that she meant don’t let us make political decisions, please, someone else, do it for us. We’re incapable – which is not the same as being ‘no better or worse’

      Similarly, by coincidence, your article mentions childless people as a minority group. Remember Lamont in her 2014 conference speech having a snide dig at Alex Salmond for his ‘childless marriage’ – you can refresh your memory at this Wings post:

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/johann-lamonts-conference-speech/

    30. kapelmeister says:

      I am for discrimination.

      But only in one regard. I’d like to see idiots vastly underepresented in the legislature.

    31. Robert Dickson says:

      I’d like to see a quota based on IQ.
      Anything under say, 100….no seat in parliament.

      It would of course mean well over 100 by-elections as soon as practicable…..but that’s the price you pay for inclusivity and fairness.

    32. Hugh Jarse says:

      I’d hazard a guess that yer 10% representation for our English citizens is easily met, with the number of our MSPs who are closet Englanders.
      Wannabes.

      The MSM attack on Eck as defense, is a sorry, despicable, desperate line, but it’s all there is now.
      Trial by media? No.
      Skip the trial, it’s straight to sentencing.

      ‘He was guilty, that’s why we conspired to get him.
      The poor wee women, won’t someone think about the women!’

      I don’t care for this version of equity.

    33. Dandee says:

      Jeannie McCrimmon..10.35.
      Is it Valentines day ??
      No card for me ..hubby to busy with GF..lol

    34. Stephen P says:

      Looks like anonymity is a now a protected characteristic to add to the list.
      There ought to be a quota of them represented in Holyrood. Maybe there is but we don’t have any way of knowing.

    35. Beaker says:

      I work in a department which has straight and LGBT individuals, with at least 5 religions, six countries of origin and five races represented. Not one person was hired based on those characteristics.

      Within the company there are even more different characteristics, and high standards of respect are in place, but not positive discrimination.

      That’s how things should be.

    36. Willie says:

      My inclusion is your exclusion. It is as simple as that.

      Deny the option of being selected by your peers as being the candidate of choice based upon democratically expressed assessment is an absolute travesty. It is undemocratic and absolutely corrosive.

      Would you accept a brain surgeon with no fucking brains, no fucking medical qualifications because they self certified as some kind of ethnic minority that allowed them to exclude a valid fully qualified surgeon.

      Of course you wouldn’t.

      And as for disabled people, it’s support that they need not mandatory positive discrimination. In fact do you think the late Professor Stephen Hawking got his professor ship because he was disabled or because of his abilities. No doubt under the current SNP unless a Professor Hawking self certified as being disabled then under the current SNP regime Josh Aaron-Mennie would be given the chair in mathematics and physics.

      And why should we have candidates foisted on constituencies by the NEC and it vetting committees because of their commitment to transgenderism at the expense of others. The right of chicks with dicks being entitled to access women and girls spaces being the particular example.

      But folks can see all this now. They can see the way the SNP now operate, its nonsense policies imposed by a junta, and that’s why some 60,000 folk constituting half of the party membership have now left over the last two years.

      And the voters will be set to follow. About that there is no doubt.

      So, unless there is change, unless decent candidates stand forward, its time to vote em out. As independence supporters our allegiance is to independence and a better, fairer, more settled Scotland. Not to a rotten and corrupt SNP!

    37. Wee Chid says:

      tartanfever says:
      14 February, 2021 at 10:48 am

      “Similarly, by coincidence, your article mentions childless people as a minority group.”

      No, he mentioned them as being in conflict with families – but to be honest, as far a policies go, childless people are virtually ignored by the current SNP govt. Tons done to mitigate Tory policies on families and young people but bugger all done for the women and men denied their pension at the age they were promised.

    38. Peter A Bell says:

      The whole ‘problem’ identified by being somewhat ludicrously literal in one’s interpretation of positive discrimination vanishes if one thinks not is not as contrived or forced inclusion but the removal or moderation of barriers to inclusion.

      The theatrical outrage at the words “at least” on the Women 50:50 banner nicely illustrates the fallacious thinking evident in this piece. Why assume that “at least” means this?

      “65% would be fine (and logically also 75%, 85% or 100% – no upper limit is specified), even though that would then be under-representing men”

      In order to reach that conclusion you have to rush by the Occam’s Razor version that says that the term “at least” does no more than allow for proportionality. Just because it allows for 51.5% doesn’t mean it must inevitably allow for every other percentage. Not unless you think the people behind Women 50:50 are totally daft.

    39. Robert Hughes says:

      Excellent work Stuart .

      All this over-emphasis on abstract notions of ” Equality ” has done is illustrate how quickly theoretically admirable ideas are hijacked by self-interested individuals ( or factions ) hoping for advancement on the back of some supposed disadvantage , at the expense of possibly much better candidates .

      As the post and related comments state …..the sole criteria for selection should always be proven ability , and in our specific case , unswerving commitment to Independence first , everything else second

    40. Wee Chid says:

      Was David Blunkett ever on a special list – or did he win his seat on his own merits?

    41. ELewis says:

      Re BAME, I’ll always remember my partner filling in a job application form & coming to the ethnicity bit.

      “They’ve missed out a whole continent!”

      [she’s latin, & they generally get taught North & South America are one continent, so by our measurements, that’d be two continents, & even that’s still missing out East-and-South-East-Asia, including the most populous country on Earth]

      To this day, she giggles at having to fill out “other”, which all humanities/social-sciences-educated wokers should see the irony of, but probably quite often don’t.

    42. Jan Cowan says:

      Been chuntering on vaguely in the same vein for yonks- but obviously not in such well researched detail!

      Excellent article. Couldn’t be bettered.

    43. Willie says:

      A good point you make Stephen P.

      Anonymity is indeed a good point. SNP candidates protected by anonymity. You know it makes sense. Like it Mr P you’re into the way of SNP thinking.

    44. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Why assume that “at least” means this?”

      Because that’s literally what the phrase “at least” fucking means. It means “this many or any higher number”.

      There are a dozen better ways to phrase it if what you mean is “a proportionate number, with a small margin for error either way”.

      What you’re using is the OPPOSITE of Occam’s Razor, imposing a ludicrously assumed, overcomplicated and irrational interpretation on a simple phrase everyone understands just fine already.

    45. John says:

      Learn from England.

      Do you remember Mrs Duffy? The staunch Labour Party activist who was labeled “that bigoted woman” by Gordon Brown, and the whole world got to hear it because he was still miked up?

      What didn’t we know at the time?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotherham_child_sexual_exploitation_scandal

      That’s right. Young girls had suffered in their thousands from exactly what the lying alphabeties have claimed for themselves. Maybe Mrs Duffy wasn’t really a racist bully, but had simply been pushed to the limit by the fucking useless Labour Party who hate the white working class.

      The British fascists use these tactics all the time. Now Tony Blair with tits is up to the same tricks.

    46. Andy Ellis says:

      @Rev Stu

      “Are there any black Jewish people? Is that a thing? We don’t know that either and we don’t want to think about it because pretty soon we’re going to need to use Hampden Park for the Parliament.”

      Hate to break it to you….. 🙂

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Israel

    47. Captain Yossarian says:

      The anonymity of lawyers too Stephen P. The anonymity of newspaper journalists, how about that?

      So, if a Scottish lawyer doesn’t give you the answer you want, just go to an American lawyer. He’s bound to give you the answer you want. Just tell him waht you want him to say and ask him if he agrees. He’ll probably say ‘yes, I agree’ and invoice you later that day for about $15,000.

      That’s what old Linda Fabiani does.

    48. Morgatron says:

      I want the best person most suitable to the job to get the position, not the one who relied on ethnicity, religion, sexaul orientation or their small feet…. .Its a bloody farce and that’s why we are witnessing so many piss poor political troughers these days.

    49. John says:

      The Labour Party wasn’t always fucking useless, but it certainly became so following the ” untimely death” of John Smith. Had John Smith survived I suspect Scotland (and the whole world, if you think about it) would be in a much better place.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-law-of-diminishing-returns/#comment-2612378

    50. laukat says:

      Whilst I notice you mention Partick Thistle and Kingsley you have not stated the size of Parliament required to accomodate true diversity and ensure representation from my own community of Partick Thistle fans.

      As a Partick Thistle we are clearly a commuity that has suffered much over many years. To be a member of our community implictly self identifies the person as a sufferer of depression and if I hadn’t resigned my membership of the SNP I would be utlising my Jags afflication to gain top listing on the SNP list.

      I find your failure to mention the suffering of our community to be frankly vile. When can I expect to see a vido from the first minister saying she is commited to the Partick Thistle community and sharing dismay that I have resigned my SNP membership?

    51. Denise says:

      You get to the ridiculous position of a person with a university degree and inherited wealth with mild dyslexia – self ids as disabled – gets an advantage over a person from an area of multiple deprivation who left school at 16.

      How many people in parliament come from working class backgrounds?
      How many left school at 16?
      How many were on minimum wage before they became an MSP?

      Equality doesn’t seem to include poverty. And surely grinding poverty is the biggest factor on life chances?

    52. Scozzie says:

      Can we not just vote for candidates on their honesty, integrity, truthfulness, willingness to serve the people? Is there a single candidate out there that has these values???? Is there anybody out there (in the words of Pink Floyd ). What a fucking cesspit our political options have become!!!!!!

    53. Heaver says:

      On this romantic morn
      Stuck in my duty rota
      Comes Rev, tooting his horn
      He had me at “quota”.

    54. Robert Hughes says:

      Laukat – no support from SNPG for long-suffering PT fans – just more jags

    55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “In comparison with the phallanx of arseholes that Aberdeen City Council has delivered to the Scottish body-politic over the past decade, a few BAME’s sound like a bargain.”

      So you’re saying BAMEs > bams?

    56. kapelmeister says:

      Laukat

      Sounds like the Jags community have had a Rough Auld time.

    57. deerhill says:

      Where’s Sammy Davis Jnr. when you need him?

    58. Socrates MacSporran says:

      John @ 11.25am

      Going by his daughter’s stance in her role with the BBC, I think his early death has given Smith a status he barely deserves.

      He was an old-fashioned British Labour politician – quite happy to surrender Scotland to the greater needs of England. Like all the rest, he would have promised Scotland the world – when in Scotland, then fogotten all about us once back in his comfortable London bubble.

      Labour has always used Scotland as a tame source of unquestioning votes – until we woke up and started voting SNP.

      Sadly, this current lot at the topin the SNP are starting to behave as Labour did for years. Looking after themselves, to the detriment of Scotland.

    59. Captain Yossarian says:

      “The Crown Office have intervened three times to deny this committee information which it has asked for.

      “This has been done by an abuse of legislation which was never designed to obstruct the work of a parliamentary committee.

      “I know this to be true because I was first minister when the legislation was passed in 2010.”

      From Sky News half an hour ago.

      Poor old Crown Office….no-one loves a lickspittal, do they. I wonder if the man/woman responsible will ever be identified. I’m sure our press know already and have been got-at by Swinney’s Perthsire fuseliers not to divulge names or prosecutions by the same Crown Office will follow.

      Welcome to the Junta.

    60. Frank Gillougley says:

      Wonderfully put. Reductio ad absurdum.

    61. kapelmeister says:

      Why is Humza so often dressed like a snooker player? Did he miss his true vocation? Because it certainly isn’t politics.

    62. Strathy says:

      ‘Brilliant, what a truly brilliant article – entertaining and very illustrative of a serious flaw in some people’s thinking/reasoning.’

      Absolutely.

      By diversity and inclusion or even equality – the screeching children mean supremacy.

      Supremacy for them and their (current) chosen group.

    63. Derek says:

      Hurray for Kingsley!

      What, no gingers? I feel unrepresented…

    64. Daisy Walker says:

      If you could just ensure that all the asian candidates/place names, are either related to or sleeping with Humza, fairly sure that will meet requirements.

    65. Margaret Tees says:

      Brilliant article… I’m so glad you wrote it. I’ve never approved of any kind of positive discrimination, and I’m quite relaxed about saying this as I’m a lifetime wheelchair user. Believe me it would make me cringe to be awarded a position solely based on my disability.

    66. Sylvia says:

      “Something rotten”

      Holyrood Mandy doesn’t mince her words.

      https://www.holyrood.com/editors-column/view,something-rotten

    67. ahundredthidiot says:

      I see the Believe in Scotland billboards have Mr Trump on them alongside Boris.

      Given Trump is such a divisive figure – I know as many people who despise him as I do who regard him as a perfectly competent and good President – I can only come to one conclusion;

      Believe in Scotland don’t really believe in Scotland.

      For why else would Trump be on it if not to cause division.

    68. Eileen Carson says:

      O/T BBC shamelessly have the Alex Salmond story on their main/home page.

    69. Ian says:

      Money talks. Unsurprisingly private schooling already has a bias well above what would be a fair representation.

      In 2016, while 4% of people in Scotland went to a private school, they made up 20% of MSP’s.

      https://archive.is/cdTka

      ‘The SNP was the party that came closest to representing the population, with under 10 per cent of its politicians, six of its 63 MSPs, coming through private schools. But the proportion of SNP MSPs who were educated privately is still twice the figure for the general population. A closer look at the figures for the SNP and the other parties also reveals that, among those who did not go to private school, many did attend the more successful comprehensives in the most affluent parts of Scotland.’

      https://newsnet.scot/commentary/politics-private-schools-perpetuating-social-elite/

      At Westminster in 2019, 29% of MPs had been privately educated (Tories 41%), compared to 7% of the population.

    70. Eileen Carson says:

      Sorry – Alex Salmond ACCUSER story

    71. Martyn says:

      Classic humans. You see this in so many areas of our life. We’ve been taught to treat the symptoms instead of the root cause. Why force quotas when there are real barriers preventing people taking their chance. All that means is that the people taking their place in the quotas are more likely to be the ones not impeded by the actual barriers. Thats why we get to enjoy and increasing amount of idiots.

      I wouldnt care if it was a parliament full of 1 group (regardless of which group it is) if it was a democratically elected group of people with the skills and talent for the job.

    72. David says:

      Super.
      What about clowns? Can we cut back on them. Already over represented.

    73. John Main says:

      There are no quotas in professional sport. Fans and supporters would be enraged if there were, as it would mean missing out on the best chances for silverware. For football teams, to give one example, financial ruin would swiftly arrive as they slid down the rankings and into the lower divisions, to be replaced by those teams who select on talent and merit. Countries selecting a team on a quota system to send to the Olympics would not bring back many medals, which is why no country entertains such a daft idea.

      What the pro-diversity and inclusion lobby in politics is really saying to the people who pay their salaries is, never mind the second-class service you get for your hard-earned, because what we do is not really that important. Certainly not as important as football! Football needs elite performers at the peak of their abilities. Politics needs … well, a pulse certainly, arguably an eye for the main chance, but perhaps not much more.

      This is worth remembering the next time you hear some WM or Hollyrood trougher bleating about how a pay rise is necessary “in order to attract the best talent into politics”.

    74. Sylvia says:

      Captain Yossarian :11:24 “American Lawyer”

      Craig Murray wrote – “There is a Solicitor to the Scottish Parliament, but my information is that this specific “absurd” advice actually comes at source from a large US commercial law firm”

      The Lord Advocate’s wife is known as Lady Sarah Wolffe (nee Sarah Poyntell LaBudde)and a judge of the Court of Session. She is also AMERICAN…..

    75. Robert Hughes says:

      100thIdiot – a bit disingenuous there with that comment .

      No great lover of that page – I was excommunicated for daring to criticise St Knickers – but the billboard is equating Trump and Johnson negatively .

      https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=4294734850541250&set=pcb.2820937081502070

    76. Stranger says:

      It’s there a problem with the mailing out notifications of new articles? This is the second article for which I’ve not received an email.
      I’ve checked my spam and no email.

      Any known issue?

    77. Willie says:

      Rev Stu, you missed out ageism. Yes you’ve come up with all these subdivisions, but what about ageism. Surely we should have quotas there.

      And another thing, why have you missed out ethnic Gaels and ethic English. Surely they’re due a bit of positive discrimination, quotas, or whatever to. You need to embrace SNP lunacy to its fullest.

      Meanwhile in the real world I see Scotch whisky sales have crashed by over £1.1 billion whilst pelagic fish and shellfish sales have also crashed. That together with other emerging export slumps makes you realise how absolutely important transgender rights and Hate Crime legislation is.

      Yep, things can only get better. Vote SNP vote woke, you know it makes sense.

    78. Xaracen says:

      “pansexual”, presumably as opposed to “plainsexual”

      Now, that’s using your loaf! 😀

    79. paul says:

      kapelmeister says:
      14 February, 2021 at 11:36 am

      Why is Humza so often dressed like a snooker player? Did he miss his true vocation? Because it certainly isn’t politics.

      Looks like he takes his cue from the england manager, rather than an old fashioned,gentlemanly and down market sport such as snooker.

      Last time I looked, a player called a foul on himself, where do you see that these days?*

      *Not inside the waistcoat photography room labelled ‘Justice secretary’

    80. robertknight says:

      Not enough bald white men IMHO. Can I get my name on some kind of list?

    81. paul says:

      As blogpost comment time defeats me:

      paul says:
      14 February, 2021 at 11:30 am

      Andy Ellis says:
      14 February, 2021 at 10:53 am

      @paul 10.07 and 10.24pm

      I think you’re being a tad unfair.

      Forgive me, but I did not start the lack of fairness consuming us now.

      Both pieces have Sturgeon, and the malaise at the centre of her government, bang to rights in my opinion. It’s obvious to every dog in the street that the SNP’s current popularity owes much more to the execrable state of the opposition than to the voters approbation of the Scottish government.

      Both pieces, at least to me, seem to be trying to be fair by saying all parties are as bad as the other. They both spend rather too much time on the the former FM’s alleged but unproven flaws, as if we, the unwashed, have not had this brought to our attention already.

      Even its handling of Covid only really looks good when held up to the mirror of England’s abject failure: it looks much less impressive in comparison with other smaller countries abroad. Complaining that “we” couldn’t replicate New Zealand’s policies because we aren’t independent and don’t have all the necessary powers or money is only a partial excuse.

      “independent countries abroad”.
      A canny evangelist would highlight the problems of reserved powers.

      Our own government could and should have done much better, but lacks the political balls to do it. In that respect, we have to be open to accepting the validity of the argument that hiding behind the Westminster bogey-man and blaming them for everything is no longer enough, nor does it excuse failures of policy and political nerve on the part of the SNP.

      The yellow jerseys have a dictum:

      Never interrupt your enemy when they’re getting everything they want.

      With respect to Tomkins, or Murdo Fraser or any other British nationalist taking the opportunity to make hay at Sturgeon’s expense, well….they would, wouldn’t they?

      Thay haven’t done it before, it might be better to ask why haven’t they?

      The uncomfortable fact for pro-independence folk is that that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      What do you do for the other 23 hours and 58 minutes?
      Mourn the broken cuckoo?

      I hate virtually everything unionists in Scotland now stand for, but I’m not so closed minded that I can’t see that Tomkins comments are correct: I’m not going to write them off just because I don’t like his politics, and neither should anyone else who wants us to work like we live in the early days of a better nation.

      The nutty professor has done little in his too long time at holyrood. Watching him, reluctantly, being pushed to the front of the parade at this point, does not reassure me of the robustness of our public realm.

      Finally, Macwhirter’s point alluded to in your quote is important: ordinary voters may not care that much about the minutiae of the disputes in the SNP, but “civic Scotland” and the activist base DOES care, and is informed and engaged.

      They might well be, but the friends and family that are the SNP leadership look rather darkly on such controversial thinking.

      It comforts #cosyfeetPete and his ilk to pedal this line that none of this matters, but it WILL matter if significant numbers of those who were committed and engaged in 2012-14 either give up in disgust or switch their allegiance to other parties.

      I cannot see that as a problem for his ilk, they look around and see nothing but good things.
      They sow apathy to soften their feet.

      The issue surely is whether the SNP can be changed from within. Initial signs are not looking good. The next few weeks may provide the answer.

      The last 242 weeks hasn’t, that’s for sure

    82. JB says:

      Cath at 10:35 remarked:

      “However, there needs to be something like a second chamber made up of a diverse, representative sample of ordinary people who can scrutinise and debate policies.”

      That is why some people have suggested such a chamber selected by Sortition*, i.e. similar to Jury Selection, would be appropriate. Say a group of 100 people, selected by lot to serve for a year (or two), say with 1/4, or 1/3 changed each year, and paid a salary. They should possibly have the absolute right to kill legislation (i.e. no Parliament Act like provisions).

      Then we have the question of if it should be a third, or second chamber. Since as a third they can concentrate on the public policy aspect, rather than the legal aspects, which would seem to be the most appropriate perspective. It would also ensure that (like a Jury), they get the final veto on what the law is (or should be), and hence ensure legislation is not passed which is likely to be repudiated by a Jury at trial (leaving aside for the moment the legalistic argument of if a Jury is a finder of fact alone, or also (if only de-facto) a finder of law).

      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition

    83. David Caledonia says:

      The way some dodgy people use the english language has always fascinated me.
      Copywriters are a prime example of this, I go back at least 40 years of complaining to these people, yes it was before the internet, so its not changed ,one bit, just moved house, so to speak.
      A guy sent me a letter years ago stating he had found a hidden system for winning every time at football and for every pound you bet you would get two back, so I sent away my tenner, and low and behold the great day arrived with the clatter of my letterbox and the secret system that wins all the time hitting my doormat.
      I rushed to open it, not really cause I new it would be some sort of crap, I have a curious mind so I like to see what the latest arsehole has come up with to part me from my shillings.
      Anyway, I put the kettle on, made myself a bit of toast and tea and then sat down and opened the letter, I forgot to mention I always shouted open sesame with those type of letters, well you need to get into the pantomime spirit with these things.
      I opened the letter, and there it was, I had the secret system in my hands, it was mine all mine ( you selfish bastard caledonia share it with your friends lol ).
      The half/time-full/time secret system, what the fuck, secret fucking system, does this shitbag think he is going to get away with keeping my tenner, not bloody likely, pen and paper out faster than you could say, if I get a hold of you pal I will put a hot poker between your cheeks.
      So I wrote and told him, send my tenner back or else, he was english based and I travelled a load, so it was not an empty threat.
      My tenner came back, and we kissed and hugged like good friends do, we even went out for a drink together, alas he never came home with me that night, he was all spent out.
      I often find myself thinking of old tenner and wondering what he’s up to now, then I look at my electricity bill and think, I wish old tenner was here, cause all these tenners I have now ain’t worth a monkeys fart in value, its a true saying, you don’t miss what you have till its gone.
      Ahhhhhh, just heard the clatter of the letterbox, that will be my secret system for voting SNP, ah fuck it, not going to open the bugger, just make myself some tea and toast and go to my
      bed, there’s always tomorrow to look foreward to and the clatter of the letterbox

    84. Stuart MacKay says:

      > Are there any black Jewish people? Is that a thing?

      Indeed it is, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yibir. The Israeli government spent quite a bit of time and effort in bringing people from Somalia to Israel but the integration into society hasn’t worked that well for various, easily guessed, reasons.

      On the topic at hand:

      There an entirely better way to solve the representation problem. Spend the money and put in the time and ensure that ALL people living in Scotland get a fair shake of the stick. Put in extra effort for the disadvantaged groups where needed.

      Get everyone up the first few rungs of the ladder and take out the roadblocks that stop them from getting on. Get people up and running and on a trajectory that would make their lives a success no matter what path they want to take. Keep an eye on the smart and motivated ones and make sure your investment is not wasted.

      Do that and you will an excellent pool of talent at the top. The goal is diversity of thought, experience, perspective and vision.

      This is obviously would take an enormous amount of work and quite a bit money. You’d have to break a lot of entrenched interests – like the middle classes pissing on the poor to avoid competition for their kids – however the benefits of having the best of the best, regardless of background, running the country would be enormous.

      Alternatively, just go in for a bit of window dressing so everyone at the top can feel good about themselves and leave the rest to flounder.

    85. Hatuey says:

      I think I was about 7 or 8 when I realised positive discrimination was fundamentally flawed and in itself discriminatory. It’s one of the reasons I’ve always shunned things like sociology — just about anything that starts with “soc” is probably going to be riddled with believers in this sort of crap.

      Fuck all that.

      Meritocracy is the only thing that makes sense. I draw the line at politics but acknowledge there’s a good case for ditching democracy in favour of some sort of merit-based system too; if we could come up with an honest way of determining merit and ensure the process wasn’t corrupt, I’d ditch democracy in an instant.

      Interestingly, if jobs and wealth were distributed on the basis of merit instead of what we have now, you’d undoubtedly see more minorities prospering and rising through the social ranks. In my experience, minorities try harder and are generally more able and employable.

      99% of those people that shout about positive discrimination today would be out of a job if they had to compete fairly and squarely on the basis of merit, and they’d probably lose their jobs to minorities.

    86. Cenchos says:

      The opposite of Occam’s Razor is Humza’s Ladle.

    87. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “you missed out ageism”

      BE MORE ALERT.

      “And why isn’t Parliament quota-ed for age groups? Most MSPs retire in their 60s, so who speaks for the 20% of Scots who are over pension age? Why aren’t there 26 pensioner MSPs, including some in their 70s and 80s and 90s?”

    88. Craig Jones says:

      Rev Stu,

      I have always wondered what are the stats for regular contributions from the BAME Community to Wings Over Scotland, as in, how many?

    89. Famous15 says:

      Euan McColm wrote this in the Scotsman:

      “If Now Scotland’s founders think they know better than Nicola Sturgeon, they are in for a rude awakening. Right now, they stand only to damage the cause they support. “

      N ow Scotland must be doing better than expected to get such warm abuse.

    90. jomry says:

      I have tried to forward this article this morning several times. On my desktop, I get a message saying “Could not send – spam detected” from my ntlworld (Virgin media) server. This occurs on any occasion i have the address “wingoverscotland.com” anywhere in the text. On my iPad, no alert appears, but the e-mails do not go. Forwarding other web pages works as normal ( as checked by forwarding mail to self.) Could someone else on VM or Ntlworld check this out to determine whether this is simply something peculiar to my system

    91. Meg merrilees says:

      O/T just listened to Radio Scotland discussing the “Salmond Inquiry”. Seems there has been a survey done to find out how many think Salmond is lying and how many think Sturgeon is lying. No surprises there, more of the great Scottish Public think he is lying than think she is lying.
      Then the programme went on to quote a current article by Dani Garivelli (of course – because she is the source of all knowledge on this matter)It seems that the public are not really interested in this topic, it has hardly registered with so the press are not carrying it because it’s not a hot topic.
      They don’t think it will make too much difference at the polls.

      So the propaganda broadcaster has placed this week’s subliminal attitudes into our brains and the BBC rounds it off with an interview with one of the Alphabetty Ladies.

      Amongst other things she said the following:
      (all taken from BBC article on Scotland webpage)

      … the woman told BBC Scotland political editor Glenn Campbell that she believed it had descended into a “political fight” that made it less likely that other women would report any concerns.

      She said the row had “effectively allowed the government to get away with not being properly scrutinised on its procedures”.

      And she claimed that the inquiry had been “in many ways more traumatic than the experience of the High Court trial”.

      She continues with some responses which seemed to be approaching the truth at least:

      …In an interview broadcast on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, the woman said she had hoped the committee would be impartial and would properly investigate the government and contribute towards ensuring the sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace were no longer an issue.

      She said: “Instead what has happened is they have taken your very personal experiences and exploited them for their own self-serving political interests, and that is something in itself that is really traumatic.”

      The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also claimed that the committee had “strayed so far from its own remit that it has made any of its findings completely useless”.

      She added: “I think that they really had an opportunity to ensure they could investigate the creation of procedures that would make it safe and easy for women to come forward, and they have made it significantly harder.”

      BUT despite printing that AS was ‘not guilty’ etc of all charges they can’t resist the chance to just stick that knife on one more time –

      And she said it was “utterly absurd” to suggest that nine women “could be persuaded to lie to the police, to perjure themselves in court”.

      “The truth is that we individually had experiences of Alex Salmond’s behaviour,” she said.

      NB: that last sentence only says ‘AS’s behaviour’ the implication however is left to the reader to add.
      Sorry for such a long O/T post!

    92. Richard says:

      With regards to positive discrimination is there a case for it if 2 equally talented people are applying for a job but one of them is overlooked because of a disability etc.I have ways been a believer in the best person for the Job but the truth is we all discriminate knowingly or unknowingly sometimes based on race, religion, social status..the best person for the Job sometimes does not get it.

      I wonder what the position of many posters here on the PSNI is, they have used positive discrimination to employ more catholics.

    93. BaronessSamedi says:

      “Pan sexual” and “Plain sexual”! Brilliant, I love it!

    94. Sylvia says:

      Stranger at 11:51-“notifications”

      I NEVER receive any – I just have to keep checking the site.

    95. Wee Chid says:

      Denise says:
      14 February, 2021 at 11:29 am

      Exactly Denise – and their only solution is to try to get us to aspire to their way of life – not fix the poverty problem and let us retain our working class culture. It’s almost as if they think that those of us who don’t want to fall into the property/mortgage and debt trap just lack ambition – not that we see the whole “keeping up with the Jones’s” culture as a pointless, capitalist dogma.

    96. KiltedSplendour says:

      Great that you should think that the people decide. I’ve always had a vision of Blockchain democracy like that in Estonia, only on steroids. If we all have a digital ID, then we can easily poll the whole population, or just subdivisions of it, on whatever issue we wish to. Ultimately, you could end up with the people deciding everything and politicians being merely opinion formers. Very idealistic obviously, and dependent on having an educated electorate capable of making those decisions, but a noble aspiration.

    97. Breastplate says:

      Our MPs are supposed to represent all their constituents regardless of what mix they are.
      The ingredients which I think are needed to do that job are honesty, intelligence, empathy and integrity.
      It matters not whether you are black, white, gay, straight, male, female or a Jedi knight and if this is an overriding factor of why you got the job, you may feel obligated to over represent your minority.

    98. David Caledonia says:

      Why don’t we just bring in a load of monkeys, put them all in a room, throw in a load of bananas and a pen and paper and see what they produce.
      They would come produce something useful, at least my roses will come up blooming lovely lol

    99. Kat says:

      The problem with the whole diversity & inclusion drive is not the desire to give those who are disadvantaged some assistance to help them achieve, as it was probably initially intended, but to create a hierarchy of privilege within society, keeping us divided & tribal.

      As this article shows, statistically diversity & inclusion can only be achieved & be a worthy aim, if the population is diverse enough to warrant action. It also needs to show that any action taken will have a positive & beneficial outcome for all, hence why we have equality impact assessments. So under representation is a barrier as well as a driver of diversity.

      Safety & dignity is another barrier, inclusion of disabled people requires improvements to the work environment to ensure accessibility, women need single sex spaces, etc etc. Any change in favour of one protected characteristic must be balanced with the needs of all other characteristics. Again that is the purpose of equality impact assessments. Unfortunately those doing the EQIA’s are more interested in proving the need for the change than finding out how it impacts all. Finding the balance needs a common sense approach instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, just for the sake of it.

      Failing their equality duty is not just a failure of politicians, demonstrating their lack of ability, but also shows what we all know but dare not acknowledge…not all politicians aim to be good public servants. Most are after power, popularity, or even wealth. Instead of shoehorning in unsuitable candidates for woke points we should be doing better at weeding out the undesirables.

    100. Richard says:

      Apologies for all the typos

    101. Republicofscotland says:

      You missed out a whole host of minorities, such as Zoroastrians, Scientologists, those who identify as aliens from outer space, the David Icke lizard community and many other minorities.

      In reality as you say its virtually impossible to have that utopian blend at Holyrood, so its really all just BS, used to advantage.

    102. Pete Barnes says:

      Captain Yossarian

      Actually Ash Denham she is my MSP and she has passed five Bills (more than any other minister) and has stuck her neck out to criticise the awful GRA and has had the subsequent woke backlash trying to (unsuccessfully) unseat her.

    103. paul says:


      Willie says:
      14 February, 2021 at 11:51 am

      Rev Stu, you missed out ageism. Yes you’ve come up with all these subdivisions, but what about ageism. Surely we should have quotas there.

      I think that was addressed;

      And why isn’t Parliament quota-ed for age groups?

      There is a handy Mnemonic for newcomers:
      RTFA.


      And another thing, why have you missed out ethnic Gaels and ethic English. Surely they’re due a bit of positive discrimination, quotas, or whatever to. You need to embrace SNP lunacy to its fullest.

      Just as much as necessary.
      Close and sustained contact shows the effects of ill health.

      Meanwhile in the real world I see Scotch whisky sales have crashed by over £1.1 billion whilst pelagic fish and shellfish sales have also crashed. That together with other emerging export slumps makes you realise how absolutely important transgender rights and Hate Crime legislation is.


      Whisky sales were crossfire in an eu/us spat.
      We have been out of the eu for a year and a half.
      The sanctions, to my knowledge, are still in place.

      As for the fish, you want to be a third country, learn what rules third countries have to live with.

      Yep, things can only get better. Vote SNP vote woke, you know it makes sense.

      I feel your heart is not with my own.

    104. Daisy Walker says:

      The biggest equalling up of Political opportunities to become elected came directly from 2014 Indy Ref.

      Suddenly – very suddenly – the SNP needed electable candidates for every seat, and there were a whole bunch of people who had demonstrated ability.

      This current virtue signallying diversity – is actually sending out a rallying cry to those who are the opposite of capable.

      Swapping one gerrymandered system for another – with the only qualification needed being an appreciation for what side your bread is buttered, and an inability to do the job, is not progress, and its not sustainable for getting elected – just ask Labour – or the looney left as they are known.

      But then they know that, that is why the policy was installed.

    105. Jeremy says:

      @Cath

      Although there are fewer of them, there are women snooker players, several listed here from the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

      https://www.womenssnooker.com/players/

      I do remember that they used to show – they maybe still do – some Women’s Snooker matches on TV during tournaments. Allison Fisher was perhaps the best known player.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allison_Fisher

      The sport is a much smaller institution than Men’s Snooker, I think. I suppose it might be to do with snooker being, historically, the sort of game that men were much more encouraged to play than women.

    106. Contrary says:

      Cath at 10.35am,

      I hate this type of prevailing thought argument, ‘they just aren’t interested’, as you said here: ” …disadvantage, and I’ve never heard of a female snooker league. So I googled a bit, and the prevailing thought seems to be just that ‘women generally aren’t that interested in snooker’. ”

      In snooker there were classically no separate women’s leagues (I think some have been established, but haven’t paid attention for a few years now) – and you could argue this is true equality, women are allowed to compete, there’s no exclusion, it’s purely based on skill and ability.

      But, you are wrong to think women are not disadvantaged in snooker, just because it doesn’t appear as physical as other sports. I’m going to use some statistics and information I learnt 30 years ago – but I haven’t seen any major shifts in society or natural selection at work in that time, so I’ll assume they are still valid.

      Men tend to have better hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness – in general, most men won’t even have to think about things like aiming a ball or parking a car – women have to learn and practice these things just to get up to the same level as most men (in general). It’s not that most women CAN’T do tasks that involve these abilities – it’s just that, on average, we need to work at them. Starting from an inherent ability like that, gives men an advantage in snooker.

      Something mostly overlooked are tertially sexual characteristics (physical differences between the sexes that are not really related to the obvious primary sexual characteristics) – for snooker, like for throwing-sports, men have an advantage (in general) because of the angle of their elbow. That is, the male skeleton is more likely to be physically – mechanically – structured to aid in aiming a cue, or throwing a ball. Stand in front of a mirror with your arms hanging by your side loosely, and observe if your elbow angles into your waist – then find a willing man and observe how their elbows tend to jut out from the body. It’s a minor difference, and every individual will be different, but generally speaking – men are good at throwing, women are good at carrying (and that legacy carries on in the structure of our skeletons).

      So in classically men’s sport, as always, statistically speaking, women are at a disadvantage – and what is the point competing when you can never win? Most sports are designed by men, for men, of course – and historically, women seem to have had little leisure to create their own sports that put men at a disadvantage!

      In general terms, men also tend to the more extreme ends of any bell-curve of a skill or ability – that is, the curve is flatter, and there are less ‘average’ men than there are ‘average’ women. That’s why chess champions tend to be men – there are just more men at the genius level than women (proportionally speaking). Equally, there are more extremely dim-witted men than there are women. (These are are generalities and statistics, not a reflection on individuals!).

      The benefits of having a large ‘average’ skilled population in women, is, of course, that women tend to be good at multi-tasking (not me, but on average), managing, organising, compromising, etc etc. All those skills a woman, classically, uses for running a household – budgeting, looking after children, keeping things in order, ensuring everyone is on time, everyone is fed etc etc (and now additionally, going out to work to earn money too) – skills that are, bewilderingly, looked down on. These are the perfect skills for any managerial position! I lack them personally (couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery), and so admire them greatly,, and keep asking myself,,,

      Why aren’t the majority of managerial positions held by women?

      A fair and just society – one that recognises the right skills for the right job – would, and should, show, statistically, a greater proportion of women in managerial, organisational and leadership positions.

      I’m still waiting for it to happen.

    107. Maolbeatha says:

      Guaranteed Equality of opportunity for all good.
      Guaranteed Equality of outcome for some not good.

      Everyone gets access to the same educational chances and let the most talented, and interested in that field, be selected on merit alone.

      Discriminate on ability to do the job.

    108. Eileen Carson says:

      BaronessSamedi says:
      14 February, 2021 at 12:07 pm
      “Pan sexual” and “Plain sexual”! Brilliant, I love it

      Like Pan Breid and Plain Breid?

    109. Captain Yossarian says:

      A spokeswoman for Alex Salmond said: “Alex was acquitted on all charges by the jury last March. It is not the job of the committee or the BBC to rerun or question a jury trial.

      “The Parliamentary inquiry is into the behaviour of civil servants, special advisers and Ministers around a process which was judged unlawful in the Court of Session. After Lady Dorrian publishes her written judgement Alex looks forward to presenting evidence to the committee and then seeing it published.”

    110. ahundredthidiot says:

      Robert Hughes @ 11:49

      What bit about not everyone viewing Trump negatively are you not getting then?

      It’s divisive – plain and simple. By all means have a go at Bojo – who has simply replaced Theresa May with ‘Now is not the time’ (repeated by Sturgeon btw, so maybe she should be up there), but what the hell does the clown show that is the US political scene have to do with us? Unless it is a snidey wee plan to cause division. Bojo is the real enemy – Trump isn’t.

      The people who peddle that claptrap (same as everyone else who hated Mr Trump) simply think (dangerously) that their opinion has more moral value than those who take a different view.

      That makes them intolerant.
      In short – they’re bigots.

      And they have no idea that they are – hence the danger.

    111. Liz says:

      Another crazy appointment. Replacing Joanna C QC, part of tge LBG group, in the justice brief with a failed student of acting, who just happens to be a bff of NS.

      The Cons must be splitting their sides laughing.

    112. Frank Gillougley says:

      Because in “diversity and inclusion”, some groups are a lot more included than others.

      Now, where did I read that bit before…

      I actually read Animal Farm when I was ill with the flu when i were about 8 or 9! Felt sorry for the old horse, Boxer! Some things never change!

    113. Eileen Carson says:

      BBC leaving themselves wide open to charges of defamation by Alex Salmond. Hell mend them! Who made BBC our judge and jury?

    114. David Caledonia says:

      Virgin media, I left that crowd years ago, tried sky, told them to piss off to
      Now I have the best IP I have ever had, and not one problem with them at 22 quid a month
      In fact I might become and affiliate for them, make myself a few shillings and help people who are still putting up with the same old crappy providers

    115. ScotsRenewables says:

      I hope Salmond goes for the BBC – disgraceful article.

    116. Meg merrilees says:

      Re diversity/ representation of minorities_

      In the 1980’s I was fortunate to begin work as an orchestral woodwind player in London. This was at a time when the wind, brass and percussion players were traditionally men.
      I never thought of myself as a female woodwind player, I was a woodwind player like all my colleagues, who happened to be female.
      In all my time as an orchestral player I was never asked ‘what school I went to’ nor ‘what qualifications I had’. All that mattered was whether you could do the job and if you couldn’t there was nowhere to hide. It was tough but rewarding work.

      Over the years more and more women were appointed till the balance was reversed and men were in the minority.
      In the last 10 years or so I have noticed a change and it seems that the majority of appointments now are male.
      No idea why this should be so – could be that fewer women want that stressful lifestyle.

      At one point I was asked to join an ‘all female’ international orchestra that was being set up.
      I declined because quality should not be compromised to suit other requirements. Surely you want the best person for the job?
      Attempts to ‘manipulate’ the perceived imbalance usually go awry but meritocracy is open to corruption and ‘jobs for the boys’, so it is a dilemna.
      We all have to be more honest and transparent.

      AND I live in Stirling now, so you’ll guess how I feel about the recent parachuting in of a certain MEP as my MP. Grrrrr!

    117. ALANM says:

      Interesting that we only see people queuing up to argue for “diversity & inclusion” when the subject under discussion is how to fill well paid jobs which involve a lot of sitting around on your arse doing nothing very much (like being an MSP). As and when we start seeing protests about the imbalance of males v females, gay v straight etc. etc. on the bins or in construction or in road building/repairs I might be prepared to sit up and take notice.

    118. Johnny says:

      Person above commented on why is Trump on a poster about believing in Scotland.

      It’s because someone somewhere wants to make Scotland into a mini-America with attendant focus on your things Democrats and Republicans fight about, and with focus taken away from independence.

    119. Willie says:

      Rev Stu,

      My apologies. I will try to be more alert in future. All this alphabet stuff must me making me dyslexic. Either that or it’s ageing me prematurely.

    120. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I cannot help thinking – if the Scottish legal establishment would take up a suggestion, made I believe by Donald Finlay QC, that the accused in rape/sexual assault charges should be afforded the same anonimity as the accusers, it would be fairer.

      The accused would lose that anonimity if found guilty. Had that happened in the Salmond case, it would have made everything easier, for everyone.

    121. Hamish Anderson says:

      A handful of transgender imams should do the trick (no pun intended).

    122. Captain Yossarian says:

      Brian Taylor used to be a big fan of Alex Salmond. Glenn Campbell is trying very hard to be a big fan of Nicola Sturgeon. Unfortunately for him, he needs to get his facts right. What is the PURPOSE of this Inquiry again, Glenn?

    123. Republicofscotland says:

      I just don’t understand why there’s no one who indentifies as Klingon or Jedi represented at Holyrood.

      Nuqneh!!!! Klingon for a traditional greeting.

    124. paul says:

      Another crazy appointment. Replacing Joanna C QC, part of tge LBG group, in the justice brief with a failed student of acting, who just happens to be a bff of NS.

      Acting, in the sense of dramatising rather than performing an action, has peculiar currency in our leadership.

      Our new justice spokesbirdpersonthing was just born lucky and should therefore be thrown under that overcrowded bus the leadership keeps ot the back.

      After alyn has had his say, of course.

    125. Xaracen says:

      @jomry,

      I’m a VM customer, and just tried to forward the article link after reading your comment, and got the same error.

      An error occurred while sending mail. The mail server responded: 5.7.0 SPAM Content Found (VM603) BGXwlCmY6nHyIBGXxl5qth. Please check the message and try again.

      It is the mail server that is doing the blocking, not your local email application.

      When I removed the link but kept the text ‘WingsOverScotland’, that was sent OK.

      That is looking very dodgy, especially if other weblinks are not so blocked! Which I will try in a moment.

    126. Josh Fuckin-Mennie says:

      I’m a transwoman and I’m okay
      I tweet all night and I tweet all day
      I wear high heels and thick make-up
      I’ve joined the SNP
      I’m friends with Nicola Sturgeon
      And your next MSP.

      I’m a transwoman and I’m okay
      I tweet all night and I tweet all day
      I have a beard, I have a knob
      I use women’s lavatories
      I put on women’s clothing
      And sit down when I pee.

      I’m a transwoman and I’m okay
      I tweet all night and I tweet all day
      I like to scream abuse at Stu
      When he has gone too far
      And threaten him with law suits
      Just like Josh Mennie’s ma.

    127. ClanDonald says:

      @Captain Yossarian says:
      “You’re forgetting of course, space has to be found on the list for Humza’s wee brother, cousin and auntie.”

      Also his wife:

      https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/justice-secretary-humza-yousafs-wife-22723459

      What percentage of the population are Humza Yousaf’s relatives? 0.00005%?

      Yet he and his family members have been making up, what, 5% of candidates? The Yousaf family will be even better represented than the Saudi Royal family with its 100s of princes.

      Quite simply equality in the SNP now means “Equality for me, not for you.”

      Just like Humza’s moves to give men who are cross-dressers protection in hate crime laws but not women. You couldn’t have a more blatant example of institutional inequality.

    128. Xaracen says:

      Just sent a weblink for a non-political site and that went through with no problem. That is very suspicious behaviour, and needs following up.

    129. David Caledonia says:

      Does the BBC still exist, I don’t think so, it has the name of BBC, but it does not have the integrity of people they employed in the past, now all we have are quotas being filled, and people at home getting paid fortunes for sitting on their arses, just the same monkeys at home or supposedly working in a building

    130. David Caledonia says:

      Cancel virgin media, even branson bailed out of that crap and he’s a complete tosser

    131. Robert says:

      From BBC website just now: “And she said it was “utterly absurd” to suggest that nine women “could be persuaded to lie to the police, to perjure themselves in court”.

      “The truth is that we individually had experiences of Alex Salmond’s behaviour,” she said.

      The woman added: “It takes a lot of courage to report sexual harassment, particularly against a very powerful person””

      First of all, some of the nine incidents were acknowledged to have happened, but judged not to be harassment. So no lying in those incidents. Secondly, the complaints weren’t made against a “very powerful person”. At the time the complaints were made, the person complained about had been gone for years. Finally, whoever stated that – and I suspect whoever published that – is on dangerous ground for defamation.

    132. Daisy Walker says:

      Re PSNI quota to employ Catholics.

      Essential I would say.

      I agree with all the points the Rev has made in his article above.

      But as a female who was employed (now retired) in a macho, male dominated service, it went from 2 types of females being recruited in the role being about 10% of the overall workforce. The 2 types selected (by men) fell into the brackets of those selected on the basis of their looks and ’rounded heels’ rather than ability to do the job, and the opposite, those selected for being outstanding – and on them would fall an increased workload.

      Then the ‘quota’ increased to about 35%, to ‘allow’ for maternity leave.

      Which was a bit redundant really because the 7 day shift pattern, ensured child care and full time employment (at that time EU working time directive had not come in, and going part time was not allowed) were mutually exclusive. So the average time a female lasted in the job tended to be about 7 years.

      I worked in a City the size of Dundee. In the department I worked, providing 24 hour cover, there were 4 teams, based in 6 different depots. One ‘team leader’ per team.

      There were 2 female ‘team leaders’ out of the 28. They were outstanding, extremely capable.

      Not long after qualifying, due to staff shortages, I was paired up ‘with a learner Female’ – but only after much discussions by the bosses behind closed doors (and I was not invited). How on earth would we manage!

      Now woman make up about 50% of the staff, and its normal. Its normal from a service delivery point of view, its normal for and from the publics point of view, and its normal from colleagues point of view.

      One sign of it being normal, is the break through in promotions, to senior positions. You know its good when the question round the peace table about the imminent arrival of the new boss, is ‘is she any good’ Not ‘fuck sake its a woman.’

      The information not being highlighted, now that we perhaps take such things for granted (and sadly the ones who most take it for granted are the young snowflake females, but hey, what can you do) is the methods by which such discrimination was deemed normal, and the techniques (honest and foul) by which they enforced it.

      On looking at the whole GRA violence towards woman (for that is what it is), what I find shocking, is not that men hate woman, but the sheer volume of hate against woman that comes out when they feel emboldened to do so.

      Fundamental to that hate, is to very deliberately deprive woman of the full range of job – and wage – prospects.

      Nicola Sturgeon is as far removed from a Feminist as it is possible to be. Her hipocracy with regards the treatment of JC, Michelle Thomson, her hogging the limelight via Covid when she has two outstandingly well qualified Health Ministers – display that for all to see.

      But when she first talked about a 50/50 cabinet, and the sharp intakes of breath through closed teeth that she encountered for doing same – well, the point needed made.

      Kate Forbes is doing as good a job in the Finance roll as any bloke. But given her age, her wee bit slip of a bonny thing appearance – does anyone seriously think she would have got that roll without 50/50 quota (or DM stuffing up big time for that matter).

      But now that she is there, it is becoming normal.

      I don’t have an answer, and as I say, I think the points the Rev has made in his article above are valid and need saying.

      But 30 years ago and for hundereds of years prior, keeping woman bare foot, pregnant and in the kitchen was so much the norm, huge chunks of the infrastructure and laws entrenching that were invisble.

      I think it is valid to ask organisations why their staff does not represent their area.

    133. jomry says:

      @Xaracen
      Thank you for confirming. This is something serious. Is it just Virgin Media or is it more widespread. First time I have ever had anything like this. Just who is in control in this country??

    134. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/former-snp-aide-boasts-of-her-firms-little-black-book-pbxvp2dg7

      Just a wee reminder.

      They’ll all have their wee black books.

      Wings WBlueB and WBlackB’s: Honest and Fantastic work done for us and not to blackmail, control (or whatever) others.

      Politics is a dirty, filthy business as shown by New SNP.

    135. David Caledonia says:

      What about people like me, we are not represented at all.
      I might have to start my own political party with the name

      Yadtv

      Your All Daft To Vote lol

    136. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Another great article. That your favourite feline creature will remain unknown to your detractors, your many detractors, can be relied upon.

    137. I’ve often thought that as well as a 2nd chamber, we need a 3rd chamber.

      The 3rd chamber would be the Peoples’ Chamber, where you’d select them from lists such as you suggest. It’d be a challenge to create voting lists per category – e.g. only Asian women can vote-in the Asian women. Might be easier just to make the voting open to all and those with an interest in a group will be more likely to vote in it than those without such interest.

      How a 3rd chamber would function would need to be defined but I see it more as an advisory chamber. Whatever comes out of Holyrood would go to the Peoples’ Chamber for debate and analysis and, hopefully, some good points would come out of it which the Holyrood chamber would wish to act on.

      Anyway, just my tuppence.

      But a Peoples’ Chamber would allow all categories of persons to be represented officially and thus have any concerns officially recorded and recognised.

    138. Daisy Walker says:

      Socrates MacSporran says:
      14 February, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      I cannot help thinking – if the Scottish legal establishment would take up a suggestion, made I believe by Donald Finlay QC, that the accused in rape/sexual assault charges should be afforded the same anonimity as the accusers, it would be fairer.

      They seem to have adopted that policy with regards the accused in the Joanna Cherry abusive ‘corrective rape’ messages.

    139. Liz g says:

      While I don’t believe in positive discrimination in general for the reasons outlined in the article.
      I do think there is a case to be made for duel representation in government for both the male and the female.
      We live in a world where regardless of all the other groupings human beings come in two types and our government should reflect that now that we’ve left the dark ages.
      Not female instead of male but as well as and not separate from or lesser than either.
      I don’t think such a thing is necessary in other areas but it certainly is in government.

    140. Mist001 says:

      In Edinburgh, I was 28 years old before I first met black people. 28 years! That would have been about 1987 and these guys were from Kenya and Nigeria who’d been sent over to Edinburgh by their governments to study Tropical Vet Medicine at The Bush, which was part of the Royal Dick Vet.

      One of my friends from those days, Martin Lomuro, has ended up as Minister Of Cabinet Affairs in the government of South Sudan.

      Amazingly to this very day, there are still many people in Scotland who have never, and never will, meet a black person.

    141. David Caledonia says:

      Algos control your internet dear boy, if you don’t understand the internet then best to do very little on it till you learn the tricks of the trade

    142. Stuart MacKay says:

      Cath @10:35am

      As an alternative to a second chamber a set of advisory councils might work.

      Parliament basically makes laws. The idea of diversity is to get a set of people to make better decisions (actually it’s not but humour me for a moment). You don’t actually need MSPs to be diverse. You do need people who listen and who want to solve the problems for all Scots. There are two ways to do this 1) run briefings on a regular basis where MSPs are presented with the problems that a given group are experiencing by the groups themselves, or 2) have advisory councils, whose members are elected by the groups the represent, disabled, blind, Africans, etc. who job is to inform and scrutinise the work of parliament and get them to do a better job.

      You’d have to guard against this degenerating into a House of Lords scenario or the endless lobbying groups that moneyed interests exploit. However in principle you’d get a lot more minority groups having their problems addressed.

      Now back to the goal of diversity as we see it today…

      This idea comes from America. The goal is not to make life better for minority groups or to make sure that their views are taken into account. Rather it’s a battle by the Democrats to get votes from sizeable ethnic groups with the a poor history of voting. It you can entrench things like race into the political process then you have a good chance of getting traditionally conservative groups like African-americans or Latino-americans vote Democrat instead of Republican (Trump got more votes from African-americans or Latino-americans than any other presentidential candidate). Diversity and inclusion is just a nice term for gerrymandering.

      Another thing. The present day Conservative cabinet are pretty diverse in background but do you think that poor Bangladeshis living in Leicester are well represented by Patel or Sunak? Yeah, me neither.

    143. David Caledonia says:

      That’s so true, never seen a coalman for years

    144. John says:

      Socrates MacSporran says:
      14 February, 2021 at 11:34 am
      John @ 11.25am

      Going by his daughter’s stance in her role with the BBC, I think his early death has given Smith a status he barely deserves.

      Socrates,
      That may be true, I don’t know (I’ve been living in exile for over 26 years). Perhaps his daughter takes more after her mother?

      But what I think I know is that John Smith stood up for ordinary workers, and it cost him his life.

      Nobody is perfect, we’re all human. But would you rather be led by John Smith or by Tony Blair?

    145. Don says:

      Although there aren’t “older” MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament we do have other MSP’s getting paid lots of extra money from the Taxpayers purse on top of their standard salaries for supposedly representing the said missing group. It appears though that neither actually does very much for all that extra dosh at all. Mr Orwell might have had something to say about them too. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/government-ministers-missing-action-coronavirus-22788654

    146. frogesque says:

      Down the rabbit hole, through the wormhole and swiftly spiraling into dimension z cubed.

      Polyticks is about blood, the cut and thrust where both cream and scum rise to the top. It’s not about polite quotas, men in dresses or skin colour.

      I want my representatives at the top of the table with brandy in their coffee, not whiney wimps that can’t even make it to the starter before they are gobbled (put your own slant on that word) by the sharks.

      Can you really imagine some of these petted lips negotiating with Westminster, Putin or Sanders?

    147. Michael says:

      Quotas should be all about encouraging minorities to come forward and put themselves up for election. Beyond that though, it is up to party members which individuals win a candidature, and up to voters of course which candidates will win elections. There should be no attempt to “engineer” those processes, for (hopefully) obvious reasons.
      You mention Scotland’s small Jewish community, but actually they are mostly concentrated in a particular area of Glasgow, so no reason at all why a Jewish person would not stand and win in such an area. And to make the point that the Jewish community would then be “over-represented” beyond its 0.1% is a facetious one to make. The whole article is a bit facetious.

    148. Ian Mac says:

      It’s a good debate to have, since most people would agree with the principle that everybody should be represented at parliament, with whatever particular concerns they have able to be addressed. But of course the devil is in the detail of how that is achieved, and it should be obvious that there are a variety of ways of how you might tackle that, and it wouldn’t necessarily be just crude candidate selection, since there are other ways of drawing in particular groups into the decision-making process (and arguably more democratic).
      But one way of not doing it would be to make decisions behind closed doors, in secret, with the subsequent decision handed down from on high, with no public debate or input. It is obvious a balancing act, but the sine qua non should surely be about electing high quality candidates qualified to speak on a variety of topics and willing to represent their constituents at parliament. The fact that we have a woeful lack of those characteristics at present, with the general perception of a lot of mediocre carpet baggers and freeloaders at Holyrood, will not be mitigated by lists and crude attempts at gerrymandering. There are ways surely of addressing the issues, but a robust democracy – signally lacking at the moment – is required first and foremost. One which is willing to question the executive and hold it to account. Without that, no amount of feelgood ‘discrimination’ will make a blind bit of difference to the democratic deficit so entrenched now in Scotland.

    149. Robert Hughes says:

      100thidiot –

      I have no interest in defending the poster – to me it’s completely redundant given Trump is really yesterday’s news now – but the point being made is their mutual denial of basic Democracy : Trump refusing to accept the result of the election , Johnson refusing an IndyRef even if a pro-Independence majority is returned in May

      Maybe it’s an attempt to smear by association , hoping people’s negative opinion ( I know that is not universal , but probably a majority ) of Trump will transfer to Johnson .

      Pretty lame whatever the aim was

    150. holymacmoses says:

      O/T is it legal for the BBC to interview one of the ‘complainers’ in the Salmond case? Ar they going to be allowed to smear Mr Salmond auternum>

    151. Terry says:

      In law Equalities matters – hence the Equalities Act.

      In everyday life the public are far more concerned and take notice of what is fair rather than what is equal. As this post clearly shows drilling down and being equally representative for every single thing is nigh on impossible and a fools errand.

      For example the cut through on self ID issue is seeing a big burly trans woman charging through young girls whether it be basketball, boxing or outstripping them on the running track. Stuff s0-called equalities. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

      It’s good to have attempts to reduce barriers to entering political life for under represented groups but after that the best candidate needs selected – whoever that is. And the vast majority of the public would agree with that.

      But then again its easy and cheap for the snp and greens to blow about how progressive they are by bigging up equalities – particularly over their self ID policies (which incidentally contradicts the reserved Equalities Act which protects women’s sex based rights which they fail to mention.) It doesn’t cost them anything and they get to parade about making out they are lefty progressives. And heh, its much cheaper than tackling class issues and poverty which is expensive. The only really effective route out of that is independence – if only they had a mandate for a referendum to do so. Oh, wait…

    152. Boaby says:

      If that lot in holyrood were on fire, i’d go out and buy the
      Marshmallows.

    153. kapelmeister says:

      Has Glenn Campbell forgotten that Salmond was acquitted on all charges?

      The more famous Glenn Campbell had trouble remembering too, but he had Alzheimer’s. The BBC one has no excuse.

    154. Socrates MacSporran says:

      John @ 1.06pm

      You asked: “But would you rather be led by John Smith or by Tony Blair?”

      My answer to that is: Neither of the above; if I have a choice: Alex Salmond.

    155. Ottomanboi says:

      A Pandora’s Box best not meddled with.
      What about Gaelic and Scots speakers?
      What about an intelligence test to determine competence to represent? That might well thin down the number of hopefuls, especially given the ‘quality’ the current intake. That applies equally to the Westminster lot…650 of them!
      Transpecism anyone?
      https://www.vice.com/en/article/yvwknv/what-does-it-mean-to-be-trans-species
      Btw re that 60% Scottish atheists. I do doubt the ‘no religion’ group indicated in censuses and polls have actually considered that atheism itself requires an intellectual act of faith in the non existence of a ‘God’ entity as deeply ‘felt’ as its opposite.
      No religion simply indicates non alignment with or rejection of, for a variety of reasons, the ‘cults’ on offer. It might also be an indicator of not wanting the system to pry into a private matter.
      My family, Syriac Catholics, always put ‘no religion’ on forms for political reasons.
      In the digital universe nothing is ever private. What ‘they’ don’t need to know, they do not need to be told voluntarily.
      It is a pity that the diversity lobby choose to bare all in the childishly exhibitionistic way they do.
      They do not impress.

    156. susanXX says:

      I’m quite happy for Scotland to be multiracial but multicultural- not so much. Not all cultures are acceptable.

    157. Dee Dubya says:

      Perhaps democracy works best when representatives represent their electors. Radical stuff here ya know. Understand them well and can make judgements that they can justify and explain to their voters.

      It would help to have far more party membership across the board. I think MSPs would benefit from a greater fear and familiarity with their electors.

      Just sayin.

    158. Border witch says:

      The pity of the entire selection and election process is that the people who get selected/elected are the people who turn up. They’re often, but not exclusively, no more talented, visionary, articulate, politically astute or upstanding than the common herd. While electing people like that may indeed be representative as far as the electorate goes, it is not necessarily a sound footing to base your parliament on. Vetting only seeks to eliminate those guilty of ‘wrong think’ or previous criminal behaviour. It does not screen for intelligence, aptitude, ability or integrity, from what I can gather. Indeed, the evidence of that is self-evident across all the party benches of both Houses.

    159. Gordon Keane says:

      A bit off this particular subject, but I see BBC Scotland has decided to try tarnish the reputation of Alex Salmond, by having an interview with one of his accusers!
      You can see it on BBC Scotland News, webpage.
      Considering he was cleared, and that we have this ongoing inquiry, why should she have allowed to have a say on this at this time?
      It is an obvious smear campaign!

    160. BLMac says:

      Rev Stu, I have the solution.

      It’s brilliant.

      How about we let local party branches select their candidates from local people without any interference from HQ.

      I’m amazed no one has thought of it before.

      You’re welcome to use the idea and take credit for it. 🙂

    161. Strathy says:

      Several news organisations that are more interested in the truth, than the BBC appear to be: –

      Hollywood – ‘Something rotten.’

      https://archive.is/oyvOn

      The Herald – ‘So Nicola Sturgeon forgets stuff. Get over it’

      https://archive.is/oyvOn

      The Times – ‘Can Nicola Sturgeon set the record straight in Salmond affair?’

      https://archive.is/NLEfu

      The Times – ‘Scottish Scene: Just as well Alex Salmond has turned SNP gamekeeper.’

      https://archive.is/cV0jL

      The Sunday Post – ‘Salmond inquiry: Fears over deadline as questions raised over SNP executive’s complaint.’

      https://archive.is/A6Wfk

    162. ALANM says:

      @kapelmeister

      There’s nothing to stop the BBC making it up as they go along; in fact they’re probably planning a nine part drama/documentary on “The Trial of the Century” as we speak.

      Alex Salmond can’t sue a woman who doesn’t officially exist and the BBC can always hide behind the fact that they’re prevented by law from naming their source(s).

    163. Strathy says:

      Holyrood, not Hollywood!

      Spell check again.

    164. Shug says:

      Glen Campbell interviewing one of the women. Given the court decided they were not telling the truth
      Did they ever interview magrahe??

      Talk about holding a court in contempt the bbc is pissing all over the Scottish Court and the judge

    165. Cath says:

      BBC leaving themselves wide open to charges of defamation by Alex Salmond. Hell mend them! Who made BBC our judge and jury?

      Been thinking that this morning. Surely if you make a serious accusation about someone – one that could easily send them to jail – and he’s prosecuted for it, dragged through court and eventually found innocent, you can’t just go on endlessly claiming they’re guilty all over the TV and media? Especially from behind a cloak of anonymity, and even more especially if you’re a powerful person with the ear of the media, Crown Office and you’re possibly even part of the government. There must come a time when simply insisting over and over that you’re a victim and he’s guilty must become defamation?

    166. Livionian says:

      This is the best wings article for a while, these themes are under explored in our discourse, because nobody wants to touch it. My conclusions are similar, where is the equality in forced quotas which over discriminate one group at the expense of the other? I think the state should avoid engaging in social engineering.

      Also there is a small global black Jewish population, that being Ethiopian Jews. They have a fascinating history as a group, and face modern day difficulties trying to be accepted into Israeli society. But I don’t know if there are any Ethiopian Jews in Scotland, maybe a couple but it would be interesting to find out.

    167. Shug says:

      Looks like nicola and her gang are happy to crash the whole party running up to the election
      I can’t get my head around women losing their case still playing the victim

    168. Davie Oga says:

      What the BBC have once again to Salmond today would not occur in a civilised country.

      Ireland prohibits the naming of people accused of sexual offences until there has been a conviction.

    169. Bob Mack says:

      Funny the Crown Office send out a tweet at 7.30pm on Saturday night when they usually only work Mon to Fri ,about anonymity and on the Sunday lo and Behold BBC give voice to a complainer wanting anonymity ( to spread more kies)

      Couldn’t be organised could it?

    170. Cath says:

      Couldn’t be organised could it?

      Interesting comments under Kirsty Strickland’s tweet about it though. Very few supportive.

    171. Sharny Dubs says:

      Late to the party (again!!) so sorry if this has been mentioned before, but……

      Being an MP is a full time job + +, split time, home, bed sit in the city long hours bla bla, that’s why so many don’t pursue a career in politics because it is largely at the expense of a family life.

      Perhaps that’s why there are so many LBGT whatever in politics because in general they don’t have kids (just speculating you understand) or family to hold them back.

      And…. if your not 100% committed to being a politician perhaps the people you represent are not getting enough bang their vote.

    172. JSC says:

      Cath, I’ve been thinking the same thing. If you’re found not guilty that should be the end of it, no more sniping from the sidelines by accusers whose accusations have been identified as weak or non-existent. I’ll draw a parallel with the Cliff Richard case, where his name was dragged thru mud from the time his home was raided, regardless of charges, and the problem is that regardless of court verdict, mud sticks, and it clearly affects him to this day.

      I think it’s very obvious there has been a decision by one specific woman to muddy the waters post-trial through a PR effort, as the judge saw thru her and warned her about it a few times. The problem is that Fabiani is such a gullible wet, that she is swallowing the woe-is-me schtick hook line and sinker

    173. Brother Antony says:

      Politicians are but a collection of inadequate, childish ephemera mostly the product of Universities that have become moral and ideological sewers peddling irresponsibility, buffoonery and ineptitude and turning out crop after crop of intellectually destitute drones equipped for no other purpose in life other than to make things difficult for the electorate who refuse to join them in their crepuscular, make believe world.

      Mentally, they aren’t grownups in any sense of the word and exist without any comprehension of the reality from which they have become detached. It will end in pain, bewilderment and anger for all of them when adult minds reassert their authority.

    174. Republicofscotland says:

      Cath @2.22pm.

      Wasn’t Strickland in that derogatory BBC character assassinating programme on Salmond. I seeher column in the National but I just skip past it.

    175. Xaracen says:

      Incoming emails containing WingsOverScotland.com or a full URL to a Wings article is also blocked, I had someone I know send me such an article link, and I am still waiting for it to arrive. He hasn’t had any error message to say it wasn’t delivered. He sent the same email to his partner on Hotmail, and she received it.

      My outgoing emails were received OK if the text had ‘WingsOverScotland’ in it, but not if had any url furniture attached like .com, or https:// etc.

      This is NOT acceptable! This is censorship, and a clear invasion of my privacy that any email I send or receive will have their contents read for purposes of deciding whether I can send or receive them!

      I will be taking this further.

    176. Aquarius says:

      The article in the Holyrood Magazine referenced by Sylvia at 11.40 includes the phrase “the staunchly myopic Salmond supporters convinced by a conspiracy”, which I find disturbing.

    177. Ian Mac says:

      So in case there was any doubt about it, Sturgeon and her cronies in crime are going to continue to hide behind the anonymous complainants, and continue to air their supposed grievances, as if that is what the inquiry is about to threaten, despite it being irrelevant. What a bunch of weak, deceptive frauds. Just answer the freakin’ questions – or is that too much to ask. This strategic leaking and manipulation of the press is more of their stasi like attitude to anybody who dares question their high flown opinion of themselves. They won’t be leaking or supporting Joanna Cherry’s valid and real complaints, though, will they?

    178. Sylvia says:

      Shug @2:17 “playing the victim”

      I agree with you. I cannot understand the reasoning/motive for the BBC interview this morning? “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.

      The same with the statement of Sue Ruddick, released immediately after Peter Murrel gave evidence to the inquiry for the 2nd time. Then later in the day, a counterclaim was made by Anne Harvey.

      WHO is driving/advising these women to continue speaking out. As to me it appears very ill advised. I just don’t know what they hope to achieve.

    179. Anagach says:

      A difficult field, and a difficult topic.

      Merit for the job can be defined as being male, being from the right school, being already wealthy, being of ‘good character’ all often shorthand ways of saying like the people already in the job, or similar to the group doing the selecting.

    180. Mark Russell says:

      Strathy says: 14 February, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      “Holyrood, not Hollywood!”

      Are you sure? Maybe ‘Ealing’ is more appropriate these days..

    181. Sir Fortescue Wankworthy says:

      I say,

      What a damned hullabaloo this is. In my day, diversity was the foundation of a well balanced investment portfolio and an inclusion was something undesirable found in cheap diamonds for the commoners.

      Instead, it is now a mire of ordure up to the tops of one’s gumboots. Jolly poor show.

      Now good day to you.

    182. ahundredthidiot says:

      Robert Hughes @1:24

      Ok, I am going to have to spell this out.

      A lot people had no issue with Trump and an awful lot of them, myself included (as I sat up all night watching the voting figures and followed developments thereafter quite closely) don’t believe what happened is what you call ‘basic democracy’

      We wouldn’t call it basic democracy at all – we call it theft.

      Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but it’s the US we’re talking about here and now China thinks it can fly jets over Taiwan with impunity. One might even take a view WW3 started with the bankrupting of western societies before the bullets started flying. Wars have started for a lot less.

      If there has been one unifying issue on this site outside of Scottish Independence it is Gender Recognition and the dangers of enacting Law around it.

      Biden did it on Day 1 with an Executive Order to allow boys play in girls sports for any institute in receipt of federal funding (and share their changing rooms btw) and he did it with an EO because he knew it would never be voted through.

      All those who hated Trump for effectively being a bit blokey and gibbering pish on twitter are being very, very quiet about Biden.

      Trump shouldn’t be on the Believe in Scotland Poster full stop. It divides. And any ‘Soft No’ thinking of coming over to Yes, and is even slightly conservative in their outlook on life, will now be turned off.

      And let’s not forget Sturgeons ‘Stop Brexit’ after Britain voted, democratically, to leave. I voted Remain to that, but if it came around again I’d be bloody tempted to vote Leave.

    183. Republicofscotland says:

      Jeezo Wishart adamant that anything said against the Alphabet women is all conspiracy theories.

      I suppose the woman that wasn’t even in the building (witnesses prove that) who claimed Salmond sexually assaulted her is also a conspiracy.

      “The ‘invention’ of these absurd conspiracies will go down as the biggest piece of political nonsense our country has ever had to endure. We’ve reached the stage that ‘everyone’ is in on them. The sad thing is people actually believe it….”

      https://twitter.com/PeteWishart/status/1360902436920131586

    184. Cath says:

      I think it’s very obvious there has been a decision by one specific woman to muddy the waters post-trial through a PR effort, as the judge saw thru her and warned her about it a few times. The problem is that Fabiani is such a gullible wet, that she is swallowing the woe-is-me schtick hook line and sinker

      Don’t give her the benefit of the gullible wee woman schtick. She knows fine well what she’s doing and why.

    185. LaingB French says:

      I follow THE GAIA hypothesis who will represent me? the greys?

    186. ScottieDog says:

      Note the BBC narrative – “mishandled harassment case”. Same narrative used by The National.
      No mention that the whole thing was completely concocted.

    187. jomry says:

      RE VIRGIN MEDIA BLOCKAGE

      Have just verified same as Xaracen above that Virgin media are blocking links to Wings,not only outgoing emails, but also in incoming emails, thus preventing any dissemination of articles on the site. As far as I can see, this can happen as a result of spam reportage by (malicious) users. Not sure what can be done beyond reporting it.

    188. Davie Oga says:

      The person organising the smear campaign works directly for, and under the instruction of, the FM.

      The smear campaign is all Sturgeon has left. If she appears at the committee expect lots of ” but the women, the women” ” I had to lie to protect the women” ” Alex Salmond is a bad man.”

      That a national “leader” has been reduced to lie after lie, and a complete inability to take responsibility for their action should be a moment of profound embarrassment for senior members of The SNP.

      Instead they’ve doubled down on the “I’m with Nicola” primary school election bullshit and continue to persecute a man cleared of all charges.

      Swinney, Fabiani and the rest of the nodding dogs on the committee have made their beds.

      For the rest of their lives they will be remembered as the scumbags who covered up for a scumbag.

      No votes SNP

    189. TheMadMurph says:

      What about the Gingers? Where’s our inclusion? We’re 13% of the population.

      So there should be more Gingers than English and LGB included!

    190. Mike says:

      A very well written, comprehensive article outlining the inherent problems with positive discrimination.

      It may initially seem like a worthy cause but there will be trouble ahead.

      Arguably, this is the dilemma facing the woke crowd now as they scramble over different minority groups to be seen as the most woke.

      I read an article in The Guardian not too long ago bemoaning the number of black people visiting museums – I mean where does this shit end?

    191. Dean Clark says:

      Shut it ya Nazi bigot.

    192. Sylvia says:

      Something we shouldn’t forget from a complainer –

      ‘I’ve figured out a way for us to remain anonymous and have maximum effect’

      I wonder what that was?

    193. Bob Mack says:

      Wife gets Wings( on virgin media )by smartphone.

    194. John says:

      Socrates MacSporran says:
      14 February, 2021 at 1:35 pm
      John @ 1.06pm

      You asked: “But would you rather be led by John Smith or by Tony Blair?”

      My answer to that is: Neither of the above; if I have a choice: Alex Salmond.

      Socrates,
      Couldn’t agree more, but I’d never heard of him in 1996.

      What Alex Salmond has had to fight these last three years, well, he’s Spartacus.
      And I’m with him.

    195. Jim F. McIntosh says:

      Heard the interview this morning with one of the alphabet women I wonder which one, i don’t think it said but she was talking so slowly that you would think she was reading it from a script and it seemed like the whole thing had been carefully rehearsed.

    196. Neil Wilkinson says:

      Xaracen says:
      14 February, 2021 at 2:26 pm
      Incoming emails containing WingsOverScotland.com or a full URL to a Wings article is also blocked, I had someone I know send me such an article link, and I am still waiting for it to arrive. He hasn’t had any error message to say it wasn’t delivered. He sent the same email to his partner on Hotmail, and she received it.

      My outgoing emails were received OK if the text had ‘WingsOverScotland’ in it, but not if had any url furniture attached like .com, or https:// etc.

      This is NOT acceptable! This is censorship, and a clear invasion of my privacy that any email I send or receive will have their contents read for purposes of deciding whether I can send or receive them!

      I will be taking this further.

      _______________________________________________

      I tried to send an email from VM to a gmail account
      Wingsoverscotland sent ok and also received
      Wingsoverscotland.com blocked as spam

    197. kapelmeister says:

      Cosy Pete has composed a Valentine’s message on his twitter.

      “Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      Conspiracy theories are all coming for you..”

      Which doesn’t scan at all well of course. Don’t think Pete was the creative powerhouse in Runrig.

    198. Eileen Carson says:

      Iain Macwhirter on the money with this

      “This inquiry is about the behaviour of the Scottish Government, not the behaviour of Salmond.

      Sturgeon’s people presided over a botched disciplinary investigation that was judged by the Court of Session to be “unlawful, unfair and tainted with apparent bias”. It cost the public purse a large sum of money and raised serious questions about the integrity and competence of the Government she leads.

    199. iain mhor says:

      I’d just be happy if independence supporters were represented with a seat at Holyrood.

      As an aside, I was having a daft blether and the topic was sleep:
      The political leaders and corporate control freaks – infamous for ‘only needing’ three, or four hours kip.
      The parents with collective baby brain – operating under limited and disrupted sleep patterns.
      The collective military – infamous for operating to exhaustion and up in the morning early being most certainly ‘the gemme’.
      The coked up media and their wild-eyed, round the clock frenzies.
      The elderly – cheerily announcing their optional need for any sleep at all, but prone to regular bouts of narcolepsy mid-conversation.

      It was decided that the world is buggered, because it is run predominantly by people who are walking about like a half-shut knife; making decisions and policies in sleep deprived, semi-catatonic, hallucinatory states.

      These bams are over-represented in society.

      The solution, is to replace them with those most qualified in sleep experience, bed engineering, pillow technique and duvet wrangling – indubitable masters of the old wanking chariot.
      *insert candidate name here

    200. Breeks says:

      Shug says:
      14 February, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      I can’t get my head around women losing their case still playing the victim…

      I get it.

      Act 3 Scene 4 Macbeth… ‘I am in blood, stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er’

      They are in so deep, the odds are all or nothing,… and for ‘nothing’, read “jail time”.

    201. Robert graham says:

      Ah fk it
      I give in , I don’t have enough time left to bother about bleedn childish antics , me ,me ,me I want I want I want it’s all about me , away and bile yer heeds .
      Here’s the deal don’t bother me and I will keep away from you it’s pretty simple ,thanks .
      All of a sudden everyone’s a expert ,everyone’s got a opinion that they need to shove it down everybody else’s throat well fk off pedal yer pish somewhere else.
      FFS you are minding your own business and some entitled arse wipe just has to annoy you by spouting indescribable bleedn tripe because, because they feel like it and because they can FFS so they attach themselves to a political party then they poison it, and destroy it from within .

      RIP ,The Scottish National Party , contracted cancer 2017 on life support 2021 not expected to recover .
      D-N-R
      The End

    202. jomry says:

      @Bob Mack 3.17
      Website itself is not blocked but any link to it in e-mails is blocked by VM e-mail server, in or out.

    203. Anonymoose says:

      Excellent article Stu.

      Myself and others have been highlighting in the comments the fact that the selection of candidates should be based on merit & capability rather than any other demographic, because in politics you always want your most politically capable people at the front.

      By saying the above I am not discriminating against anyone, politics and government is very much like running a successful business.

      In a successful business they always pick the best, most capable cadidates for positions within their business.

      That is not because of of any discrimination against any demographic, it is because they want the best and brightest minds driving the business forward.

      In the case of a business it is profit driven reasoning for the candidate selection, in politics that profit is not monetary, it is how they perform during elections, the share of votes they capture at elections and how they ultimately perform in Parliament which is the measure of a successful candidate and for that you always want your best foot forward.

    204. CyberMidgie says:

      Lots of interesting statistics in that article – thanks, Rev!

      Do you happen to have statistics for disabled people, or did that just get too messy with all the subdivisions of “disabled”?

      I agree with you on quotas, because I want the best person in the job, not just the best box-tick. I do like the system of giving people a guaranteed interview, though, if they have the right qualifications and a protected characteristic which is under-represented.

      That way they get a chance to be heard, which is often the biggest hurdle. From personal experience – being deaf and having a significant visual impairment – I can tell you that it helps a lot.

    205. Robert Dickson says:

      Checked the VM thing….yep…being blocked as spam

    206. SilverDarling says:

      Incestuous BBC Scotland – used to be they were all cosy with SLab now the SNP have taken over the wining and dining.

      Interestingly, does anyone remember Eleanor Bradford, she of the £400m funding gap article released 3 days before the referendum and plastered all over the news?

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-29213416

      One of the many, many damaging articles she put over that period.

      Well, interestingly she left soon after, to work for Aberdeen Uni and on the way to her present post at Gordonstoun, she worked as an Associate Partner for a PR company called ‘Spey’ from Jan 18 to Nov 19. Now Spey is run by one Jennifer Robertson who will be known to many here by another name…

      All those connections in that little black book. I wonder who else is there?

      https://archive.is/A7nw5

      Small world indeed.

    207. Kevin Kennedy says:

      I personally feel that narcissists/sociopaths/psychpaths are over represented in the political system.

    208. Achnababan says:

      I see the BBC (Scotlandshire) are still leading with the bleatings of one of the Salmond accusers. Strange that they demand annonimity but crave publicity….

    209. Sarah says:

      @ SilverDarling: good work. I am sick at the way the SNP has been poisoned – all those decades of work by high-minded, decent people, being corrupted. Who do they think they are, to steal our party?

    210. Sylvia says:

      O/T Body language expert analyses SNP chief Peter Murrell’s appearance before Alex Salmond inquiry!

      https://archive.is/NVfT9

    211. holymacmoses says:

      Just a question: Is it possible for the case against Mr Salmond to have been brought illegally?

    212. stuart mctavish says:

      Eileen @12:25

      Setting aside defacto contempt of court and misuse of an unverifiable source by BBC, could it also be considered defamation of all the other accusers who, through no fault of their own, now risk being associated with the opinion expressed.

    213. Liz g says:

      Breeks @ 3.48
      It’s even worse than that Breeks , stomach turningly , gut wrenchingly worse than that.
      What they are doing is standing on the necks of all the women ( and there are many ) who were hurt and couldn’t prove it.
      Women who had no trouble proving to a court they were indeed in the building at the time of the incident they complained of, but still couldn’t find justice.
      Women who were never warned not to lead the jury and were to broken anyway to know how.
      Also the the women who fought for years to keep privacy and dignity by keeping their names and the details of their abuse from selling papers for the gutter press.
      They are despoiling and calling into question what little protection women had from the Courts.
      While I don’t for one second think Alex Salmond should not persue this to the bitter end.
      When the truth of it is known.
      There will be the new victims of these Alphabet Liars and it will be the Women who aren’t believed because they will be tarred by a system that needs no encouragement as the schemers this sorry lot were shown to be …. and it will go on and on…
      Brought to us curtsey of the Women who havent the guts to show their own face….

    214. holymacmoses says:

      I didn’t mean was the case bought illegally, I mean is there any way a case can be made for a judgement in Scottish law to determine that the case was brought illegally

    215. Captain Yossarian says:

      @holymacmoses – I have thought for the past 5 or 6 years that the law in Scotland is being used for political persecution. It no longer represents the public interest and that is the situation that has brought us to this.

      Hence, it is my opinion that Holyrood needs to close for a time. Remove Swinney and his gang and let the law opearate as it is allowed to do in every other country in the developed world.

      Law is more important to us than Holyrood.

      When Salmond appears in front of Fabiani, you will see a man with nothing to hide. It will be an uncomfortable day for many at Holyrood.

    216. Hatuey says:

      Every now and then, especially when people get muddled and confused, it’s important to remind ourselves of elementary truths.

      Premise 1: If there’s one thing that all of us here agree on, it’s that BBC Scotland is vehemently opposed to Scottish Independence. Anyone who was around in 2014 knows that BBC Scotland more or less ran the anti-independence campaign on behalf of the British State. Independence is their worst nightmare and they used just about every trick in the propaganda playbook to stop it.

      Premise 2: Everyone with even a passing interest in Scottish politics knows that the Salmond scandal reeks of conspiracy. It’s getting harder and harder to come up with the name of one neutral pundit or politician who doesn’t agree that the Scottish government and a bunch of key civil servants were up to their eyeballs in trying to fit-up Salmond.

      Conclusion: BBC Scotland understands all of the above as well as any of us. It also understands that bringing Sturgeon down will most likely result in her being replaced by someone who is serious about independence and, going back to Premise 1, that’s basically their worst nightmare. It logically follows that they would want to keep Sturgeon in position and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

      The Salmond Scandal is now the most crucial battleground in the struggle for Scottish independence. We should be under no illusions about that. Sturgeon is so compromised now that she couldn’t press for a referendum even if she wanted to. And that’s exactly why BBC Scotland wants to keep her, for now at least.

      But here’s the fun part. At some point in the very near future, BBC Scotland and the British State will come to understand that destroying Sturgeon and the SNP is the best way to destroy the argument for independence. We could probably work out exactly when they will switch sides; I estimate the middle of March, when it’s too late for the SNP to replace Sturgeon with someone like Cherry and mount a real campaign for independence going into the election.

      SNP loyalists are being played like a bunch of useful idiotic penny flutes. Most of them know the Salmond scandal reeks as well as we do, but they think it’s Machiavellian or something to ignore it and hope that it goes away. It won’t.

      When BBC Scotland is on your side there’s only one thing you should be asking yourself as an SNP and Scottish independence supporter; what the fuck is wrong with this picture?

    217. JSC says:

      JSC’s thought of the day (Sunday edition)….

      The BBC won’t know (officially) the alphabet identities, so cannot legitimately pursue any of them for this article/feature. Therefore, the BBC needs to have been approached, perhaps by an individual or PR-type company that knows the in’s and outs of spin-doctoring and/or dealing with the media. Once this approach is made, how is their identity verified? Is it just a case of nudge-nudge I saw you in the court, or yes I believe you because of “SNP involvement”?

    218. JSC says:

      JSC’s thought of the day (Sunday edition, part deux)….

      If 2 or 3 individuals close to a political party in government are accused of fraud and/or cronyism related to an apparent £150,000 bung to a concert festival promoter in 2015 (but were not prosecuted), does this mean that I can publicly repeatedly accuse these individuals of fraud & criminality until the end of time, just because I didn’t agree with the outcome?

    219. paul says:

      holymacmoses says:
      14 February, 2021 at 5:03 pm

      I didn’t mean was the case bought illegally, I mean is there any way a case can be made for a judgement in Scottish law to determine that the case was brought illegally

      As far as i can see, to ask the question, will put you in contempt of court.

      Lady dorrian allowed these people anonymity in this case.

      I really wonder how she views this order in the light of these ‘victims’ timely broadcasts, which not only flout the jury, but question the judge?

    220. Elmac says:

      Several of the alphabet women were clearly involved in a criminal conspiracy to have an innocent man jailed for political reasons. It may be possible to give the others the benefit of the doubt on the grounds they were coerced into agreeing to be part of the conspiracy for fear of losing their careers, or encouraged to believe that, what to many would be normal behaviour, constituted sexual harassment. It is also the case that many of the women did not agree to their complaints being taken before a criminal court. All of them subsequently lied in court or at least embellished their tale to suit the agenda foisted on them. This much is clear and indisputable to any reasonable interpretation of the available facts to date. If the full facts, which have been suppressed by a corrupt government and corrupt COPFS, were allowed to see the light of day even WGD fanatics would have to acknowledge the truth.

      As it stands there is more than enough evidence to put some at least of the Alphabet Women on trial for perjury and criminal conspiracy and enough evidence also to put senior civil servants, SG officials, The Lord Advocate and members of COPFS on trial for criminal conspiracy. Why has this not been done? There is only one reason – massive corruption at the heart of the Scottish Government, the Civil Service and COPFS. They are holding on by the skin of their teeth trying to suppress information coming into the public domain and going for broke by continuing their thoroughly discredited attacks on AS. The unionists are playing them like an angler does a fish. They will reel them in at a time that suits them best and maximises the damage to Scottish Independence.

      Sturgeon and her corrupt cronies have already deliberately delayed independence by 6 years and it looks like there will be another 5 to follow. We need rid of the SNP in its current form ASAP. It is no longer saveable. Vote whatever you want in May but do not vote to be cheated and lied to by these criminals – the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Rest assured we will have our day. When a decent government is installed in our country one of its first tasks must be to enquire into this fiasco and punish the guilty.

    221. crazycat says:

      @ tartanfever at 10.48

      Do you not accept that there is a significant difference between “genetically capable” and “genetically programmed“?

      The first of those is indisputably an insult, but that’s not what she said.

      To be genetically incapable admits no possibility of making political decisions.

      To not be programmed to make those decisions means that, just like everyone else, Scots going into a polling booth think about it before marking their crosses. They don’t (unfortunately for Johann, perhaps) just vote Labour because their ancestors did and it’s in their genes. Or at least they don’t any more.

    222. Tenruh says:

      I suspect at some point someone in the know will decide enough is enough with this individual and then the dam will burst.

    223. Aaron Aardvark Anderson says:

      Just what we need, more menopausal woman who think politics is all about virtue signalling and view rigorous debate as bullying, harassment and hate speech. Don’t let facts trump feelings after all.

    224. shug says:

      Nicola is now in such a deep hole I can’t see her getting out.
      I see the BBC promoting her narrative of “these poor women” when a jury decided they preferred Mr Salmond’s version of the truth. If the BBC are on Nicola’s side, then there is clearly a problem.
      She has to go!! and the sooner the better. This is a sever blow as I can see she turned a good proportion of the 2014 no voters, but there it is.

    225. Dandee says:

      Aaron Aardvark Anderson @ 5.55
      Just aswell your not a MENOPAUSAL WOMAN then.

    226. Karen says:

      There should not be “at least” 50% women, but “about” 50% women. Women are a majority but are comprehensively treated like a minority.Wo

      There should be 4 BAME – one black man, one black woman, one Asian man and one Asian woman. Not sure how you get that but as the 2 BAME MSPs are both men it suggests a sex problem, as usual. There are more Asians than blacks in Scotland, I think, but getting both points of view would be useful.

      Re gay people being over-represented, well you could understand gay people getting involved in civil rights and hence politics a couple of decades ago. My concern is the lack of MSPs with children, presumably because being an MSP is not conjusive with juggling children, hence more working from home is required.

      Finally, the Greens put up 50% women at the last election but only one of their female candidates got elected, plus 5 men, so are the electors sexist?

      Just my thoughts.

    227. Liz g says:

      Dandee @ 6.02
      That’s a prime example of the thrust of my argument @ 4.56… see how little it takes to slip into the stereotypical insults , although here on Wings it’s most likely being used to goad , they do serve the purpose of belittling females in whichever theatre necessary to advance politics.
      That’s exactly what these Alphabet women have callously tapped into … shame on them …

    228. Ian Mac says:

      As I have Virgin broadband, just did a test. A link to a Wings article caused it to say it couldn’t send the email, claiming that the server was unable to send.
      Exactly the same email with text Wings over Scotland went through without a hitch.
      What a tangled web, the SNP hierarchy must be trolling ISP to claim that WoS is ‘hate speech’ or something like that. And they don’t bother checking. The Stasi lives.

    229. Dave Russ says:

      Bit long this one Stu.

    230. Ian Mac says:

      And just to confirm that Virgin is blocking the WoS URL, I tried again with the same result (cannot send), then removed one letter from the URL so it read ‘wingoverscotland’ etc it immediately was sent. So hard to conclude anything other than it is set up to refuse to send any text with a WoS url. Extraordinary.

    231. The purpose of elected parliaments is to represent what the people *want* not what the people *are*.

      If you want a body to be demographically representative of the public, the best route is sortition. This might be a good idea for an upper chamber after independence.

    232. McDuff says:

      One of your best rev says it all.

    233. Stu – are there black Jewish people? “Bitch, are you for real?” – The Human Tornado.

      Your oppress-all-peoples male hetero middle-aged slavery-denying gammon systemic-racism-supporting reparations-avoiding everybodyphobic colonialism-loving statue-defending street-name-keeping white privilege slip is showing, dahlink! Do better! Get clued up! Feel the Original Sin shame of being a honky! Self-flagellate for your nonexistent sins! Just ask this man… 🙂

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ajdwLBkIo

    234. Paul Cockshott says:

      There is a simple answer, practiced in Ancient Greece. The parliament should be made up of citizens selected at random by lot. In which case you get a truely representative body, representative in terms of sex, class and age. This is the procedure that any reputable polling body would use to determine public opinion. But it would undermine the dominant position of the professional, educated and wealthy classes who prefer elections. As Aristotle said, any polity with elections is an oligarchy not a democracy.

    235. stonefree says:

      @ Don at 1:14 pm

      I was told that the ” Member of a group thing” resulted substancial add ons, when talking about the issue he stated that In councillor’s cases the payment was tax free and the council paid the councilor’s tax ie the council pays the £7000 and also pays the tax on the £7000, which in turn takes the the money out of the public coffers.
      I tried to confirm that was the case, via the council and hit a brick wall.
      I made the assumption similar applied to MSPs

    236. maxxmacc says:

      NS was banging on about this nonsense 30 years ago when she was in the YSN so its no surprise its top of the agenda now. Clear the decks for Scotland to move forward again under a real independence seeking leadership.

    237. Stéphane Séchaud says:

      “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”
      ? Philip K. Dick

    238. Purr says:

      Here in the Scottish Borders the SNP have taken diversity to a new level,for an upcoming Council by election, they are fielding a failed Lib Dem as candidate

    239. Corrado Mella says:

      A few rules on inclusion:

      ANY discrimination – positive or negative – will ALWAYS worsen the outcome.

      – Tampering with the natural course of nature NEVER ends well. Grey squirrels, anyone?

      ANY gain of an individual or a group achieved to the disadvantage of another individual or group is NOT progress, but artificial power redistribution, thus regressive.

      – Progress only happens when ADDITIONAL contributions become available.

    240. Anonymous says:

      A very good article.

      I believe one of the problems with quotas and discrimination is that there is no equality in the list of “protected characteristics”.

      For instance, age, disability, race and sex are immutable and hence any discrimination is unacceptable.

      But other characteristics, such as marriage, pregnancy and religion are lifestyle choices and so should these characteristics be as protected in all situations as forcefully as the first group?

      I’m not qulified to define the group for “gender reassignment” or “sexual orientation”.

    241. Stranger says:

      adding a comment to try to enable “Notify me of new posts by email.”

    242. Louise Hogg says:

      I once got shouted at and all sorts, for objecting to quotas. For sex. As a woman I was supposed to be lobby fodder for some coercive feminism.

      I pointed out the list of protected characteristics. And how I’d noticed homosexual women hopelessly over represented. The other folk honestly got physically threatening at this! Couldn’t handle me pointing out that straight folk were under represented. Insane lynch mob behaviour.

      When honestly the reason I used the lesbian example was that the numbers stood out so much. And made me curious.

      At that point Ruth and Kezia were party leaders. And I kept hearing that this or that MP was lesbian. Now, I KNOW some are in the closet. And others don’t shout about it. But at that point, age 28(?) I’d never actually MET a confirmed ‘lesbian’. Even now, at 45, I’ve only met 5. Where were they all coming from?

      ( Despite meeting roughly 100 girls at school, another 80 or so at uni, and at least 40 among work colleagues.) Add to that, that 4 of the 5 I HAVE met were in mental health treatment settings. And appeared to me (I’ll get more howls for this) more like co-morbidity than caused by anti-lesbian stigmatisation. While the 5th had clear, self-confessed mental illness too.

      I couldn’t help considering at least the possibility that such a high incidence of lesbianism among elected reps might reflect high incidence of mental illness. Which in turn made me worry how robust, on average, they might be under pressure.

      I was not, and am not, saying that IS the case. It could equally well be that politics is a safe place for lesbians to thrive, just as high functioning autistic people gravitate to physics research. But as a scientist it is an interesting phenomenon.

      However, calm dispassionate discussion of such subjects is rarer than ANY of the categories.

      On the main point though. I’m fed up pointing out that it’s a PARLIAMENT not a clinical trial. The aim is to represent, as a lawyer does their client, not to reflect population statistics.

      Intelligence, eloquence, empathy, sympathy (which some regard as a bad word), relevant expertise, are more useful than clones of all voter groups.

      I suspect Belgium with their 3 language assemblies and 3 cultural ones, have taken quotas to breaking point?

      Indeed, I think clinical trials SHOULD move further towards the quotas model in many cases. As age, genetic and lifestyle factors are still not always addressed. Eg one vaccine trial recently that didn’t include older subjects.

    243. Ian Mitchell says:

      Here is a good film on the hate Crime Bill and its dodgy proposer, Humza Yousaf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kFam_JUqOA&feature=youtu.be



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