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The building bricks of bullshit

Posted on April 24, 2018 by

As alert readers will recall, nowadays we only look at the Scottish Daily Express if we’re absolutely desperate for material, so this piece slipped past us a few days ago:

And since the only thing in the papers today is page after page of unbearable fawning drivel about the stupendously insignificant (fifth in line to the throne, will never ever be king unless a terrorist blows up Buckingham Palace with an atomic bomb, is roughly as important to the wellbeing of the nation as Hamilton Accies’ third-choice goalkeeper) royal baby, we figured we may as well have a look at it now.

Because we have to admit, it’s an intriguing headline. We were genuinely keen to find out what the First Minister had said about Google somehow having had the potential to have “slashed” the £0.5m bill for renovating Bute House, and why – if that were the case – it hadn’t been done.

But as it turned out – and impressively, even by the gutter standards of the Express – not one single word in the headline was even vaguely true.


There is no quote of any kind from the Nicola Sturgeon anywhere in the article. It’s not even defensible as being about her – the building would have needed renovating regardless of who the FM was. Bute House is the grace-and-favour residence of the First Minister of the day, not of Nicola Sturgeon. When she departs office she has to leave the house too.


The solitary mention of Google found in the article is when Lib Dem rentaballoon Mike Rumbles says “It seems a curious state of affairs when the Scottish Government spends thousand of pounds on property searches that would take most people five minutes on Google.”

But that’s not even a reference to Bute House at all. It’s a reference to the cost of security checks on the alternative accommodation needed by the FM while the repairs were being done. Apparently, as well as running the entire country, Rumbles wants her to do the police’s work too, AND muck around on RightMove and Zoopla, rather than doing anything slightly more pressing or productive with her time.


The total cost of the security checks is given in the article as £8,211. That represents just 1.6% of the final bill of £504,216. Not even DFS’s most ambitious sale advert would describe a 1.6% pretend saving on a sofa as prices being “slashed”.

(“Was £799, now just £786! Please don’t stampede!”)


And of course, the £8,211 had nothing whatsoever to do with “house renovations”. It covered security checks and legal fees relating to a completely different property.

So, to recap that headline: no, Nicola Sturgeon didn’t say anything; no, the use of Google could not have reduced the renovations bill, even by a penny; no, the savings discussed in the article would not have represented a “slashing” of the cost of the project. In fact, they’re not even twice the amount that the Express writes off in a rounding error in the same headline by describing £504,216 as “£500K”.

Literally every single word, then, is bollocks. Which isn’t even remotely a surprise in the Express, of course, but they’re usually at least a bit sneakier about it.

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    317 to “The building bricks of bullshit”

    1. HandandShrimp says:

      I think it is a rule that the Express has to lie on its front page. It is a tradition…or something else. If the Express were to indulge in honest and/or serious journalism the ravens would leave the tower and the Queen would get cooties.

    2. Smallaxe says:

      The clue is in the name, The EX-press.

    3. Greannach says:

      Good to see the Express featuring a thorough appraisal of the Fast Breeder Programme AKA the royal sprog droppers.

    4. bobajock says:

      C’mon, their subs are all spent after a night of orgasmatron fun with the new Diana grandchild story – y’know – the ginger grandad one.

      #rapeclause ruth will love a third child.

    5. bigG says:

      New Headline ….Daily Express going to tell the truth and the lazy, good for f**k all, so called journalists are going to do their job properly.
      No sorry that is just more fake news..sorry
      Seriously though you would think that the journo’s would want to report on something real and show what they are capable of more than this sort of garbage. It must rank even lower than reporting on their parish council meetings

    6. fillofficer says:

      ‘lavish renovations’
      should read
      ‘urgent repairs’
      shoddy crap

    7. Robin says:

      Like most newspapers and tv networks in Scotland, they all have to tow their English paymasters Unionist/anti Scottish line.

      If not, the funding is cut.

      Simple as that.

      And our problem is that there are those amongst us who are only too willing to do it.

    8. Macart says:

      You really get the impression they’re not even remotely bothered about trying anymore. Print any old shit and stick the name Sturgeon in it. The average readership will lap it up regardless and repeat verbatim. Rinse and repeat as necessary. Pretty grim when you consider they’re actually treating their own readership as idiots.

      Their choice on both parts. (shrugs)

      Barely need to mention the costs of renovating, and the security costs for, various historic, political and royal establishments to hit the news of recent times. Whether it’s Westminster’s eyewatering £4bn or Buck hoose at £369ml, £61ml for Big Ben and so on. I also recall Downing street had a renovation under Cameron which clocked almost £700k.

      Half a mil for the residence of the FM sounds pretty much like a bargain by comparison. 🙂

    9. Robert says:

      Newspapers are businesses trying to sell newspapers. The headline is to get attention, and hopefully buy the paper. The headline there has served it’s purpose – it’s there to attract those who wand “SNPBAD”. I don’t complain about Golfing Times (if there is such a magazine) ignoring the war in Syria and headlining a new golf club.

      People don’t buy the Express for facts!

    10. geeo says:

      As i said yesterday, Express now (pending WM GOV intervention) under control of Trinity Group, whose titles include the Daily Record and Daily Mirror of all rags.

      Right wing hate fuelling rags, pretendy left wing socialist, JC ‘the messiah’ backing rags, all under one owner, yet with common cause.

      Anti SNP

      Anti Scotland

      At ALL COSTS, no smear too much, no lie too outrageous.

      Coming soon…”outraged SNP voters furious at SNP using their votes to form Scottish government”.

      Just because they can get away with drivel like that in yoontoon.

      Link to Takeover story..

    11. Southern Rock says:

      David Cameron spent £680,000 of taxpayers’ cash on Downing Street.

      And that was four or five years ago. What would the bill be today?

      “David Cameron has spent more than £680,000 of public money renovating Downing Street in the year that his government inflicted the biggest ever spending cuts across the public sector.”

    12. louis.b.argyll says:

      The hacks of hate.

      I’m gobsmacked at just how blatant the propaganda now is.

      Their readership must be simple-minded and utterly conservatve to believe..
      Oh wait..

      I forget, the headlines are only there to provide the bbc/sky/itn with shareable anti-SNP headlines everywhere in ‘the papers’ and online.

      These are then used to claim, well, pretty much anything they like because it’s all made up.

      We need to reset the agenda, one nail at a time and bury the malignant influence of these ‘newspapers’.

    13. Bill McDermott says:

      Hasn’t Paul Desmond sold the Express to Trinity Mirror (of Daily Record renown). We will soon see the editorial line change to supporting independence as used to be the case for 5 minutes in the distant past, do you think? No, me neither!

    14. Auld Rock says:

      I can’t remember any similar headlines about £billions being spent on Westminster???

    15. Sinky says:

      £500,000 is a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated £7000 million cost of refurbishing the rat infested Palace of Westminster.

      An independent Scotland will save £600 million which is our pro rata share of doing up Westminster.

    16. Breeks says:

      It’s not the reading of the Express that’s most unsettling, it’s the awkward feeling you get that you’re intruding on somebody who’s in the middle of having some kind of profound nervous breakdown.

    17. TC says:

      Surely to god the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon must do something. This is getting so out of hand now. The blatant lies and miss-information is so bad they just don’t care anymore that they are lying so much. Please to god Nicola call these lying bastards out now. You cant let this get any worse. You only have to challenge one and they will watch there step.

    18. Tom Martin will be undergoing Induction Training now that Trinity Group have bought the sad old express.
      He’ll be coached by Daily Record and Daily Mirror hack in their ways.
      ‘My Junkie husband attacked me with a hammer but I still love him. He bought His and Hers Gers/Sellick season tickets as a ‘sorry’ present, says 36 year old Castlemilk grandmother of five.’

      You wonder at the mentality of folk who read this utter garbage. Then you stop for a minute and think, Mike Rumbles; one of the biggest wastes of oxygen on the planet.
      They know that Independence is inevitable now.
      I doubt that they even phoned Rumblestiltskin for a comment.

      The ‘monstering’ of ‘Nicola Sturgeon will be massive during Indyref 2.
      It will be she and she alone who is trying to break up the UK.
      Blair Jenkins was perhaps not the right choice to lead the Yes Campaign.
      This time we need a street smart leader with media savvy, like Leslie Riddoch, or Derek Bateman.
      And make sure that they are in the face of the Media, day in day out, getting the message across.

    19. alexicon says:

      I wonder how much google could have saved us with the parliament building, Windsor castle and Buckingham palace.
      It must run into billions of pounds.

    20. geeo says:

      Oor wonderful Phillipa Whiteford (guest of the day !!) handing Jo Swinson her arse on Daily Politics.

      PW “Lib dems are hypocrites, you want another EU ref but not a 2nd indyref, despite there being a MANDATE for indyref2 from the people of Scotland”

      (Bumbling answer)

      PW “So, we have a 2nd EU ref on the deal and Scots vote hugely Yes again and are dragged out AGAIN, the Scottish Democratic deficit has STILL NOT been addressed”

      (Bumbling response)

      And a cutting final salvo before Coburn saved Swinson by changing the subject rapidly.

      At this point, Swinson tried to say that the 2017 GE was all about independence and “the SNP lost seats , so there”…!

      PW “If you are so confident of winning indyref2, why are you so scared of holding it”?

      (No answer allowed, saved by Coburn).

      Great performance.

      Asked about why as a woman, would she (PW) object to a statue of Thatcher, after all, thatcher “broke the glass ceiling” for women?

      PW. “She broke a lot more than that…so no way would we support statues for thatcher”.

      Bit more diplomatic than “are you fucking off yer meds” ?

    21. Sunshine says:

      You know, I think the newspapers have over egged all this anti SNP stuff, with their continuous negative headlines. I speak to non SNP or non independence supporters all the time and even the most ardent amongst them just laugh at the claims in the papers now.
      As they say in Chewing the Fat “You’ve taken that too far”

    22. Dan Huil says:

      Speaking as Hamilton Accies’ thirteenth-choice goalie I say the britnat Daily Express smells worse than my thriteenth-choice jockstrap.

    23. Marcia says:

      Dan Huil

      That is me off my lunch.

      We will miss the Torrance journalist chap who wrote the same article but just jumbled up the words for the next issue. In his new job at Westminster the answer to the SNP MP’s question will be; ‘SNP Bad’.

    24. Roland Smith says:

      We all agree we need more balanced media in Scotland.
      It’s not going to happen, so we need to support what there is out there reflecting at least half the population.

      IScot magazine is a superb publication, a lot of the usual bloggers write articles for it. It’s a great magazine to drop off after you have read it where other people might pick it up and start thinking.

      Heck it out and Rev if you read this, why not do an article and/or promote it with a write up on your website.

    25. Dan Huil says:

      @Marcia 1:26pm

      Sorry, Marcia. Maybe if you put more sauce on it… your lunch I mean.

    26. galamcennalath says:

      Guardian reporting … ” Nicola Sturgeon has written to Theresa May today to say the Scottish government will not support a compromise deal on sharing post-Brexit powers with the UK government, after she apparently vetoed a new offer over the weekend. …. Mike Russell, the Scottish Brexit minister, would make a detailed statement at Holyrood at about 2.20pm on Wednesday to explain why the latest compromise had been rejected. “

      What we need is a really ‘good’ multi level constitutional crisis to get things moving! 😉

    27. Calum McKay says:

      “Nicola Sturgeon ate my hamster!”

      How long is it before we see this as an Express headline?

    28. Dan Huil says:

      @galamcennalath 1:42pm

      Good news about NS and the rejection of Westminster’s so-called “compromise”.

      Things are heating up.

    29. Kezia Harrison-Rennie says:

      I’ve been wetting myself with excitement since I heard of the birth of the new Prince.

      I hope he will be gifted Evil Nicola Sturgeon’s lavish home.

      Do we know what his name will be yet? I phope and pray he will be called Flakjacket.

      Congrats to the Queen on becoming a mother at the age of 103. God bless ye, ma’am.


    30. Andy-B says:

      Sir Cyril Arthur Pearson, would be burling in his grave, at the poor quality journalism that passes for news now in the Daily Express.

      Mind you Lord Beaverbrook, who once owned the Express newspaper, claimed he kept it for purely propaganda purposes.

    31. Greannach says:

      Calum McKay @ 1.46pm

      “Nicola Sturgeon ate my baby prince” is more likely these days.

    32. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Mike Russell, the Scottish Brexit minister, would make a detailed statement at Holyrood at about 2.20pm on Wednesday to explain why the latest compromise had been rejected. “

      And remember – had SLabour been in power in Scotland, they’d have just rolled over to have WM tickle their tummy and Scotland would have been shafted good and proper.

      What we have is a Scottish Government battling hard for the people – ALL the people – of Scotland to ensure their democratic will is respected and that WM DOESN’T get the chance to shaft us.

      Constitutional crisis? Bring it on. With this compromise offer it’s clear WM are already trying to ‘settle out of court’.

    33. Glamaig says:

      According to Mike Russell’s twitter, he is updating parliament at 2.20 today.

      Grauniad wrong again.

    34. Arthur thomson says:

      As with all other output from the Britnat media, this story is driven by the two fundamental British values – conceit and contempt. What they lavish (other people’s) money on is supremely important, icons of Britnat supremacy – that is their conceit. What independent Scots do is worthless and wasteful – that is their contempt.

      A simple message we need to communicate to all normal people in Scotland – the key Britnat values are conceit and contempt. They are the basis for all they say and do and that includes the Britnat political parties as they operate in Scotland.

      It is the distilled, uncomfortable and transparently evident truth of Britishness. We need to get that simple message into public discourse and drive it home.

    35. HandandShrimp says:


      Not really a surprise, Severin is hardly a political journalist on the inside of what is going on in the Scottish Government. More a distant spectator passing comment.

    36. Arbroath1320 says:

      I’m no expert on lawsuits 😉 but isn’t that headline alone, never mind what is or is not said in the article, a suitable reason for a wee lawsuit against the Daily Express? ;D

      So Mike Russell, the Scottish Brexit minister, is to make a detailed statement in Holyrood at about 2.20pm today to explain why the latest compromise had been rejected apparently. This smells like another day another slap in the face of Feartie with a fresh wet fish to me! 😀

    37. Jack Murphy says:

      Glamaig said at 2:04 pm
      “According to Mike Russell’s twitter, he is updating parliament at 2.20 today.”

      LIVE at the moment or just scroll back. 🙂

    38. Clootie says:

      I think it is wrong to consider or define this as poor quality journalism. It is NOT journalism of any kind.

    39. Mik Johnstone says:

      Time for the SNP to sue the media about lies printed about them, including headlines that implicate the SNP of any wrong doing then carry on to say it was maybe what could have happened if….
      I’m absolutely sick and tired of it now…
      Why won’t the SNP fight back and take these parasites to hand ? ? ?

    40. sinky says:

      Watching Scottish Parliament TV. UK government want to be able to legislate on devolved issues for SEVEN years without any consent from Scottish Parliament.

    41. Proud Cybernat says:

      “Why won’t the SNP fight back and take these parasites to hand ?”

      Because it will present the colonial BritNat press in Scotland with an open goal to claim the SNP are trying th shut down their right to free speech, thereby giving them the opportunity to print even more ‘SNP BAD’ rubbish.

    42. Kevin says:

      My most arduous, decision-making task of a regular day is what comic, between the D Mail and the Express, should be shoved down the back of the newsstand? No room down there? Mostly I’ll cover them up with piles of less odious shite; the Sun, the DR, the Paisley Daily Express.

      Mission accomplished, as they say..

    43. Sinky says:

      Mike Russsell’s Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Westminster’s Power Grab

    44. Weechid says:

      Stories like these almost make me feel like hi-jacking Menzie’s vans as they wend their way through the country delivering this shite. I won’t of course, ’cause I’m a law abiding citizen but I can see how people would turn to such tactics to stop the deluge of complete bile that comes from the unionist propaganda machine. When the f**k will this all end?

    45. Arbroath1320 says:

      So apparently, it seems, we have 31 Tory M.S.P.’s sitting in Holyrood who are only there to ask questions about WALES!

      They all seemed MORE concerned about the fact the Welsh government appear to be happy to accept Tory government offer over Continuity Bill whereas the Scottish government is not not least of course because of the SEVEN YEAR ban for Scottish government giving any consent.

      This raises one question in my mind … WHY are the 31 Tories sitting in Holyrood? 😉 😀

    46. Sinky says:

      The nub of Mike Russell’s Statement:

      And the UK Government’s latest proposals continues to give Westminster the power to prevent the Scottish Parliament from passing laws in certain devolved policy areas and while we expect the amendments to include the addition of a sunset clause the restrictions on our use of these powers would last for up to seven years.

      The UK Government says this ban, or legal constraint, needs to be in place to prevent the Scottish Parliament from legislating in devolved matters, such as farming or fishing, while framework discussions are taking place.

      But it has never proposed, and has indicated it could not accept, such a legal constraint for England. Any constraint placed on the UK Government will, therefore, be purely voluntary.

      Given the seemingly endless political uncertainty at Westminster who can say what a future Prime Minister or UK Government will choose to do in the future?

      But, during the period of restraint, the Scottish Parliament will lack the ability to ensure that our laws in these areas – environmental protection for example – can keep pace with EU law. And during that same period, Westminster politicians or those that replace them of whatever political or constitutional hue will have a free hand to pass legislation directly affecting Scotland’s fishing industry, or our farmers, or environment or our public sector procurement rules, or the safe use of chemicals, or food safety – the list is long – while our Parliament’s hands were tied.

    47. Fred says:

      Uriah Torrance, “Smart Boy Wanted but not too Smart!”

    48. galamcennalath says:

      Mike Russell making a fair and reasonable offer to the Tories.

      The basis is, of course, as two equal partners.

      This will be completely unacceptable to the Tories who have done absolutely everything so far with little regard for Scotland’s view.

      Aye, definitely a crisis in the making!

    49. galamcennalath says:

      ‘Seven years sunset clause’!?

      I for one expect to be well and truly out of their Union and WM’s influence LONG before 7 years!

    50. Ken500 says:

      £300Million Royals a year. £2Billion cost Westminster.

      Express bought 10 years ago £125Million. Sold 1 month ago £126Million. With Desmond having to contribute £Millions to the pension fund deficit. MSM tanking. The liars now being paid from the public purse. Troughers. Mundell illegally spending £Millions of public money on Tory electoral expenses. The Scottish taxpayers money being wasted on illegal wars,financial fraud and tax evasion. £Billions of Scottish resources taken to be spent on London S/E. Hinkley Point,HS2 and Trident. A total waste of money.

    51. Arbroath1320 says:

      Talking of Scruffy Fluffy Ken, here’s a wee tweet from him confirming that he does indeed work for his “constituency.” The funny thing is that I have lived in Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale, his constituency for over 10 years now and I’ll be damned if I can find a part of it called CAMDEN! 😀

    52. Iain says:

      However, we do have the option of not buying the Express, and other newspapers. Likewise, independent broadcasters risk their own income with what they present to us.

      But we have to pay for the BBC: you can find ways around the licence fee, but that’s only part of the BBC income – there’s the flow of what it needs from our taxes as well. So when the BBC does ‘research’ to supply its news programmes, its choice of subject is arbitrary and unaccountable. There’s no money to be lost if people switch off. Topics can be expanded, revisited, and emphasised irrespective of their importance or the degree of public interest. It’s ‘invent your own work’. And a friend of mine has been blocked by BBC comments for pointing that out.

    53. Ken500 says:

      Take away powers from Scotland for seven years. What a nerve. The Tories can get lost. Psycho bastards. Anyone who does not come out to vote deserves all that they are going to get. Nothing. Vote NO you get nothing.

      The Tories need to be voted out.

      Universal Credit now discredited. Another Tory mess. Psycho bastards.

    54. HandandShrimp says:

      Labour and Tories once again showing that they would agree to anything rather than negotiate the best possible deal.

      Who remembers their craven rolling over at Fluffy’s first budget offer for the 2016 Scotland Bill? The SNP were just “being difficult for the sake of causing division” as I recall. Once it is was clear that they SNP were going to secure a better deal Labour got on board (what else could they do, even Baillie’s abacus could see it was a better deal) but the Tories still wanted to sign up to the crap deal.

      The Tories – never knowingly improving the lot of the Scottish people.

    55. Proud Cybernat says:

      BREXIT in a Nat-shell:

    56. geeo says:

      Michael Russell statement in full.

      I believe the phrase is, not missing and hitting the wall…!

      Statement by Scotland’s Brexit Minister on the EU Withdrawal Bill
      By Michael Russell,
      Below is a statement given by Michael Russell, Scotland’s Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, on Westminster’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

      I want to update Parliament on the negotiations that have been taking place between the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the UK Government on the issue of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

      These have become particularly intense over the past few weeks. The JMC (EN) met on 8th March and the Plenary met on 14 March. I spoke to David Lidington on the phone on 29th March, on 6th April and again last Saturday. I met with David Lidington and Mark Drakeford last Monday and I spoke to Mark Drakeford several times in March, and on Friday and Monday. I also wrote to Mr Lidington on Friday and my officials have been in almost constant contact with Welsh and UK Officials in the last month.

      I expect to meet with Mr Lidington and Professor Drakeford again next week.

      Accordingly much effort has gone into and will continue to go into seeking and if at all possible achieving an agreed approach to the problems presented for the Devolved Administrations by the EU Withdrawal Bill and the Brexit process.

      Whenever this chamber discusses Brexit, we should always of course remember that people in Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.

      There were majorities for remain in every single local authority area.

      And the Scottish Government remains as committed as ever to EU membership.

      Of course this week we have had yet more evidence of the unfolding disaster and confusion that is Brexit. The Prime Minister’s refusal to countenance continued membership of the Customs Union despite the evidence from her own government of the damage that will cause, is a result of the internal tensions in her own party and has nothing to do with the best interests of any part of the country she is meant to serve.

      Terrifyingly, and appallingly, jobs, living standards, even the Good Friday Agreement, are all secondary concerns for the hard Brexiteers who now have the whip-hand in Downing Street and, seemingly , for those Tory Ministers who continually put their jobs before the livelihoods and future of their fellow citizens.

      Now many, I know, were strongly of the view that because of our country’s democratic opposition to Brexit, and particularly the hard Brexit currently favoured by the UK Government, this Parliament and this Government would have been entirely justified in taking a political decision to have nothing to do with the EU Withdrawal Bill.

      And of course, as I have told Parliament in a previous statement there was no consultation on the content of the bill prior to us seeing it in finished form two weeks before its publication.

      Moreover, when we did see the bill, it was clear that what was envisaged was nothing less than a crude power grab on the powers of the Scottish people as exercised by this, their Scottish Parliament.

      Yet, however much we disagree with leaving the EU, regrettably legal preparations must be made for EU withdrawal – which is what the withdrawal bill seeks to achieve. Even if at the 11th hour we were able to avoid Brexit, that would still be case.

      So the huge, time-consuming task of ensuring the UK’s and Scotland’s statute book can function properly following EU withdrawal, is a necessary one.

      And this Scottish Government has risen to that task. Working with others – different political parties, governments of different political persuasions, and communities and interest groups across Scotland – we have all striven to achieve a better, more acceptable, Bill.

      Presiding Officer, we have undertaken that work with one absolute red line which is this: all the preparations for Brexit can and must be done in a way that builds on and is consistent with the principles of devolution; principles that were endorsed overwhelmingly by the people of Scotland in the 1997 referendum.

      That cannot come as a surprise to anyone. We have repeatedly made this point over many months.

      We said it in December 2016 in Scotland’s Place in Europe.

      We made the point in private to the UK Government before the EU (Withdrawal) Bill was introduced; and we set it out in detail in September 2017 in the legislative consent memorandum for the Bill.

      The Scottish Parliament has, on this issue, spoken as one and its voice has been heard more powerfully because of that unity.

      In its interim report on the Bill, the Finance and Constitution Committee unanimously called the approach of the Bill “incompatible with the devolution settlement in Scotland”.

      Clause 11, in particular, they warned, would “adversely impact on the intelligibility and integrity of the devolution settlement” and was “a fundamental shift in the structure of devolution in Scotland”.

      Presiding Officer, let me focus on the precise words of the Committee Report for a second. What does it mean to say that the approach of the UK Government is “incompatible with the devolution settlement”? It means that clause 11 subverts the principles of that settlement – principles which have given the people of Scotland a stable and effective Parliament for nearly 20 years, supported by all parties in this place, and which have throughout that time secured good government under different administrations, and in response to many political challenges.

      Presiding Officer, at the very heart of those Principles is this non- negotiable truth: changes to the devolution settlement require the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

      It is the foundation stone of section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 itself, under which orders adjusting the list of matters reserved to the UK Parliament must be approved not simply in Westminster but here as well.

      Presiding Officer, the Scottish Government intends to protect this essential principle of devolution but before I before I turn to how we will do so I do want to indicate those matters on which we have made negotiating progress – and I am pleased to say there are quite a few of them.

      I pay tribute to the work of David Lidington and Mark Drakeford, to our respective officials and to those in this Parliament who have supported and helped the process which has been strengthened by having substantial cross party support.

      Mark Drakeford and I, in our conversation yesterday, confirmed that we would continue, going forward, to work together on these and on all the other Brexit issues and concerns we have in common.

      Together, with the UK government we are agreed that there is an important and difficult job to be done in preparing our laws for EU withdrawal; and we are agreed that ideally that would be done on a UK-wide basis, through co-operation and collaboration between the governments of these islands.

      We are agreed that on leaving the EU, it could make sense for there to be common frameworks applying across the UK in some areas formerly covered by common EU rules.

      Where these frameworks are in Scotland’s interests, the Scottish Government is ready to discuss them. We have identified 24 areas where we should be able to work together on the basis of consent from all the Governments involved.

      The Secretary of State for Scotland has also said, both to the UK Parliament and here, that frameworks should not be imposed on the devolved administrations.

      So, these points, taken together, are the principles of devolution were followed the basis of something that this government could consider recommending to Parliament.

      But the key sticking point remains, as it always has been, clause 11 and the insistence of the UK Government on its right to take control of devolved powers.

      Let me set out to Parliament where we are at present on that central issue.

      Tomorrow we expect the UK Government to publish further amendments to clause 11.

      We have given them serious and respectful consideration but we as a government are absolutely and unanimously clear that we cannot support any proposal that would enable the powers of the Scottish Parliament to be constrained without the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

      And the UK Government’s latest proposals continues to give Westminster the power to prevent the Scottish Parliament from passing laws in certain devolved policy areas and while we expect the amendments to include the addition of a sunset clause the restrictions on our use of these powers would last for up to seven years.

      The UK Government says this ban, or legal constraint, needs to be in place to prevent the Scottish Parliament from legislating in devolved matters, such as farming or fishing, while framework discussions are taking place.

      But it has never proposed, and has indicated it could not accept, such a legal constraint for England. Any constraint placed on the UK Government will, therefore, be purely voluntary.

      Given the seemingly endless political uncertainty at Westminster who can say what a future Prime Minister or UK Government will choose to do in the future?

      But, during the period of restraint, the Scottish Parliament will lack the ability to ensure that our laws in these areas – environmental protection for example – can keep pace with EU law. And during that same period, Westminster politicians or those that replace them of whatever political or constitutional hue will have a free hand to pass legislation directly affecting Scotland’s fishing industry, or our farmers, or environment or our public sector procurement rules, or the safe use of chemicals, or food safety – the list is long – while our Parliament’s hands were tied.

      It is also worth noting that while discussion and political agreement may have reduced the number of areas that may be subject to such restrictions to 24, under the UK government’s proposals, there will be nothing on the face of the Bill that limits possible restrictions to these areas. Again, we are being asked to simply take that on trust.

      How could we recommend giving consent to a bill that would place Scotland in such a vulnerable position in these uncertain political times?

      In an effort to allay our concerns, we understand that the UK Government may also propose a further political commitment to the effect that it will not normally make these regulations without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. However, this would not form part of any legislative amendment.

      And in any event, even if we agreed to this, the terms of the UK Government approach mean that it would still be for the UK government, and ultimately the House of Commons, to determine what is normal and what is not.

      It will also be for Westminster to decide whether the Scottish Parliament is acting reasonably on any occasion on which it opts to withhold consent.

      In this respect we cannot forget that the UK Government has gone out of its way, during the Brexit, process, to remind people that it can legislate on any matter at any time.

      Indeed in relation to the Sewel Convention , the Advocate General told the Supreme Court “Whether circumstances are ‘normal’ is a quintessential matter of political judgment for the Westminster Parliament.”

      So let me cut to chase.

      Notwithstanding the more benign language now being used, the effect of the UK Government’s latest proposals remains this: the Scottish Parliament’s powers could be restricted – for a period of up to seven years – without its consent.

      That is not something the Scottish Government could recommend the Parliament approves.

      But there is still a way forward. In fact there are two possible ways forward and I have outlined these to David Lidington. The First Minister has now also outlined them to the Prime Minster

      The first is to simply remove clause 11 from the bill.

      Both the Scottish and UK Governments could then agree, on equal terms, not to bring forward legislation in devolved policy areas while negotiations on frameworks are taking place.

      In fact in that way, the Scottish Government is offering exactly the same “certainty” being offered by the UK Government.

      And we could do so, as we have indicated, within a written and signed document which indicates that neither side would unreasonably withhold agreement.

      We believe that if such a voluntary agreement is good enough for Westminster, it must be good enough for Holyrood.

      This solution would also demonstrate equity of treatment in keeping with repeated assurances made to the people of Scotland during and after the 2014 referendum and as part of the 2016 referendum campaign.

      If the UK Government rejects this reasonable proposal there is another possible solution.

      We could agree to abide by the present system. In that system any regulations preventing the Scottish Parliament from legislating in devolved matters for a temporary period of time must only be introduced when that is agreed by the Scottish Parliament.

      That means amendments to clause 11 must make it clear that absolute Scottish Parliament consent is required.

      There must be no over-ride power for UK ministers in the EU Withdrawal Bill.

      That will be consistent with the way other order-making powers are currently exercised and with the devolution settlement and is the proposal we have repeatedly made to the UK government.

      Presiding Officer, these are practical, workable solutions to this issue that will ensure the necessary preparations for Brexit can be taken across the UK whilst protecting devolution.

      They are both on offer. By continuing to work with the Welsh Government and the UK we can make progress on them. But in the end it will be for this Parliament to make the final decision. It is the Scottish Parliament which will give or withhold legislative consent to the UK EU Withdrawal Bill.

      So later this week, following the lodging in Westminster of the UK Government’s proposed amendments, the Scottish Government will lay in Parliament a supplementary legislative consent memorandum.

      In it we will spell out in detail the Scottish Government’s remaining concerns about the Bill and suggest these options as the way forward.

      It will express our wish to come to an agreement with the UK Government.

      But it will also make it clear that if clause 11 is not removed or if the necessary changes to clause 11 are not made, then we will not recommend that Parliament consents to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill as a whole.

      It will also set out our view on other clauses, indicate what we could accept if agreement can be reached and outline how we intend to proceed with the Continuity Bill, which we will defend vigorously in the courts.

      And at the end of this process, this Parliament will decide how it wants to proceed.

      It will then be for the UK Government and UK Parliament to respond to that decision of this Parliament.

      They will have to do so by the Third Reading of the Bill in the Lords; the last opportunity to make any substantive changes to it in Westminster.

      That is what is required by our constitution. No less an authority on the matter than Professor Tomkins has described the Sewel Convention in this chamber as “a binding rule of constitutional behaviour. Breach it”, he warned “and there will be a high political price to pay”.

      Indeed, Presiding Officer,

      It would be an outrage if the UK Government decided to use what the people of Scotland did not vote for – Brexit – to undermine what we did vote for: devolution.

      The UK Government has no mandate to undermine the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

      And, therefore, the Scottish Government will do everything we can to protect the devolution settlement people voted for so overwhelmingly more than 20 years ago.

      We want to agree with the UK Government and move this issue on so that we can spend time on the substantive and dangerous challenges which Brexit presents more and more pressingly to this nation.

      But we cannot agree at any price. And certainly not at the price of undermining this Parliament and the essential work it does for all the people of Scotland

    57. Thepnr says:

      That’s nice of them, the Tories only want to control two of the most important devolved powers coming back to Holyrood for 7 years.

      I take it after this seven years are up they wouldn’t have meddled or anything with Agriculture or Fisheries, nah they wouldn’t would they? They would just have a agreed a “framework” with the devolved powers so that’s no problem then, right?

      Before Brexit and another Independence referendum this right now is the most important thing happening in Scottish and UK politics along with the NI border issue.

      There is no way the Scottish government will just hand back these already devolved powers without a fight. So I look forward to Westminsters challenge in the Supreme Court if it ever even gets there. I do wonder if the Tories seriously want to open that particular can of worms.

      Just in case get more popcorn in, could be handy.

    58. Proud Cybernat says:

      If UKGov presses ahead with BREXIT without ScotParl consent in EU Withdrawl Bill, then that presents an early ‘material change’ to Scotland’s status within UK to that of 2014. Devolution by diktat.

      As such, IndyRef2 can be triggered on the basis of that material change. We wouldn’t need to wait for the final Brexit deal to be known before decide if a material change has occurred to our status.

    59. Robin says:

      The answer to all our problems is victory in IndyRef2. (Hopefully early next year)

      It’s as simple as that. LOL

    60. galamcennalath says:

      Watching a Norwegian programme on Netflix.

      Makes me sick to see a small independent country succeeding so obviously while Scotland has to contend daily with negative effects from WM.

      Norway oozes national confidence and energy. Scotland has to wade continually waist deep though WM effluent and everything we do achieve is in spite of this Union. We have the cringe and BritNats whose aim is to knowingly damage the country of their birth.

      All this has to end soon.

    61. manandboy says:

      Another excellent post, Stu. Well done.

      With Brexit moving like tidal treacle, everything of any real significance, it seems, has been reduced to a virtual standstill. And yet the pressure on Westminster from Brexit increases all the while, even as the collapse of the Dollar looms ever nearer and with it a global depression. The future is looking desperate – with unknown consequences for Scottish Independence.

      Anyone thinking things are going to get better soon, should look to distant horizons from whence our future economic climate is already moving in our direction. The only thing we can be sure of is that British State Propaganda will broadcast it as being the fault of the SNP.

    62. Ottomanboi says:

      The following is an Englishman’s view of England. Doubt any Scot could match this for venom.

      Curse the blasted, jelly-boned swines, the slimy, the belly-wriggling invertebrates, the miserable sodding rotters, the flaming sods, the sniveling, dribbling, dithering palsied pulse-less lot that make up England today. They’ve got white of egg in their veins, and their spunk is that watery its a marvel they can breed. They can nothing but frog-spawn — the gibberers! God, how I hate them! God curse them, funkers. God blast them, wish-wash. Exterminate them, slime. I could curse for hours and hours — God help me.
      — Letter to Edward Garnett, 3 July 1912, written by D. H. Lawrence.

    63. Welsh Sion says:

      Dear Scotland,

      I refer you to Section 1 (in particular sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iv)) of the Editor’s Code of Practice at IPSO.

      Aye, right, you might not get very far … but it might be worth a punt now and again.

      Know that you have my support, anyway. 🙂

      Yours ever,

    64. Dr Jim says:

      On Mike Russells statement:

      Did the Welsh take the English cash and is it a coincidence Carwyn Jones personal circumstances have forced him to resign so suddenly and who’s getting measured up by their tailor for a Santa suit

      These and other questions will become bloody obvious in the fullness of time

      Reasonable’s good, Scotland’s known for it, so well are we known for it the English parliament have used that reasonableness against us to screw Scotland for 300 years using their own plants to betray Scotland at every turn in return for cash, honours, or land in England or Scotland, what’s yer choice? Baron, Lord, Knight of the realm, name yer price to keep the people of Scotland as *Suckers* for the use of

      There are many people right on the edge with this latest fiasco and they and me will not tolerate it if it goes the way these things usually always go and I urge the people of Scotland to pay close attention to this pattern of the UK strategy in these matters, because it’s always the same and we need to recognise it and determine as a nation to resist

    65. Gary45% says:

      We could add this also.


      “Our First Winter”

      DEC 20th
      It’s starting to snow. The first of the season and the first we’ve seen for years.
      The wife and I took out our hot toddies and sat on the porch watching the fluffy soft flakes drift gently down clinging to the trees and covering the ground. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.

      DEC 24th
      We awoke to a lovely blanket of crystal white glistening snow covering as far as the eye could see.
      What a fantastic sight, every tree and bush covered with a beautiful white mantle.
      I shovelled snow for the first time ever and loved it.
      I did both our driveway and the pavement.
      Later that day a snowplough came along and accidentally covered up our driveway with compacted snow from the street.
      The driver smiled and waved. I waved back and shovelled it away again.
      The children next door built a snowman with coal for eyes and a carrot for a nose, and had a snowball fight, a couple just missed me and hit the car so I threw a couple back and joined in their fun.

      DEC 26th
      It snowed an additional 5 inches last night and the temperature dropped to around minus 8 degrees Several branches on our trees and bushes snapped due to the weight of the snow.
      I shovelled the driveway again.
      Shortly afterwards the snowplough came by and did his trick again. Much of the snow is now a brownish – grey.

      JAN 1st
      Warmed up enough during the day to create some slush which soon became ice when the temperature dropped again.
      Bought snow tyres for both our cars.
      Fell on my arse in the driveway. Went to a physio but nothing was broken.

      JAN 5th
      Still cold. Sold the wife’s car and bought her a 4×4 to get her to work.
      She slid into a wall and did considerable damage to the right wing.
      Had another 8 inches of white shite last night. Both vehicles are covered in salt and iced up slush.
      That bastard snowplough came by twice today.
      Where’s that bloody shovel.

      JAN 9th
      More fuc*ing snow. Not a tree or bush on our property that hasn’t been damaged.
      Power was off most of the night. Tried to keep from freezing to death with candles and a paraffin heater which tipped over and nearly torched the house. I managed to put the flames out but suffered 2nd degree burns on my hands. Lost all my eyebrows and eyelashes.
      Car hit a fuc*ing deer on the way to casualty and car was written off.

      JAN 13th
      Fuc@ing bastard white shite just keeps on coming down. Have to put on every article of clothing just to go to the post box.
      The little c*nts next door ambushed me with snowballs on the way back – I’ll shove that carrot so far up the little bastard’s arse it’ll take a good surgeon hours to find it.
      If I ever catch the c*nt that drives the snowplough I’ll chew open his chest and rip out his heart with my teeth. I think
      the bastard hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shovelling and then he accelerates down the street like Michael Schufu@kingmacher and buries the fu@king driveway again.

      JAN 17th
      Sixteen more fu*king inches of fu*king snow and fu*king ice and fu*king sleet and god knows what other white shite fell last night.
      I am in court in 3 months time for assaulting the snowplough driver with an ice-pick.
      Can’ t move my fuc*ing toes. Haven’t seen the sun for 5 weeks.
      Minus 20 and more fu*king snow forecast.

      JAN 18th

    66. Sinky says:

      BBC Radio Scotland news taking Tory narrative on Westminster’s seven year Power Grab saying Scottish Parliament “under pressure” to concede.

    67. Robert Peffers says:

      @Sinky says: 24 April, 2018 at 12:33 pm:

      “£500,000 is a drop in the ocean compared to the estimated £7000 million cost of refurbishing the rat infested Palace of Westminster.”

      And that’s without counting the actual wee four legged rodents of the superfamily Muroidea.

    68. Luigi says:

      Thepnr says:

      24 April, 2018 at 4:12 pm

      That’s nice of them, the Tories only want to control two of the most important devolved powers coming back to Holyrood for 7 years.

      We all know that any power that WM claws back from Holyrood will never be given back. Lost forever. The establishment got too much of a fright in 2014 and 2015 to ever let Scotland so loose and free again. Thye would rather strangle us than let us go.

      If we really want Scottish independence we will have to grab it from them. I trust that the SNP are only bidding their time and waiting to see the whites of their eyes before striking back. 🙂

    69. Meindevon says:

      Our local David Lloyd fitness club has just had a £500k refit. And it’s only about nine years old! Surely that amount of money to refurb such an incredibly important and historic building is peanuts in the scheme of things.

      It’s all just sour grapes. ‘Those damn SNPers, taking our rightful place in Bute House, making what should be our decisions, with our money, aargh how dare they!’

    70. Proud Cybernat says:

      Oh Westminster. How you must yearn for the return of the good ol’ days when Scotland’s political representatives simply did as you instructed them to do.

      Message from Earth to WM: the drugs don’t work no more. Nor the money or shiny baubles.

      Hey WM, meet Scotland. The REAL Scotland whose voice you suppressed for over 300 years. We’re here and we’re no’ here tae party. We want what’s OURS and we want it NOW.

      And no – we WON’T be bought off. Not anymore.

      Welcome to the new political reality. Deal with it.

    71. Brian McHugh says:

      They must be targeting the Viz market share.

    72. Sinky says:

      How much should I bet on BBC National TV news ignoring Mike Russell’s response to or even mentioning the UK Tory seven year power grab of devolved issues after Brexit?

    73. Northern Rock says:

      Why does Westminster want to borrow our fishing and agriculture agencies for seven Years???

      What the hell are they going to do with them.

      Knowing the Tories, they will want to sexually interfere with them.

      Then dump them when the turn eight.


    74. Welsh Sion says:

      Apologies for being o/t and using the BBC … but it seems as if Cymru and UK have come to some sort of arrangement regarding Brexit “power grab”.

    75. Paul Wilson says:

      The Clowns at the Express have a bit more to worry about than Nicola Sturgeons accommodation the rag is about to be taken over by the left leaning Mirror group or Trinity Papers, I wonder if it is allowed to go through if the new owners will get rid of all the right wing nut jobs presently stalking the buildings there.

    76. Robin says:

      Sinky 5.25pm

      Do you mean the UK “National” News that is all about, england, england and………england???

    77. Looks like the old “Divide and conquer” has been applied. Scotland rejects, Wales accepts. We’re on our own, again.

    78. How .could you be accused of trying to stop free speech by suing the media for telling lies surely you are trying to stop abuse of power and every day for years you have the printed and filmed evidence to prove it ., I am at a loss to understand why the SNP do not put a stop to these lies why o why o why ???

    79. Ghillie says:

      Welsh Sion 5.27 pm

      Also on STV.

      Nicola Sturgeon, and our Scottish Government continue to protect the interests of Scotland 🙂

      Wales, I predict, will rue the day their Labour leader caved in.

    80. Macart says:

      Oh, here we go.

      “Keeping Barnett formula ‘not appropriate’ after Brexit, warns Institute for Fiscal Studies”

      Do NOT say you weren’t warned people.

    81. Thepnr says:

      @Welsh Sion

      I really didn’t see that coming, Welsh Labour letting down the people of Wales it looks like to me.

      Makes Carwyn Jones’s stepping down as FM less of a mystery to be honest. We have this from your linked BBC article:

      “Wales’ Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said the deal means powers in areas “currently devolved remain devolved”.”

      Then tonight from the BBC we have this:

      “Mark Drakeford has announced his intention to stand for the job of Welsh Labour leader, three days after Carwyn Jones said he would quit.” (Refuses to archive)

      Who says politics stinks. Et tu, Brute?

    82. Robin says:

      Will we still be the most powerful devolved parliament in the whole world after Brexit???

      I don’t think so.

      Scotland is finished if we don’t vote for Independence.

      And if they decide to shut down Holyrood, what can we do about it?

      Answer is,,,Nothing.

      We will be powerless to do anything about it.

      Wakey Wakey Scotland !!!

    83. jfngw says:


      Not sure how ‘currently devolved remains devolved’ when they are being controlled by WM for seven years. And likely after the seven years they will not be able to change these if it breaks UK statute, they will never be able to make any meaningful changes to these laws again.

      I was not surprised in the end, Labour is a UK party they will always fall into line. If they had been in control in Scotland I suspect they would have folded much earlier.

    84. Robin says:

      Always remember Carwyn Jones sticking his nose into the Indy Ref1 Campaign.

      He joined forces with Better Together and gave us his own version of Project Fear.

      I Have never had any time for him since.

      A true Red Tory.

    85. Dr Jim says:

      STV news says: The Scottish government has *FAILED* to come to an agreement with the UK government

      Scotlands media in a nutshell, see it couldn’t possibly be that the UK has *FAILED*, never, perish the thought

      All the while the FMs twitter is filled with a positive hate fest of, well I can’t even call them Unionists any more, they’re the scum of the earth hell bent on destroying their own country for sectarianism or blind loyalty to well I really don’t know what

    86. Bob Mack says:

      Carwyn Jones announces he is stepping down last Friday,and suddenly he and his party agree a deal ?

      I think mi5 have the goods on Carwyn!!

    87. Dan Huil says:

      No big surprise about Labour betraying Wales. They have betrayed Scotland many times in the past and would do so again if they were in power here.

      Scotland isn’t alone, though. Ireland remains the key.

    88. Thepnr says:

      @Dr Jim

      The Scottish government though have NOT failed though to stand their ground in defence of devolution as it currently stands. Failure on their part would be seen as a massive weakness and I’m sure that more weakening of the devolution settlement would be on it’s way.

      This fight against the “power grab” has to go to the wire. I just wonder though how it will be reported, well I think I know that already but we really aught to make a big deal about it especially if it does end up in the Supreme court though I’m still dubious that it will.

      This though is a big bloody red line and the SG must stand firm.

    89. Dr Jim says:

      @Bob Mack

      Cash santa suits and honours, same as it ever was

    90. Colin Alexander says:

      Credit to the SNP Scot Govt on rejecting the latest rotten offer from Westminster regarding the WM devolution power grab.

      It was right of the Scot Govt to defend the devolution settlement.

      It was right of the Scot Govt to defend the right of the Scottish Parliament to have have the power to decide by democratic vote.

      It was right of the Scot Govt to reject more promises of “not normally”.

      Well done the Scot Govt, and in particular Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell.

      You haven’t caved in this time; you deserve credit for that.

    91. Naina Tal says:

      Suspect this is Labour Abstention Party policy. Watch what LIS under Dick Redscarf does next in Holyrood! Think they too will side with the Blue Tories or at best abstain on any vote.

    92. Andy-B says:

      BBC Scotland Shortbread news, virtually condemning the Scottish governments decision not to yield to Westminster.

      The narrative is Wales has ceded, so what’s stopping Scotland from genuflecting as well.

      Well done Sturgeon and Russell, for holding fast.

    93. Robert Louis says:

      Wow. So there we have it LABOUR have just sold out the people of Wales in a grubby deal.

      Now ,here’s a thing Carwyn Jones is standing down as First Minister. Hands up who thinks he’ll be made a ‘lord’ before the end of the year, to join the rest of his greasy pole climging ‘socialist chums in the house of ‘Lords’ in London.

      Their you have it folks. Promises from Labour mean nothing. They just cannot be trusted.

      Anything for en ermine robe. Red Tories and Blue Tories.

    94. galamcennalath says:

      The Scottish Government are doing all the right things for all the right reasons, and they are doing it for all Scots.

      And yet …. with the shite media, most ordinary folks probably don’t even know what’s happening!

    95. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT Anyone read the report in the Independent about the Saudi attack on a wedding in Yemen?

      Shouldn’t we bombing the Saudi’s now??

    96. starlaw says:

      Not surprised by the Welsh climbdown being run by a London Labour Party, I was surprised they were in it in the first place.
      Scotland has much more to lose than Wales bigger farming and much bigger fisheries. Its the Scottish devolved powers Westminster is after most.

    97. geeo says:

      Newsflash to coco the class clown, the FM has not “caved in” on ANY occassion.

      This time is no different to every other time, not a good deal for Scotland and Nicola and the Scotsgov ALWAYS tell WM to shove it up sideways.

      Trying to imply otherwise just shows what a roaster you are.

      Really worried about your precious union, aren’t you, coco !

      Never fret, not long now.

    98. Hamish100 says:

      Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said: “By capitulating to Westminster on the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Labour Government is selling Wales down the river.
      “This is a bare-faced Westminster power grab which undermines the will of the people of Wales who voted for more powers in two referendums.”

      How true.

    99. Les Wilson says:

      Ottomanboi says:

      Wow, that IS a cracker. Great find.

    100. Thepnr says:

      Have you all got your popcorn in for the Supreme Court battle over devolution between Westminster and Holyrood yet? Might be worth doing soon as Westminster can’t afford to waste anytime so the battle if it happens might be short and sweet.

      I don’t really care how the result goes, as I see it any result is good for those that support Indpendence.

      If Westminster win their case and grab powers that are already devolved then that must be seen as weaking devolution which as we all know has a great majority in favour of retaining it in Scotland. That won’t go down well.

      If Westminster lose then the Scotgov’s hand is strengthened in any future negotiations and it also makes the Westminster parliament look like the grievance monkeys they are.

      There may yet be no winners or losers, it hasn’t reached the courts yet and a deal could still be done, it had better be done on Holyrood’s terms though and that is a climbdown by Westminster. As I said, get the popcorn in 🙂

    101. Capella says:

      Excellent speech by Mike Russell. Thx for posting it Geeo.
      Curious to know what the reward will be for Carwyn Jones caving in. Is Mark Drakeford the same as the negotiator Mike Russell referred to? Something smells a bit fishy.

    102. geeo says:

      Of course, a cynic might suggest that the Welsh Continuity Bill was a ploy all along.

      I mean, really ??

      Wales voted FOR BREXIT so can hardly complain when Brexit shafts them.

      However, what an opportunity to “show solidarity” with Scotland, protecting devolution etc…yada yada.

      All the time knowing you are going to attempt to “pull the rug” from under the Holyrood Parliament and the SNP GOV.

      Welsh “cut a deal” and Scotsgov look “unreasonable” for refusing a deal.

      All of which, while being a tad overtly Machiavellion in style, ultimately is let down by a simple yet critical factor.

      Wales VOTED LEAVE.

      Wales VOTED FOR what brexit is about to deliver.

      Wales, as such, may have shared the democratic principles of protecting devolution with Scotland’s Parliament, but they never really had the CONVICTION the Scotsgov has.

      And that is because SCOTS VOTED REMAIN in huge numbers.

      Scotland’s Government has a MORALLY DEFENSIBLE position.

      Simply put, our Parliament, our Scotsgov, our SNP and our FM, are defending SCOTLAND.

      Not just the People, not just devolution, but the very notion of us being a country.

      The threat of WM court action (go on, Scotland feckin dares you) and the now apparent plan of Labour to try isolate the SG and paint us as “unreasonable”, are doomed to failure, as our Wonderful SNP Scotsgov are on the ball 100%.

      The question now is, with ‘Welsh’ labour (actually they are just Corbyn’s labour) out the picture, and the SG happy to go to court to defend not only devolution but also the very Sovereignty of the Scots People, WHAT will WM’s next move be ?

      That Mike Russell statement has called the UK court action bluff, and as such a rather hot, burning fireball, has been lobbed into the WM court.

      Your move, assholes.

    103. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      The troll charter
      It’s fairly easy to identify the trolls on here. They can sometimes provide an opportunity to refine our arguments from time to time but generally they are an irritation.
      1. They all profess to support independence. We must have it. We must have it (tomorrow?).
      2. They usually say they are/have been members of the SNP but don’t identify where or when and don’t use their own names to prevent any checking.
      3. They never praise any of the many achievements of an SNP Government which in fact is performing better than the UK government in virtually all areas in which it has responsibility.
      4. They magically appear to arrive at the same sort of criticism of the SNP on the same issues at the same time as the anti independence media.
      5.Nicola Sturgeon is a liability to the independence cause according to them and has to be removed.
      6. They think we are all stupid.

    104. Robin says:

      Carwyn Jones is the perfect example of how to get to the top of the tree inside the english establishment.

      Just be a two faced con merchant and don’t rock the boat.

      Next week he will be getting measured up for his ermine coat.

      Arise Sir Carwyn.

      It was the same route Darling and Alexander took.

    105. geeo says:


      If the English Law Supreme Court decided to over rule Scots Law, and side with WM, i would imagine the Scotsgov would have rather more obvious ambitions towards presenting a legal case to an international court and the U.N. to discuss why English Law has been allowed to subjugate Scots Law on an issue considered a FULL breach of the Act and Treaties of Union itself.

    106. Thepnr says:


      I don’t disagree, in fact I totally agree that the Supreme Court decision may not be the end of it!

      Better buy a big bag of pocorn just in case lol.

    107. Rock says:

      Mik Johnstone says:
      24 April, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      “Why won’t the SNP fight back and take these parasites to hand ? ? ?”

      “Because The “independent” Scottish justice system is rotten to the core and the vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

      So called “human rights lawyers” included. They trouser hundreds of thousands while people starve in Scotland.”

    108. Tam Fae Somewhere says:

      Scene: Casino Royale

      Westminster: Lays cards on table and says I take the winnings and will hold power for 7 years

      Holyrood: F*ck that, here’s my cards and we will hold power for ever. Goodbye.

    109. jfngw says:

      I see Jack McConnell is at least consistent, when in office he returned some of Scotland’s cash, now he sees no reason why some of Scotland’s powers should not be returned, after all it’s just ego’s getting in the way. Still earning his ermine?

    110. Rock says:

      Dave McEwan Hill says:
      24 April, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      “They all profess to support independence. We must have it. We must have it (tomorrow?).”

      No, YESTERDAY.

      Rock (27th August 2017 – “Underneath the Goodyear blimp”):

      “Scotland was on the verge of independence immediately after the Brexit vote.

      The unionist parties were without leaders and completely lost, the SNP had 56 out of 59 MPs and 50% of the vote, the EU’s eyes were (favourably) on Scotland.

      But Nicola squandered a once in a 1000 years golden opportunity by wasting more than a year flogging a dead horse – a separate deal for Scotland which was never going to happen.

      The result: Nicola outsmarted by the collusion between Saints Theresa and Ruth on one hand, and Corbyn on the other, fall in SNP support from 50% to 37%.

      It is my prediction that there will be a “snap” Brexit and the SNP will be caught napping and unable to hold a second independence referendum.

      Or another “snap” Westminster election with the SNP again losing support.

      Despite the pretendy “sovereignty” and boasting of the clueless pompous armchair pundits posting here, Scotland is again as far away from independence as ever.

      If they succeed in neutralising the Rev. Stuart Campbell and WOS, independence will be “stone dead” for at least 620 years.”

    111. Dan Huil says:

      Well, that’s federalism f*cked. It’s all or nothing now.

    112. Robert Louis says:


      I agree, that win or lose, it will help Scotland overall – that is why I think the decision of Westminster to go to the pretendy ‘supreme’ court in London, England, is a bad one for them.

      The real irony is, that many down in London just do not understand the nature of the way in which the UK is structured, and in particular the notion of Scotland, with its OWN legal system and the terms of the union treaty. Many of them do think England has absolute rule over Scotland no matter what, and it just isn’t true.

      Win or lose, in many respects it will draw attention to the nature of Scotland and just why it is run by Westminster.

      Scotland did not vote to leave the EU, so good luck to any politician who decides to just let it happen anyway.

      England either respects the terms of the union treaty, or the treaty is null and void. They cannot in one breath say we are a United Kingdom, but then in the next decide to ignore the terms of the agreement binding it together.

    113. Dan Huil says:

      Sensible development in the north of Ireland:

    114. Breeks says:

      Thepnr says:
      24 April, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      ….There may yet be no winners or losers, it hasn’t reached the courts yet and a deal could still be done, it had better be done on Holyrood’s terms though and that is a climbdown by Westminster. As I said, get the popcorn in ?….

      In order of preference, I would like a win though I have no faith we will, ( I don’t trust the Supreme Court), I could live with losing because I can contest the Constitutional legitimacy of the Supreme Court, but what I absolutely don’t want is any “deal”.

      I want this spat over “who gets the kids after Brexit” to escalate into a full blown Constitutional stand off, where the Constitutional Sovereignty of Scotland is being formally disputed by Westminster. No compromises, no brinkmanship, no bargaining, no deals. NOTHING short of Sovereign recognition of Scotland will now do.

      Whatever happens, the Union, if it survives at all, must be left hanging by the merest strand of the barest thread. One way or another, we must emerge from this with legal recognition that the Sovereign will of Scotland cannot be overruled by any foreign state.

      In recent decades the Westminster Government has beem emboldended in it’s pernicious erosion of Scotland’s status, and has suffered barely a scratch or any reverse despite its flagrant disregard for the spirit of the Union as a Union of Equals. It reveals the farce of Scottish “democracy” in a wholly asymmetric and unaccountable Union. It is yet another excess of Westminster which now brazenly contests the principle of Scottish Sovereignty, and hence we are in Constitutional battle which we must ultimately win. No deals! Brexit is an act of colonial subjugation, and Scotland will be Constitutionally defined by what happens. We MUST win, not necessarily the Supreme Court Judgement, but the wider fundamental Constitutional principle.

      Sovereignty is an absolute binary condition. You have it or you don’t. In this instance, nothing can be resolved by compromise.

    115. Meg merrilees says:

      Geeo @4.04

      many thanks for printing Mike Russell’s speech – brilliant and informative. Concise and i absolutely love the way he quotes Prof. Tomkins at the end – that is pure class!

      If only the Scottish media would explain ‘why’ the Scottish Government has ‘Failed’ to come to an agreement with the UK gov. It’s so blatantly obvious that they go nowhere near the topic, in fact they totally mislead.

      Great to get the facts.

    116. Bob Mack says:

      @Gypsy Rock,

      Any idea when my new suite will arrive ? Could you do a tea leaf reading for me since you are into predictions..

      Mind you, you’ve got nothing right so far.

    117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Rock at 8.30

      Well done. Straight in to prove my points.

    118. Rock says:

      Bob Mack says:
      24 April, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      “Mind you, you’ve got nothing right so far.”

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      17 April, 2018 at 10:26 am (Trampling on graves)

      “I’m on record criticising the SNP for their stance on the Skripal poisonings too.”

      Rock (16th March – “The greasy poll”):

      “Nicola and the SNP made utter fools of themselves by supporting Saint Theresa, in my humble opinion.”

      Bob Mack says:
      27 March, 2018 at 9:23 pm (“With a weary sigh”)


      Your opinion is indeed humble, and usually wrong as well.”

    119. jfngw says:

      There is no compromise, why would the Scottish government negotiate away the powers held by Holyrood. Either the UK government respects the devolution agreement backed by the vast majority of Scots in a referendum or they are saying that only the results of referendums in England are of consequence.

      They demand that we respect the result of one referendum but want to ignore the result of another.

    120. Thepnr says:


      The only way that there can be any kind of deal is if Westminster agrees that the powers that are returning from the EU that are already devolved will remain devolved.

      Any future framework agreement with rUK will require a vote in Holyrood first and is exactly what the SG are demanding.

      Ergo no deal looks possible but nothing is impossible.

    121. Bob Mack says:

      Rock. Moan moan rinse repeat.
      Lawyers are bad.SNP are bad.Sturgeon is bad. Only my advice is good. Quote unquote.

      Getting a bit tedious Rocky.

    122. geeo says:

      @meg merrilees.

      I decided to post the speech in full, because folk do not always click on links.

      I was aware of its long length, but it is such an important piece, i felt it was worth an airing in full.

    123. Smallaxe says:

      Read this from an old Wings post and weep, then get angry!

      Taken from this twitter account;

    124. ben madigan says:

      @Dan Huil who said:

      Well, that’s federalism f*cked. It’s all or nothing now.

      Federalism in the UK was always f*cked.
      See what i wrote just after Indyref1

    125. wull says:

      Excellent speech by Mike Russell. Totally reasonable. Perfectly argued. Not the slightest whiff or hint of anything hysterical or even emotional; no appeal to any baser instincts, and no attempt to be brilliant or clever or witty. No pandering to any mob, no cheap jibe, no knockabout Westminster-style over-jokey humour to divert or distract anyone from the actual issues and straightforward realities of the situation.

      Just plain fact, steady common sense: here are the very reasonable proposals we have made and the very reasonable manner in which we have put them forward and pursued them. You can judge them for yourself. No rhetorical tricks. All above board, no ducking and weaving, no hiding or dissimulation. Nothing tricky or devious, not tactics, just the truth. This is what we have done, this is how it is. Clearly principled, simply sound, straight as a dye, utterly simple.

      This is an expression of Scotland at its very best. Well done, Mike Russell. As always, typically Scottish, and totally so. In mind and manner, demeanour and delivery, and in thought and content.

      And not without the odd wry nugget … Again typically Scottish. Understated but on target, no need to overplay it or dwell on it … Just slip it in and glide over it, pass on … Like quoting to such wonderful effect ‘no less an authority’ on matters constitutional than Professor Tomkins on the Sewel Convention …

      Ye cannae beat it. Ye really cannae.

      And England and a’ her politicians cannae match it …

      They may indeed have a way with words (and indeed, they often do), but what are ‘words’? Compared to ‘facts’ … ?

      Facts stand up. And stay. Words are just evaporating ephemera that blow this way and that, then disappear altogether and for ever. Into the invisible and inconsequential ether.

      While the facts stand up, and stay.

      Truly, a great speech. Keep it. And repeat it. No one can delete it.

      Those who hate the facts will try to get rid of it, of course. They will smear and jeer, rip and tear, distort and misreport it. But it won’t go away. Facts and truth have a staying power that lies entirely lack.

      In the long run, or rather much sooner than that, lies tie themselves in knots, find themselves out, sink their own boat, skewer themselves.

      Whatever impression the froth on the surface of UK politics might give, underneath it all – there is no doubt about it – we are winning. In fact, and in terms of the facts, Scotland is winning. By a country mile, and much much more … If there is anything which Mike Russell’s perfectly pitched speech makes manifest today, that is it.

    126. louis.b.argyll says:

      Breeks 8.33pm

      Paragraph 3.

      Spot on.

    127. Fred says:

      @ wull, a very good post kid!

    128. Sinky says:

      No coverage of this assault on devolution by BBC national news and BBC Scotland giving a pro Tory line “Scottish government under pressure” and they are supposed to see the world through Scotland’s eyes not London’s.

    129. Archbishop of Dork says:

      The Oscar for best actor goes to Carwyn Jones for his portrayal of a staunch devolutionist in Seven Year Snitch.

    130. Terry says:

      Thanks for that brilliant critique of Mike Russell and his speech. You hit the nail on the head. He’s the spirit of Scotland.

      In such challenging times I trust that man to lead us through it.

    131. Northern Rock says:

      One of our biggest enemies is apathy. This really annoys me.

      The majority of Scots are not interested in politics. Your average punter is either more interested in the Fitba or his wife is more interested in her soap operas.

      If you were to ask any of that section of society what the Continuity Bill was, they would look at you with that blank stare.

      That is why the Polls are hardly moving.

      Only a confirmed date for IndyRef2 will get people taking notice again.

    132. North chiel says:

      Poor performance from Rona Douglas this evening as regards her “ chairing” of the Brexit discussion ( Scotland tonight) . Every point was referred back to the Tory ,and UKIP “mouthpiece” allowed too much say . David Martin and Alyn Smith ( the majority parties in a Scottish context) practically ignored.
      A sign of things to come . No doubt. It’s supposed to be “ Scotland tonight” Rona not “ the Tory/ UKIP show”.

    133. Liz g says:

      Wull @ 10.04
      Great post wull!
      I know that the consensus,seems to be that the next leader of the Indy campaign,shouldn’t come from the SNP!
      But the more I see of Mike Russell,the more I think he would be good in the role?
      He is certainly fit for that lot and comes across as completely unflappable.

    134. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The case for independence now becomes overwhelming. And the case for a referendum call is overwhelming also. Pretty sure Peter A Bell will underline this tomorrow night as he addresses our Forward Shop in Dunoon and on online Argyll Independent Radio from about 8.30

    135. dakk says:

      ‘He is certainly fit for that lot and comes across as completely unflappable.’

      And he’s English,so might appeal to a few soft Yoon wanna bes.

    136. Artyhetty says:

      It would be funny if it wasn’t another cog in the wheel of media and UKgov use of blatant propaganda against our democracy and our democratically elected First Minister. The demonisation of Nicola Sturgeon is operating as a drip drip tactic for now.

      Any election, or referedum coming up will see the onslaught of psychological warfare on Scotland by 100%+ of the media, taking their orders from the UKGov and their dodgy pals around the globe.

      Re Jack Collatin@12.44

      That was his name, i couldn’t remember it, Blair Jenkins. He disappeared into the dark without trace didn’t he.

      I don’t think we need any one person leading yes, it’s just giving ammunition to the anti independence cult. Did Project Fear have a leader? Or Better Together? Not really, they rallied round in numbers, stuck together so that no one person could really be seen to take the rap for anything, or be called out by the pro independence movement.

      Nah, we need very careful tactics, not one ex bbc guy or such like to play the star then disappear into the night, having been pretty damn useless when all is said and done, and that is not sour grapes, he was tame, and gave ‘no’ a voice which won them their incredibly grubby no vote.

      Independence for Scotland, it’s all we need call it. Info, facts, sharing, everywhere, is how it will be secured.

      The fact that Nicola Sturgeon is now being demonised means an election on the cards, or another EU referendum, perhaps. What might the Britnats have up their dirty rotten sleeves.

    137. Colin Alexander says:


      To give a bigger picture about the Scottish legal system. The only law the legal system itself makes is common law from judges’ rulings. The rest of it is statute – laws made by Scotland’s and the UK’s parliaments ( some of it required to be in accordance with EU law).

      So, the reason much of the law is unjust or mince, is because the politicians that made it, made it that way. Usually deliberately or because they are crap at their job.

      Also, the Scottish Law Commission are responsible for suggesting law reform to the Scottish Govt. They are appointed by Scottish Ministers.

      They consult, consult and consult. Then the Scot Govt / parliament consult, consult, consult. Eventually, the Scot Govt may produce a draft bill. Then they consult, consult, consult.

      Law is made by the Scottish Establishment, primarily for the Scottish Establishment. That remains the same whether it’s Labour or SNP in power.

      For example, reform of the law on psychiatric injury eg Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being a victim of wrongdoing or negligence. Consultation by the Scottish Law Commission 2004. TEN YEARS later a Draft Bill for consultation.

      A prime concern: insurance companies might have to pay out more compensation, if the law made it easier to prove injury and claim compensation.

    138. disgruntledinedin says:

      So Wales have accepted a poison chalice, well done Labour.

    139. K1 says:

      Be prepared for the English nationalism jingoistic pish to be turned up to full volume after Jones’ removal makes way for Wales to bend over…and for Scotland to be monstered relentlessly….we’re in for a bumpy ride…already started.

      Well done our government and especially Mike Russel for exquisitely telling them to shove it up their arses….7 years? GTFTLOT

    140. Still Positive says:

      K1 @12.27 Totally agree.

      Mike Russell should be the SNP voice on the BBC as he is English as well as being a calm and unflappable voice for Scotland.

    141. Dr Jim says:

      According to new rewritten history Prima Noctae never happened it’s all a myth, yes they say it was a thing but it really wasn’t, that’s why there’s a name for a thing they never did eh

      Today we heard from Mike Russell about the English new version of Prima Noctae

    142. K1 says:

      Quite so Still Positive.

    143. Still Positive says:

      What is Prima Noctae?

    144. geeo says:

      @northern rock.

      You do realise Polls are flawed, in that they are almost always commissioned by anti indy media and are designed to drive the narrative that nobody wants indy ?

      If say, the Express, decided to commission a Poll on indy voting intentions, and that poll returned 65% Yes.

      What do you think would occur next ?

      1. The Express runs banner headline next day saying

      “65% YES”!!!!!.

      “Indy all but certain in massive indy poll boost for SNP”


      2. Poll ? What poll ?

      If you even have to think about that, you are off your meds (not YOU particularly, the general ‘you’).

    145. Liz g says:

      Still Positive @ 1.13
      Prima Noctae is latin for First Night.
      It’s ment to be the right of the right of the Overlord of an area to spend the first night with any new bride,in the district he controlled.
      Don’t know if it was just an English thing,or if it was more side spread than that?
      Anyhoo… The story goes that,that’s why William Wallace ( that wan,no oors) married in secret.

    146. Liz g says:

      Duh. *Wide* spread no side spread.
      Ma spell check is insane!!

    147. Macart says:

      You know, you expect betrayal from the Conservative party. You expect that they will attempt to roll back devolution and declaw Scotland’s parliament. They kinda make no secret of their intent. They never wanted devolution (it’s also in their name Conservative and unionist, duh). They don’t believe in it and fought against it from the get go. That they’d deny Scotland’s population any kind of self determination over their own affairs therefore comes as no shock. Indeed, you sometimes wonder why they choose to stand for any office in Scotland’s parliament at all. Their single constitutional aim seemingly appears to be the eradication of that parliament’s existence. (shrugs)

      This however from Neil Findlay, Labour’s Brexit spokesman: “Reports that a deal was on the table, only to be vetoed by Nicola Sturgeon, would be a betrayal of the Scottish Parliament’s good faith.

      “The fact the Government of Wales has reached an agreement but the Scottish Government has not is a real concern.

      “It would be wrong for the SNP Government to play politics with devolution in order to further their goal of independence.”

      This would be the Labour of Dewar and Smith, yes?The Labour who never tire of telling any who would care to listen, that ‘they’ delivered devolution to the people of Scotland (all on their own and with no help from adults or anything).

      This would be the Labour, currently under the franchise leadership of Mr Leonard, who are once again flogging the dead horse of federalism? A Labour that endlessly assured Scotland’s electorate that devolution was a journey…. That Labour.

      Mibbies just me, but I’d say it’s time for THAT Labour to shit or get off the pot. Right now the only parties standing up for THEIR devolution settlement (and it is THEIR settlement, yes?) are apparently parties dedicated to a different and markedly more empowering constitutional choice.

      If the SNP, Greens and their support within the YES movement were anywhere near the people they are often touted to be by unionists and their media, you better believe defending Labour’s devolution settlement wouldn’t be the top of their to do list.

      But They’re not and as a movement we’re not the undemocratic clone army we’re often portrayed as. The Scottish government IS doing its duty as the mandated government of Scotland’s parliament and electorate and they are seeking to protect that parliament and the devolution settlement brokered by Labour politicians. They ARE doing as they were instructed over three and a half years ago by Scotland’s electorate and in a further two national ballots since.

      They’re protecting the interests of the peoples of Scotland using the powers of a devolved government.

      Labour really, REALLY, need to choose their next course very carefully. Who do they choose to back when push comes to shove? Their party? A Conservative government and Brexit they KNOW will be catastrophic for Scotland? Or the peoples of Scotland.

      Their choice of course, but were I them? I’d maybe take a moment to consider their fortunes from the last time they had such a choice to make.

    148. Dr Jim says:

      When push comes to shove Labour will back the Tories because their hatred of the SNP outweighs any loyalty to Scotland

      Scotland could be threatened with the atom bomb being dropped if the Tories stayed in power but if it meant getting rid of the SNP Labour would say yes drop it

    149. Graeme McAllan says:

      “Hysterical insignificance” is the same way I regard the arrival of a new inbreed leech – privileged pompous silver-spoon recipients continue to bleed the UK dry 🙁

    150. Kangaroo says:

      Breeks @8:33 with credit to geeo and thepnr too.

      Spot on my friend. The SG needs to make WM go to the trouble of going to court to overrule the Continuity Bill.

      The Scottish electorate need to see the English establishment for what they are.

      NO COMPROMISE force the issue.

    151. yesindyref2 says:

      “Sunset clauses” were talked about weeks ago so the UK Government has made no concessions at all, nada, zip, zilch. And yet with Carwyn out of the way, Welsh Labour have cravenly folded. I hope Scottish Labour have sphericals and stick to their current policy of protecting devolution.

    152. yesindyref2 says:

      That’s what it’s all about though, Atlantic Bridge and the 51st state.

      Guest appearance by Theresa May: “Donald, could you take me by the hand and lead me through the streets of London?”.

    153. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rock says: 24 April, 2018 at 8:30 pm:

      ““They all profess to support independence. We must have it. We must have it (tomorrow?).””

      Rock – The biggest MF 8700 S in the Massey Ferguson range:-

    154. Robert Peffers says:

      @Still Positive says: 25 April, 2018 at 12:43 am:

      “K1 @12.27 Totally agree.
      Mike Russell should be the SNP voice on the BBC as he is English as well as being a calm and unflappable voice for Scotland.”

      The problem with that is that the SNP do not choose who is invited to be a guest on the BBC a.k.a. “The Voice of America Westminster”.

    155. Macart says:

      @Dr Jim 2.50am

      That’d be my first thought too on the matter. How and ever, I believe it should be made absolutely crystal clear to people that they always had a choice. That what they do, they do for themselves and for their own reasons.

      Maybe one day we’ll be surprised and they’ll do the right thing (even by accident). It’d be good to see a return to community politics instead of endless and mindless tribal hatred. The cost for the population has been too high and I’m hoping the younger folk coming through Labour’s rank and file can see this.

      Either way, they have a choice. They sided with the Tories four times in national ballots in a near four year period. They have been betrayed four times and have gone from the first party of Scottish politics, to an ignominious third. Their mindless hatred has cost them dearly.

    156. Ken500 says:

      The unionists have depopulated Scotland for years. The Tories unionists have ruined the fishing industry and the Oil industry. Taken £Billions illegally from Scotland. Now want 7 years to ruin the rest. Do not let them. Vote against it. 1/2million did not bother and let the Tories in. Vote Tory to be unemployed. Vote Tory to die younger.

      Vote SNP/SNP. Vote for Independence. For a better, more equal prosperous Scotland.

    157. sassenach says:

      Macart @2-30am

      Exactly, agree with every word – Labour, pfft, a bunch of losers (of the MF kind)!

    158. Ken500 says:

      Google could have slashed £500K taxpayers bill by paying their taxes.

      Ditto Facebook and the rest. Microsoft illegal practices.

    159. Smallaxe says:

      This may be upsetting for Yoons: (I hope)
      Third Glasgow Gaelic School.
      Treas Sgoil Ghàidhlig ann an Glaschu;

      You have to see these two intros side by side;

      Scotland, Northern Ireland and Brexit;

    160. Smallaxe says:

      Pete Wishart: The Worst Type of Defeat;

      An inconvenient book? Read Miles Goslett on the death of David Kelly – not Aaronovitch’s caricature;

      MEPs not reassured on UK’s post-Brexit system for registering EU nationals;

    161. Ken500 says:

      Get rid of Labour. Take the fight to the Tories. The SNP will win.

      Especially if some folk get out and vote.

    162. Smallaxe says:

      Commonwealth immigration:

      Immigration scandal expected to spread beyond Windrush group;

      ‘I felt like dirt’: disabled Canadian woman told to leave UK after 44 years;

      Brexit blamed as record number of EU nurses give up on Britain;

    163. Robert Peffers says:

      @Still Positive says: 25 April, 2018 at 1:13 am:

      “What is Prima Noctae?

      The Scottish Version of, “Prima Nocta?

    164. Robert Peffers says:

      @Liz g says: 25 April, 2018 at 1:28 am:

      “Don’t know if it was just an English thing,or if it was more side spread than that?”

      Yes Prima Nocta not only was more widespread back then but there are modern times examples still practiced today.

      I read about this a while back as being factual in, if memory serves, Zaire in modern times. Apparently it was considered a great honour to the families of the woman to be chosen to be bedded by the dictator.

      Like many other such practices there is little written legal proofs but in a rule of law where a sovereign ruler’s word was law that ruler could do exactly as he/she wished and as it was supposedly that he/she was God’s chosen ruler and the people were very superstitious and illiterate who was going to record such evil practices.

      It is, however, mentioned in very early literary works, even right back to ancient Greece.

    165. call me dave says:

      “But..but..Wales” says Tompkins and Shortbread radio and our expert Big Brian. 🙂

      Thank goodness for the SG through M. Russel.

      Also Jean Freeman who is now putting shortbread right on the new benefits system.

      Who do you trust? I know who I trust.

    166. Archbishop of Dork says:

      English Tories demand devo powers. Welsh Labourites meekly surrender it.

    167. Scott says:

      I don’t know what others think but Westminster are always very ready to condemn Russia over Crimea & Ukraine as far as I am concerned the Tories are doing the same to Scotland but in a more subtle way ably supported by the other Union shower.
      If the people in Scotland can’t see that they are going to be shafted well as the saying goes hell mend them.What we need is a pirate radio station and a big lottery winner to set up a paper telling the truth.
      As for GMS they are just s***e.

    168. Sinky says:

      Radio shortbread still pushing Cambridge Analytica smear and even ask Tory Tompkins for his view on the SNP dealings rather than UK Tory connections or Scotland in Union dealings or Mr Cook’s DUP money laundering.

    169. `Scottish Questions` pre PMQ`s at Westminster,

      basically gives MP`s from both sides of the border a chance to misinform and discredit SNP/Scotland,

      the anti-Scot chorus is led by establishment lap dog Mundell with Ruth`s dirty dozen singing dutifully along,

      and red tory`s Sweeney/Murray usually piping in with some mad nonsense.

    170. Luigi says:

      I was bamboozled by the decision of the Welsh parliament to throw in the towel on their Continuity Bill.

      Completely puzzled.

      And then a light came on. I remembered:

      Labour are running the show down there.


    171. Capitulation? No thanks. When the S.N.P consultant described C.A as “snake oil salesmen”, it could well have been used to describe the present Westminster Government. In fact, you can lump in the Labour and LibDems parties in the same assessment.
      Our problem is the same as it has always been. A British Establishment supporting media, willingly aided and abetted by their fifth columnists in our midst, who will quite literally do, or say anything, to try to convince the waverers to vote No to Scottish Independence in the now inevitable IndyRef2.
      The latest confidence trick by the Conservatives must be rejected out of hand, and once the full Brexit proposals are known, I believe in October, a second independence referendum must be called. And it should take place before the 29th, March, 2019.
      To quote a great American, “If we don’t hang together, we will undoubtedly hang separately”.
      The British Unionists will, if given the chance, emasculate the Scottish Parliament, and the latest attempt to remove powers from it, is merely the first salvo in a battle which we must win, because if we don’t, then we really will be relegated to a region of Britain. And the dream of an independent Scotland will become just that, a dream.

    172. Breeks says:

      “Sturgeon left fighting lone battle over EU Brexit deal…” says the ex Press.

      Yeah but not really a “lone” battle when there are 27 EU States eager for Scotland to give Brexit a proper punch on the nose.

      It’s not really an EU Brexit deal either now is it? It’s more a “petty act of UK subjugation rejected” kind of deal.

      Difficult day to be Welsh though. My condolences to the patriots betrayed by Labour.

      Welsh style Constitutional reform turns the UK from two countries, a principality and a province into two countries, a province and a door mat.

    173. Smallaxe says:

      5 hrs ago
      SNP stands alone as Theresa May puts final offer on Brexit on the table;

    174. wull says:

      I don’t think it’s really right to describe Mike Russell as English. I might be wrong, but I am pretty sure he was born in England of Scottish parents, who were working and living down there at the time. Unless I am mistaken, they moved back to Ayrshire while Mike Russell was still quite a young child.

      I think Ayrshire is where his family originally came from, and he was brought up in Troon, or thereabouts. His father may have been a teacher, indeed a headmaster at one point, somewhere in Ayrshire but not actually in Troon.

      I can’t swear by the above information. Maybe someone else knows more? Whatever the case, Mike Russell certainly speaks with a Scottish accent, and thinks with a Scottish mind. I am sure he would agree that he was ‘born in England’, but I doubt very much that he would consider that that makes him ‘English’. Born in England to Scottish parents (or at least one Scottish parent) and brought up in Troon – that’s more like it. The last time I looked, Troon’s in Scotland.

      Mike Russell is not a ‘blood and soil nationalist’ – he’s an intelligent, thinking Scot. And he’s as Scottish as can be …

    175. Fred says:

      Morning Smallaxe, Labour have thrown in the towel in the Welsh corner but the Welsh did vote for Brexit anyhow!

    176. jfngw says:

      Hope everyone herd this hubris on BBC Newsnight from Evan Davis

      “If anyone wants the truth, you can watch the BBC, read the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times- you will know what you’re getting. You don’t have to look at unsourced rubbish on the internet.”

      Almost fell off chair laughing.

    177. galamcennalath says:

      From Guardian website. David Davis being quizzed …

      ” Q: Negotiations on a treaty for the trade deal will spill over into the transition, won’t they?

      Davis says he does not accept that. … He says it is not the government’s intention to allow the trade negotiations to spill over into the transition.He says he wants the political agreement on trade in the autumn to be very detailed. It should be possible to turn that into a treaty within six months, he says. “

      Trade deal by Autumn and Treaty by Brexit? Astonishing optimism! Frankly I don’t believe it at all.

      However, on the off chance it is actually true, that would mean clarity on what a Brexit UK would be like will be known soon. If it falls short of single market then that should be unacceptable to Scotland.

      As I say, I don’t actually think it will work out like that!

    178. Archbishop of Dork says:

      In 1997 Scotland voted 75% to 25% for a parliament in Edinburgh.

      The ballot paper asked if we wanted a Scottish Parliament: Yes or No?

      Did we want said Parliament to have tax varying powers: Yes or No?

      Just two questions.

      There was no third question that asked if we agreed that any future UK Government could undermine the devolution settlement if it took a fancy to doing so.

    179. galamcennalath says:

      jfngw says:

      ” If anyone wants the truth, you can watch the BBC, read the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times- you will know what you’re getting. You don’t have to look at unsourced rubbish on the internet.”

      Eh, he’s well off the mark there!

      “If anyone wants the truth, have a look at the internet – you will know what you’re getting. You don’t have to look at unsourced rubbish on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times.

      There, sorted that out. 😉

    180. Archbishop of Dork says:

      The Welsh FM might now be known in his hometown of Bridgend as Jones the sell-out.

    181. jfngw says:

      I have to agree the SNP are under pressure to accept the power grab, this pressure is from the BBC, STV, nearly all the print media plus the UK Conservatives(Scotland) and no doubt soon UK Labour(Scotland).

      I’m beginning to think that CA are still working for the Tories, why else this slow drip of negative SNP stories from them. Most companies exposed as they have been would go for a low profile, but they come out targetting the SNP and their real misdemeanours conveniently disappear from the headlines.

    182. gus1940 says:

      Re the statements above about Mike Russell being English – having the misfortune to be born in England does not make one English.

      I refer to the old chestnut of being born in a stable does not make one a horse.

    183. auld highlander says:

      if you want blatant propaganda watch the bbc.

      if you want the truth don’t watch the bbc.

    184. galamcennalath says:

      Archbishop of Dork says:

      In 1997 Scotland voted 75% to 25% for a parliament in Edinburgh.

      We did indeed. The precise format was to place a cross against “I agree there should be a Scottish Parliament”, plus a disagree statement and similar for tax.

      The one thing we must never ever forget is that the Tories opposed the whole idea. They didn’t want it then, they almost certainly still don’t want Holyrood. It is a serious hindrance to a one nation UK, where they perceive that nation to be in the image of England.

      Almost paradoxically, this is evidence that the Tories are not Unionists – they don’t want a union of cooperating partners. They want all of these Isles to be sucked into a Greater England ruled absolutely from London.

    185. gus1940 says:

      Re the ongoing Brexit/NI Problem it wouid be interesting if some organisation could pluck up the courage to commission a UK wide poll on the subject of A United Ireland with results broken down by region/country.

      I doubt if anybody would contemplate such a poll.

    186. galamcennalath says:


      Indeed. There are many Scots who weren’t born in Scotland. There are many people born in Scotland who aren’t Scots because they pretend to be something else!

    187. mike cassidy says:

      The slogan at the just finished Welsh Labour conference was

      Standing Up For Wales

      No wonder its easy to think we live in a post-satire age.

    188. Capella says:

      Hi Smallaxe re your link above to Opendemocracy – I’m half way through Miles Goslett’s “An Inconvenient Death” on the death of Dr David Kelly. A strange tale and mirrors a lot of the current warmongering e.g. lies spread by the British security services about Iraqui WMDs.

      BTW watched “Fair Game” on Prime last night. That centred on the lie that the Bristish secret service told about Iraq buying uranium from Niger. Exposed by Valerie Plame’s husband. Some will remember that she was then outed by the Whitehouse as a CIA agent.

      What a murky game the Westminster government plays, aided and abetted by the media.

      Heard the BBC GMS this morining still trying to smear the SNP with Cambridge Analytica lies. Very strong response from Mike Russell.

      Opendemocracy also has an article on Cambridge Analytica being hired by Scotland in Union. That is maybe one of the things they are all trying to hide, as Mike Russell hinted.

    189. Smallaxe says:

      Good morning, Fred,

      Sorry for the late reply but I was wandering about in O/T, it’s nice over there with some good music and it’s a place that trolls and yoons fear to tread.

    190. jfngw says:


      What do we call the Tories then – subjugationists.

    191. Faltdubh says:

      Always quite liked Chisholm. Was a bit disappointing that he didn’t vote Yes, but certainly sounds like he will in the next one – from everything he’s said since Brexit.

      And a Yes campaign will need genuine Labour MPs/voters, for us to get over the line. I think Henry McLeish will be in an endless back and forth frenzy between a potential Yes vote – like stuck in a shop and not knowing what to spend his last quid on.

      The media in our ‘country’ are an absolute joke. Well done to the SNP for standing tall with the Brexit Bill.

      The Journos in Britain for the most part, are a spineless bunch. I was listening to LBC (I think) and a caller came on talking about freedom of the press rankings and the UK has slipped from about 9th to 28th or so and cue the arrogance of ”even Latvia and Estonia are ahead of us”

      I believe Fiona Hyslop, Angus Robertson and Mike Russell were born in Scotland much like Alasdair Darling too and no doubt many more Scots MP/MSPs across the parties.I’m not sure how ‘English’ any of them are though as most seem to be of Scottish stock/grew up in Scotland.

    192. HandandShrimp says:

      Russell absolutely right to red line the 7 year power grab. If Jones wants to agree to that then that is up the Welsh Senedd but if Russell negotiates a better arrangement for Scotland then Labour will once again be left looking lacklustre…which I suppose the Tories might consider no bad thing from their point of view.

      If May’s position is “take it or leave it” then I am for leaving…full stop. We just go straight to Indyref2.

    193. Smallaxe says:

      Good morning, Capella,

      There are many things that we don’t know about ‘unexplained’ deaths (murders)allegedly perpetrated by the British security services. Maybe we’ll get a clearer view of these things when we achieve independence. I doubt it though.

    194. Ken500 says:

      Tell May to get lost. What a cheek. Wales voted for Brexit so they get what they want. There are even UKIP members in the Welsh assembly.

      Scotland voted for Devolution and and Remain. Cheated out of Independence by false promises and lies about remaining EU membership. Reneged upon. Scotland the only part of the UK that never gets what it votes for. On a political system illegally changed by unionist Parties. To give them unfair advantage.

      It is just disgusting. The Tory unionist mess. Chucking people out. Despicable.

    195. Archbishop of Dork says:

      Westminster Labour MP Carolyn Harris was elected a few days ago as the depute leader of Welsh Labour. She defeated the Assembly Member Julie Morgan by way of the Labour electoral college voting system.

      Harris won both the trade union and elected Labour officials sections of the vote by about 60% to 40%.
      Morgan won among rank and file Labour members by 65% to 35%. So Labour members had their clear choice thwarted by a skewed voting system.

      It’s obvious that to go with the power grab Labour wanted a Westminster MP and not a Senedd member for the job.

      The brit establishment hardly needs Tories to do their work when the Labour Party elites do it for them.

    196. Baldeagle58 says:

      Morning Smallaxe.

      You’re doing a wonderful job with the Links in Nana’s absence. Keep up the good work.

      How’s Nana doing anyway? Hope all’s well.

    197. Calum McKay says:

      Working with the Welsh Government was a high risk strategy that has detracted from Scotland’s cause.

      The Welsh Government is unionist to the core and the people of Wales voted for brexit.

      By all means let’s have good relations with Plaid and the people of Wales, but let’s not get ourselves into a position where we are seen to have common cause with the Welsh Government, a unionist construct to its core!

      No wonder Jones is standing down, how long will it be before he is decked in ermine?

    198. Capella says:

      better link to the Opendemocracy article on Cambridge Analytica:

      SiU deny hiring the firm but did have meetings, so why is the BBC not harassing them to “come clean”?

      British secret services are out of control. It makes a complete mockery of any pretence of democracy. In independence we will have to have protection from these organisations. In the referendum campaign, as now, we will be targetted. It’s what they do.

      So called “rule of law” means nothing except what the Westminster cabal say it means. We seem to have slid down a time warp back to the medieval era. Is it possible to clmber bk into the 21st C?

    199. Smallaxe says:

      Good morning, Baldeagle58,

      Thank you, Nana is resting for a while, she does a lot more in the background for our cause than many who read here know, she is in good spirits and enjoying the break. I will pass on your kind regards to her next time we talk, my friend.

    200. HandandShrimp says:


      I agree, I am gobsmacked by the smears and insinuations regarding CA and the SNP. Not a red cent passed hands and CA were not employed. SiU couldn’t afford CA but it is clear talks did take place. It is also clear that Tory linkages to CA run deep and yet I have not heard radio shortbread ping Ruth once on the subject.

      The SNP/CA thing appears to be deliberate deflection with the BBC complicit in protecting the Tories.

    201. louis.b.argyll says:

      Breeks- ‘Difficult day to be Welsh though. My condolences to the patriots betrayed by Labour.’

      I’ll add my condolences to the entire fair-minded UK population, endlessly undermined, assisted by Labour acting in collusion with the cult of Westminster, to maintain it’s Overlord status.

    202. Legerwood says:

      25 April, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Mr Russell was born in Kent, Scottish father English mother but brought up and educated in Scotland. He is a fluent Gaelic speaker.

      Someone else asked about:

      Angus Robertson was born in London – Scottish father, German mother. He grew up and was educated in Scotland. He speaks German fluently.

      Fiona Hyslop. Born in Scotland. Spent very early years in England then returned to Scotland where she attended Alloway Primary school then Ayr Academy

    203. Les Wilson says:

      The decision of the Welsh labour government in deciding to bend to Westminster over the Continuity Bill, smacks of labour deceit and disingenuous intentions in regards to the SNP position.

      Funny (not) how the BBC etal, are trying to portray the SNP as now isolated with utter glee. It all smells as a set up.

      Thankfully we have Nicola and Mike Russell unbending and fighting our corner. We cannot afford a period of 7 years where they will be in total charge of what is to happen or not, across very important Scottish issues.

      Wales has accepted this, so they will now lose what is thought dear to the Welsh people.
      We will not do that, we will proceed, knowing 7 years or any years, of this kind of control will mean not only the lose of serious powers that are rightly ours, but the planned destruction of devolution and the Scottish Parliament itself.

      Westminster plans to fight us in the Supreme Court, which we must remember is a fairly recent Westminster construct. Whatever the outcome, it is a can of worms for them and so it should be. For their precious “union” is at stake.
      The outcome is likely to go with Westminster as that is their required outcome and the judges will assist in that, in some mealy mouth way.

      Then Scotland really needs get going, or we are done for.
      We have so much evidence now of how the deceivers work, we must throw it all. No more talking to Westminster, they will give us nothing of value.

    204. orri says:

      Take the “offer” of only keeping powers for up to 7 years as an admission that they belong at Holyrood.

      Also take it as read that there’s a genuine fear at Westminster that they’re on to a humping at the Supreme Court even if the case goes against Holyrood. Either it becomes official that the fundamental principle of popular sovereignty in Scots Law is being ignored or overturned or that it holds.

    205. louis.b.argyll says:

      The UK Government will attempt to turn Holyrood into a London sized local authority assembly.

      Their long game is utterly predictable.

    206. Smallaxe says:

      Smallaxe, born in Scotland, Mother and father both Scottish, the family can be traced back to the Kings of Galloway. Speaks Scottish, English, Rubbish, Gibberish and Obscene fluently.

    207. Liz g says:

      Mibbi Scottish Government should announce a “SNAP” consultative referendum.
      The question on the ballot.
      Do you agree that Westminster should keep Holyroods main Devolved powers for a time after Brexit?

      This is within Holyroods remit,and would settle the issue..

      A. By giving clarity to any court about the Sovereign will of the Scottish people,potentially removing that courts ability to judge it only a political issue.

      B. Give a clear instruction to Holyrood to keep its powers.

      C. Get the issues before the people despite the media.

      D. Put Adam Tompkins mind at ease??

    208. HandandShrimp says:

      In an age where a bearded weigh lifter can say I am a girl dontcha know and that expression of identity is considered valid* then I see little point in debating about where people are born. If someone identifies as Scottish then who am I to gainsay their identity. We are a broad church or public hall or whatever.

      *I don’t necessarily understand this but it does not upset or impact on me so I am neutral on the matter.

    209. louis.b.argyll says:

      Fluent jibberish- with fake outrage.

      OxBridge’s favourite post-grad qualification.

      Guaranteed safe seat or index-linked for life, for those willing to go the extra mile to hide the truth.

    210. Glamaig says:

      Les Wilson says:
      25 April, 2018 at 11:10 am

      ‘the BBC etal, are trying to portray the SNP as now isolated with utter glee’

      GMS this morning was a masterclass in propaganda. Did not mention the cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament (although that may not last).

      Not only that, they were trying to personalise the issue by attempting to drive a wedge between Russell and Sturgeon, implying that the FM forced Russell to refuse the ‘offer’.

    211. Dr Jim says:

      “Isolated” is it, I’ll give them isolated


    212. mike cassidy says:

      Calum McKay 10.47

      “Working with the Welsh Government was a high risk strategy that has detracted from Scotland’s cause.”

      Methinks Nicola Sturgeon et al were well aware of the likely betrayal of Wales and the consequent BBC bullshit.

      Now they can highlight the issue as a “Scotland v Westminster” moment.

      And that is always grist to the independence mill.

    213. Luigi says:

      Don’t worry about Mrs Mayhem and her “Take it or leave it” drama.

      She is about to get a tase of her own medicine from Europe.
      “Take it or leave it, Mrs Brexit!”.

      Ain’t karma a fine thing. 🙂

    214. Jack Murphy says:

      wull began his piece last night at 10:04pm:

      “Excellent speech by Mike Russell. Totally reasonable. Perfectly argued. Not the slightest whiff or hint of anything hysterical or even emotional; no appeal to any baser instincts, and no attempt to be brilliant or clever or witty. No pandering to any mob, no cheap jibe, no knockabout Westminster-style over-jokey humour to divert or distract anyone from the actual issues and straightforward realities of the situation…”

      For readers here who may have missed it,the Archived TV Copy is available to view on the Scottish Parliament TV News and Media Centre:

    215. Dan Huil says:

      So, Westminster digs its stilettos in the ground and says “no more” to Scotland. They know Scotland will not vote for the so-called united kingdom’s withdrawal bill, even after cowardly Labour types have changed their position, again.

      So why is Westminster doing this? To deliberately force a constitutional crisis? Why do they think that will benefit their so-called precious united kingdom? Have they swallowed their own propaganda, as espoused by Davidson, Mundell and the Britnat media in Scotland, that Scots are in no mood for a fight?

      I hope so.

      Never mind yer popcorn, get in twenty crates of beer, a crate of whisky and a gross of Gregg’s tattie an beans pies.

    216. Archbishop of Dork says:

      Doesn’t look like there’s anything in World News sections of foreign newspapers about the May government’s stand off with the Scottish Government.

      But then their London Bureaus will just have followed the unionist line that it’s only a wee row about powers between Westminster and McLincolnshire County Council.

    217. Smallaxe says:

      St Andrews ranked among UK’s top five universities;

      Scottish Covenanters dancing for indy as new group starts;

      Leaked documents have revealed an ‘acute crisis’ for millions of disabled people;

    218. Smallaxe says:

      No deal on Brexit will be disastrous for food and drink industry, say MPs;

      Dear Smallaxe,- that’s me 🙂
      This week, the House of Lords voted by a majority of 71 to keep the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after the UK leaves the European Union.

      It is just one of the People’s Clause amendments you’ve been writing to your MPs about. The Charter protects important rights that are not covered elsewhere in UK law.

      The Lords have sent a clear message to the Government – you can’t use Brexit to take away people’s rights.

      The Government promised the Withdrawal Bill would be a simple “copy and paste exercise”. They broke this promise when they decided not to include the Charter and other fundamental rights.

      Thanks to your constant support, we’ve sent a clear signal to the Government that the Charter and laws protecting our fundamental rights should be retained in UK law after Brexit.

      In more good news, the Lords also voted by a majority of 57 to keep rights of action based on the general principles of EU law – including those on non-discrimination and equal treatment – after Brexit, too. This means that if these rights are infringed by a domestic law, a judge can strike it down. Just last year the general principles helped Liberty client John Walker ensure equal pension rights for same-sex couples.

      Thanks to all of you for your support in helping ensure our fundamental rights are protected after Brexit.

      Best wishes,

      George Wilson
      EU Law & Policy Specialist

    219. Bill Hume says:

      I didn’t know Greggs made tattie an bean pies… I’m hungry.

      Still, I would urge all in the independence movement NOT to stock up on popcorn etc. We need to be out on the streets, spreading the message. Get wearing your Yes badges, get the stickers back on your cars and get talking to people.
      We can’t control the press or the BBC, but we have the advantage of being able to put many more ‘feet on the street’ than the unionists can.

    220. Tam the Bam. says:


      wastemonster: Scottish Questions

      Oh how we miss our big hitters i.e. Messrs Robertson,Salmond etc.,

      p.s. Wish we heard more from Stuart Hosie.

    221. galamcennalath says:

      Luigi says

      “Take it or leave it, Mrs Brexit!”.


      There is absolutely no evidence that anything of significance with Brexit, where the UK wanted something different from the EU, has ever been agreed.

      The EU’s position has been clear, logical, consistent, and open … from what I see. The Divorce Treaty is basically what the EU have always wanted. The outstanding issue of Ireland is the UK’s problem, but must be dealt with in a manner acceptable to the EU for things to progress. The response to UK ideas has been ‘stop talking bollocks’ !

      The UK’s red lines define which of the EU Trade Packages is available. At the moment that is ‘Canada’. Should the UK drop some red lines, other Packages become available.

      High level diplomacy? Seems to me more like choosing a meal in Nando’s! You insist on Veggie? Then you have this. Beef? Then we have that. Otherwise, it’s chicken. “Take it of leave it!”

      And with the Tories, “leave it” and walk away is a genuine option.

    222. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I was talking the other night to a very close relative who told me that while sitting in a cafe in London with partner a rather agitated tall gentleman not of British extraction sat down at the next table. He looked flustered and troubled, so much so that my relative, who recognised him in some media context, asked him if he was OK .
      He struggled to reply but eventually admitted that he was indeed distressed. He had just been at a BBC/Home Office meeting where it was disclosed that the Home office was drawing up plans to force many of the West Indian population (the Windrush generation) to return to the Caribbean but that this was not to appear on the BBC agenda under any circumstance.
      This was when TMay was Home Sec

    223. This so called Supreme Court should have no say in Scotland’s affairs if this is an equal Union then English law or should I say made up law as you go along cannot be imposed on Scotland this so called was brought in by Tony Blair to over rule the will of the Scottish people when he could not win it with a democratic vote so Scotland should refuse to recognise his phoney court

    224. Dan Huil says:

      In case you didnae see it:

      “A prominent campaign against Scottish independence, Scotland in Union, had talks with the controversial data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, openDemocracy can reveal.

      William Ramsay, deputy chair of Scotland in Union, boasted to diners at an exclusive fundraising dinner in London last year that the pro-union group had been in talks with Cambridge Analytica.

      Ramsay also said that Cambridge Analytica had told him about the Scottish National Party’s “army of supporters” and “sophisticated database” and joked about hacking SNP data.

      Ramsay made the comments last November during a Scotland in Union fundraising dinner in the Caledonian club in London’s upmarket Belgravia. The £150 a head event was attended by a number of key Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat figures, including former Scottish deputy first minister Jim Wallace, Labour peer George Foulkes, and Jacob Rees Mogg’s wife, Helena.

      During a speech after the dinner, Ramsay said: “The SNP have an army of supporters, and a sophisticated database – I know that from speaking to Cambridge Analytica the other day, who are not working for them, thank goodness.”

      Speaking to an undercover openDemocracy reporter after his speech at the Scotland in Union fundraising dinner, Ramsay confirmed that Scotland in Union was in talks with the group, but was unsure whether they would be able to afford to employ the firm. However, he later said in a phone call that his organisation had decided not to use Cambridge Analytica because of the controversy around the firm’s use of data in both the US and the UK.

      But Ramsay said that Scotland in Union was interested in data analytics and even joked about hiring “a hacker to get into the SNP’s data.”

      Ruth Davidson has lent her support to Scotland in Union, and was one of dozens of MSPs that signed the pro-union groups ‘charter’ ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.”

    225. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says: 25 April, 2018 at 9:13 am:

      “And then a light came on. I remembered:
      Labour are running the show down there.

      No, Luigi, you are still not getting it – and the Westminster Establishment are in no way going to correct you.

      I’ve been preaching it on Wings for a very long time.

      Wales is already legally, (since 1284 and the Statute of Rhuddlan), an integral part of the Kingdom of England.

      N.I. is also an integral part of the Kingdom of England since the Old Irish Kingdom of Ireland Parliament was forced by the then Lord Of Ireland, (The Monarch of the Kingdom of England), to pass the Crown of Ireland Act of 1542. Then came the partition of Ireland and the, (so called), “Anglo-Irish Treaty of Union”, of 1800/1.

      So called because it was neither a Treaty nor a Union. Quite the reverse in fact. It was officially and legally titled, “The Articles of Agreement between, “The Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and representatives of the Irish Republic”. That is it was an agreement that Southern Ireland would be a Republic and that left only the Province of Northern Ireland as still part of the Kingdom of Ireland annexed by the Kingdom of England.

      It did NOT create a new Kingdom of Ireland. The only real effect was to change the name of the then bipartite united kingdoms of Scotland and England to be renamed as, “The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

      Only Westminster could get away with brainwashing the World to believe that the then, “United Kingdom of Great Britain”, (that was losing the southern part of Ireland ), was actually, “A Treaty of Union”, when it was an agreement for the then UK dominion of, “The Irish Free State”, declaring itself an independent republic.

      So there you go, Luigi. Wales is legally an integral part of the Kingdom of England and the whole concept that the United Kingdom is other than a two partner United Kingdom with the only two partners being the kingdoms of Scotland & England is a big propaganda lie.

      So, when the chips finally get before the Westminster illegally instigated Supreme Court, the Welsh case would have failed as the United Kingdom is not actually a four country setup but Scotland’s case is that Scotland and England are equally the only two sovereign Kingdom partners it factually true.

      So just how the Supreme Court will judge this to look like The Treaty of Union actually renamed the Kingdom of England as the United Kingdom and, “Extinguished”, the Kingdom of Scotland will be the crux of the matter.

      Wales was always going to lose their claim as they have legally been under English rule since The Statute of Rhuddlan and N.I. lose their case as the so called Treaty of Union of 1800/1 was never a treaty of union but Scotland has the Treaty of Union of 1707 and what that treaty says is that the United Kingdom is a two kingdom partnership.

      So just how this plays out can only go two legal ways. Either the Supreme Court rules correctly that Scotland is an equally sovereign kingdom partner, (and the Union is over), or they rule the Kingdom of England is also the United Kingdom and The Kingdom of Scotland is over – but who knows what exotic legal bullshit they will invent and claim they have, Sovereign right to do so.

      Have you bought your shares in a pop-corn company yet, Luigi?

    226. Welsh Sion says:

      Thank you to those offering your “condolences” regarding “Welsh” Labour’s betrayal. And, yes, the majority of my compatriots voyed for Brexit – a fact that I personally despair of. Carwyn and his cronies does not speak for me, as a committed European and Nationalist.

      I enclose the latest from Leanne to us Plaid Cymru Members. (If you require further links, please ask).


      Dear Friend,

      As you may be aware, Plaid Cymru has worked with the Welsh Government in good faith to protect Wales from the Tory Westminster government’s attempted power-grab. Steffan Lewis worked to strengthen the Welsh position on Brexit. Steffan also proposed the Welsh Continuity Bill to protect our devolution settlement, which was passed by the Assembly.

      Since the beginning of devolution we have worked with others to strengthen and improve our constitutional settlement. I believed that by co-authoring the Securing Wales’ Future white paper with us and voting to support our Continuity Bill, Labour in Wales had understood the threat to Wales and the undermining of our powers that Brexit brings. This latest development shows to me that they either don’t understand that threat or are not concerned about it. That is why it is vital that we resist any attempts through the Brexit process to weaken our Assembly. We warned in the 2017 election of the need to defend Wales. This debacle shows why.

      When the news broke yesterday that the Labour administration had lost its nerve and caved in to Tory demands, you could feel the anger and disappointment on the Plaid Cymru benches.

      Labour have agreed to allow Westminster to legislate in areas devolved to Wales for the first time in 19 years. They had no mandate to give away powers that people voted for in two referendums. We have deep concerns about what the Tories have planned for the policy areas over which they have now taken control. These are wide-ranging and include fields such as agriculture, environmental protection and animal welfare. Click here to read the full statement I issued yesterday.

      Last night I wrote to Mark Drakeford, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for leading the negotiations on behalf of the Welsh Government with the UK Government, to demand an explanation for this capitulation. You can read the letter by clicking here. This afternoon in the Assembly Chamber AMs will have an opportunity to question him. You can watch this live on at around 4pm.

      I want you to know that this isn’t over. Plaid Cymru will do everything in our power to protect the integrity of the Welsh constitution. We will not allow the Tories in Westminster to ride roughshod over the democratic rights of the people of Wales. We will not allow Labour to get away with standing idly by either. If you would like to support us in our work, click here to join the Party of Wales. We need as many voices as possible on our side as we work to protect Wales from a disastrous Tory-led Brexit.

      Yours sincerely,

      Leader of Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales

    227. Dr Jim says:

      A man came to my door this morning offering to clean my windows but I determined he was a cowboy window cleaner and refused his offer of service

      How do I stand on transparency with this, do I have to inform somebody that I didn’t do something wrong by not employing somebody I felt was dodgy

      Worried pensioner Bishopbriggs

    228. Robert Kerr says:


      Let’s think outside the nine dots…

      CA and others can profile individuals as to political leanings.

      Their dataset is sufficiently large and can be filtered to select a “random” sample for pollsters to use to obtain ANY desired result.

      No need to wonder as to the “Polls” not moving for Indi.

      As an aside I almost gave up with WoS due to trolling. I am happy that there has been a cleansing and the BTL is worth while again.

    229. Robin says:

      Carwyn Jones opens the front door to the Welsh Parliament and tells the English Tory thieves to help themselves.

      Jones is your typical Red Tory patsy who will have been assured of a seat in the House of Lords for his cooperation.

      Watch this space.

    230. galamcennalath says:

      I know negotiations have to be carried out by established rules and procedures. However it would give considerable clarity for all involved if the Scottish Government were to put on record and make a simple statement regarding all their dealings with Westminster… “we don’t trust you”!

    231. Ken500 says:

      The Herald is knowlingly printing absolute lies about the SNP and Cambridge Analytica. It is appalling. A disgrace. An insult to all the campaigners who legitimately went door to door. Or manned stalls legitimately collecting data, addresses etc freely given knowingly for what purpose.

      These lazy incompetent reporters deserve to lead to their own demise. An Insult.

      The new editor of the Express condemns the former headlines as racist and bigoted.

    232. Gary45% says:

      Carwyn WHO???
      Typical Labour.

    233. Ken500 says:

      Wales voted for Brexit. They are getting what they wanted,

      Scotland did not. Scotland did not vote for the Tories. Scotland is the only part of the UK that never gets for what it votes.

      Depopulated by Westminster unionist policies. £Billions of resources illegally taken and misused.

      Illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. IndyRef lies and misrepresentation. Now they think they can take away powers from Scotland. Despite promises made more powers would come to Scotland. The Vow reneged upon. It is just disgraceful. People who did not vote deserve all they get. Nothing. People who voted NO get nothing.

      Democracy in Scotland being thwarted once again by unionists.

    234. Ken500 says:

      People can live in Wales and work in London. Commute. Wales is underfunded by Westminster but it’s proximate to London S/E can benefit.

    235. Robert Peffers says:

      @wull says: 25 April, 2018 at 9:40 am:

      “I don’t think it’s really right to describe Mike Russell as English.”

      It doesn’t matter where anyone is born, wull. The only people that assume place of birth sets the person’s nationality were the sports running organisations and that kind of thing started in the British Isles for what they claimed to be, “Internationals”.

      However, this was in a, “United Kingdom”, that not only insists it is a single United Kingdom, one whole country and one nation while also claiming to be the British this, that and the other thing. It is legally a two Kingdom partnership that contains four countries, four nations and is only the United Kingdom parts of Britain.

      You choose your country and you choose your nation and it has little to do with where you were born. You may remember two of the finest centre forwards that ever graced British football, Joe & Jerry Baker. Neither of the brothers played for Scotland in internationals. Joe was born in England where his father was a serving naval officer and Jerry was born in the United States of America.

      To the best of my knowledge Joe was the only Scotsman to be capped for the English national football team.

      Joe was 100% Scottish – may he rest in peace:-

    236. Smallaxe says:

      The Republic of Ireland, independent since 1919, has far fewer natural resources, a smaller landmass and a smaller population than Scotland but its GDP is 23% higher. Ireland’s state pension is 42% of the average male wage.

      Scotland’s in the U.K. is 29%
      Do you really believe that an independent Scotland can’t do at least as well as Ireland?

    237. Marcia says:

      Dr Jim 12.46

      If you are able to see out of your windows that is enough transparency.

      All these cooked up headlines and slanted reports do suggest that the British Establishment fear a 2nd Independence Referendum, they know it is coming.

    238. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Got this today (timing makes me even more cynical about Brexit Bill).

      “Thank you for participating in the House of Common Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC), public forum on the relationship between UK and Scottish institutions. The Committee has reviewed the responses to the forum and this has helped shape our understanding of the issues.”

      “As someone who participated in the forum, you might be interested to know that PACAC will be taking evidence from the Scottish Government and Scottish party leaders this coming Monday 30 April in Edinburgh.”

      “For details of the meeting please see our website, where a link to a live video feed of the meeting will be posted the morning of the session.”

      Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC)
      House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

    239. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Way things are lining-up, anyone professing to be an indy supporter must make every effort to be on that Glasgow march on May 5th.

      It’s probably the biggest opportunity we’ll get in 2018 to let these WM bastards know – loud and clear – that our parliament is not a negotiating chip, and that when we said No to Brexit we meant it.

      If you’ve been swithering about attending, please stop it – just tell yourself that you are going then set about making it happen. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you have transport or accomodation probs. That’s what social media is for!


    240. HandandShrimp says:

      Looking forward to the walk Ian. Hope the weather is kind to us.

      I see the route takes us down Union St again. I expect our friendly holocaust denier will be there with his choooms again 🙂

    241. Luigi says:

      Have you bought your shares in a pop-corn company yet, Luigi?

      Aye, Robert, but I’ll probably go out of business eating myself, the way the crumbling British establishment is carrying on. 🙂

      I well understand the uselessness of Labour in Wales, and your detailed explanation of the current sovereign (or non-sovereign) status of Wales.

      The thing that gets me, Robert, and it’s a real puzzle:

      If Welsh Labour knew this (or knew they were only in it for the popcorn), they why on earth did they pass a Continuity Bill (doomed to failure) in the first place? Did they know they were on a hiding to nothing?

      It’s a no-win situation for the British Labour Party in Wales now. The perception must now be that they have betrayed a large proportion of their own people.

      What game exactly are British Labour in wales playing? IMO they maybe got something but bad bad PR. PC must be licking their lips. 🙂

    242. Smallaxe says:

      Men’s state pension as a percentage of average wage.

      Portugal: 95%
      Italy: 93%
      Spain: 82%
      Iceland: 72%
      Greece: 54%
      Ireland: 42%
      Scotland: 29%

      Do you really think that Scotland, as a normal independent country and in full control of its own economy and its huge natural resources, can’t do at least as well?

      Figures slightly skewed because of the situation of WASPI women.

    243. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @HandandShrimp –


    244. Luigi says:


      Oh Dear. No chemical weapon agents found at “facility” bombed by US-UK-France axis. Two unexploded cruise missiles now on their way to Moscow for evaluation (and probably reverse engineering). Russians very happy to get their hands on them. Expert says just as well no chemicals found, as thousands would have died if nerve agent had been released by the explosions:

      Maybe bombing Syria wasn’t such a good idea.

    245. Smallaxe says:

      Ian Brotherhood,

      I’ll see you there, Ian and I hope that everybody else who can turn up will fill the streets with independence supporters and join all of us in showing our determination to free our beautiful Kingdom of Scotland.

      Ps look out for me, ah’m the wee guy wi’ the face.

    246. Archbishop of Dork says:

      Tory MP for Ochil & South Perthshire Luke Graham tweets that there is “widespread disappointment” that the SG hasn’t done what the Welsh did. Although he doesn’t give any evidence of where this disappointment is to be found. Among the community of Scottish Daily Mail buyers I suppose.

    247. Gary45% says:

      Archbishop of Dork@1.50.
      There is more chance of seeing a unicorn walking down Alva Main Street than seeing the current Tory “hide and seek contender” that is Luke Graham.

    248. purple thistle says:

      The Britnats will use all levers of psychological warfare at their disposal against Scotland and the people of Scotland to get their brexit and shut down Holyrood.

      It was never meant to be like this, with the SNP in charge, working for the people of Scotland, and even worse for the Britnats, digging their heels in to stop the UKGov from once again taking total advantage of a situation of their own making, to strangle Scotland and Scotland’s sovereignty.

      Scotland’s democracy as it has become, riles the Britnats into a rage to say the least.

      As Mike Russell pointed out to the British nationalists, sitting at Holyrood, if they don’t want devolution, why are they even in the chamber!

    249. Tam the Bam. says:

      Dan Huil … 12-39pm

    250. Tam the Bam. says:

      Sorry…don’t know what happened there.

      Dan Huil .. 12-39pm

      Yes I did see it Dan but unless many more people read this blog or Open Democracy…I doubt if many others will since I doubt our loyal yoon MSM will give it any coverage.

    251. Fred says:

      @ Smallaxe, will you be wearing that hat again for purposes of ID?

    252. Tam the Bam. says:

      Ian Brotherhood … 1-25pm

      Absolutely Ian…even talked my pal in a wheelchair to attend (I’m pushing of course!).

    253. Smallaxe says:

      Aye, Fred, don’t kick the hat, ah’m under it!

    254. K1 says:

      We’ll all meet at the Smallaxe stall 😉

    255. galamcennalath says:

      The Ex press …. “Nicola Sturgeon now ‘utterly isolated’ on Brexit “

      Nicola Sturgeon is First Minister of Scotland, head of the ruling party, head of government, has majority backing of the Scottish Parliament (returned by PR) on constitutional issues, represents the views of the majority of voters on Brexit, and is doing everything she does for the right reasons.

      In a Scottish context, exactly who is Theresa May? Prime Minister by a croaked first past the post system, head of a government propped up by the NI BritNat loony fringe, Hell bent on turning the UK into an isolated basket case, pursuant of immoral far right policies, and with absolutely no electoral mandate in Scotland.

      Who’s the isolated one?

    256. Colin Alexander says:

      Robert Peffers

      My expectation, based on previous observations, is that the Scot Govt will rely only on devolution terms in the Scotland Act.

      So, the SP will rely on the terms of that legislation, so the SP will rule that the Scot Parl is only branch office of WM Govt, so can be overruled anytime WM wants to overrule it.

      Such a ruling isn’t all bad. It would confirm that devolution is rubbish. That the Scot Govt is not a real govt of Scotland, only a branch office of WM Govt.

      We need, at the very least, a supreme parliament for Scotland, that cannot be overruled by anywhere else. We need our own “head office”.

      People may argue that’s a federal arrangement. It’s not.

      Even if Scotland remained in the Union, the Scottish Parliament would be sovereign. So, could veto or opt out of legislation that is not acceptable to Scotland. It could decide which powers it wants for Scotland and which it wants run by WM.

      Scotland could theoretically remain in Union with the rUK by mutual agreement and cooperation between WM and H’rood. This is similar to the devolution settlement Mike Russell is offering ( though in a devolution context): Working by mutual agreement, not one parliament dominating the other.

      I accept the reality is, WM will not accept anything less than WM political domination of Scotland. previous events prove that.

      In 2014, the SNP wanted indy-lite, in effect, a sovereign Scottish Parliament with Scotland in a formal economic union with rUK. (I doubt such an arrangement would have lasted long and I guess the SNP felt the same, but evidently thought more people would vote for that).

      The problem was, the Union campaign then rubbished the idea of indy-lite, saying indy means full economic indy, and that undermined the whole indy-lite economic argument based around currency union and mutual cooperation with rUK.

    257. jfngw says:

      The MSM in Scotland never really got to grasp with Scotland having its own parliament. It remained entrenched in its parochiality, in fact it seems that they desire a return to no parliament and they can once again focus on what they considered their bread and butter, the confrontation between Rangers & Celtic/Hearts & Hibs, etc.

      Maybe they believe they can increase their circulation by more narrow-mindedness. I doubt it, what would be the point of buying a Scottish paper with so little ambition for its readers, there is little point currently to read/watch any of the output.

    258. Smallaxe says:


      Remember to bring your own glass.

      Some more links coming shortly, I’ve got blisters on my fingers.

    259. laukat says:

      Might be a daft idea but surely its within the legislative competency of the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on if they should or shouldn’t accept changes proposed by UK Government?

      If it is and if a vote was in favour of the Scottish Goverment’s position is that near as dammit a vote for Independence?

    260. Smallaxe says:

      The first three links haven’t shown yet, I’ll try later.

      Customs union: the battleground set to decide the fate of Brexit;

      The BBC admits it spent decades conspiring with MI5 to stop a left-wing UK government;

    261. Ian Foulds says:

      Capella at 10.28am,

      I recently read three books recently – re Ms Murrell, Mr. McCrae and Dr. Kelly.

      Each one confirms to me how duplicitous the Westminster Government, the Security forces and their extraneous goons are and how much a danger to all of the people of these islands.


    262. Fred says:

      If the Scottish Secretary of State is a joke what does that make the Shadow Scottish Secretary of State?

    263. Proud Cybernat says:

      Tory ‘One Nationism’ is the complete antithesis of ‘Unionism’. Which is rronic really when they call themselves the ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’ (aka in Scotland as the ‘Ruth Davidson No Surrender Party’).

      A Union is created when different groups AGREE to pool a degree of their sovereignty to work together for commonly AGREED goals.

      By neutering the other parliaments of the UK, then their is no agreement between the constituent parts and thus, no Union.

      This isn’t anything close to a Union. It is London diktat.

    264. Dr Jim says:

      Don’t we think it’s odd that Keith Brown made an announcement that the next Indyref could be April next year and yet no section of the media reported that he said that given that he’s the likely candidate to be chosen as deputy leader of the SNP and already a minister so you’d guess he has some idea of what he speaks and would have the authority to speak it

      There are folk who hold to the opinion that the media just makes mistakes through incompetence, I’m not in that camp I’m in the *they’re a bunch of Bastirts* camp because an announcement like that should have been front page top of the news and Telly scary news, but nothing nada zilch

      That’s not incompetence or a mistake that’s deliberate news blackout because if I know it then they do too so why the blackout

    265. Baldeagle58 says:

      Fred says:

      25 April, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      If the Scottish Secretary of State is a joke what does that make the Shadow Scottish Secretary of State?

      Eh Fred……
      Who is that exactly?

    266. Tam the Bam. says:

      Galamcennalath … 2-49pm

      Excellent post.

      p.s. Did you notice Fluffy today @ Scottish Questions never referred to the democratically elected leader of the Scottish Government as FIRST MINISTER ….rather…NICOLA STURGEON.Cant say I can recall him EVER referring to the PRIME MINISTER as THERESA MAY……..such utter contempt for our Parliament and Leader.

    267. Smallaxe says:

      All the nonsense Hannan, Redwood And Mogg have spoken about the customs union this week;

    268. Robert Peffers says:

      @Jockanese Wind Talker says: 25 April, 2018 at 1:22 pm:

      “Got this today (timing makes me even more cynical about Brexit Bill).
      “Thank you for participating in the House of Common Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC), public forum on the relationship between UK and Scottish institutions. The Committee has reviewed the responses to the forum and this has helped shape our understanding of the issues.””

      Aye! Me too.

    269. Tam the Bam. says:


      Don’t know how many caught Dr Phillipa yesterday on Daily Politics.She gave her usual top-notch performance leaving a floundering Jo Swinson in her Wake.

      I’m disappointed she didn’t toss her hat in the ring for the deputy leadership.I’m guessing she envisaged it would encroach on the ‘out-of-term’ clinical work she does abroad which is another huge plus .Future leader for me.

    270. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Fred and Bald Eagle

      Re the Shadow SoSfS that’s a hard one.

      Is Lesley Laird, the current holder of this non-post, a joke’s joke, or a Jock’s joke, or maybe a joke “Jock”?

      Hey, maybe that’s the reason for BLiS (British Labour in Scotland) to be the living embodiment of Politics for Dummies, or is it Dummies for Politics?

      Which is another reason for BLiS – more questions than answers.

    271. Archbishop of Dork says:


      The Shadow Scottish Secretary is Labour’s Lesley Laird.
      Or Absentee Laird to her council ward constituents.

      She refused to give up her seat on Fife Council on becoming a Westminster MP in 2017. But attends only the bare minimum of council meetings to avoid disqualification. One attendance at a meeting or committee every six months.

    272. Smallaxe says:

      We have 3 day’s food supply on standby in the U.K.;

      Alex Salmond, The Windrush scandal has revealed the truly rotten nature of this Tory government

      Keeping Barnett formula ‘not appropriate’ after Brexit warns Institute for Fiscal Studies;

    273. galamcennalath says:

      Proud Cybernat says:

      Tory ‘One Nationism’ is the complete antithesis of ‘Unionism’.

      That is the way I see it.

      A union which existed by common agreement and consensus should be robust enough to allow different members to ‘do their own thing’. An evolving system should inevitably lead to more powers being de-centralised. If that leads smoothly to formal independence of members, so what? That’s democracy at its finest.

      We actually have the perfect model within the British Empire (of all places) where the likes of Canada and Australia moved away from London rule. New Zealand doesn’t actually have an Independence Day because no one is quite sure when it happened – various late constitutional steps are contenders for the event.

      The ultimate destination for devolution should be full independence, should we Scots chose to exercise our right to full self determination.

      But we all know the imperial mindset which tried to hold onto some Empire possessions at all costs, now rears its ugly head in a Scottish context. They don’t want to contemplate a union of equals, they want assimilation to prevent Scotland asserting its fundamental rights.

    274. purple thistle says:

      The UK Gov’s supposed deal offered, no, slapped onto Scotland, would be like Scotland handing the keys to the house over. Here you go, see you in 7 years, look after the place won’t you!

      Seven years later, no keys, no house, oops!

    275. Smallaxe says:

      Jobs set to go as Glasgow financial services office to close;

      Brexit, Northern Ireland and Scotland
      Comparing Political Dynamics and Prospects in the Two ‘Remain’ Areas;

    276. galamcennalath says:

      Today Ian Blackford urged TMay to keep the UK in customs union after Brexit.

      I sincerely hope the SNP haven’t down graded their aspirations for Scotland to customs union with the EU! From a starting position of full membership or single market, that would represent a big shift to the hard end of the spectrum.

      I know there are a lot of constitutional manoeuvrings underway, however now seems the time for taking a robust stance in the face of such a weak and disfunctional Tory government. Just saying.

    277. Smallaxe says:


      Your two requested songs by Maura O’Connell are now on O/T, my friend.

    278. yesindyref2 says:

      From Sturgeon’s twitter timeline:

      Malcolm Chisholm @MalcolmChishol1

      Hope the parties of Devolution will stand with @NicolaSturgeon in defence of the 1998 Scotland Act and the principle of partnership based on consent.

    279. Robert Peffers says:

      @Luigi says: 25 April, 2018 at 1:35 pm:

      “I well understand the uselessness of Labour in Wales, and your detailed explanation of the current sovereign (or non-sovereign) status of Wales.”

      I’m very fond of some parts of Wales, Luigi. Some years ago my late wife and I took the wee camper van down to Wales and spent most of the Summer and Autumn just wandering around. Our greatest interest in our trips wasn’t the scenery but the people.

      My wife was wheelchair bound in those days and we would arrive in a wee place. Find a place to stay for a few days then just wander around and speak with the locals. It is my experience that with a wee bit of gentle genuine interest from a friendly person everyone has an interesting story to tell. Wales in particular was a rich seam for interesting people. There is though, like Scotland, very different places just round the corner.

      By that I mean you only need to travel a fairly short distance and it is like being in a different country and Wales is like that but parts of Wales are more England than England. I will never forget one particular visit, way up in the mountains, but really a fairly short distance as the proverbial crow flies.

      It was lunchtime and a very warm hot, Summer day. So we didn’t fancy heating the van up further cooking our mid-day meal and we pulled into a small village with a small hotel with a menu board and a car park.

      I got my wife settled into her wheelchair and we went to see if there was wheelchair access to the lounge bar. In fact the public bar was the lounge bar and quite spacious. So we decided we would stay at least for lunch.

      As we settled at a table the locals in the bar went quiet for a brief moment then they all began to speak Welsh.

      I ordered our meal and said to my wife, “isn’t it nice to hear people speak their own language and Welsh is a particularly nice one to hear even if you can’t understand a word of it.” We set about our exceptionally nice lunch.

      As we finish our lunch a local man walked over to our table and laid down a couple of drinks to replace those we had drank with our lunch. He only said this, “Isn’t it nice to hear visitors speak their own language and Scots is a particularly nice language to listen to – even if you can’t understand a word of it.”

      We had a couple of weeks in that wee Welsh village and made a lot of very good friends. It turned out the reason for the drinks on our first day was because we were not upset, like the usual English visitors who usually got upset with the locals speaking their own language.

      That’s Wales, though, like Scotland, there are highlands, valleys and lowland areas and they are all quite different but the ethnic English people, (some of them with families going back hundreds of years), tend to be concentrated in the lowland bits round the coast. Like Scotland it is a country of great contrasts. However, the English immigrant influence on Wales goes back well over 800 years.

    280. Alba 46 says:

      Very interesting article in the New York times highlighting the case of the Windrush shambles.

      You won’t see any of this stuff in the brit/nat media.

      Westminster thinks that the commonwealth will bail them out after Brexit.

      Old colonial delusional mentality

    281. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Part of The BritNat campaign to personalise the upcoming Indy Ref @TamtheBam says at 3:37 pm

      “Did you notice Fluffy today @ Scottish Questions never referred to the democratically elected leader of the Scottish Government as FIRST MINISTER ….rather…NICOLA STURGEON.”

      Same tactic as demonising the last Indy Ref as being “That Alic Salmonds”.

      It is starting to get dirty, but remember that the dirtier they fight the more desperate they’ve become.

      The BritNats have nothing but personal insults left to sling as the lies and scary stories of last time won’t work this time.

      They expended all ammunition last time and then via EVEL, Sewell, The duplicity of the Scotland Act, and now sacrificing Scottish jobs and industry in pursuit of England’s Glorious Brexit they know that their ‘Precious Union’ is finished.

    282. Smallaxe says:

      Oh Fluffy;

      Will not archive
      Fluffy, no again!
      Mundell faces questions over paid-for Facebook adverts

      He’s a very naughty boy!

    283. Smallaxe says:


      Scotland Office’s Mysterious Multi-Million Pound Payment For “Candidates Mailings”

    284. Cubby says:

      Windrush Scandal. Rudd bring grilled (or as Sky described it giving her a kicking).

      Our Scots Tory MP linesman’s face is tripping him.

      Somehow I don’t think he’ll be shouting out RED CARD RED CARD but the rest of them should be.

    285. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Peter Bell has arrived at the Forward Shop in Dunoon for the meeting 7.15 and interview (appx 8.20) on Argyll Independent Radio online.Has gone for a beer. Who’d have thunk it

    286. manandboy says:

      From Laughaldi in Guardian comments:

      Pay attention dear voters, voting No has consequences :

      “Why this once great nation is on its knees…

      This government is held together by the thugs of the DUP….

      There are several wannabe PM’s in the Cabinet – Johnson, Grove, Hammond, Davis et al….

      The HMS UKGlobal – is heading for the rocks…May is out of her depth…in Office but NOT in Power…

      The Blairite Labour MPs are trying every which way to trash Corbyn and they want accountability when they themselves are not open to be held to account…

      Anti-Semitism no matter how big or small needs to be dealt with – not just in the LP but also in the Tory Party:

      This Windrush debacle – brings our international reputation deeper in to the sewers…

      Our Brexit position is about to unravel…Northern Ireland is on the verge…

      The Russians can come and fcuk us on our own streets and we only have an aircraft carrier without aircraft….

      Our special relationship with the USA has been exposed as nothing but hot air…

      NHS is in crisis…

      Policing in crisis…

      Social Care in crisis…

      Housing in crisis….

      National Debt DOUBLED in 8 years under Tories…

      UK is ridiculed the world over…

      Nurses and doctors leaving by the hundreds…

      Car manufacturers cutting jobs…

      Foreign Direct Investment falling…

      Corruption in our financial centre – The City…

      Banks cannot use technology effectively…

      High Streets becoming vacant lots…

      Education in crisis…

      Welcome to the UK 21st Century – back to the future..”


      Democracy dead for Scotland

      No prosecutions of paedophile politicians and noble lords

      99% State Propaganda – more than in Russia but equal to N Korea.

      Sixth lowest pensions in the EU

      I could go on, but you know what, this is more, much more, than enough to persuade anyone in Scotland to vote for Independence.
      Anyone who still clings on to their No vote under these circumstances is rendering themselves an exile in their own land. Such a position must have consequences. An independent Scotland must have a united nation as far as possible.

    287. heraldnomore says:

      Charlie Mann clearly likes a challenge…

    288. Archbishop of Dork says:


      The BBC Scotland web pages still have the false story about the SNP and Cambridge Analytica up. But nothing at all about Fluffy’s mysterious £3 million payments.

    289. Dr Jim says:

      I’ve never seen any documents that showed we *joined* a Union with England, I’ve seen a *reciept* for the sale of Scotland but no referendum results no population survey no consultation no nothing involving the actual people of Scotland
      so in my non expert legal book no actual Union ever took place making the 2014 referendum result a continuing of a status quo nobody ever legally voted on or for resulting in a pointless exercise of nothing, and if we don’t challenge this it’ll lead to total dictatorship by England and that we should not tolerate

      If we don’t sort this now by peaceful means then Theresa May and the Tories will be held responsible when the “Other guys” take over and Scotland descends into worse than Northern Ireland ever was for the next 20 years with England and English folk paying the price for their callous stupidity, people could die over this, it’s mental


    290. yesindyref2 says:

      The Russians can come and fcuk us on our own streets and we only have an aircraft carrier without aircraft….

      I’d take out that untruth in that list.

    291. Smallaxe says:

      Archbishop of Dork,

      We can expect nothing else but silence from the BBC, my friend, unless of course, SNP BAD.

      We have to spread the word in every way that we can think of and then some!

    292. geeo says:

      Oh dear…AGAIN !!!

      “May dealt new Brexit defeat in upper house of parliament” –

    293. Robert Peffers says:

      @Baldeagle58 says: 25 April, 2018 at 3:31 pm:

      In reply to Fred, who said, “If the Scottish Secretary of State is a joke what does that make the Shadow Scottish Secretary of State?”

      “Eh Fred……
      Who is that exactly?”

      Oh! Wait up!

      That’ll be Lesley Laird:-

      Naw! I’d forgotten it was her too, Baldeagle58, Has she ever said anything in the English de facto parliament yet?

    294. HandandShrimp says:

      Who is Lesley Laird? I thought Corbyn had some English MP who doesn’t particularly like Scotland as Shadow SS.

    295. galamcennalath says:

      manandboy says:

      99% State Propaganda – more than in Russia but equal to N Korea.

      Indeed. Still it could be interpreted as a ‘good sign’! If that is all they have left to shore up their crumbling edifice then everyone should see they are on their last legs.

      If a system can only be maintained and ‘sell itself’ by fake news and subterfuge then it’s f’cked basically.

    296. Clapper57 says:

      @Fred says:
      25 April, 2018 at 3:24 pm

      “If the Scottish Secretary of State is a joke what does that make the Shadow Scottish Secretary of State”?


      Well via her overall lack of presence….literally….I would say……… Invisible ?

    297. PictAtRandom says:

      Think we’ve had it spelled out for us now. “Tony” Macron using his speech to the non-nation anglo-colonial Congress to attack nationalism and ‘isolationalism’. So it’s an alliance of the U.S.A. and the U.S.E.

      Getting close to time for those of us who are real nationalists to get organised away from the S”N”P when their Gadarene europhile referendum goes pear-shaped.

      (Needless to say the speech gets big licks from the Greater Hampstead Broadcasting Corporation.)

    298. Robert Peffers says:

      @HandandShrimp says: 25 April, 2018 at 5:46 pm:

      “Who is Lesley Laird? I thought Corbyn had some English MP who doesn’t particularly like Scotland as Shadow SS.”

      Click the bloody link, Handandshrimp, I did the search for you:-

      That’s from the official Westminster House of Commons website.

    299. HandandShrimp says:


      Still none the wiser. Never seen her before in my puff.

    300. Fred says:

      Aye Bob, presumably the Shadda, Lesley Laird, gets her palm greased to cover stamps & envelopes etc’ ?

    301. Robert Peffers says:

      @HandandShrimp says: 25 April, 2018 at 7:14 pm:

      Still none the wiser. Never seen her before in my puff.”

      Aye! Neither have I ever seen her and she is reputed to be my MP. Neither have I ever hear or seen her take any part in Westminster debates on the parliament website TV. Typical Labour Lobby Fodder it seems.

    302. Liam says:

      I’ve finally worked out what Scottish MSM headlines have been reminding me of recently.

      Back in the 60s and 70s American Comic book covers would have the most amazing scenes on them usually with some (we hoped temporarily) powerless Superman explaining in a jagged edged word bubble what the hell was going to happen if he didn’t get his shit together in the next few seconds: “The atomic power station next to the orphanage is going to explode and Lois is going to plunge into that vat of acid full of electric sharks! And I’m powerless to stop either!”

      Only the scene never actually happened in the book and if it did look like it was going to happen it would turn out that it was the result of a robot version of the Superman pretending to be powerless in order to trick the being from the other dimension who had disguised itself as Lois in order to make Lana Lang jealous…. or something equally convoluted and pointless. I wonder if Daily Mail readers feel the crushing sense of disappointment I used to feel when the cause of all Superman’s troubles turned out to be Mister Mxyzptlk in a rubber mask all along. “Conned again. When will I ever learn?”

      Probably not the most insightful piece of political thought but it has been annoying me.

    303. wull says:

      Legerwood says:
      25 April, 2018 at 11:08 am
      25 April, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Mr Russell was born in Kent, Scottish father English mother but brought up and educated in Scotland. He is a fluent Gaelic speaker.

      Just saw your response, Legerwood, with more accurate information than I had – for which many thanks. I think Mr. Russell’s paternal family came from somewhere around Auchentibber, in Ayrshire. But you may have better information than me on that one as well. Once again, many thanks …

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