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The logic of fear

Posted on January 10, 2021 by

We’d still been scratching our heads about the sudden flood this week of Unionists all demanding the Scottish Parliament election in May be postponed, the latest example being angry old uppercase-letter-phobe Euan McColm in today’s Scotland On Sunday.

Bizarrely, the piece doesn’t even attempt to acknowledge the fact that literally dozens of countries on every inhabited continent have managed to carry on with democratic elections and referendums during the COVID-19 crisis with no significant problems, just insists that it’s something Scotland definitely can’t do.

But then we had a lightbulb moment.

Because there’s obviously no outward sense to the argument. If there’s any activity that ought to be classed as “essential” at challenging times it’s surely the continued exercise of democracy. And the objections are weak:

But if we can potter around Tesco for an hour to buy cornflakes, we can certainly pop into a polling station for two minutes to put an X in a box. Sanitise your hands, wear your mask, maybe even bring your own pencil as an extra safeguard, job done.

Also, nearly 800,000 Scots cast postal votes in the 2014 indyref, with no major issues being caused as a result (other than Ruth Davidson’s suspicious previews, anyway). Around 2.3m people voted in the 2016 Holyrood election, so we know that at least a third of the likely vote could be done postally even without any expansion of capacity. So there just shouldn’t be any sort of logistical difficulty.

(And of course, by the time May comes round millions of voters should already have been vaccinated too, reducing the risks enormously.)

Why, then, do Unionists want it cancelled? Clearly they have nothing to lose on current polling – they’re going to get thrashed senseless and it couldn’t be much worse – so one argument is that they might as well delay and hope for a miracle.

But there’s not much sign of one of those on the horizon. Even if the Salmond scandal brings down Nicola Sturgeon, voters still don’t want Douglas Ross or Randy Lendlease [SUB PLEASE CHECK] in charge of the country. If the SNP are winning anyway, may as well get it over with and start again with some fresh legs on the pitch.

But what McColm inadvertently reveals in the extract above is something much more threatening. Because even if Boris Johnson was minded to grant another referendum – which we know he isn’t, but that’s another argument – he DEFINITELY isn’t going to do it during a pandemic.

Suspending scheduled democracy by cancelling an election, though, is a much harder sell. And here’s the thing – if you can hold an election, you can hold a plebiscitary election that’s a de facto referendum. (Because mechanically they’re identical.)

Unionists are, largely out of necessity, pretty comfortable with the thought of another SNP government led by Nicola Sturgeon, because that outcome has been priced in to their thinking for years. They’ve basically never come within 20 points of the SNP at any point in the whole Parliamentary term, so it’s not like another SNP victory was ever going to come as a surprise.

But they also know that if Sturgeon had a plan to force another indyref she’d have done it by now, so as a worst-case scenario they can live with another five years of cushy opposition, especially with the Internal Market Bill putting devolution on a leash.

Postponing the election gives them an insurance policy just in case the Salmond affair does for her and the SNP get a more belligerent new leader before May who might seek to make the election a plebiscite. Now, all a delay does is buy them time to think of something, of course. The election has to happen eventually.

But the developments of the last few days seem to have given the Unionists a jolt of shock that just maybe Sturgeon won’t be there to take them safely past the moment of danger with her toothless, twice-failed Plan A, thereby delaying the day of reckoning for at least another half-decade.

And if you suddenly fear that you might be facing an effective indyref 2 in less than four months, when you’re currently trailing 58-42, buying yourself some time while you’ve got a sellable excuse is a completely natural and rational panic response.

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    164 to “The logic of fear”

    1. Sharny Dubs says:

      Lightbulb moment indeed

    2. Lorna Campbell says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Rev.

    3. Polly says:

      Very well reasoned and argued.

    4. Bob Mack says:

      I tend to agree with this Stu. I cannot shake the feeling that the Unionist press have been told to hold their fire on the SNP for some reason. They have plenty of ammunition but no inclination to use it.

      Do they want to stall the election because Boris might be planning to put his levers of control in place for Scotland in the interim whilst a lerikd of uncertainty is dominant.

      Nothingvoffers opportunity more than a power vacuum.

      Thats what I would do.

    5. newburghgowfer says:

      Plan A !! When Nicola was whipped round to the back door of No 10
      May- What do you want Nic
      Nic – Well the people have been giving me a hard time for doing diddlysquat as we agreed so can you kick the Indy plan into touch
      May- No bother Nic now f**k off incase the neighbours see you and Ps Bojo says the same
      Nic- Wee Pete get aff your WhatsApp and tell the plebs its been refused and stop messaging them lassies
      Nic- Right Laddies & laddies its okay to use any toilet you want and by the way that’s you’s at Westminster till 2055 so that means Wet Pete you can be the oldest Indy supporter ever in WM. You are the SNP’S Turdo Fraser there but keep up the whatever you’s do there and keep the plebsat home in place! I’m off to write another mandate or is it genderdate now !!

    6. David Rodgers says:

      Certainly a theory worthy of consideration. However it’s a bit of a downer seeing the indy folk on twitter still saying that NS is the best since sliced bread eg ‘No voters (fron 2014) will only vote Yes because of Nicola’. Sadly there’s maybe some truth in that despite your convincing arguments?

    7. Dave M says:

      I think that’s the only thing that makes sense, Stu.

    8. Wulls says:

      Makes perfect sense.
      What makes even more sense is teaming up with the Irish and Welsh and attacking them on three fronts.

    9. Effijy says:

      Are we surprised at Unionists attempting to halt democracy in Scotland.

      They hope that a few hundred million doses of lies and distortions from
      the mighty and corrupt U.K. media over some longer months will immunise
      the electorate from the reality of the abusive relationship we have from Westminster.

      I often wonder if some of these so called journalists actually believe in what they write?
      Their highly paid job can only be accessed if you come up with fresh attacks on Scotland’s
      natural right to be self empowering.

      Being neutral, unbiased or leaning toward the case for independence is to be unemployable.

      I recall a very brave lady pre Indy ref 1 who husband worked in Yarrows shipyard.
      She told of her husband outing forward the case for No as he has swallows one of the Tory lies especially about 13 new major ships for the yard and secure employment.

      She liked the idea of the security for bringing up their children but asked him to vote Yes
      as anything else denied their kids the opportunity to be a genuine part of controlling Scotland’s
      Destiny.

      She seen how we are treated by Westminster, how their promises are perpetual lies and how our votes are diluted into obscurity by the 11 times greater English electorate.

      I won’t forget that lady and her family while the people like McColm disappear in a vapour of dispair.

    10. Livionian says:

      I’m struggling to get my head round their logic but my guess is that they are putting all their hopes in the ‘what goes up must come down’ theory of party politics. They know that there is a high chance that they are going to get trashed in May. And even Sturgeon’s unraveling before then doesn’t give them enough time to put a strong enough case to voters to turn around a 20 point lead.

      But I think they believe that if Sturgeon’s career ends up in ruins over the Salmond case, a wider culture of SNP corruption is exposed AND they manage to postpone the election for
      say, 6 months, then the public’s trust in the SNP will come down like a house of cards and the whole thing unravels and SNP support plummets, like Scottish Labour’s did. And then they have a fighting chance of forming a unionist coalition government that can serve a term.

      This seems unlikely of course, but I suspect that they see that scenario as their only shot at power between now and 2026.

      Let’s get on with the election in May, and furiously defend our nation’s right to democracy, pandemic or not. But we must not under any circumstances take public support for granted. We need to change course and take back the Indy movement from the corrupt political class, otherwise sooner or later the floating vote WILL desert us

    11. Astonished says:

      Sadly I think you are right.

      Any response regarding the money yet ?

    12. Helen Yates says:

      This should be a lightbulb moment for every Scot.
      Excellent work as always.

    13. Eileen Carson says:

      I registered for postal voting ON-LINE because of the pandemic. I also got inundated by Alyn *spit* Smith on FB [until I blocked him] canvassing can be easily done by post and on-line, there’s no need to postpone.

    14. SophiaPangloss says:

      I think, regardless of the merits or otherwise of going ahead or delaying the election, (I’m not making an argument for either) we have to face the prospect of Johnson postponing the English council election (who would care?), putting enormous pressure on the devolved parliaments to do likewise, and I think Drakeford and Foster would follow. Ask yourself, would Sturgeon stand alone in insisting that Scotland go ahead? It would trash all that ‘safety first’ reputation which she has managed to build up.

    15. David Caledonia says:

      As long as they have over 600 english Mps in the house of commons we are all well and truly fecked.
      Win the may elections, have our referendum after we win, post the result to 10 Downing Street with a polite note telling them to cancel the milk as we won’t be coming round to any more candle lit suppers for the foreseeable future

    16. holymacmoses says:

      I think you’re right here Wings. All the Governments are desperate to avoid a Scottish exit because that really will reveal just how financially and democratically vulnerable and unstable England really is. The plan will be to keep Covid top of the ‘worry list’ for as long as it takes for them to shore up the state after the Brexit debacle. There are folks in Scotland who are simply reincarnations of those wandering the halls in 1707. ‘Rogues’ sounds almost ‘likeable’ to me – my definition of their actions is ‘treachery’ and that changes them for a ‘Parcel of Rogues’ to a ‘Tumefaction of Traitors’

    17. Effijy says:

      Regarding N Ireland

      The population there is 48% Protestant and Catholic 45%.
      The Catholics have more children yer on year but is the
      Unidentified other persuasions at 7% see the better pensions
      and less political corruption in the Republic and Westminster
      gave them a vote on it.
      I think they will be leaving the U.K. just as quickly as they can.

    18. ahundredthidiot says:

      Postal votes is the real scam.

      Think about it for one second. Pandemic. Virus.

      I would argue if the black plague came here two things would immediately halt – airport operations (no flights in or out unless medical) and Mail. You know, objects falliing through letter boxes which have been handled multiple times and some of them even have SALIVA on them.

      NS and the SNP will promote – maybe even legislate – for our votes to be by post only. Then it’ll be rigged.

      May will be the first election in my life – having voted for no other Party than the SNP in each and every election where I have voted – when (as it stands) I will either not vote or spoil my ballot.

    19. Ottomanboi says:

      Using irrational fear of « the virus » to stop the world is becoming very tiresome.
      Using so called homophobia to gag free speech is equally so.
      https://talksport.com/sport/golf/815416/justin-thomas-sentry-tournament-of-champions-hawaii/
      Note the text treatment of the  « offending » word and the over the top mea culpa from the golfer.
      The latter is redolent of the contrition expected of dissidents during the Chinese « Cultural Revolution ».
      Fear destroys humanity.

    20. Saffron Robe says:

      It is exactly as you say it is Stuart. We are being governed by fear and Covid-19 is the perfect excuse to pump up the fear factor at every opportunity. After all, the basis of all fears is death.

      Will democracy be just another victim of this scaremongering along with all the other civil liberties that have been taken away from us?

      If we do the right thing we have nothing to fear. All danger arises from our own fear and as I learned at school fear stands for false expectation appearing real.

    21. Grouse Beater says:

      I wrote to McColm and Twitter to complain of his anti-democratic stance and advertising it as if natural law.

      McColm’s Twitter account has just been suspended – rules contravened. Have a happy Sunday.

    22. Willie says:

      Could not agree more Rev.

      Depose Sturgeon now. Put into place new independence focussed SNP leadership. Secure electoral victory which reportedly seems but foregone result. Use electoral victory, together with 80% of Scottish MPs to secure secession from the Union. And the time is very much now.

      The choke point however in at present moment is Sturgeon, and that is as you say Rev why the Establishment want to keep her in position. Replace her and the landscape changes.

    23. Cuphook says:

      In case they don’t read his column, McColm should inform all the couriers and supermarket delivery drivers at his door how democracy endangers public health.

    24. Joemcg says:

      I think there is a much simpler explanation. McColm was rumoured to be the bat shit crazy arch yoon zoomer Brian Spanner.

    25. MaggieC says:

      This is from the Sunday National today ,

      “ POSTPONING the Scottish Parliament elections due to coronavirus could risk confidence in ­democracy, experts have warned. “

      “ While concerns have been raised over the impact of new surge in Covid-19 on the Holyrood vote going ahead, academics who carried out a major report into the issue for the British Academy pointed out a number of countries have successfully held ballots during the pandemic. “

      https://archive.vn/Jc0zz
      .

      I went for my flu jag in October in our local town hall which is used for voting in elections . Normally during elections you just walk in and out of the hall .

      When they were doing the flu jags it was changed to a one way system in the hall . The nurses tables were laid out exactly the same as the election staff covering the elections and the polling booths .

      Yes it may be different for other areas but when schools are used as well they’ve plenty classrooms which could be used instead of the main hall within the school .

      All they have to do is have hand sanitiser and masks at the door , screens between the staff manning the polling station and the public for safety .

      There is no reason why we couldn’t have the elections as planned for in May .

      Hopefully by then we’ll be having a plebiscite Election to tell Westminster that we are starting negotiations to dissolve the union on our terms .

    26. kapelmeister says:

      We know most UJ wavers want to do away with SP elections, not just postpone this one.

    27. Bob Mack says:

      @Grousebeater,

      Applause.xx

    28. Robert Hughes says:

      New ” New ” Variant CoV2 – resistant to rational thought , targets Democracy and so protean it can change shape to suit any political expediency

    29. kapelmeister says:

      O/T

      John Swinney standing by Sturgeon full square. Aw weel, you had a pretty good run in your political career John. Start looking round for something else to do.

    30. Republicofscotland says:

      That’s the plan the British nationalists, hope that they can create enough chatter in the media using Covid to put the elections off for a bit, and covertly defend Sturgeon’s position ( the media’s been pretty quiet on Sturgeon’s political transgressions) in the hope that she remains FM.

      Keeping Sturgeon in power in the long run must surely be their main goal to thwarting independence. Sturgeon must be removed soon, a vote of no confidence, before she starts calling for an extension.

      Y’know, I get the feeling that Sturgeon is in so deep, that her true motives (prevent independence) isn’t known to the unionist MSP’s at Holyrood.

    31. Liz says:

      Grouse, just checked, McColms twitter account is still active.

    32. Nally Anders says:

      Gives WM more time to sneak in a few more of the draconian measures the IMB was surely designed to take care of.
      Was never all about sticking a flag on ‘British haggis.

    33. Gfaetheblock says:

      @ grousebeater

      Mccolm’s Twitter is not suspended

    34. ahundredthidiot says:

      Grouse Beater and Bob Mack

      ffs, go and have a good look in the mirror.

    35. Grouse Beater says:

      Bob @3.13pm.

      I wish to see anti-democratic activities curtailed, I doubt it was shut down my effort, Bob, or mine alone. When I protest to Twitter over being harrassed and targetted, they take ages to assess the evidence and respond.

      He was at one point, unmasked as the odious ‘Brian Spanner’, I think – maybe he’s been abusive in his other Twitter accounts. There are any number of indy-haters who cannot control their compulsion to denigrate their own nation’s hopes for liberty.

    36. J Galt says:

      And what does Ms Sturgeon think about a possible postponement?

      I mean, really think?

      If there is no prospect of a plebiscite election this year does this discourage her opposition?

      It might suit her just as much as the unionists.

    37. Bob Mack says:

      @Ahundredtheidiot,

      Mirror ,mirror on the wall
      who’s the dumbest of them all
      yep, we already know!!

    38. Grouse Beater says:

      “Just checked, McColms twitter account is still active.”

      Which one?

    39. ahundredthidiot says:

      Thanks Bob – now you’ve finished with the mirror you can go back to spying on your neighbours through the net curtains.

      I think Police Scotland have an online form for you to fill in, so great news, you can type into your laptop with one hand and twitch the curtains with the other.

      Grouse Beater is a digital clipe and you’re applauding it.

    40. Bob Mack says:

      @Grousebeater,

      Yes he was Spanner. A friend in acting hinted at that to me because she mixes in those circles. An odious ,vile interior exuding charm on the outside. No sympathy.

    41. Gfaetheblock says:

      @grousebeater

      The one that his name is correctly spelled at @euanmccolm

      don’t know what the incorrectly spelled one you are calling out on Twitter is

    42. ahundredthidiot says:

      Grouse Beater @3:26

      ‘When I protest to Twitter over being harrassed and targetted, they take ages to assess the evidence and respond.’

      What an absolute pansy.

    43. Grouse Beater says:

      Bob, just run a recheck and yes, I’ve found it still active. Okay, start fretting again.

      Now we wait to see if our FM will listen to her opponents and delay an election.

    44. Bob Mack says:

      @Ahundredtheidiot,

      With a drone? Just like your friend? hahahahah.

    45. stuart mctavish says:

      Now there’s a plethora of vaccines to choose from the logic of prioritising the rights of those scared of being sick over those of those sick of being scared suggests that any such delay would be intolerable in any event – (assuming vaccine roll out manages to avoid bringing life expectancy back below 80)

    46. Republicofscotland says:

      This one appears to be active.

      https://twitter.com/euanmccolm

    47. Grouse Beater says:

      ‘What an absolute pansy.’ ahundredthidiot @3.26.

      So, you feel claims to seek out and beat up someone makes them a wimp? What a bizarre attitude. Any chance we could meet soon to ‘discuss’ this matter?

    48. Bob Mack says:

      @Grousebeater,

      Ignore “it”. Its a moron.

    49. Colin Alexander says:

      https://beta.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/scottish-general-election-coronavirus-bill

      Overview

      The Bill as introduced allows arrangements to be put in place for the Scottish general election in response to Covid-19. The election is planned for 6 May 2021. The Bill will:

      change the deadline for postal vote applications to give more time to process an expected high level of requests to vote by post

      make “dissolution” (the time before the election when MSPs no longer hold office) last 1 day, allowing the Parliament to make decisions if the election needs to be postponed

      give the Scottish Ministers power to hold an all-postal election and to hold polling over multiple days, if appropriate

      allow flexible timing for the first meeting of the new Parliament and the election of a new Presiding Officer

      give a reserve power to the current Presiding Officer to postpone the 2021 election by up to 6 months in certain circumstances

    50. Grouse Beater says:

      Yes he was Spanner. No sympathy. Bob Mack @3.33pm

      Many thanks, Bob. I guess we wait to see if our FM will listen to opponents and delay the election. I would think held in May that brings the predicted landslide serves to strengthen her position.

    51. Normski says:

      Voting went ahead here in Clackmannanshire for a council by-election perfectly safely with suitable #covid19 precautions.

      Plenty of other by-elections have gone ahead elsewhere too perfectly safely.

    52. Bob Mack says:

      By election held in perth Nov 2020.

    53. TruthForDummies says:

      We are actually a bit to totally screwed here because the coronavirus act 2020 gives Westminister the power to postpone elections.

    54. Black Joan says:

      The last Holyrood election was delayed by a year because of Westminster. Further deviation from the intended schedule should not be tolerated, especially as May is far preferable to autumn or winter in Scotland (and the England CMO has already suggested that more plague restrictions are expected towards the end of the year)

      “Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary election to the Scottish Parliament would normally have been held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2011 election, i.e. in May 2015.[7] In May 2010, the new UK Government stated in its coalition agreement that the next United Kingdom general election would also be held in May 2015.[8] This proposal was criticised by the Scottish National Party and Labour, as it had been recommended after the 2007 election that elections with different voting systems should be held on separate days: a recommendation which all of the political parties had then accepted.[9] In response to this criticism, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offered the right to vary the date of the Scottish Parliament election by a year either way.[10] All the main political parties then stated their support for delaying the election by a year.[11][12] The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a statute of the UK Parliament, moved the date of the Scottish Parliament election to 5 May 2016.[1]”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Scottish_Parliament_election

    55. Bob Mack says:

      Council elections not by election.No problems

    56. Scott says:

      Out of curiosity: How long does an SNP leadership election usually take?

      Also for arguments sake, say Joanna Cherry stands and wins. Is there any way she would be able to stand as an MSP in May at this point?

    57. Iain More says:

      Colin Alexander says:
      10 January, 2021 at 3:45 pm

      “https://beta.parliament.scot/bills-and-laws/bills/scottish-general-election-coronavirus-bill

      Overview

      The Bill as introduced allows arrangements to be put in place for the Scottish general election in response to Covid-19. The election is planned for 6 May 2021. The Bill will:

      change the deadline for postal vote applications to give more time to process an expected high level of requests to vote by post

      make “dissolution” (the time before the election when MSPs no longer hold office) last 1 day, allowing the Parliament to make decisions if the election needs to be postponed

      give the Scottish Ministers power to hold an all-postal election and to hold polling over multiple days, if appropriate

      allow flexible timing for the first meeting of the new Parliament and the election of a new Presiding Officer

      give a reserve power to the current Presiding Officer to postpone the 2021 election by up to 6 months in certain circumstances”

      And so begins the slippery slope to an English Run tyranny. Postal Voting in particular is open to wide scale fraud. The above must not be allowed to happen.

    58. Strathy says:

      Blackford’s ‘First Minister acted in an honourable way’ quote is everywhere, but before it in the Daily Mail they have –

      ‘Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, has conceded that if found guilty of breaching strict conduct rules, Ms Sturgeon would have to quit. But he added: I believe that the First Minister ……………’

      Also, John Swinney is quoted today –

      ‘I answered a parliamentary question in November which made clear the James Hamilton Inquiry on the ministerial code could look at any aspect of a breach of the ministerial code.’

      There could be movement sooner rather than later.

    59. ahundredthidiot says:

      Grouse Beater

      ‘Any chance we could meet soon to ‘discuss’ this matter?’

      We’ll come back to that in a sec. There is two types of dog, Grouse, the barkers and the biters. I don’t know the people who ‘harass you’ on twitter or threaten to beat you up, but suggest they are very likely the barkers. Internet is full of them.

      In actual fact, they might not be that different to you. That quote you made is a little bark. a little woof woof. I’m not minded to apologise if I hurt your feelings and, while I believe that there is always someone tougher around the corner, suggest you really wouldn’t want to meet me – unless it was for an actual discussion of course (in which case, I will decline on the basis that I don’t find you interesting enough).

      I’m going to go away now before Rev bans you, me and the Mack.

    60. Muscleguy says:

      Hear! Hear! Rev

      If you are shielding get a postal vote. Let it sit for 48hrs so any virus which is on it will be gone. Then open it, register your vote, fill in as appropriate then put it in the post or get someone else to.

      For the rest of us just go vote. I have never once in this country had to queue to vote. I did back in NZ but then they still get in excess of 70% of folk to vote and worry about those who don’t.

    61. Bob Mack says:

      @Ahundredtheidiot,

      You got a drone to catch? hahaha.

    62. Morag says:

      I dunno. The longer the election is delayed, surely the more chance there is of the SNP getting its act together and ditching Sturgeon before it happens. If we have the election in May I’d say the chance that Sturgeon is still there and so it won’t be a plebiscitary election is better than if we have it in say September.

    63. Stephen P says:

      I voted in my local Clackmannanshire East council by-election last November. It was covid secure. 2m distancing, one way system and compulsory hand sanitising were rigorously enforced by election staff. Brought my own pencil.

      The calls for election postponement were prior to this Salmond submission hitting the media. I would suggest that the expection of a drop in support due to the manifestation of Brexit self harm may have dominated their thinking. The fishing and farming votes they rely on are at best now unreliable. Postponement makes sense for them in that the more we get used to Brexit the initial anger may disipate over time.

      There is also the question of who governs if the May election is postponed? Do we know what will happen in this scenario?

      They will undoubtedly call for some type of continuity government which they hope would give them some influence. Maybe this is what’s behind it?

      You’d think that they would expect a dent in SNP support if Sturgeon goes. The logic would be then to stick to a May election. Delaying it would give time for a new SNP leader to gain back any lost support.

      The unionist media seem to be more interested in denegrating Salmond and have the cult of Nicola as bedfellows. Clearly they fear him more than Sturgeon. For good reason.

      The unionist politicians though seem to be going after Sturgeon. No doubt they would vote her out in a motion of no confidence if it ever happens. That or resignation opens the door to a real independence SNP, so strategically, hounding her out might not be a good tactic.

      Starmer today seems to have ended any reason that was left to vote Scottish Labour. The SNP should take the votes of any EU remainer labour supporters. May ought to be an SNP landslide.

    64. Muscleguy says:

      Also in NZ one or two polling places in each constituency are open two weeks ahead of polling day. If you are away from home you can vote in any polling station in the country. You will be provided with a voting sheet appropriate to your home constituency. In the old days they would hand write them now I expect they print you one.

      Polling places are open in all the embassies and high commissions and some consulates when abroad. I have done that. They make it much, much easier to vote than here. Here WM want to mandate ID to solve a non existent imaginary problem (It is in fact a form of voter suppression targeting the poor and homeless).

    65. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      “I’m going to go away now before Rev bans you, me and the Mack”

      I suppose it depends wit kind of Mack though.Can I get curry sauce,chips or rice wae that?

    66. I could see things being brought back under London control, “in the national interest in this time of emergency, you understand.”

      They’ve already got their feet under the table, now watch the salami tactics.

    67. Bob Mack says:

      @Ayrshire Bob,

      Im a BIG Mack. You’d need a bucket of sauce to cover me.

    68. Stevie d says:

      The delay of the vote is indication that currently the UK miss handling of the virus response and the anti brexit / pro europe stance will ensure that there will be a strong anti westminster inderpendence vote inspite of the Salmond/Sturgeon result. Worst case scenario for the uk goverment is that a total lanslide in a plebiscite election would force a referendum as there will be no acceptance of a inderpendance vote via plebiscite been tagged on to a holyrood election by westminster .Any delay giving time for a major split in the SNP a economic post brexit recovery( or not the collapse many pro Europeans forecast) and a successful vaccine program woul weaken any landslide as well as appealing to the voters on an economic level either by recovery or propaganda of the impact of inderpendence. Any or all three would mean ghat a reduced percentage in the plebiscite election then no referendum or stayvote

    69. Grouse Beater says:

      I’m going to go away before Rev bans me.’ Ahundredtheidiot @4.07

      Please keep posting so Stu Campbell can spot you with ease.

    70. Bob says:

      Am reading the English papers down south to get an idea of what they are saying about elections this year where local ones take place in May.

      No problem it seems. More like a media Storm in a Teacup this Scottish ‘problem’.

    71. Liz says:

      I despair at the naivity of people.
      You have Nicola lovers all over twitter being backed up by obvious 77th, bots.

      It’s near impossible to get through to them.
      The Rev is a sleeper, we’re all yoons.

      They keep repeating the same lies,the BBC all of a sudden, is trusted news.
      We will never get indy if people can’t see when they are being played.

      If NS does get elected, and indy is kicked into the long grass again, what then? Will they ever accept it or will it be someone else’s fault?

    72. Muscleguy says:

      In terms of campaigning social distanced PPE worn street stalls can be done under current rules even. You don’t have to just chap doors. But even that can be done but you have to back of after chapping the door for a good 5m at least if you are going to be speaking. Makes it a bit awkward but doable.

    73. Cenchos says:

      I take it Wishart will be resigning when Sturgeon resigns, in order to stand by the First Minister.

    74. witchy says:

      @Ahundredtheidiot,

      I don’t understand your postings. Today I finally reached SPA. I have fought hard the last six years to have it re-instated, seen many friends pass over while they waited, existing on no, or little money, relying on the kindness of strangers at foodbanks. Where they do have jobs, they come home too exhausted to eat, worry about heating or eating and paying bills, and hoping against hope that they won’t lost that job. In that time I have been trolled, accounts hacked and many sick arguments with detractors who find it funny to disregard and decrying us. Do you think we shouldn’t report abuse? Are we sitting targets for any passing idiot? Aye, report I say!
      Now to get down to gaining our Independence from an alleged union that treats us like it’s whipping serfs, whatever path we take!
      Have a good day!

    75. Andy Ellis says:

      @Dave Beveridge

      It’s always seemed to me that the Britnats aren’t likely to bother trying to close down or substantially hobble Holyrood: why do they need to? Nothing would be more certain to increase support for independence (and possibly promote civil disobedience leading in short order to a constitutional crisis) than taking these steps.

      Far easier just to ensure you have etiolated nationalists like the current gradualist leadership of the SNP at the helm. They’re not even close to delivering a referendum, still less independence itself.

      Does anyone really believe Sturgeon and her supporters would risk prison for the cause like their Catalan compatriots?

      The new Viceroy’s Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile with all its British nationalist civil servants is there for a purpose: to keep the house jock in Holyrood under control and in their place. You don’t need tanks on the street and the equivalent of the Guardia Civil truncheoning grannies to keep the Scots in line: as a people they are too tholed by 300 years of unionism to even assert their own right to vote without the permission of Westminster.

      Hard to free folk from chains they revere it seems. 🙁

    76. Five US States Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington hold elections almost entirely by mail.

      Postal votes certainly boost voter participation,

      Obama won in 2008 with 68 million votes, where Biden through postal voting managed to win with an incredulous 81 million votes.

    77. Colin Alexander says:

      Scott – asked how long Leader elections usually take.

      Alex Salmond announced on 19th September 2014 that he would not seek renomination as party leader.

      Sturgeon was formally announced as party Leader on 19th November at the party conference.

      But:

      “49.Neither the current version of the constitution nor the Leadership Election Rules deals with the situation of a Leader or Depute Leader being elected otherwise than by a vote in the run up to Annual National Conference. The proposal is to amend this to require the National Executive Committee to set out a timetable and process when a vacancy arises, in accordance with current practice”.

    78. SilverDarling says:

      I only speak personally but I have never had my mind changed by a canvasser at the door or on the phone. In fact, they rarely come to the door. So, different times, but I think we can do without the soggy martyrs and Twitler youth for now. I’m sure the mountains of leaflets will still arrive and the PPB on TV too.

      BTW the shoot the messenger folk are really going for it today!

    79. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Bob Mack and ahundredthidiot: fucking behave, both of you. Only warning.

    80. Willie says:

      Andy Ellis. Not think you that Police Scotland are now quickly becoming the Scottish equivalent of the Guardia Civil or maybe the B Specials so beloved some years back in a Northern Ireland.

      There is absolutely no doubt that Police Scotland are now a politically sectarian force dedicated to taking action against those the establishment deem political opponents. Moreover, the recent clamp down on checking vehicles, crashing into people homes on the merest of suspicion of misdemeanour is all part of a coordinated policy to intimidate.

      There can be no trust now whatsoever with the Police or for that matter the COPFS. All trust is being broken, but that is not a concern to the ruling junta.

    81. Donny says:

      Apols, wrong link. But I see Stu has dealt with the Idiot.

    82. Bob Mack says:

      I am suitably chastised. Only playing.

    83. Willie says:

      Oh and in mentioning a sectarian Police force, did the Rev not have an incident a few years back when his home in Bath was raided on the flimsiest of allegations.

      All straight out of the Brigadier General Sir Frank Kitson playbook.

      Just wait to the next AUOB march, or should I say, attempted march. The old, the elderly, the young, and all alike will see the ruling classes stick then. The cowing process for the bad, with the compliments for the good has only just begun.

    84. @Andy Ellis

      Aye… BUT there is still a popular leader in there that a substantial number of Scots actually believe WILL do something about all this independence stuff (despite the obvious evidence).

      What better way to defang that particular snake than to shut down or neuter Holyrood? We already know that the Westminster SNP are even less of a threat to the UK establishment so they’d do SFA about it except make “barnstorming” speeches. WM would then have the added bonus of the SNP tearing themselves apart all trying to get at the Westminster trough while the cause of independence lies rudderless.

      It’s just utterly depressing all round.

    85. Dan says:

      @ Willie

      Aye, lest we forget the infamous Bath laptop raid.
      Whilst thinking back to days gone by…

      Cues up The Stranglers

      Whatever happened to… Siobhan McFadyen…

    86. Dan says:

      Crikey, just googled and she suffered but survived two strokes in 2019.

    87. James Barr Gardner says:

      Lack of access to retirement/nursing homes ??????? Say no more…

    88. Effijy says:

      A relative has been in Tenerife fir a few weeks.
      Just before he left Glasgow, they announced he
      had to have a copy of a Certified negative Covid test
      for him and his wife, which had to be taken within 72
      Hours of departure.

      Incredibly they don’t accept NHS test, who is better qualified than they,
      Boots £120 test was fully booked but they found another approved tester
      Who took £150 each.
      They were passed the kit and took the swabs themselves.

      Now for their return to the U.K. they must repeat the process over there.
      The cost of the test there is £31.

      Another reason to leave Rip Off Britain.
      The home of Mugs!

    89. Stephen P says:

      Netherlands currently going ahead with a general election on March 17. Voting due to take place over 3 days.

      Currently over 7000 covid cases per day. The situation has improved since Xmas lockdown where cases were over 12,000.

      PVV right wing EU Nexit party polling in strong second place. Hard to believe given the Brexit shambles unfolding here.

    90. Mia says:

      This sudden desire for postponement of the May election seems to have happened simultaneously with a change of script by the SNP and not one that is insignificant.

      At least Swinney and Kirsten Oswald appear to have now mentioned that the way for Scotland to leave the pandemic is with indyref. Well, colour me shocked. This is a huge change from the script continuously regurgitated by their dear leader who since around March 2020 has never had any time for anything other than covid and who told us until we were blue in the face that we could not possibly even entertain the idea of indyref until AFTER we left the pandemic and possibly the economy dip that would come with it.

      So what prompted this somersault flip? And why does it coincide with the chants for election date delay from the alleged “other side”?

      What are the odds that Sturgeon’s loyalists and the unionists are working together to delay the election so they can continue dangling on our faces the carrot that indyref is still possible within this government to keep us on tow? It is clear to me they are trying to take the wheels off the plebiscitary election and bring back the carrot of indyref.

      Excuse my ignorance on this, but what is the minimum number of weeks that are required from the moment an official bill with a date for indyref is brought to parliament? I think they may be trying to expand that timeframe to make indyref credible.

      Didn’t no long ago Sturgeon attempted to sell to us that she intended to present to Parliament “a draft” bill for indyref April 2021, just in time to blackmail us into believing that unless we voted SNP the “draft” would end up in the bin?

      What are the odds that their “perfect” excuse of Covid-19 they have used to delay the passing of that legislation has now backfired spectacularly because it has rendered the carrot of “an indyref sometime in the future” unable to compete with the prospect of a quick, perfectly legitimate, with a well defined franchise plebiscite election for which there is already a date and that will be happening in less than half a year? Add to that the fact that at least one other pro-indy party has stolen Sturgeon’s thunder by offering precisely that, and you have a situation where the SNP is no longer the only option, nor even the most pro indy option.

      The chants for a plebiscitary election appear to have grown legs, so how do they counteract that? how do they bring the sheep back to the stable? In the same way that people has woken up to the fact that Labour’s utopia of devo max does not offer any power that independence doesn’t, what has an indyref to offer that a plebiscitary election cannot?

      The only way they can regain control is by delaying that election so the indyref carrot becomes credible again and can come back to the picture. What are the odds that they will desperately try to delay that election by at least one year to bring back this block of lead afloat?

      As you say, what do they have to lose? They are not going to win more seats, actually with ISP in the list vote they may actually lose seats. As for the SNP, if they refuse to declare the election as a plebiscite in independence, they will lose votes and will have from then on a more pro indy party pushing their buttons and dragging them towards independence.

      To push that election back is a win win for the SNP and the unionists.

      Rev, you mentioned on this site more than once that unless Johnson is confronted with a worse alternative, he would never capitulate to indyref.

      Well, what if a plebiscitary election in less than 4 months, with a defined date, a defined franchise and over 50% of the electorate already supporting independence is that much worse alternative because:

      a) they don’t have sufficient time to prepare scripts and deploy their propaganda machine in full whack with such a short notice, particularly when trying to fight covid in England and hide the dead bodies at the same time.

      b) they cannot stick their fingers up to their elbows on the election in a way that would satisfy them because they will have to rely on the geniuses that stand as branch managers for labour, libdems and tories and their MSPs in Scotland, which are not precisely the smartest or most popular tools in the box

      c) A Holyrood election, particularly after the deception of the vow, is not really a place for any England MP to come, prance around and pontificate against independence when the only alternative they have to offer is Johnson’s version of unionism. It would do far more harm than help.

      I think that plebiscitary election is the bombshell that has woken Johnson’s handlers up. I have always thought that confronted with it or worse, the prospect of SNP MPs ending the union cold turkey, whoever was the PM at the time, would do everything in their hand to regain control by bringing to the picture the possibility of an indyref that the English establishment could interfere with at its heart’s content.

      Needless to say that I am of the opinion that elements of Westminster and Sturgeon are working together on this, as there is a common interest in pushing that plebiscite away.

      Up until now, as you say, the unionists and Westminster were very comfortable thinking that the best gatekeeper for unionism Westminster could have ever dreamt for would no hold either a referendum nor a plebiscitary election in the foreseeable future. I think the possibility of a plebiscitary election came like a hurricane without warning and was as welcomed by them all as a rocket up their arses. And that is why we should keep pushing for it and demanding it.

    91. bipod says:

      O/T

      For those that are interesting here is a very interesting article from think scotland discussing scotlands lockdown measures and the long lasting implications.

      https://www.thinkscotland.org/thinkpolitics/articles.html?read_full=14396

    92. John Main says:

      Nah, not following the logic unless there really is a belligerent new leader burning to make the election a plebiscite waiting in the wings.

      In which case name her or him. No need to be coy.

    93. Beaker says:

      On the plebiscite option, what if less than 50% of the electorate vote for the indy parties? What happens next?

      I’m not picking holes at the option, but I haven’t seen any sensible responses to that question.

    94. Garrion says:

      Mia (and Stuart, a’course) has pretty much nailed it. So what now?

    95. Bob Mack says:

      @Mia,

      Thats a terrific assessment of the situation. Neither the SNP nor Johnson want a plebiscite thrust on them. It may create what you could call constitutional and political difficulties for both.

      I say bring it on. About time we had a face off with this issue.

    96. twathater says:

      Was on twatter last night and the amount of sycophants was unbelievable , they were giving it large to the guy who arranges the AUOB marches because he was repeating the Sturgeon MUST GO mantra , if these people are representative of REAL independence supporters rather than SNP and NS apologists and sycophants then WM needs do nothing to thwart independence
      The desperation to keep Sturgeon as head honcho despite the overwhelming evidence that she has broken the ministerial code on at least 3 ocassions means NOTHING to these people , the fact that AS has been proven innocent and yet Sturgeon is suggesting otherwise also means nothing , in their addled minds AS has no right to expose the heinous acts carried out against him by these amoral bastirds , he should just suck up the reprehensible immorality carried out against him and disappear into the night

      If I were AS having these idiots supporting the suppurating entity and her hordes of cult followers I would make EVEN more of an endeavour to bring her and her hordes crashing down to obscurity and criminal justice

    97. SophiaPangloss says:

      Beaker says:
      10 January, 2021 at 6:13 pm
      On the plebiscite option, what if less than 50% of the electorate vote for the indy parties? What happens next?

      That’s a worry of mine too. The idea of a plebescite election depends on a clear one-line manifesto, no other policies to confuse the matter or give any voter a let-out, it’s that one line you voted for, and nothing else…

      So if the party (or parties) with that one-line manifesto win but don’t get a majority, then we have a major crisis, a government with no policies, no policy committments, no policy restrictions. As things stand, handing Sturgeon 5 years of power (should only be 4 years remember) with a carte-blanche scares the shit out of me.

    98. Colin Alexander says:

      https://archive.is/jmZ4v

      Alex Salmond accuses Leslie Evans

      “In the letter to the ­committee of inquiry, he highlights Leslie Evans’s decision to ask police to investigate complaints of sexual harassment against him after she “apparently ignored” the wishes of the alleged victims and rejected his offers of mediation without consulting the women”.

      He said Nicola Richards, the Scottish Government’s director of people, “specifically highlighted the view of the complainers against criminal proceedings, and this was apparently ignored by the Permanent Secretary”.
      Ms Evans told MSPs in September she was “not completely aware” of who informed the police. He told MSPs documents that show “it was made on her instruction by Ms Richards via the unusual route of the Deputy Crown Agent”.

    99. Robert Hughes says:

      Mia – Yip , all entirely plausible , spot-on . Without labouring the point , this is one of the dangers of uncritical acceptance of the CoV2 master narrative , it’s potential for abuse to serve the interests of political opportunists is obvious- or maybe not obvious enough

    100. Astonished says:

      Beaker : If we gain a majority of the seats in May then we begin negotiations for Scotland’s withdrawal from the voluntary union with England. This should last no more than 6 months. We will have lots of support from the new president, the EU and everyone else.( I would suggest we concurrently negotiate to rejoin europe).

      Our imperial masters are very much on the back foot.

      If we do not gain a majority of seats then we carry on as normal and if we put in our manifesto that a subsequent majority at any future election SNP/ISP ( and possibly green) seats then we begin negotiations. This is democracy.

      Stop falling for yoon lies – “once in a generation” – “majority of MPs”. Our imperial masters are amoral liars . I suggest our best course is to ignore them.

    101. Liz says:

      I agree Mia.The SNP, so far,are saying the election must go ahead.

      I bet NS, will ‘relunctantly’ have to put the election on hold to save lives because of Covid.

      It’s been her excuse for everything since March.

      Again, the number of gullible people who have been played by her PR machine, think she’s doing a great job keeping us safe.
      We have the 2nd ot 3rd highest death rate in Europe, our economy is trashed, other illnesses put on hold for treatment, is NOT doing a wonderful job.

    102. Lothianlad says:

      Well done the Grouse beater. And stu.

    103. Bloemkool says:

      They’re so entrenched in their thinking. Why do they need any campaign? It will make the most miniscule difference to the outcome and it can be conducted online anyway, which is where most people will read the spin in any circumstances.
      Because there’s always a campaign.

    104. Davie Oga says:

      So all over the world governments are rolling out the Pfizer vaccine. All over the world, people are being vaccinated as per the dosage that decided through clinical trials.

      In contravention of all medical wisdom, that you should stick to the prescribed dosage, reiterated to the UK, by Pfizer. England has decided to “go it’s own way” and alter the dosing.

      Straight away Scotland is doing the same thing. Crazy.

      From an outside perspective there is no material difference from the way Johnson has handled the pandemic and the way Sturgeon has.

      A better comparison would be to Ireland

      Scotland, population C. 5000000, urban rural split 70/30, deaths 6686 (NRS 3rd Jan)

      Ireland, population C. 500000, urban rural split 65/35, deaths 2336 (HSE, Jan 10th)

      Over 4000 extra deaths in Scotland than Ireland.

    105. Dan says:

      https://twitter.com/Documark/status/1348217300529405952

      And a bit of notice for Twa Auld Heids on Tuesday evening at 7pm, which should be worth a listen with Mark Hirst and Denise Findlay.

      https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1348283039248506889

    106. Republicofscotland says:

      We could be heading for a twelve weeks lockdown, which could have a knock on effect for the Scottish elections.

      https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/12-week-lockdown-crude-catastrophic-19597391

    107. Breeks says:

      Beaker says:
      10 January, 2021 at 6:13 pm
      On the plebiscite option, what if less than 50% of the electorate vote for the indy parties? What happens next?

      I’m not picking holes at the option, but I haven’t seen any sensible responses to that question…

      Well, you’re quite right to consider and plan for a worst case scenario, but irrespective of the result, if Scotland had proceeded to hold a plebiscite, referendum or plebiscite election expressly against the will of Westminster, then even if we lost, at least Scotland will have asserted, and thereby protected, it’s sovereign right to make the decision.

      Win, lose, or draw, Scotland will have done wonders to resurrect the Constitutional significance of our popular sovereignty, and like 2014, an ‘NO’ result would be just as sovereign as a YES vote.

      Obviously, if there’s a mandate delivered to stay in the Union, there’s a democratic argument for doing so, but that might not be the end of the matter. It could be argued with equal force that Scotland’s colonial subjugation and Brexit breaches the Treaty of Union, and the Treaty when formally declared breached should properly terminate the contract / treaty of Union by a legal edict rather than a democratic one.

      It’s my understanding that the Treaty, once breached formally, cannot be resurrected. To resurrect ‘a’ Union would require a new Treaty of Union to be agreed, and best of luck with that… Provided the Treaty was properly breached in terms of the law, I don’t think the forces of Unionism could do much to reverse it.

      One of the grinding annoyances about the current ‘strategy’ is that there is no formal petitions to the UN, EU, or Council of Europe testing the water or preparing the ground for the resurrection of Scottish Constitutional Sovereignty, in particular what benchmarks we should aim for in order to secure International Recognition.

      The 1707 Treaty of Union is an International agreement between sovereign nations, and a change in status of the United Kingdom won’t mean anything unless that change is consistent with International Law, and recognised by the International Community. It is a spectacular omission in our ‘strategy’ under Sturgeon that the unconstitutional illegality of Scotland’s colonial subjugation is not being formally disputed at the UN already.

      When you’re not even prepared to defend your own Constitution, then it’s no great surprise to find yourself stymied by domestic UK legislation which Westminster can alter at will, and be driven up a cul-de-sac by sophistry and restrictive mechanisms like the colonial Scotland Act with it’s Section 30 “veto”.

    108. Astonished says:

      Mia – I agree entirely.

      If you are in the SNP please write to Keith Brown and explain no more excuses, May is a plebiscite on independence or we walk.

      I believe he has received significant correspondence on the matter. Lets make it overwhelming.

    109. Lothianlad says:

      It will surely be seen in a historical context as the 8th wonder of the world, that despite the mandates, it’s the SNP that is opposed to independence!

      Wonder, not in a good way.

    110. Liz says:

      @republicofscotland just found out today Prof Devi is a nutritionalist not an expert in viruses.
      Also she is all over the place, she had an article in the Guardian in October saying lockdowns are not the answer.

      Why oh why can’t the SG employ an expert in the field?
      Is the criteria, young female

    111. Colin Alexander says:

      https://archive.is/V88F8

      In case anyone missed it:

      “Scottish independence: Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal sold out Northern Ireland’s unionists and Scotland’s are next – Kenny MacAskill” 6 January 2021

    112. Graham King says:

      Davie Oga says:
      10 January, 2021 at 6:56 pm
      ..
      Scotland, population C. 5000000, urban rural split 70/30, deaths 6686 (NRS 3rd Jan)

      Ireland, population C. 500000, urban rural split 65/35, deaths 2336 (HSE, Jan 10th)

      Over 4000 extra deaths in Scotland than Ireland.

      Davie, you’ve dropped a 0 in your figure for the population of Ireland, which I’m sure you meant to show as near-equal to Scotland (correct), not ten times less!

    113. Contrary says:

      Aha, I was wondering why the ridiculous calls to delay the May election – politically that’s a total non-starter, any party advocating it is unlikely to inspire confidence in voters. So there must be a bigger fear at work.

      Plebiscite in May – that’s the only thing I’ll accept off the SNP, whoever is in charge – it makes sense, it’ll cost us less (and it will cost, until we have our own currency and fiscal autonomy it’s a fixed budget or go with begging bowl to ask for alms from westminster), it’s done and dusted in one fell swoop, and we can keep doing it every 5 years until everyone answers the question correctly.

      The SNP can shove their stupid referendum that they keep failing to secure. And there aren’t the same restrictions in an election, it doesn’t need legislated for because we have fixed term parliaments, so no more s.30 nonsense. And yes indeed, English MPs would have no need, in fact no jurisdiction and so can’t come up her running interference. It’s a win win, no-brainer, solution. And it’ll save all that mythical voter-fatigue, save on campaigning money that’s mysteriously gone missing, and make the whole election seem much more worthwhile for people to engage in.

      It is interesting though, is it not, that the unionists aren’t howling with glee over their now-realised SNP civil war? Maybe they are just busy writing up the headlines now, of course. Things certainly aren’t normal…

    114. susanXX says:

      At a time like this, when there are restrictions on what we can do and where we can go, restrictions on gathering, it is vital that we cling to democracy via elections.

    115. Beaker says:

      @Astonished says:
      10 January, 2021 at 6:48 pm
      “Stop falling for yoon lies – “once in a generation” – “majority of MPs”. Our imperial masters are amoral liars . I suggest our best course is to ignore them.”

      I’m not interested in “once in a generation” or Vows or anything else. I’m looking at a possible hard reality. A plebiscite is a high risk strategy which pays dividends if it comes off, but equally can cause major upheaval if it doesn’t.

      Assuming the elections will still take place in May, then I expect we will know what the plan is by early March. Personally I don’t believe the SNP will do it, at least not in it’s current form. But it’s too early to take bets.

    116. Saffron Robe says:

      How many people are dying from drugs?
      How many people are dying from suicide?
      How many people are dying from untreated and undetected cancers or other illnesses?
      How many people are dying from loneliness and isolation?
      How many homeless are dying from the cold?
      How many people are dying from despair?

      Is Nicola Sturgeon right to concentrate solely on Covid-19?

      A Cyclops has a single point of weakness. David was able to exploit a single point of weakness and bring down Goliath. Is Nicola Sturgeon similarly vulnerable?

    117. MaggieC says:

      I received this an hour ago from Martin Keatings ,

      Update on Peoples Action on Section 30

      By now, most of you will have heard about the formal backing of the case by MP’s Angus MacNeil and Kenny McKaskill in the form of affidavits filed with the court on Friday.

      I need to start by offering an apology. An email was scheduled to go out to you minutes before it going to the press and social media. That email didn’t go out (not sure why) which is why this will be the first time you’ve had an email after the fact. If you’re not familiar with what has happened then you can read the full article in the National Here

      The long and the short of it is simple – the UK Government and the Lord Advocate have continued to pursue the line of this case being ordinary citizens who don’t have the right to “stand in the shoes of parliamentarians”. However, with the filing of these affidavits we now have parliamentarians effectively saying “sure! stand in our shoes if you like”, supporting the right of the electorate to ask, and have answered, questions of law on the constitutional question. That and: “Hey! We’d also really like an answer to this question!”

      Hopefully, now that Angus and Kenny have stuck their heads up and gone over the top first, we’re hoping that it might make other MP’s and MSP’s brave enough to do the same, and certainly supporters of the case to go to their elected representatives and say: “Hey! Come and Join us!”

      As a reminder, we also have the hearing on Tuesday over production of documents and if you would like to monitor that hearing (Tuesday 12th of January, Court of Session, Virtual Hearings, 9.30AM) then all you have to do is contact the Clerk of the Outer House of the Court of Session and they will give you details to listen in.

      We’re still on course for the hearing on the 21st and 22nd (the big one).
      I should have more news for you later in the week and as always I will update you as things progress.
      I hope you are all safe and well.
      Martin Keatings

      Link to the article in the National that Martin mentions ,

      https://archive.vn/8lzqV

      It will be interesting to see if any other Snp Mps or Msps actually come forward and sign it .

    118. ScottieDog says:

      I’ll be emailing my MP asking for him to get involved in the keatings case.

    119. Davie Oga says:

      Graham King

      I stand corrected. It does my head in reading groupies, media, etc claiming that that the pandemic has been some kind of triumph for The FM and Scotgov. Just an invention of the Murrell spin machine.

      Thousands of extra Scots died than was necessary. Thousands.

      But the gullible will still believe it, just like the referendum happening this year.

      When the Sturgeon years are looked at from a historical perspective, it will be looked upon as a dark time in Scotland.

      The surrender of Scottish sovereignty
      Stripped of EU citizenship
      Covid incompetence killing thousands needlessly
      The destruction of the Scottish economy
      The betrayal and stich up of Alex Salmond
      Big pay raises for Evans and the alphabet “victims”
      Politicisation of the Crown Office and malicious prosecutions
      Encouraging neighbour to rat out neighbour
      Corrupt polis
      The silencing of dissent through “hate crime” legislation
      Hopelessly over promoted “leaders” through nepotism
      Rule by favour
      Transvestite sex workers in primary schools.
      The sterilisation of autistic children under born in the wrong body lunacy
      A complete lack of honesty in public life

      All done by an ultra PC ruling class with an actual disdain for, and propensity to lecture to, the ordinary Scottish people who put them in power.

      Unless there is a plebiscite election or a confirmed date for a referendum, I’m done voting for these chumps.

    120. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Saffron Robe

      It’s an unfortunate sad thing that people die from these things.

      You cannot catch cancer,any cancer.

      You cannot catch a heart attack.

      You cannot catch a stroke.

      You cannot die from drugs that you put in your own arm or snort up your nose.Unless of course you happened to meet Harry Shipman.

      You cannot catch catch a host of other diseases that kill people.

      You cannot catch suicide.

      You cannot catch getting killed in an accident, very unfortunate as these things are in our lives.

      But you can die unessassarily from a VIRUS if you happen to catch it.The best solution is not to get it , don’t you think?

      No one likes lockdown, but it’s necessary to mitigate as much as possible otherwise you won’t be able to help people with the above things you quote.

    121. willie says:

      Here David King, I think most folk would have realised the typo in there being 50,000,000 people in Ireland and 5,000,000 in Scotland.

      But if they didn’t recognise that there isn’t 50,000,000 people in Ireland then you’ve done a grand job pointing it out.

      As to the conclusion being drawn that there are around three times the deaths in Scotland compared to Ireland ( eg 6,686 to 2,336 ) did you note that, and if so any observations as why our First Minister and Scotland are by comparison doing so poorly compared to our close neighbour Ireland.

      If these results are accurate, then it makes a mockery of the daily Nicola Sturgeon public address. How can the island of Ireland be so different from Scotland?

    122. ScottieDog says:

      @Saffron Robe
      I have to admit NS appearing everyday at covid briefings (updates) was over the top. Part of leadership is delegation and the daily stuff could have been the remit of the health minister. IMO it did become political. Sure everything is politics I guess, but it became more about the person.

      It would have been more effective reserving her appearance for the more critical updates and announcements.

      I’ll get slated for saying this but she is overrated. Great on big ticket announcements, but the SG’s abuse of phrases such as ‘climate emergency’ has sickened me as have the TED talks and dozens of publications on ‘wellbeing’
      This is a govt who have cozied up to big real estate companies, Charlotte street partners, and benny Higgins who referred to friends of the earth as nutters.

      It is a government full of virtue signalling and buzzwords. It’s MPs warned for the past four years about food shortages due brexit, yet did nothing to address the huge land issues in Scotland. We could have done a great deal in that period to tax speculative practices and use the proceeds to fund new young farmers, but it was all about point scoring with little substance.

    123. Sharny Dubs says:

      O/T.

      Sorry if anyone has mentioned this before, no time to go through it all, but I noticed in MSM a few pod casts with NS as the subject but strangely enough (cough cough) with regard to independence nothing regarding the current ongoing.
      There even some with is Galloway being “punted” as the main drive behind something.

      The establishment are at it, or just some copy and paste keyboard jockey

    124. Meg says:

      Apparently hope dies last and right now where independence is concerned mine is on life support.

      Even if Nicola Sturgeon is found to have broken the ministerial code and has to step down there are many more MPs, MSPs and councillors just like her so who would take her place? I can only think of Joanna Cherry, Phillipa Whitford or maybe Angus MacNeil that i would find remotely acceptable.

      As it stands i have no idea how i will vote or even if i will vote. I guess a lot will depend on where we are in May and what is in the SNP manifesto

    125. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Latest British Labour News:

      Sir Kier Starmer has changed his mind over free movement – and doesn’t want to rejoin the EU.

      Vote loser in Scotland (looks like he is appealing to the English Brexit Voters who voted Tory)

      Henry McLeish says Holyrood Election should be postponed.

    126. ahundredthidiot says:

      There has to be a percentage of deaths we can live with.

      The only stats that matter – given all the noise – is the actual body count for 2020. If you take the past 25 years deaths in Scotland and average it out, it sits around 56,000.

      Figures to end of Nov ’20 sit just over 58,000 and we could reasonably expect December to throw another 6000 on top of that.

      So, we are probably looking at approx 8000 extra deaths for the year. Whats that then, about 15% ‘above average’ (give or take).

      Now, we cant automatically put that all down to COVID of course as drug deaths, suicides and ill health deaths have all been, not unsurprisingly, on the rise. And of course, it could reasonably be argued that only 9 months of the year was hit by covid, so maybe that would even it out.

      There currently exists no evidence that lockdowns work either against or for the virus. Same with things like facemasks – no evidence (and worryingly, early evidence from Spain showing a correlation between mandatory facemask wearing and sharp rises in cases two weeks after)

      If we are to have a mature conversation about Death – what is the percentage we can live with in order to return fully back to pre-covid normal? Remember, I am talking about a percentage of deaths of our annual average. And lets not forget how averages work.

      I would suggest 50% would be something to worry about, not 15%.

      But two things will negate the debate. We are incapable of having the conversation being dragged down to Piers Morgan moronic levels of ‘let it rip and killing granny’ and besides, more and more of us are becoming convinced that this ‘response’ we are all witnessing, no longer has anything to do with a virus.

      (site owners earlier point noted)

    127. Liz,
      That’s a simplistic and erroneous summation of Sridhar’s expertise. She has written and researched extensively on the subject of infectious diseases, notably Ebola, as well as malnutrition. Her bachelor’s degree is biology, but her research portfolio is extensive and relevant.

    128. Hugh Jarse says:

      Willie
      ” How can the island of Ireland be so different from Scotland?”

      Their Economic strategy, not just Health is run from Dublin.
      A wee Scottie dug, waiting for the master.

      Their land border with NI encompasses a Smaller population, not one ten times larger.
      How Anyone thought that would work out well for us in 1707…even with a lower proportion!

      Lastly, they’re not relying on jumped up diddys and dentists to make the decisions for their people.

    129. Davie Oga says:

      willie says:
      10 January, 2021 at 9:01 pm
      “As to the conclusion being drawn that there are around three times the deaths in Scotland compared to Ireland ( eg 6,686 to 2,336 ) did you note that, and if so any observations as why our First Minister and Scotland are by comparison doing so poorly compared to our close neighbour Ireland.

      If these results are accurate, then it makes a mockery of the daily Nicola Sturgeon public address. How can the island of Ireland be so different from Scotland?”

      Poverty is an issue I would imagine. Ireland has a far higher standard of living and quality of life than Scotland now.

      I don’t mean to imply that personal responsibility for the deaths lies with the FM, but venerating The FM as some kind of hero over Covid is actually quite sick. We are talking about catastrophic policy failures that contributed to the needless deaths of thousands. Starting off with herd immunity, A “4 nation approach”.

      More will die needlessly as well

      Q: What type of an fool would change the dosing schedule for a vaccine despite warnings from the manufacturer in order to be able to say that they have vaccinated more people?
      A: Boris Johnson

      Q: What type fool would do the same thing in order to say that they have vaccinated as many people as the first fool
      A: Nicola Sturgeon

      The numbers are accurate and from official sources, using the same method of recording.

      Virtually identical population size, rural/urban split and a high amount of genetic similarities and 3 times as many people have died in Scotland as Ireland.

      It’s very disturbing to see how a population can be manipulated so easily into believing something that patently isn’t true by any objective measurement.

      Following England’s lead cost the lives of thousands and they’ll do it again with the vaccination program. Already at it. Incompetent British exceptionalism brought to you by the “nationalist, lol” in Bute House in the exact same way The Sun brings you the news in Scotland as “The Scottish Sun”. A wee bit of tinkering round the edges so the Scottish people can be conned into thinking it’s indigenous.

    130. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      The idiot.

      How can you know the death number of something that didn’t happen if we didn’t mitigate?

      We’ve been mitigating to try and curb as much as we can and limit the deaths.If we we hadn’t mitigated how can you how many would have died? What crystal ball do you have in your possession that would have gave all the governments around the world so they’ll know for next.

      Oh and am looking for the euromillions numbers for Tues- it’s a secret don’t tell anyone else. Just keep it between us eh-

    131. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Davie Oga

      Does Ireland have a central belt the same as Scotland? It’s kinda important.

      Does Ireland control it’s own airports ,ports ? It’s kinda important.

    132. PacMan says:

      Jockanese Wind Talker says:10 January, 2021 at 9:50 pm

      Latest British Labour News:

      Sir Kier Starmer has changed his mind over free movement – and doesn’t want to rejoin the EU.

      Vote loser in Scotland (looks like he is appealing to the English Brexit Voters who voted Tory)

      I don’t think that even if opinion turned sufficiently enough south of the border that the UK could ever get back into the EU.

      It’s inevitable that the UK will be viewed as an unreliable state in it’s commitment to the European project. Will the EU want to readmit the UK only for about 10 or 20 years later to go through all the stress, division and hassle of the last couple of years?

      The price of a future re-entry for the UK by the UK will be so high that it will be political suicide for either Labour or the Tories to even contemplate.

      The question is Brexit is as bad to the Scottish economy over the next couple of years, how bad will it need to go before Scots realise the only alternative they have is independence then entry into Europe?

    133. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Oh. Is Ireland an independent country? It’s kinda important.

    134. Hugh Jarse says:

      I think he was positing what % of excess deaths would be acceptable, to avoid the tragedy of the side effects that surround losing our liberty Rob.

    135. David says:

      ‘ahundredthidiot’ appears to be a dangerous lunatic. He or she does not care that Scotland’s death rate has increased by 10%, caused by Covid. That is callous, psychotic behaviour from him/her, and I don’t appreciate reading comments from psychos.

    136. Big Jock says:

      Which begs the question. What has Sturgeon been given to delay Indy ref 2? We know she has no intention of doing anything. So what’s in it for her?

    137. Stephen P says:

      The Scottish General election coronavirus bill is passed and due to become law this month.

      It allows dissolution of the current parliament to happen on May 5th rather than the customary 27 days prior.

      Allows for a 100% postal vote if normal polling cannot take place.

      Or extra consecutive days for polling subject to advice from the electoral commission.

      Grants the presiding officer the power to postpone the election for up to a maximum of 6 months to November 2020 if the parliament cannot meet due to covid to vote on another date. This must be in consultation with the Chief medical officer, electoral commission and Scottish ministers.

      It seems highly unlikely that there will be much or any significant delay given the ability for 100% postal voting which would be the fallback.

      Or will the unionists claim that the risk of posting a letter is to high?

      Recently the Lib Dems and some Tories have been involved in dirty tricks via postal vote fishing…

    138. ahundredthidiot says:

      David

      That’s unfair. Five of my relatives are in that 8000. 1 covid – although he was 84, blind, stroked, wheelchair bound and a flu could’ve sent him to a better place. 1 very probably a suicide (unknown) and the other 3 could maybe have got another few years if we had a health service.

      This is what I mean about having a mature conversation about death…what percentage of additional deaths – above our annual average – is acceptable. Are you saying 0%?

      Because if covid is here for the long term, how are people to feed their kids if we don’t answer this question.

    139. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Hugh Jarse

      Dead people don’t have liberty- their just dead.

      These are tough decisions that governments need to make. It’s tough but needs must.

      Accept the things you cannot change.
      The courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

      GA and AA slogans, not mine.

    140. ahundredthidiot says:

      Ayrshire Rob

      Thanks for the lecture earlier re my Grammar.

      Stones in glass houses and all that.

    141. Mist001 says:

      Remember too, that it’s now illegal in Scotland for you to even leave your house without good reason, one of the umpteen laws that are now on the statute books and will never be repealed.

      Either the election gets called off/postponed or postal votes it is, then. The thing with postal votes is that the Royal Mail will suspend services at the drop of a hat these days.

      I’ll stick my neck out here and say that no election will take place in May.

    142. Stoker says:

      For those of you who haven’t seen this yet.

      Some of us, for quite some time, have been worried the longer Sturgeons procrastination continues the harder it will become to gain our indy. Seen this today and it reinforces my thinking. If anyone thinks the UKGov aren’t secretly doing something similar with Scotland and our right to self-determination then they need their heads looked. We need someone leading the fight for indy who understands the enemy. Sturgeon has proven she’s not that person. They (UKGov) have stolen a march on her at every turn.

      This is very worrying: https://archive.is/WM1DP

      And the actual article: https://archive.is/muwBr

    143. Hugh Jarse says:

      So Rob, no answer then, just angry rant.

      Would 0.1% above average mandate where we are?
      I doubt that!

      1%?
      Same.

      5%.
      Same, probably.

      Are you getting it now?

      What % would be acceptable Rob?

    144. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Aye idiot

      You glot medear.

      I always get there,their,they’re sometimes mixed up. I’m not infallible.

    145. Heaver says:

      Mist001

      You really are a twit.

    146. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Hugh Jarse

      No rant lad,just my opinion.

      You’re putting the decisions onto the doctors and nurses on who should live and who should die because you want a percentage to come in a % range?

      Where the fuck and what brought you up?

    147. Neil in Glasgow says:

      I’d leave this fuckin shit hole tomorrow if it was up to me. Where would I go? Anywhere. But at least I’d know the score before I went. But I can’t because I have a wife and kids and it’s not just up to me cos I’m decent like that (she has a mother ans granny and stuff like that. Because apparently some folk take things like that into consideration 🙂 Even though they’ll likely be dead soon and your own life means nothing. I’m being flippant here. Possibly more relatable to some more than others :)).

      That last point may have been personal(!) but my point is we kid on we’re the greatest, most tolerant place on earth (Scotland) when we’re not. Surely the fact I’d rather be an immgrant in another country rather than my own should speak words? I love Scotland, I’ll say now I don’t appreciate it 100%, but I’m not going be a martyr. There are other places that would offer me so much more because they value themselves as actual nations. Until the Scottish (and read that SNP) government go rogue and just act like Westminster doesn’t exist we’ll always just be a region.

      So why don’t we just go rogue? If we can govern responsibly, what’s the problem? Who could have a problem? Unless there’s more to it from the folks in charge?

    148. Saffron Robe says:

      Ayrshire Rob, you missed the point of my comment, although I do not disagree with what you say.

      The concentration on the mitigation of one thing only in a complex environment – and even that assumes that the mitigation is working which, as others commentators have mentioned, is highly questionable at best – can inadvertently exacerbate many other things.

      Equanimity is the measure of a good leader. Myopism is a single point of failure in a leader.

      There is also the small matter of numbers. The number of deaths from other causes should be given alongside the deaths from Covid-19 so that we can see things in perspective. What we are being presented with instead is a distortion of the truth.

    149. Davie Oga says:

      AYRSHIRE ROB says:
      10 January, 2021 at 10:09 pm
      Davie Oga

      “Does Ireland have a central belt the same as Scotland? It’s kinda important.

      Does Ireland control it’s own airports ,ports ? It’s kinda important.”

      Ireland has an almost identical urban/ rural split. County Dublin has around 1400 people per km2, virtually identical to Glasgow City region (Glasgow, Lanarkshire’s, Dumbartonshire’s, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire).Its not necessarily Dublin either which has the highest incidence rate at any given time. Anywhere bordering
      British controlled Ireland has had high infection rates. Namely Counties Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. The former three would be largely rural areas.

      Ireland controls its own borders but they haven’t been extreme about using that control until the new variant appeared. Borders have been pretty open for the most part. Voluntary quarantine/ isolation etc. Participation in the EU travel system.
      Scotland has the ability to control its borders and ports using public health legislation, the current regime choose not to.

      Anecdotally, not shutting the ports and airports has been the biggest criticism of the Irish government’s strategy.

    150. ElGordo says:

      The reason Irelands deaths rates are lower, is that the country is not overly populated by subservient, cowering, snivelling, grovelling, unhappy, malevolent beasties.

      There was a recent medical study published that found that that Covid would impact the bitter & twisted demographic more severely.

      Irelands case rate is currently c. 2 x UK

      Unemployment benefit being 3 x UK, pensions 2 x UK and GDP per capita 2 x UK, may also help with the will to live.

    151. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      The Scottish General election coronavirus bill is passed and due to become law this month.

      Grants THE PRESIDING OFFICER the power to postpone the election for up to a maximum of 6 months to November 2020 if the parliament cannot meet due to covid to vote on another date.

      So BritNat Labours Ken Macintosh will have the power to suspend the Holyrood Election!

      Given that the Yoons are frothing for the election to be cancelled/suspended I think Ken is the type of guy who would use the power handed to him (especially as he is retiring – it will probably help upgrade the letter in front of BE in his retirement honour from Betty Winsor)!

    152. ahundredthidiot says:

      Ayrshire

      I am not talking about doctors and nurses. I am talking about politicians taking those decisions. Everyone has a different attitude to risk, that’s ok, but there is a distinct lack of leadership everywhere at the moment.

      Scotlands annual deaths over the past 25 years range from just over 55,000 in 2006 to almost 61,000 in 1996. We average around 56,000.

      Granted it makes me sound like the Devil, but I am not concerned about a 15% upsurge on ‘average’ deaths due to COVID. In fact, I would suggest that is a good thing, because SAGE told us to expect at least 150% in just 3 months. Thankfully that didn’t happen.

      The NHS was making preparations for an upsurge in deaths for 2020 as far back as June 2019 as it became apparent that a particularly nasty strain of flu was hammering Australians.

    153. Hugh Jarse says:

      Sorry Rob, you’re right,no anger.
      You do come across as more than ‘robust’ in your comments. 🙂

      Still not answering though mate, just deflecting.

      POLITICIANS decide, advisors advise, and nurses nurse .

      Is 10 % above 10 year average enough to justify the unprecedented decisions?

      p.s. Careful,more deflecting is a defo tell.

    154. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      The doctors and nurses are the ones dealing with this, not politician’s. Have some consideration for them.Enough of them have died with treating covid patients because some people have no heart.

      You expect treatments for conditions while at same time show no consideration for your own actions re covid.

      You make fecking sick.

      Wear a mask, stay in the hoose and stop being arses.

    155. Hugh Jarse says:

      Tumbleweed and deflection Rob.Bot like!

      When you are finished in the loo, an answer would be fabulous.

    156. Hugh Jarse says:

      Okay.
      When you clock on…

    157. David says:

      ‘aHundredthIdiot’ is happy for an extra EIGHT THOUSAND Scots to needlessly lose their lives every year. Disgusting.
      I expect our government at Holyrood to support worldwide efforts to develop Covid cures, plus use track & trace, and so bring excess deaths from Covid down close to zero.
      We should only accept about 25 deaths yearly from Covid, which is 0.0005% of Scotland’s average yearly amount of 58,000 deaths.
      Why 25? Because it is the number of Covid deaths New Zealand (population 5 million) suffered.
      NZ did it – so could we, if we do what their smart female leader did.
      Scotland needs to follow the smart countries, not the ones led by ‘herd thinning’ sociopaths like Boris Johnson.

    158. Joe M says:

      The British state plan re our election is to delay for a few months to allow GERS season to coincide with election campaigning. Then they can claim that the pandemic has added 100 squillion quid to Scotland’s debt(that isn’t). This will give the English parties, and their MSM, the opportunity to scaremonger voters with “the SNP have bankrupted us” and swing the election in favour of the tories.

      GERS, as we all know, was created to handicap the other parties in Scotland, and they have come to realise that the timing of the GERS report is inconvenient for them. They have two choices, either bring GERS forward a few months, which would be blatant electoral fraud, or use the pandemic to delay the vote until a time when GERS lies could influence voters, a less obvious electoral fraud.

      I am really surprised that nobody here or social media has caught on to this. Even our political representatives seem to be oblivious, so I have to assume that, in the depths of winter, GERS is out of sight and out of mind.

    159. Intractable Potsherd says:

      Andy Ellis says:
      10 January, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      Does anyone really believe Sturgeon and her supporters would risk prison for the cause like their Catalan compatriots?

      The Catalan situation is completely different to that here in Scotland. The Spanish Constitution expressly forbids regions seceding, whereas we are in a Treaty of two nations. There is no chance of anyone facing prison for splitting the Union.

    160. Intractable Potsherd says:

      SophiaPangloss says:
      10 January, 2021 at 6:36 pm

      “That’s a worry of mine too. The idea of a plebescite election depends on a clear one-line manifesto…”

      I’ve seen you express the same concern on Twitter, but, as I see it, you are confusing a referendum with a plebiscitary election. A referendum is vote on a single question, an election is a vote based on multiple parties putting forward a manifesto. The plebiscite would be based on a party or multiple parties having a clear manifesto promise of independence, preferably the first item.

    161. Andy Ellis says:

      @Intractable Potsherd 9.51am

      I’m aware of the similarities and differences between the two cases. The point rather was to question the commitment of the gradualists leadership in the SNP to the cause, and whether they would in fact face prison time in the event there was some breakdown. I fear your airy assertion that nobody here would ever face prison time is just that: assertion. None of us can predict what might happen in the future. The point I was making however, was that if there ever was a situation in future where Scots independence supporters had to make a choice between facing down an illegal attempt by British nationalists to veto Scots self determination, or being arrested or jailed, I’m pretty sure most of the current leadership would dilate and either compromise or give in altogether.

      The fact the Spanish constitution purports to ban secession is both irrelevant and in any case not accepted under international law. Self determination is a jus cogens. Even the UK government – along with most other reasonable countries – doesn’t accept that secession can be vetoed by the larger unit per the discussions on Kosovo and submissions to the ICJ.



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