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The Lonely Island/s

Posted on October 23, 2017 by

There’s so little happening in Scottish politics news today that we had to read David Torrance’s column in the Herald, and we must say we ended up pretty confused.

Not by the fact that it was a free half-page advert for a new Unionist “thinktank” set up by an angry unsuccessful dogfood salesman readers may be familiar with – there were no surprises to be found there from either Torrance or the Herald – but by the thinktank itself, which doesn’t seem to know its Arsenal from its Devil’s Elbow.

Called “These Islands”, the group appears to concern itself with just one of the UK’s many islands (Great Britain) and only three of its four constituent nations, with the most Unionist of them all – Northern Ireland – left out in the cold, apparently having gained independence from both the UK and the Republic overnight without anyone noticing while the latter has been re-annexed for the glory of the Empire.

Indeed, the six counties are even explicitly excluded from the term “United Kingdom”. But then, bewilderingly, the group uses a header image featuring Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic, while completely excluding poor old Wales.

Yet on the “Story” panel (as opposed to the “Mission” panel directly adjacent to it) the narrative suddenly changes from “the union between England and Scotland – founded in turn upon the much older union between England and Wales” to the Union between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland”.

(Excessively fussy historians might note in passing that “union” is an interesting way to describe the joining together of Wales and England.)

Comically, the group, launching tomorrow in – where else? – London, then professes to be “enthusiastic about local identities and loyalties”, while everyone tries with heads spinning to work out precisely which identities and loyalties it might be talking about.

Is that the one-island, two-union, three-nation “United Kingdom” of England, Scotland and Wales but NOT Northern Ireland (as per the blurb)? Or are they referring to the multi-island, four-nation, one-union, two-state entity arbitrarily encompassing England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland but NOT Wales (as per the picture)? Or some other variant entirely?

The only permutation that’s been definitively ruled out appears to be the ACTUAL, four-nation, four-parliament United Kingdom, so we suppose it’s hard to argue with the assertion that there’s “a pressing need for recalibration”.

(We should perhaps note that it’s taken them eight months of “well-developed thought” to reach this highly-polished state, and their launch is five months late.)

The @theseislands Twitter ID on the Facebook page (there’s no proper website, so far as we can establish) actually directs to a “Marilu U. Gutierrez”, whose last tweet – over a year ago – is about someone splendidly called Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

But then there’s a particularly excellent surprise twist:

Because we’re of course all familiar with the hordes of immigrant red squirrels who’ve swum to Belfast and Dublin from Scotland, or the endless plagues of pine martens and golden eagles infesting the more deprived parts of Birmingham. We’re sure the group will have some sharp ideas for dealing with them.

And it’s reassuring that the dogfood salesman is sticking to what he knows:

We are, readers, quite fantastically excited to hear what this dynamic new collection of experts is going to come up with on the subject of whichever “islands” and whichever “United Kingdom” they’re actually talking about at any given moment, if they ever make their minds up. We’re sure that above all it’ll be reliable and robust.

We’ll naturally keep you informed, if there’s absolutely nothing else happening.

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  1. 23 10 17 14:56

    The Lonely Island/s | speymouth

388 to “The Lonely Island/s”

  1. Muscleguy says:

    Does that mean Oor Kev will nae more pick fights with a certain mild mannered but feisty London Professor over GERS?

    Life will be less interesting as a result. I’ve grown to like the Prof and his contributions. A most helpful neutral who cares about things like probity and accuracy.

    Not a useful man for normal British politics then.

  2. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Informed and constructive debate on such a vital topic is impossible without a robust understanding of the relevant facts.”

    I’m sure Prof Murphy will have helped you along the road with those facts, Kevvy-boy. Oh and you know – you can only have a “debate” when BOTH sides attend the debate. Let me think now – how many times did Better Together point-blank refuse to attend debates.

    Platitudes, sound-bites and bunk, Kevvy-boy ain’t going to cut it. Scotland has moved on and you and your ilk are being left behind. FAR behind.

  3. Robert Graham says:

    Oh well keeps him off the streets i suppose , on the other hand thats maybe where he belongs but that would entail being honest about his profession , whats the chances ? .

  4. Artyhetty says:

    Verbal diarrhoea from Torrance. It’s Monday, god knows what he will be writing by Friday then.

    You will be assimilated…brrrrr.

  5. Macart says:


    That’s another perfectly good wall ruined.

    A ‘think tank’ that doesn’t think and quite patently is extremely shaky grasp on the whole FACT part of ‘relevant facts’.

  6. Swiss Perspective says:

    It‘s all about the United Animal Kingdom, silly.

  7. Brian Powell says:

    Struggling with the shared vision bit when one part will decide what all the other parts will do, and that one part came up with Brexit.

  8. Andy Anderson says:

    Sound like they have as much knowledge of these islands as many in the BBC.Only yesterday I heard the beeb make three errors. Did they go to school?

  9. allan thomson says:

    They will ensure debate regarding the union takes place with a “robust understanding of the relevant facts” . Are they going to open the door to the stable McCrone came out of. Standby for fun.

  10. ClanDonald says:

    What utterly boring, unengaging dullness, only the dog food salesman could come up with such uninspiring blah blah blah…

    Keep being of no relevance to our lives, whatsoever, Kev.

  11. Macart says:

    They’re aware that most of humanity has quite a lot in common, right?

  12. Greannach says:


    Would someone wake me up if this outfit ever gets to the point. Thanks.

  13. Ian says:

    What is it about Unionists and tanks?

  14. I find absolutely hilarious reading that the wildlife of these Islands and their seas respect no borders.

    Also history and geography doesn’t appear to their strong point either.

  15. louis.b.argyll says:

    I suspect a bunch of flaky Tories are behind it.

    With a sprinkling of titled Lib-Dems lending cross-party-patronage to fix establishment trust-fund approval.

    Got yourself an excuse for a think-tank.

  16. Sinky says:

    No doubt the BBC etc will give this fringe organisation plenty of publicity.

    No excuse for Gordon Brewer not challenging Gavin Esler on yesterday’s GMS about his and BBC’s prime time promotion of No Borders PR exercise during Scottish Referendum. Will anyone in the media call out the leading lights in Scotland In Union for their online outbursts?

    It seems obvious bias that the BBC etc do not employ researchers or news editors who can see new priorities from an Indy viewpoint shared by 45% of the population.

  17. Street Andrew says:

    Robert Graham says:
    23 October, 2017 at 1:21 pm
    “Oh well keeps him off the streets i suppose , on the other hand thats maybe where he belongs”

    With a brush and a barrow perhaps(?) Sweeping up ‘shite’ instead of writing it.

  18. Chic McGregor says:

    I think they are making the point that like continental Europe the island of Great Britain is a contiguous area encompassing several different countries and therefore… sorry, got lost at that point.

  19. So they should have a British football team if they are so united. They can’t even bring themselves to do that, they are so disimilar.

  20. Street Andrew says:

    Ian says:
    23 October, 2017 at 1:39 pm
    What is it about Unionists and tanks?

    Septic tanks a specialty.

    Filled, not emptied apparently.

  21. HandandShrimp says:

    I have always taken the view that “think tanks” is short hand for “arms length partisan propaganda” and that they are mostly a boil on the backside of the body politic

    However, surely “These Sceptred Isles” would be a cuddlier name 🙂

  22. Street Andrew says:

    Peter McCulloch says:
    23 October, 2017 at 1:45 pm
    I find absolutely hilarious reading that the wildlife of these Islands and their seas respect no borders.

    Not even border collies.

    Isn’t that kind of racist?

  23. Dan Huil says:

    Seems Torrance has been watching too many Neil Oliver propaganda programmes. He’s talking about the islands of New Zealand surely.

  24. msean says:

    They want to save the Union by setting up an organisation in the imperial capital that shows no understanding of what the UK is comprised of?

    As for Wales,I’m not sure actual historical fact would agree about it joining a union with England. Invaded by Norman England more like.

    How can it be taken seriously after this,it will always be open to rebuttals re this launch? As for the wildlife bits,don’t tell any country that has a land border.

  25. Street Andrew says:

    Dan Huil says:
    23 October, 2017 at 1:54 pm
    He’s talking about the islands of New Zealand surely.

    Nah ! Islands in the stream.

    Golden stream of pish.

  26. I think a better title for their new Unionist think tank
    would have been looney tunes, because it sums them up perfectly.

  27. Les Wilson says:

    Has the “No Borders” feel about, and that went down well. I suppose they will get English supporters, naturally, with 58 million or so down there some will agree with their well, whatever it is.

    I think most Scots will just take the piss out of it, they have no questions or reasoning that we cannot expose or easily answer, another waste of money to try and keep their province (cough) in place. Dark money again.

  28. Red Squirrel says:

    Can someone please tell me if “enthusiastic about the union” is a euphemism?

    “Enthusiastic as well about local identities and loyalties” – well we’re all about the enthusiasm – fine but it has an underlying forced and rather desperate tone.

    Sorry still nauseated by the love bombing from last time so having an anaphylactic reaction to this rubbish.

  29. John Walsh says:

    Well Stu maybe you should start a site (@ the seized lands) as from a Scottish prospective of how England being the largest of the UK constituent parts ALWAYS gets what it wants.
    Inviting experts with facts to contribute.
    Should get you a piece in some Yoon papers . NOT

  30. Mike says:

    It sounds like a group project for a dyslexic kinderkarten class.

  31. Alba Jock says:

    The Great British Isles, this United Kingdom of Englandshire biggest county in Scotland.

    Blatant disrespect of the nations of the UK except for the main part ENGLAND, who like to think they not only rule the UK but the globe too!

  32. Welsh Sion says:

    From LinkedIN.

    Kev, you know about. (Though I could dig up his full profile, if you want.)

    But who is this other … name not given, who is “Operations, These Islands” and based in Norwich? Only a thumbnail pic available at the moment.

  33. PJM says:

    This charlatan knows journalists are so lazy that any ‘report’ from any ‘think tank’ no matter what the ‘subject’ or ‘occasion’ or even ‘fill in your own term here’ is going to get media coverage. I also wonder how transparent their funding will be.
    It seems like every other day a new think tank is springing up. It seems there’s a lot of money for this kind of thing as well as for initiating lawsuits…it all sounds so innocent. File under freedom of thought or the pursuit of justice and everything’s just dandy. Crush the legitimate desires for self-government of a people held back by our imperial masters and carry on as normal.
    The game is well and truly on (though it should be said for total consistency that K***n H***e is obviously a complete diddy…).

  34. Dr Jim says:

    Sorry to go O/T folks but rumoured leaks from Brussels are the invention of the British press at the request of the UK Government says Brussels


    Surely the Press don’t make stuff up eh, who would have thunk

  35. Bob Mack says:

    They are seriously grasping at straws to find anything we actually do have in common. It must be difficult for Unionists to understand that politically and socially Scotland has been on a different path from England for some considerable time.

    They have a view of the established order of things which no longer exists, no matter that they wish it to be so, and now they try desperately to put the genie back in the bottle by every method open to them including persuasion, bullying,financial punishment, media publicity and lies.

    Squirrels or anything else are not going to change that now. The path is set no matter how desperate they become.

  36. Shug says:

    You are getting it wrong, set up a unionist site and campaigning group and see if you can replicate their nonsense and get money from the BBC and sundry unionist nut jobs to fully develop Indy 2

  37. Proud Cybernat says:

    Think tank on the case…

  38. PJM says:

    I get it now…they want to exterminate all independence supporters. I am typing this from a hospital bed. I had a heart attack brought on by laughing for over an hour. Honestly the ‘UK as a moral good’ FFS?!!! Nurse! Nurse!
    This might actually be funnier than Duck Soup…

  39. scottieDog says:

    I’m assuming that when the wildlife swims/flies east, it rebounds of that massive EU force field. Lol

  40. Desimond says:

    happy Birthday Robert Peffers…im assuming that’s why he has been handed such an obvious treat!

    Right up his street!

    What is David Torrances game exactly…surely he should be working on an unauthorised Biography of Ruth Davidson or has she beat him to it?

    I missed Sunday Politics many topics covered Ruth and Tory lies on the Clyde? Did she get interviewed on the Frigate Renaging and tore to shreds…

    What do you mean it was all about bad SNP ideas for a possible future?

  41. Welsh Sion says:


    You’re all missing a trick regarding the Tory shenanigans with shipbuilding on the Clyde.

    Shouldn’t this be “Fri-gate gate”?

    I’ll go and lie down in a darkened room …

  42. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Ach, I can see it now. An astroturf campaign to keep the Proud Scot But Zoologists on board:

    “Independence will bring a hard border between Scotland and England that will prevent our natural fauna from intermixing and they will diverge. How cruel and unsustainable is that… blah, blah, blah…”

    Once animal rights are involved, all is lost, folks. This is the Nuclear Option.

  43. Daisy Walker says:

    I get we can’t trust the Red Tories… but I draw the line at Red Squirrels.

    I love how These Wankers keep talking about These Islands, with Capital Letters no less.

    Fanny’s, deluded, bonkers, no doubt over paid, fanny’s!

    Will no doubt keep us entertained.

  44. Do they include the British Virgin Islands, which, as far as I know, don’t pay taxes to UK, get free higher education in UK if they want, free protection by the UK military, paid for by British tax payers, free clean-up by military and other services when they have a hurricane that blows up rich people’s houses.
    Oh wait … it’s a tax haven where the rich keep their money to avoid paying taxes, and still leach off the British taxpayer, so that the elite can continue to mess with British politics and society, while hiding their money away in BVI. Why is this tax haven (and Bermuda) not mentioned as one of the great islands of Britain?

  45. Fred says:

    The Catalunya problem explained by George Kerevan in the National. The British Unionists supporting the neo-Fascist junta in Madrid, now there’s a surprise!

  46. Joan Edington says:

    I can’t even find the Facebook page. Has it been such an embarrassment they had to take it down?

  47. Alba Jock says:

    Why are all the animals living up here in Scotland? Simples!

    Fresh air, plenty of space,and they don’t need to listen to the yaya’s all day long.

    Seriously if this is all they have they might as well give up now. Never heard, nor seen so much TOSH!!

    Now that Yorkshire want’s independence too, where do we go from here? They are without doubt useless.

    Remember the joke? God and St.Peter when peter could not understand why God gave Scotland sooooo much? God had to enlighten Peter to the fact ” You have’nt seen the neighbour’s I gave them!

  48. Ruglonian says:

    “no crisis should be allowed to go to waste”
    wtf is this, satire?
    We shall not miss this opportunity to indulge in an existential howl? We shall despair at the irrelevance of our three-year-too-late-half-baked campaign?

    Oh, and won’t somebody please think of the squirrels 😀

    You couldn’t make it up!

  49. Alex Clark says:

    The term “these islands” is simply another name for “British Isles”. Looks like the new construct are keen to avoid the use of the word British.

    From Wiki

    In British English usage, the toponym “British Isles” refers to a European archipelago consisting of Great Britain, Ireland and adjacent islands. However, the word “British” is also an adjective and demonym referring to the United Kingdom. For this reason, the name British Isles is avoided in Hiberno-English as such usage could be construed to imply continued territorial claims or political overlordship of the Republic of Ireland by the United Kingdom…

    In documents drawn up jointly between the British and Irish governments, the archipelago is referred to simply as “these islands”

  50. What an absolute load of bilge

  51. Arbroath1320 says:

    Welsh Sion says:
    23 October, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    You’re all missing a trick regarding the Tory shenanigans with shipbuilding on the Clyde.

    Shouldn’t this be “Fri-gate gate”?

    I’ll go and lie down in a darkened room …

    The bar in the Darkened room is open Sion. 😉

    I’m wodering if with the “creation” of this new “think tank” by oor wee Kev that perhaps we should start a “book” on how long it will be before he starts up on his favourite subject …GERS! 😀

  52. Scottish Steve says:

    I don’t hold much hope for this new “thinktank.” If they cant even properly define the nation-state they are trying to defend, how will they put forward positive and constructive ideas on how to preserve said nation-state’s existence?

    Thinktanks. What a waste of time and money.

  53. Robert Peffers says:

    @Ian says: 23 October, 2017 at 1:39 pm:

    “What is it about Unionists and tanks?”

    Isn’t there a song about that, Ian.

    “Tanks for the memory”, mibbies.

  54. Ken MacColl says:

    Have to state that I don’t think The Herald was as bad as this when I stopped buying it!

  55. osakisushi says:

    One can only wonder whether someone is pandering after a knighthood or peerage…

    Lord Barking of Mad

  56. Robert Peffers says:

    @Robert Graham says: 23 October, 2017 at 1:21 pm:

    “Oh well keeps him off the streets i suppose … “

    Or, as my old Granddad, put it when I was, as usual, getting up to mischief in the farmyard.

    “Ach! Leave the wee laddie a’lain. It keeps him oot o the road o the cairts.”

    We only haed horses on the farm back then – nane o yon new fangled tractor things.

  57. aitchbee says:

    Sounds like a complete dog’s breakfast, which is quite appropriate really 😉

  58. K1 says:

    Stink Tank would be more apt for this lot.

  59. Robert Peffers says:

    HandandShrimp says: 23 October, 2017 at 1:52 pm:

    ” … However, surely “These Sceptred Isles” would be a cuddlier name.”

    Most certainly it would be a more accurate description, HandandShrimp

    I never quite understood the sense in that phrase. It just never made any sense for me. Until after I looked it up in the dictionary:-

    1. – a ceremonial staff held by a monarch as the symbol of authority.

    2. – imperial authority; sovereignty.

    3. (transitive) – to invest with authority.

    So there you go – the phrase does indeed describe the United Kingdom but not either Great Britain, Britain or the British Isles.

  60. heedtracker says:

    Toryboys are such fuckwits. At least it shows they’re gearing up for ref2. Like the turds at NTS giving. Neil Oliiver a very juicy soap box to rant vote NO at us again.

    Made mistake of tuning into BBC radio Scotland today, straight in to just another high Englaih Tory wet fart, Rory the Tory, waffling away, with the whole Beeb Scotland gimp squad prattling on and on about something this Tory twit said, is all somehow BBC news.

    We get it beeb Scotland gimps, your Toryboy twerps are the right and proper owners of your Scotland region, for ever and ever, kiss the high Tory ring peice.

  61. geeo says:

    Almost speechless at the utter buffoonery of that article..spectacularly off their rockers!!

  62. CameronB Brodie says:

    And there was me thinking the most logical expression of localism in national government, within a union of nations, is self-determination.

    This is going to be fun, I’m equally as comfortable on AstroTurf as on grass. 😉


    There has always been a localist element to British politics. But recently, a particular version of localism has been moved to the foreground by the 2011 Localism Act. This paper identifies various uses and meanings of localism, maps their geographical assumptions and effects, and critiques their politics. It does this using the localism of the United Kingdom’s Coalition Government as a case study of localism in practice. The rationalities, mentalities, programmes, and technologies of this localism are established from Ministerial speeches and press releases, along with Parliamentary Acts, Bills, White Papers, Green Papers, and Statements – all published between May 2010 when the Coalition Government was formed, and November 2011 when the Localism Act became law. We argue that localism may be conceptualised as spatial liberalism, is never straightforwardly local, and can be anti-political.

  63. Tinto Chiel says:

    I’m confused because a great Englishman once said,”England is an island and we should be proud.” (Ian Botham, ex-cricketer and intellectual).

    I think those Think Tank chiels should get re-educated/oriented down on Grousey’s farm:

  64. stewartb says:

    Always interesting (and necessary) to delve behind the ‘front’ of new organisations like These Islands. And this can take you to some unexpected places.

    The extract below is from an essay published in April, 2014 in the London Review of Books by Colin Kidd, a historian at the University of St Andrews (Source: ).

    And why are the writings of Professor Kidd of interest here and now? Well, from this Certificate of Incorporation available online from Companies House ( ), Professor Kidd is one of four ‘subscribers’ to These Islands Limited, established as a company limited by guarantee. What follows may be of interest to a certain few regular contributors to this site!

    “…. Notwithstanding the current commotion about the prospects for enhanced devolution, federalism and an ill-defined devo-max, the constitution we have remains that of a Greater England. Strangely enough, the Treaty of Union which is constitutive of the British state enjoys no special constitutional standing. Our constitutional experts don’t seem to be much good at parsing what – it should be clear after four decades of debate about the Scottish Question – is manifestly a partnership founded on an international treaty. Yet from England’s enduring solipsism derive many of the constitutional problems which beset the United Kingdom.

    Everybody knows the canard that the UK has no constitution, because it’s not all written down in one place like the American constitution. Understandably enough, given the jibes the subject attracts, jurists and political scientists have over the years fixated on the question of what makes the British constitution a constitution. Rarely, if ever, have they confronted the less obvious question of what makes the British constitution British.”

    He goes on:

    “When did the English state become British? And what at that point became of the English constitution? In what ways was it transformed by the Union of 1707 which created a new British state?

    Such questions are rarely answered in the literature of British constitutional interpretation. It’s not that the Union is singled out deliberately for disregard but rather, that the impenetrable arcana and demanding idioms of British constitutional scholarship have allowed an instinctive, unreflective and arrogant anglocentricity to obscure the real nature of the constitution. The Union negotiated and ratified in 1706-7, which, one might suppose, gives our constitution being, lies – unnoticed – in its innermost recesses.”

    Additionally, in the summary of a presentation dated September, 2012 ( ), Professor Kidd writes:

    “The double-layering of the British constitution is under-appreciated. The Union of 1707, a hasty measure devised to confront short-term problems, scarcely dented the well-established contours of the existing English constitution, despite the fact that the Union was supposedly constitutive of a new British state.”

    “Regardless of the outcome of the Scottish referendum (in 2014), it seems likely that the British constitution will need to be reframed to take account of the fact that the UK is already a ‘state of unions’. If Scotland remains in the Union then the British constitution will need to be clarified. Alternatively, even if Scotland withdraws from the Union, then the surviving state will be an odd ensemble of England, Wales and Northern Ireland whose underpinning principles of unity will be a succession of Acts of union (and disunion) between the sixteenth century and the present. Either scenario presents a pressing need for constitutional reframing.”

    One wonders then if Professor Kidd has been hugely disappointed at how the issues raised in this last paragraph are not being addressed! And one can only wonder why having written in such a considered way as above, Professor Kidd wishes to associate himself with Mr Hague’s latest venture.

  65. Free Scotland says:

    ? ? ? ?

  66. frogesque says:

    Anyone still moaning about the BBC? If you haven’t done anything about it then donate now!

    If you have already done so then brilliant

    Fundraiser currently standing at £15 over the target of £3,500 but I’m sure a few extra shekels would be put to good use.

  67. LesWilson says:

    A think a “Think Tank” of our own, countering the union is long overdue.They have toooo many already.

  68. CameronB Brodie says:

    There are EU/local authority grants available to help individuals and groups conduct cultural/art/environmental education and research projects. From small acorns…. 🙂

  69. CameronB Brodie says:

    At least there were a while back.

  70. frogesque says:

    YES doesn’t need a think tank.
    We need a date!

  71. Robert Peffers says:

    @Arbroath1320 says: 23 October, 2017 at 3:08 pm:

    “… I’m wodering if with the “creation” of this new “think tank” by oor wee Kev that perhaps we should start a “book” on how long it will be before he starts up on his favourite subject …GERS!”

    Yeah! But! Kev might shut-up now that The Gers, The Queen’s 11, are out of the Scottish League Cup.

  72. schrodingers cat says:

    how can we forget the glorious dirge from “these island”

  73. galamcennalath says:

    Seriously, I would really really like some questions answered by Unionists about their Union.

    What does it offer? What sort of Union do they see developing? What purpose does it serve? Why should it continue? Who benefits most from it?

    Never ever do we hear a case for their Union.

    I challenge Unionists face to face with questions like this. The main answer is usually related to shared history, glorious empire, wars fought together … basically nostalgia for another era.

    What is it non English Unionists want? The partnership of equals turned out to be a sham. They can forget that line.

    So, I welcome any group who think they can put up a case for their Union. Popcorn all ready. Bring on the dancing bears.

  74. kailyard rules says:

    Another thinktank for colonel Ruth to straddle.

  75. Greannach says:

    I see David Torrance is still hiding behind his beard.

  76. heedtracker says:

    One wonders then if Professor Kidd has been hugely disappointed at how the issues raised in this last paragraph are not being addressed! And one can only wonder why having written in such a considered way as above, Professor Kidd wishes to associate himself with Mr Hague’s latest venture.

    There is no British constitution and if one is on the way, it will be written to make sure Scotland cannot end this uk union.

    One of the greatest tory liars and hypocrites ever, Micheal Portillo explained to Andrew Neil, on his personal vote late night tory BBC show, thusly,

    “If we had a British constitution like Spain’s, we could protect ourselves from Scottish separatists.”

    I UKOK shit you not.

  77. Welsh Sion says:

    With apologies and acknowledgements.


    You can’t get any sense out of them, they’re part of the Union,
    Don’t need them, they’re part of the Union.
    Better Together folk, them in the Union,
    Till they get their P45’s …

    Now I’m no Union fan;
    Not fazed by their mass media scams
    I say what I think
    That the Union stinks:
    Yes, I’m no Union fan.

    You can’t get any sense out of them, they’re part of the Union,
    Don’t need them, they’re part of the Union.
    Betray Us Together folk, them in the Union,
    Till they get their P45’s …

    To the Union folk, I’m wise
    To the lies of the BBC guys.
    And I don’t get fooled
    By the rigged YouGov poll
    ‘Cause I always read

    You can’t get any sense out of them, they’re part of the Union,
    Don’t need them, they’re part of the Union.
    Bitter Twisted folk, them in the Union,
    Till they get their P45’s …

    So we’re true Yessing folk;
    We can ruin the Union’s plan
    Make our Scotland free throughout
    And the Union folk without.
    Then export the whole blooming lot of ’em!

    You can’t get any sense out of them, they’re part of the Union,
    Don’t need them, they’re part of the Union.
    Battered Toerag folk, them in the Union,
    Till they get their P45’s …

  78. bobajock says:

    Friday pub discussion was a simple one.

    “What’s left that’s good about the UK?” with respect to Scottish independence.

    Much pints and umming and ahhing. We got 2 things:
    The Pound (caveat – its worth SFA now)
    The UK Single market (caveat, nobody knows its real worth)

    This left us with what good about Scotland – outside UK?
    There wasn’t time to get through the reality of how much better ScotGov is than Westgov.

  79. Bob p says:

    It’s all about pulling and sharing, we’ll pull all your resources out of jockland,and share them with london and the southwest.

  80. JLT says:

    Read it this morning while eating my cereal and certainly raised my eyebrows a few times. Seriously …I think Torrance is losing it.

    The whole piece made no sense at all, and I even had a chuckle when he mentioned the ‘Union’ with England and Wales. This must also be the same ‘Union’ that England had with Ireland, and of course, the failed ‘Union’ between Scotland and England as advocated by that fun-loving and pass-a-fist English king, Edward I.

    And what a dreadful name for rebranding the Union …’these islands’. Complete and utter nonsense!

  81. Ian Brotherhood says:

    And up pops Rory The Stewart to advocate summary execution for those who don’t support British values.

    It’s a pincer movement!


  82. joannie says:

    Oh dear god.

    I wonder if there’s anyone from the Republic of Irelandshire involved in this think tank and if so I bet they pop up in the near future on some chat show advocating for Ireland to leave the EU and return to the embrace of Mother England.


  83. ScottishPsyche says:

    That really is the sort of guff an overly kind teacher would say had ‘raised points which hadn’t been thought through’.

    The ‘think tank’ stuff has that H**** feel though – trying to appear grown up while failing to suppress the raging adolescent need to say stuff that will impress the bullies. The others in SiU don’t care and are happy to show where they stand but he always tries too hard. It smacks of the cairn of friendship nonsense or whatever it was called.

  84. CameronB Brodie says:

    @David Torrance
    I recommend you reflect on your psychological sense of community. Mind and remember that one can’t be a moderate patriot to a unitary state.

    Nationalism, Patriotism, and Group Loyalty: A Social Psychological Perspective

    The purpose of this essay is to introduce the reader to a social psychological perspective on the roots of nationalism. At its heart is the description of how individuals develop feelings about and attachments to groups-how they build loyalty to groups. The review explores how such loyalty can lead to hostile reactions to other groups, can become translated into stereotypes that are shared by individuals, can shape the collective behavior of groups, and can help differentiate the multiple groups that define any political environment.

    The Bases of Group Loyalty

    The bases for group and national loyalty are widely assumed to be lodged in human needs: “Groups in general are organized to meet human needs, their structures and processes are in part molded by these needs” (Guetzkow, 1957:47). At the level of the nation, the group fulfills economic, sociocultural, and political needs, giving individuals a sense of security, a feeling of belonging, and prestige. While these needs are regarded as universal, their strength appears to vary in different nations and in different individuals (see Terhune, 1964; DeLamater et al., 1969). These needs are not limited to national identifications but have been found to be the basis for group identification in general. “The ways by which an individual relates to his nation have aspects in common with the ways an individual relates to any group of which he is a member” (Terhune, 1964:258).

  85. Drew Ure says:

    All these words and I still do not know if there will be any graphs, give me graphs!!

  86. Mik Johnstone says:

    yeah So enthusiastic about the nation it’s removing the Saltire off every product and replacing it with a butchers apron a rag now synonymous with terrorism … :@

  87. heedtracker says:

    Graun with the red tory latest bleh,

    “Sadiq Khan: second Brexit vote possible if parliament rejects deal
    London mayor says fresh referendum is an option as he warns that threats by firms to leave UK over Brexit uncertainty are real”

    Scotland can forget indy ref2 under Lab and JC because? because.

  88. wull2 says:

    Some people think the reporting in the back pages are biased, (News flash) it’s worst in the front pages.

  89. heedtracker says:

    Graun tories usual very creepy UKOK word choice, “second Brexit vote possible,” knowing full well who’s ears would prick up at referendum 2 likely. They really a slimy bunch UKOK hacks.

  90. CameronB Brodie says:

    @David Torrance
    Re. British nationalism. What consideration, if any, have you given to the ethics of your ‘One Nation’ ideology?

    Book Review: The Psychology of Nationalism
    In many ways, it is surprising that psychologists have contributed relatively little to the study of nationalism. After all, the human mind creates national identity and has made it to a central component of the modern sense of self. Fortunately, Joshua Searle-White’s Psychology of Nationalism goes a long way to filling this void by offering a concise, clearly written and lucid theory explaining why nationalism is such a powerful force in the modern world. While the book is not without short-comings, it deserves the attention of anybody interested in developing an understanding of contemporary national identity.

  91. David says:

    Very good find by Alex Clark at 3:04pm, and worth a quick repeat:

    The term “these islands” is simply another name for “British Isles”. Looks like the new construct/think tank are keen to avoid the use of the word British.

    In documents drawn up jointly between the British and Irish governments, the archipelago is referred to simply as “these islands”

  92. Breeks says:

    Courage mon braves! We have moles on the inside! Forget what you hear. I’m reliably informed Scotland’s fish, foxes and pheasants are all YES voters with a special interest in land reform. I’ve also heard tales about several European bears, wolves, bison, and boars who want to move here and employ local people in tourism, who are currently discussing immigration with the Home Office. It seems those cads at the Home Office are dragging their feet over language problems and poor vocabulary hampering British citizenship tests.

    But let’s not be too cynical. Maybe it’s not just Kev. Maybe Stewart, Rory Stewart, WHO DIDNT WORK FOR MI6 is involved, and has plans for a veterans reunion for the Charge of Holdy Hands Brigade at the Battle of Hadrian’s wall.

    Who can forget the charge eh? Half a league, half a league, half a league upwards, £10 a rock, and a mere £1000 for a guided tour of “somewhere” with Rory. Or maybe Bear Grylls if Rory was busy. Maybe Rory has plans to commemorate the stunning victory of 41% of the flexible total with another ceremonial fly tipping of more stone at Gretna. Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot? Why certainly not, it’s good for a giggle even on your darkest days.

    Well done Rory, Kev and Sam, I mean David! – Roundabouts and traffic islands everywhere, (apart from maybe Livingston), look towards Gretna with a tear in their eye… At last! Somebody cares about Britain’s Forgotten islands..

  93. Balaaargh says:

    “These Islands is a forum for debate founded in the conviction that no crisis should be allowed to go to waste. (emphasis added)

    That. Right there. Westminster Imperialism at its finest.

  94. yesindyref2 says:

    Well done Rev, when I read the article my first reaction was “Bless”, but then I read a comment from a PNV complimenting Torrance on a humorous tongue in cheek article, and realised that it was indeed. I then, naturally, thought of you.

    But the thing is I really do think Torrance was also kind of confused about what the group is about, same as you, and me. Which is very interesting. It seems to me he’s prepared to take the proverbial out of his “own” side, as well as ours, and maybe even himself which would mean he’s gone up one rung of the ladder as a writer. Interesting.

    My feeling though is that there’s a whole load of PNVs are looking at the “state of that”, the shambles in Westminster, and wondering what in the name of blue blistering barnacles the Union is up to – and do they really want to be a part of it?

  95. Michael says:

    Of course the only function of such an entity will be to ‘prove’ England is giving us lots of free dosh. Why bother with all the rest of the waffle…..?

  96. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    stewartb @ 15:53,

    Re-reading your quotes of Prof. Kidd, it seems he went from (in 2012) the well-intentioned but self-deluding unionism of the time that “things will have to change in the UK whatever happens in indyref2” to (in 2014) stating that the undefined UK “constitution” is really and truly “British” but commentators have exclusively (and “wrongly”) focussed on how intransigently “English” it is – and thereby in effect blaming the messengers for the (true) message!

    Clearly his first position (like Jakey’s very peculiar domestication of it) has fizzled completely, and the UKSC lately stuck a knife right through the heart of his latter proposition, since apparently English constitutional theory dominates all.

    Judging by his support for this new dodgy Unionist venture, either a sorry PSB delusion has blinded him so badly that he has learnt nothing from recent experience, or he simply doesn’t have the moral courage to follow where his understanding should surely have led him.

    England (establishment and people) is just not interested in any constitutional reformation. It’s never going to happen.

    They want control, total control. And haven’t exactly been quiet about it the last year or so either. What does it have to take for PSB’s here to finally wake up to that reality?

  97. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    me @ 17:48,

    Pardon me, my obsession is showing. That first sentence should of course read “indyref” not “indyref2”.

  98. Another Union Dividend says:

    Another recent Tory funded pro-Union front is

    Scottish Business UK which according to Financial times has been funded to the tune of £30k by former Tory candidate Robert Kilgour?

    The advisory board comprises of:
    Robert Kilgour, Founder and Chairman of Scottish Business UK
    Struan Stevenson, CEO of Scottish Business UK (former Tory MEP)
    Jack Perry, independent non-executive board member and adviser to a number of public and private companies
    Hugh Andrew, publisher and Scotland’s largest independent cartographer
    Ian Condie, former senior partner in Condie & Co, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers

    Their web site has no mention of strong Tory Party connections.

  99. Giving Goose says:

    Re Robert J Sutherland.

    Proud Scot Butts (no spelling mistake) have zero self respect. The ultimate in cringeology, they do not have the moral courage to even look themselves in the eye (in a mirror, if they own one) and question their selfish motives.

    Every single Yes supporter has more self respect in their pinkies.

  100. Meg merrilees says:

    These Islands… is that the same place as ‘These Sceptred Isles”…or should that be ‘These Septic Isles’ They really are desperate now.

    slight O/T just found this on twitter a short while ago.

    Seems the KING of Spain phoned Volkswagen and asked them to take their factory out of Catalonia!!!!

    but maybe that’s false news- doubt it!!!

  101. gus1940 says:


    RE today’s Bute House evacuation story what is the situation regarding the proposal to refurbish the old Calton Jail Governor’s House to become the official FM’s residence?

    Is this sill going ahead and if it is when will the work be completed?

  102. Az says:

    I laughed heartily while reading this article and some of the comments. As someone above (sorry didn’t note whom) mentioned, I also looked for the Facebook page and got a big fat nothing – all I could find was a Scotland In Union post relating to the original Herald article. The comments were of ourse the usual howls of people fighting their own dissonance. I refrained from kicking in with my own.

    It has struck me in recent weeks that those strongly in favour of union are melting down. They are becoming stupid, irrational and emotional. Yes, I know, I mean even more so!

  103. Auld Rock says:

    As usual Torrance doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.

  104. heedtracker says:

    Don’t think Graun tories like Scotland becoming a nation state again, as opposed to a pleasant region for middle class England to escape into,

    “But in other countries there is an action-reaction cycle under way: Britain leaves the EU; the Scottish government seeks a different form of exit, heightening the tension with the centre;

    Understanding claims for secession and autonomy does not mean acceding to them: authoritative legal referendums are the method enshrined in international law to test such claims – and it is a disgrace that the EU and Spanish state have refused one in Catalonia.”

    Its nice that tory England thinks its the centre but its clearly what massed ranks of beeb gimps in their Scotland region want, for us all to just SHUT UP and accept. Its certainly going to be really weird watching the whole of planet toryboy block Scots ref2.

  105. Ruby says:

    And it’s reassuring that the dogfood salesman is sticking to what he knows:

    Non Profit Organization.


    I’m getting a red underline for spelling organisation incorrectly!

  106. dandy dons 1903 says:

    Mr Pedigree Chum just like the union has nothing to offer. The yoons are flogging a dead horse.

  107. yesindyref2 says:

    I think those strongly in favour of union are not only melting down, they’re becoming less and less as other PNVs take stock, and are open to the idea of Independence.

    Remember Salmond said there was an underlying majority in favour of Independence during IR1, I wish I could find the quote. I certainly found that, with a lot of people liking the idea, but being concerned about the risks, whether we could actually do it. I’d say most of them voted NO in the event.

    It’s why I’m starting to call them “PNVs” – Previous No Voters, as many of those even in IR1 weren’t Unionists and since the Ref, there’s more don’t want to be called Unionists either.

    Used it once in a posting in The National I think it was, got a good response from a sensible anti-poster, something like “I like the term, but I’m not one (yet!)”.

    I suspect Torrance is moving that way, in fits and starts.

  108. Alex Clark says:

    Talking of fake news, France24 news station now totally owned by the French government had this to say on the Spanish Foreign Ministers comments about “fake news” on the Marr show.

    Only 1.21 min long and worth a look. Perfectly balanced hahaha.

    They are circling the wagons, determined that their version of the news is the only version. I’ll never trust France24 to report any story again as being unbiased. Just the same as the BBC.

  109. yesindyref2 says:

    I think there’s started to be a shift in attitude, and perhaps because IR2 is “reset” meaning “put off”, or “same as before”, depending on how people want to look at it, but in any case, not being pushed all over the place at the moment. It’s all quiet on the Indy front! Too quiet 🙂

    In IR1 it was up to us “You want the change, things are OK as they are, not perfect but OK, you have to make your case for Independence”.

    I think it’s becoming with some people, and hopefully more and more with the omnishambles that is Brexit, the UK Tories and Westguddle:

    “You want us to stay in the Union, things aren’t great, it really isn’t perfect, it’s not OK, you have to make your case for the Union”.

    Which is what quite a few posters and campaigners have been saying all along: “What is your case for the Union?”.

    Which means we’re winning.

  110. Az says:

    @ yesindyref2

    I do hope you’re right, and I just managed to decipher that term before you explained it! Grey matter still functioning – check – but only just!

    On happier days I suspect they are dwindling; then at other times I feel overwhelmed by their apparent presence in high number. On balance though, I think there is a fair amount of dark money sloshing around to employ people to bombard social media etc with these apparent dissenting voices – and I don’t just mean the famous, brave boys and girls of the fearless 77th 😉

    My suspicions are aroused because they seem to be attracted to certain stories, and almost completely absent on others. For example, they are legion when there is strong criticism of the UK Tory Gov on certain Facebook pages, not least the SNP page itself – an obvious magnet for them. They also attack ‘nice’ stories of success such as the Baby Box.

    They rather struggle with others like the Queensferry Crossing, since it’s almost impossible to find an angle for them. All I ever saw regarding that was moans about it not having been actually built by the hands of the SNP, and it involving international collaboration – because they project their blood and soil instincts onto Scottish independentistas, which is a very weak position indeed. Oh, and comparisons to the similar bridge near Béziers in the south of France, which are also easily blown away with facts.

    I think, like many, I find it frustrating at times that there is as yet no tangible evidence of us shifting towards the landslide we all want to see. Still, I’m pretty sure every day little steps are made, and I remind myself that most people live outside our political bubble. Sorry for rabbitting on at such length!

  111. yesindyref2 says:

    Just one more for luck. Theresa May with her “Precious Union” is manna from Heaven.

    “Precious”: of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly

    informal – used for [derogatory] emphasis, often in an ironic context.
    “you and your precious Union — what’s good about it now?”

    Mmm, My Precious! Falling into the Cracks of Doom with Gollum clutching it in delight as he tumbles “into the fire” singing Duran Duran.

  112. Is it true that KH`s companies do not make profit,

    and if so, is this through it`s stupidity,

    or is it a better accountant than given credit for,

    as in no profit no tax on profit.

    Tax avoidance is not against the law,Tax evasion is.

  113. Is it true that KH`s companies do not make profit,

    and if so, is this through its stupidity,

    or is it a better accountant than given credit for,

    as in no profit no tax on profit.

    Tax avoidance is not against the law,Tax evasion is.

  114. Capella says:

    I was expecting a full explanation from Mr Peffers to set the record straight about what “The Union” actually is. David Torrance and friends clearly have no idea what they are talking about. One of them is a historian too.

    I suppose it will give them something to talk about during these long winter evenings. Here in The North night falls early and dawn is a long time coming. What better than to pour a dram and reminisce about the Union and the beauty of the British Constitution.

    As Judge Braxfield – the Hinging Judge – said while sentencing Thomas Muir and the Scottish Martyrs to 14 years penal servitude in Botany Bay for wishing to vote:

    “The British Constitution is the most perfect constitution in the history of the word and it is not possible to improve it.”

    Or words to that effect.

    Off to watch Outlander. The final episode was delayed for a week. Jamie is in Edinburgh working as a printer. Turns out that many Jacobites became printers after the dust settled in the 1750s.

  115. Ruby says:

    The weird thing about this press launch being held in London is that the only press coverage seems to be by David Torrance in the Herald

    There’s this
    with a link to a website which needs a password to access
    Tom Holland replies to Torrance post by saying a lot more coming soon

    Dan Snow doesn’t say anything

  116. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    I would offer that the article is a LOAD OF PISH.

    Sorry about that but how else can one describe it?

  117. Ruby says:

    The press launch is actually tomorrow in London and on Wednesday in Edinburgh so I expect we are going to hear a lot more about this think-tank.

    Their website goes live tomorrow.

    It should all be very entertaining.

  118. Dan huil says:

    This group already have a British nationalist broadcasting unit: the bbc.

  119. ScottishPsyche says:

    It will be interesting to see if KH is now ready to go to the next level for the Union. Do they not know that beyond their own echo chamber he is a bit of a joke? It is a strange choice to have him as the face of their organisation. I’m not sure I could believe any love bombing from him – oh gawd what a thought – having seen the contempt with which he treats Independence supporters.

    Who were their focus group – Prof Jill’s dinner party set?

  120. Ruby says:

    ScottishPsyche says:
    23 October, 2017 at 7:54 pm
    It will be interesting to see if KH is now ready to go to the next level for the Union. Do they not know that beyond their own echo chamber he is a bit of a joke? It is a strange choice to have him as the face of their organisation

    Ruby replies
    It’s his show!

    These Islands Ltd was incorporated in February by businessman and blogger Kevin Hague, who runs the Livingston-based M8 Group.

  121. auld highlander says:

    Lonely Island/s, it soon will be when Johnny Foreigner gives us the cold shoulder.

    Septic Island/s would be more appropriate.

  122. ScottishPsyche says:


    That explains everything!

  123. Ruby says:

    Herald article April 2017
    Pro-Union thinktank to be launched by TV historians who persuaded Mick Jagger to ‘love bomb’ Scotland

  124. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    The fact is that the union is aiming its spin unerringly at the half-wit factor and it has already lost the majority of well informed Scots.

    The Herald, once a revered newspaper the world over, is now a joke and it has to be said that unionist spin is done much better in the Daily Record by Torcuil Crichton than the infantile Herald offerings of David Torrance.

    Many of us remember the Herald with Iain Bell and Joan McAlpine and even unionist commentators who were coherent and readable.

    Bullshit fatigue will eventually overcome the purveyors of the rubbish in our printed media as it becomes ever more frenzied and derisory. My observation is that it is only the immigrant English custom that is holding up the Daily Mail’s and Daily Express’s sales. I believe the Express is on the verge of being taken over by the Nirror Group.

  125. Ruby says:

    ScottishPsyche says:
    23 October, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    That explains everything!

    Ruby replies

    Herald article from April 2017

  126. Ruby says:

    weird that use a privacy service based in the US.

  127. Ruby says:

    Weird that use a privacy service based in the USA.

  128. Brian Powell says:


    Theseislands is an fake organisation and I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes from the same stable as the Brexit campaign and its backers.

  129. John Moss says:

    You were reading something by David Torrance…quelle shockers!

    C’est un imbecille, non?

    He knows he’s got a limited shelf life so why shouldn’t he go and make cash whilst he can as the champion of the Yoo-nighted King-daum?

    That cash is going to have to last him a long time apres independence. Right? Ay, right!

  130. Marker Post says:

    I always remember a classic Salmond put-down of David Torrance. Alex had been asked in an interview what he thought of some article from Torrance. He replied something like, “I’ve never met the man. But what’s more important – considering that he wrote my biography – is that he’s never met me”.

  131. mike cassidy says:

    Fake news in Catalonia.

    Already drew attention to this a couple of weeks ago –

    and the article was roughly translated by some wingers.

    As someone said at the time.

    It only takes a few examples to make it easy for the other side to dismiss most of the claims as erroneous.

    As has now happene, it appears.

  132. Alex Clark says:

    @mike cassidy

    It only takes a few examples to make it easy for the other side to dismiss most of the claims as erroneous.

    Of course. Who is it though that are putting obvious fake news in the public domain when there was so much real violence going on?

    Ask yourselves that.

  133. mike cassidy says:

    Alex Clark 9.47

    I have no doubt that the fakenews environment is a wilderness of mirrors –

    and that alongside the careless sourcing, there will also be intentionally ‘poor’ sourcing by those who hope to discredit the authentic material.

    Be careful out there!

  134. Rock says:

    They have only one aim.

    To make sure that if and when a second independence referendum is held in Scotland, there will be at least 50%+1 gullible Scots voting to maintain the union.

    Given that the most stupid people on the planet live in Scotland, they will almost certainly succeed.

    If only Nicola had not spectacularly 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, Scotland would have been on the verge of independence now all these unionist outfits would be obsolete and history.

    Now they have re-grouped and will prevent independence at all costs.

  135. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Alex Clark @ 21:47,

    Not so much “follow the money” for once, more a case of “follow the lies”…?

  136. Alex Clark says:

    In order to report “fake news” you have to create it first.

    I doubt very much that Catalan supporters of Independence were posting photo shopped pictures on twitter while the reality was happening alongside them.

    The “fake news” is a new government creation. Ordinary don’t put such shit up only those with an agenda. This so called fake news in Catalonia was created in order to discredit the reality.

    The shame is that all the EU countries state owned media are spreading this shite. At least i know what really happened as I was it as it unfolded.

    Fake news is created by governments to discredit the real news, that much is obvious now. False flag operations without causalities.

  137. Alex Clark says:

    Must learn to proof read before posting lol.

  138. Rock says:

    Considering that Robert Peffers never wrote a book on the history of the union and does not have a site of his own, I propose that the Rev. Stuart Campbell gives him the opportunity to write an article on the history of the union.

  139. Ruby says:

    Alex Clark says:
    23 October, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    @mike cassidy

    It only takes a few examples to make it easy for the other side to dismiss most of the claims as erroneous.

    Of course. Who is it though that are putting obvious fake news in the public domain when there was so much real violence going on?

    Ask yourselves that.

    Ruby replies
    It might be interesting to check when these photos were posted.

    Judging by the comments on the French newspaper people haven’t been taken in by the article.

    These are a few of the comments translated by Google translate (not perfect but good enough)

    Nathmol Yesterday
    You highlight four photos, actually retouched or diverted. What are they worth next to the hundreds of snapshots or videos showing the brutality of the Spanish police towards the referendum participants?

    Pierrot 2 days ago
    And if you also analyze the photos of the real violence that took place yesterday in Catalonia? There is also an interesting work of analysis to conduct. Unless you want to minimize the extent of the police brutality these images show?

    Obviously pro Spanish supporters would offer a different opinion.

    Thanks to the decoders … But there is no decoding of Rajoy’s false claims that there was no Sunday self-determination referendum when he sent anti-riot units, equipped as face to a demonstration with “breakers” infiltrated, to sabotage (by removing ballot boxes and ballots) a poll of which it was enough to notify that the result would be legally null for the authorities of the State (judgments of the constitutional court in support )

  140. Lenny Hartley says:

    DMH re Daily Hail, there are a hell of a lot of Scots here on Arran who buy that pish, the majority seem to be Women as it’s targeted at them . I remember recuperating from a major Op 14 years ago and not wanting to watch daytime Telly, I had my carer bring several newspapers a day, most days the Daily Hail would be among them and there were a lot of feature articles that would appeal to the fairer sex, I assume they are still using that formula. Anyway it works, when
    I’m in picking up my National it seems to be the most popular.

  141. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Lenny Hartley at 10.16

    I suspect you are right. It is mostly women I see buying the Mail and the Express. I suspect a majority of buyers of our tabloid newspapers are now female

  142. Balaaargh says:

    @Ruby, 8:46PM was registered through Go Daddy who are one of the biggest registrars globally, originating in the US. They own Domains By Proxy (DBP) who are the privacy service in Arizona.

    The site itself is hosted on a farm here in the UK alongside such household names like and

  143. ian murray says:

    Glad to see a slow but steady increase in our Golden Eagle population.
    These new actors appear to be pulling on emotional heartstrings, but that does not put food on the table.
    The draconian cuts to services flies in the face of anything they can offer, unless it is
    Hey come on we are going to slit our wrists lets do it together

  144. defo says:

    “Give it up Rock, we know what yer all about”
    Barked the dogs in the street.

  145. Rock says:


    ““Give it up Rock, we know what yer all about”
    Barked the dogs in the street.”

    Unlike Scots, Scottish dogs are “sovereign”.

    Rock (13th October 2016 – “The Mayfly”):

    “A Scottish dog has infinitely more “sovereignty” than a Scot – it can at least bite someone it doesn’t like.

    Scots cannot even impeach a lying MP (Carmichael).”

  146. defo says:

    WTF has that pish got to do with your real reason’s for hanging around here?
    Disrupt & divide.
    Always with the negativity thing, your an encumbrance to the cause.
    At best.

  147. heedtracker says:

    I suspect you are right. It is mostly women I see buying the Mail and the Express. I suspect a majority of buyers of our tabloid newspapers are now female

    Yeah, stupid women types, eh lads:D

  148. Alex Clark says:

    Rock logs into his Wings database, types “Rock says” “dogs” whoosh and 0.05 seconds later he has the post he needed.

    Cuts and pastes it from the database and sticks it on Wings at precisely 10:59 pm of 23rd October 2017.

    Good work Rock 🙂

  149. heedtracker says:

    Rowena was one of Graun’s big vote NO hitters in 2014. Its interesting the Izzard’s mute on his UKOK campaigning with Jimbo Murphy too.


    Eddie Izzard champions diversity in bid to join Labour NEC
    Comedian standing for national executive committee for second time says party must work to involve under-represented groups
    Eddie Izzard campaigning for Labour in the run-up to the June general election.
    Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

    He added: “I have campaigned against racists and fascists all over our country and around the world, and I want all of our members to feel welcome in the Labour party.

    Rowena Mason
    Monday 23 October 2017 22.00 BST

    As day after day, Graun blacks out SNP and Scotland. Lovely people.

  150. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    heedtracker at 11.09

    What exactly was that stupid comment about? My next door neighbour for whom I buy an Express daily and my wife for whom I buy a variety of tabloids get them exclusively for the womens’ interest, fashion stuff and Strictly Come Dancing etc etc. The Mail and the Express in particular and to an extent the Sun are very aware of this and play strongly in content to a female audience. Most men I know don’t buy newspapers anymore. The Daily Record is actually a newspaper that carries a lot of news from around Scotland and it is very sad where its anti independence emphasis takes it.
    It did wobble quite considerably before that “snap” general election but retreated back to SNPbaaad after that. I’d keep an eye on it.

  151. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Actually looking at circulation figures it is evident that considerably less than half of the households in Scotland now get a daily newspaper – though of course a significant number take online publications

  152. Footsoldier says:

    “This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,….
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

  153. Ruby says:

    Balaaargh says:
    23 October, 2017 at 10:27 pm
    @Ruby, 8:46PM was registered through Go Daddy who are one of the biggest registrars globally, originating in the US. They own Domains By Proxy (DBP) who are the privacy service in Arizona.

    The site itself is hosted on a farm here in the UK alongside such household names like and

    Ruby replies

    Is there an extra cost for this privacy service?
    Are you able to opt out of the privacy malarky.
    To me it always looks suspicious if the owner of a website wants to hide.

    Do you remember the ‘Boycott Scotland’ website which appeared when Megrahi was released?

  154. heedtracker says:

    “England, bound in with the triumphant sea,

    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege

    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.

    That England that was wont to conquer others

    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.”

    The more things change…:D

  155. stewartb says:

    Robert J. Sutherland @ 5:48 pm

    “England (establishment and people) is just not interested in any constitutional reformation. It’s never going to happen.”

    I agree completely with this. There is no empirical evidence either from recent, post 2014 events or in the distant past that the majoritarianism (the ‘Anglo-centricity’) that is deeply embedded in the UK state is up for any substantive constitutional change. Despite all the power held and excised by the English majority in Westminster, the EVEL announcement on the day following IndyRef1 is just a simple signal of the English-dominated, British establishment’s mindset. However ‘attractive’ a Vow Mark 2 appeared to be on constitutional change, I wouldn’t trust them to honour it.

    And anyway, as an advocate of Scottish independence, any future constitutional link – any sharing of power with the choices made with the larger electorate in other parts of the current UK – that means that we in Scotland are still bound to a defence policy involving WMD and to a foreign policy that, as an example, is complicit in what the Saudi’s are doing in Yemen is, candidly, not good enough!

    OK that’s only my view, but I wish the people living in the country of Scotland to have agency in these and other matters, and not simply have to follow what the overwhelming numbers of voters in England choose to support, now and always.

  156. heedtracker says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    23 October, 2017 at 11:23 pm
    heedtracker at 11.09

    Its the psychology of blokes really, politics is a sausage fest right enough.

  157. Ruby says:

    Dave McEwan Hill says:
    Most men I know don’t buy newspapers anymore.

    Ruby replies

    Do they not buy newspapers for the fitba, horse racing, page 3 and to read their horoscopes?

  158. heedtracker says:

    If the Graun tory twits read WoS btl, this is probably their f you too, tonight’s Graun scotland section, probably a weeks work for hammer of the scots Severin.

    23 October 2017

  159. Hamish100 says:

    Watched the BBC national English state broadcaster this evening on the spies of Elizabeth 1 Queen of England.

    Could have been written by brexiters. – the French are bad the Scots are bad Catholics are bad. Puir wee Lizzie is angelic. She was a murderer. Drake was a bit of. A lad.
    The a wee english public schoolgirl tells us all about the Queen of Scotland not Queen of Scots and all her failings.
    The graphics were good – lovely unionist flag shown in all its glory 2 centuries before it was invented.
    Ep 2 next week. I can feel unionism is good coming our way. Wonder who though this storyline up.

  160. Still Positive says:

    Hamish 100 @ 12.20

    I watched a much more uplifting programme on BBC1 at 8.30 – 9.30 about centenarians in England. None from Scotland, Wales or N. Ireland. Although I am sure there are many in the rest of UK outwith England.

    Said that 1 out of 3 children born today will live to 100.

  161. geeo says:


    You can say something which is patently utter drivel as many times as you like, but it remains drivel every time from the first time to the latest.

    A self proclaimed genius is usually just a self loathing narcisist with mental health issues, who projects his insecure inadequaces onto others, who he knows are his intellectual and emotional superiors.

    Best ignored, thus taking away his platform.

    He WANTS replies ffs…it kills him to be ignored, so fucking ignore him.

  162. Petra says:

    @ Hamish at 12:20am … “Mary Queen of Scots”.

    The propaganda is unrelenting, Hamish.

    Got in with “Mary Queen of Scotland was unintelligent” within the first 10 minutes. Eh! She was provided with a great education in Scotland before she left for the French Court aged 6/7. King Henry who adored her said that she had the intellect of a 25 year old when she was 11. Could speak numerous languages and so on.

    Said to be the most outstandingly beautiful Royal in Europe, height 5’11”, but they show their favourite witchy looking portrait of an unknown person by an unknown artist. The one that looks like the far from braw looking Elizabeth1, in fact, wearing a dark wig.

    She was “fed up staying at her last location.” No mention of the fact that she has been imprisoned since was 26 for 19 years. “A few nobles wanted her released.” No just about every Roman Catholic in the country, north to south, and in France and Spain wanted her released.

    Mary was basically a no-user and Bessie was brilliant. I could go on and on but what’s the point? Nothing ever changes. Same old, same old BBC propaganda.


    They should think about checking out the “stories” that Bessie was actually Bertie, which makes a lot of sense … not marrying, no heir etc. However I doubt the fragile English ‘psyche’ could bear that if it were found to be true.

  163. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    Petra @ 01:03,

    What I find interesting is that the BBC these days (contrariwise to its new charter) seems to be increasingly retreating into pre-Union mode. England this and England that, both on radio and TV.

    Not in the usual UKOK way of the past, with a sub-text to try to convince we wild northern natives who our real superiors are. Just a simple take on Englishness past and present, as if that’s the only country they truly wish to represent.

    It seems as if, contrary to all the “togetherness” propaganda the BBC spew out in the news, its drama people already know the game’s up.

  164. ian murray says:

    If the next vote uses the same guidelines as in 2014 EU folk probably voted No for security/stability reasons.Is it fair to expect them to swing to the Yes camp and if so what kind of numbers are we talking?

  165. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    An interesting question (if not exactly on topic =grin=).

    The basic figure I found with a very quick search was from NRS, which gave ~190,000 non-UK residents from elsewhere in the EU in 2015.

    Numbers would of course be increased by any who migrate here in the meantime or are attracted here from elsewhere in the UK, and/or conversely diminished by any who become disillusioned and return home.

    An SG document shows an age profile of EU residents from c2014 of 16% under sixteens, 8% 50-64 and 4% 65+, so the “likely voting” proportion might be something like 76% of the above, mostly ignoring the fact that a certain proportion of the younger ones will inevitably come of voting age by the time of the next ref. (And maybe more of the older ones might also be motivated to vote by the need to stay with family.)

    Which gives a very, very rough estimate of some 145,000 potential EU voters.

    Last time round some abstained out of principle or ignorance, feeling it was not their call despite eligibility. Given the stakes now, I can’t imagine many being so reluctant or indifferent next time round, at least not if campaigning targeted at them is effective.

    One last complication. If you are comparing with the result last time, you also have to account for those who were previously fooled by BT propaganda and voted “no”. Each one of those who switches to “yes” in effect counts twice relative to last time. (As indeed does any other such switcher.)

  166. Graeme McAllan says:

    So, the Isle of = dinnae understand this, not had enough to drink to make sense of this clusterfuck Man, Falkland Islands, Gibralta etc don’t count – looks like my pc has been drinking……hic 🙂

  167. Cactus says:

    Morning Scotland.

    The feature lights are out on Freedom Square and the ‘seasonal illuminations’ are now in place.

    See for yourself People of Glasgow: ~

    Glasgow in the morning.

  168. Roger says:

    There’s a problem here. The name ‘These Islands’ has been taken, and it is NOT a Unionist organisation and has no affiliation with this new ‘These Islands’ group.

  169. Nana says:

    Parliamentary boundaries are ‘at odds with reality’

    How we create a common Campaign and Identity.
    by John McHarg – Paul Kavanagh
    Wee Ginger Dug Invites you to discuss how YOU can shape mould and build the next Independence Campaign.

    Pull up a chair for this folks
    The SAC will take evidence from the Sec of State, Lord Duncan & Lord Keen on work of Scot Office

  170. Nana says:

    National investment bank could ‘create thousands of jobs’

    Another slap on the wrist

    UK likely to end up with Canadian-style deal, warns Michel Barnier

    Catalonia, Lombardy, Scotland … why the fight for self-determination now

  171. Petra says:

    @ RJS at 1:19am …. “England this and England that … not in the usual UKOK of the past..”

    Aye there seems to be some sort of a ‘shift’ going on, RJS. Add to that all of the so-called Think Tanks that are springing up to get people to think, lol. A sign of desperation? A sign that they know that the game’s a bogey (correct spelling)?

    @ 3:18am … Around 56% of EUNats in Scotland seemingly voted No in Indyref1. I’m not sure of the Electoral turnout percentage wise for them (got it buried somewhere- no time to check), but I’d imagine that there would be a bigger turnout and that the vast majority would vote Yes next time round, RJS. If they’ve to have the same (voting) rights as UK citizens that would also apply beyond March 2019 which was a concern previously.

    I just wonder about the UK migrants in Europe. How many of them have / are planning on returning home in the near future due to the shock to their security system? Deal OR no deal. Will they decide to relocate to Scotland, rather than home to England, due to cheaper housing, better NHS etc? Many of course are elderly, but have experienced living in Europe, so one wonders which way they’d vote?

    Whatever the case we’ll win next time round. We need at least a 6% swing which won’t be too difficult to achieve, and the BritNats know it, especially if T May is over and out in the near future and they Send in (Boris) the Clown.

  172. Vestas says:

    @ Petra 1:03 am :

    “They should think about checking out the “stories” that Bessie was actually Bertie, which makes a lot of sense … not marrying, no heir etc. However I doubt the fragile English ‘psyche’ could bear that if it were found to be true.”

    You’re off in la-la land there.

    The reason she never married is because the rest of the “European Monarchy” viewed her as a bastard (illegitimate) because her mother’s marriage to the psychopath Henry Tudor was declared null & void by both the English and Roman churches. Subsequent English Acts of Succession didn’t change that.

  173. Petra says:

    @ Roger at 7:16am … “Think Tank problem.”

    Ha, ha, ha. Good one Roger. They couldn’t even get that right. Think Tank my backside!

  174. Breeks says:

    Might be just me, but Michel Barnier’s warning the UK could be left with a Canadian style Trade Deal after years of negotiation, is being picked up in the UK Press as cheer up folks! Britain Could be offered a Canadian type Trade Deal.

    It’s like Britain really is a Monty Python sketch these days.

  175. Grant says:

    David Torrance keeps “banging on about” the union, becomes so tiresome.

  176. Nana says:

    @ Breeks

    Canada option bad for goods trade, devastating for services but Barnier is right, most likely option if UK/May rejects staying in single mkt

    Jirsty Hughes is Director, Scottish Centre on European Relations @scer_eu Writer and commentator on international and European politics.

  177. Petra says:

    @ Nana at 7:38am ‘Catalonia, Lombardy, Scotland.’

    Thanks for the links Nana and isn’t this interesting! Maybe we should send a copy to Mrs ‘Now is not the Time’ May (and her lackey’s such as Ruth Davidson / Mundell) and say ”WE’LL decide when the time is right Treeza, Ruth, Davie.”

    ‘…But in December the European Court of Justice ruled that article 1 of the UN charter, which guarantees the right of self-determination to states that are not yet independent, is a legally enforceable right in the EU. It has yet to be tested in relation to Catalonia, Flanders or Scotland, but it will be.’

  178. Petra says:

    @ Vestas says at 7:50 am …. ”Petra … “They should think about checking out the “stories” that Bessie was actually Bertie, which makes a lot of sense … not marrying, no heir etc. However I doubt the fragile English ‘psyche’ could bear that if it were found to be true.”

    ”You’re off in la-la land there. The reason she never married is because the rest of the “European Monarchy” viewed her as a bastard (illegitimate) because her mother’s marriage to the psychopath Henry Tudor was declared null & void by both the English and Roman churches. Subsequent English Acts of Succession didn’t change that.”

    Might be off in la-la land right enough Vestas, however you’re living in la-la land if you think that no Royal wanted her hand in marriage.

  179. orri says:


    Quick sanity check,

    The “legal” extension of the jusrisdiction of English law into Wales under that self same law isn’t exactly Kosher.

    If thy were to do the same to Scotland I’m fairly certain questions would be asked about it’s validity.

  180. Macart says:


    Petra beat me to it, but that’s one point some folk have been pointing out for quite some time.

  181. Nana says:


    Indeed it is. May knows it fine well, Mundell and the rest of the clowns know it also and it’s why they want out of the EU. The threat of Indy and the EU laws on tax avoidance keeps them awake at night.

    As for this embarrassing spectacle, can anyone imagine him as PM
    video here

  182. Petra says:

    A Canadian-style deal that’ll take years and years to finalise. Sounds just about right for the Westminster crackpots.

    We’ll be well out of it by then.


    I wonder if Rajoy has read this and Theresa May for that matter?

  183. galamcennalath says:

    This is interesting and doesn’t seem to have been widely reported. Highly significant, even.

    ” Barnier plays down hope of ‘special’ Brexit deal

    The EU’s future trade relations with the UK are likely to be no deeper than those with Canada “

    If true, that’s the first indication I’ve seen of what trade deal the EU are considering. A far cry from single market/customers union.

  184. Petra says:

    @ Macart says at 8:48 am …. ”Petra beat me to it, but that’s one point some folk have been pointing out for quite some time.”

    Most of us knew about it on here Macart, that is that the UN guaranteed the right of self-determination to non-independent states but it’s interesting to see that the ECJ has now ruled that it’s legally enforcable in relation to the EU as of December. December when? What year?

  185. Petra says:

    @ Nana says at 8:50 am …. ”Petra … Indeed it is. May knows it fine well, Mundell and the rest of the clowns know it also and it’s why they want out of the EU. The threat of Indy and the EU laws on tax avoidance keeps them awake at night. As for this embarrassing spectacle, can anyone imagine him as PM.”

    video here

    Yeah I can imagine the numpties down south voting him in Nana and it’ll be the best thing, other than Brexit, that ever happened for us.

  186. wull2 says:

    I hope they were correct in One thing they said in 2014, vote YES and you will be out of the UK and EU.
    The leaders in the EU are just as bad as Westminster, they just think about themselves and not about the people.

  187. Breeks says:

    OT, and Purely coincidental, but yesterday I poked fun at Rory Stewart’s Auld Aquaintance – a stone built “monument to togetherness” as he called it. Gee, what a nice fella.

    “We believe that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are stronger together. We want to create something that shows borders are not barriers”. Oh stop it, you’re bringing a lump to my throat. Sniff!

    This is the same Rory Stewart Tory MP now saying ‘The only way’ of dealing with British Islamic State fighters is to kill them in almost every case”. Ah! Mask slipped. Read you loud and clear now. Just another BritNat Psycho.

    I presume he means death by stoning perhaps, where everybody can donate £10 to have a stone chucked for them.

  188. Capella says:

    I see that the charming Lord Keen and our very latest Lord, Ian Duncan, will be on parliament TV this afternoon telling us how lucky we are to be in BREXIT UK.
    Clear the schedules.

    From Nana’s link, starts at 1.40
    The SAC will take evidence from the Sec of State, Lord Duncan & Lord Keen on work of Scot Office

  189. galamcennalath says:


    Just read your Guardian link on Barnier’s views. So you beat me to it with what I think is a BIg story.

    Slightly different emphasis in the way the reporting is done.

    One point from euobserver article is Barnier pointing out that the trade negotiation would “involve risks, including about its political ratification” in each of the 27 remaining EU nations.

    And yet we have May saying no transition without a deal in place! The Tories saying they can have a Trade deal trashed out in the next 12 months, when it is nowhere near started! None of that is remotely credible.

    I conclude, as always, that it’s all just smoke and mirrors from the UK so they can leave with no deal and blame the EU.

  190. Nana says:


    There’s a whole heap of papers and articles relating to self determination

    Here’s a few, I don’t have time to read them all. lol

    The Right to National self-determination within the EU: a legal investigation

  191. @Street Andrew
    23 October, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I would say so.

  192. manandboy says:

    Boris Johnson is brainwashed to think only one way. That’s what the English public school system is about. One of their core beliefs is that the English ruling classes have no equal.
    By definition, to be English is to be superior. That’s why the United Kingdom does not work. So also the EU. The English cannot accept equality with other countries. It is contrary to their beliefs.

  193. galamcennalath says:

    When people talk about ‘a deal’, ‘deal or no deal’, ‘none better than bad’, they are talking about the current negotiations towards an Exit Treaty.

    That may include transitional arrangements for the first few years.

    That cannot possibly include a long term full trade deal too, can it?

    Depends who is uttering the word ‘deal’. The EU seems to be saying negotiating a trade deal will be difficult, take years, and there a risk it may not ever be ratified! The Tories seem to be saying it can be done and dusted within 12months.

    One of the two sides is talking Jackie Bailley here.

  194. Petra says:

    Great links Nana. Everything there from Westminster cruelty to Westminster incompetence to Fraud, Dark money, Media bias and so on. Maybe you should think of applying for a job with the BBC Nana, lol.

    At ‘planes’ highlights how much Mike Russell / the SNP are doing. What’s Davidson, Rennie and, eh, the Labour leader, what’s his name, doing during the recess?

    ‘Barrhead boy’ outlines that someone has said that they wouldn’t put it past them to shoot Puigdemont. And what’s Corbyn doing / saying about the Catalonian situation, in particular to his compatriots in Spain? Nought? So much for Action Man. Not. Vote for Labour and get the same old, same old.

    I’m pleased to see (Food Map) that they are pushing for the Saltire to be displayed on all Scottish produce with one wee numpty by the name of ‘Proud Scot’ … dead giveaway … wanting all Scottish foods to display the Butcher’s Apron.

    Paul Kavanagh setting up more informal meetings to complement the SIC bridges to Independence. Now we’re talking.

    I see that the Think Tanks are being described as, ‘’ThinkTanks = huge lobbying firms that manipulate public policy for private, corporate gain of their wealthy backers.’’ Spot on.

    And Aaron Banks at it again along with all of the other sinister men (and women), here and abroad, who lurk behind the scenes! Involved in New-Watch too.

    Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda … ‘Eight member states have urged the EU’s foreign service to significantly expand its work on countering Russian propaganda.’ Maybe they should think of focusing on some EU states first, clean up their own act, such as in Spain, Poland and the UK.

    Well thanks a million for that Nana. I’ll have to move myself now. I’ll watch the SAC meeting later and thanks for the right to national self-determination links, but I’ve got a pile of them already in my little (big) archive. Maybe time for a reread when I get the time!

    But before I go if you don’t get the National folks please have a rethink. The articles in yesterday’s National newspaper were brilliant with a fabulous front page

    ‘’THE GREAT OIL SWINDLE.’ How Westminster’s exploitation of the North Sea sold out past and future generations of Scots … and is still doing so today.’

    ‘A major six-part series all this week in the National by Professor Alex Russell.’

  195. Robert Peffers says:

    @Bob says: 24 October, 2017 at 12:32 am:

    There was a legal union of England and Wales:”

    Actually, Bob, it can not really be called a legal union. More like an illegal union as it was enforced upon Wales by the Kingdom of England.

    The 1542 annexation of Wales is usually referred to as, “The Statute of Rhuddlan”. It was signed in 1542 at the Castle of Rhuddlan. Here’s an extract from a Wiki article:-

    The Prince of Gwynedd had been recognised by the English Crown as Prince of Wales in 1267, holding his lands with the king of England as his feudal overlord. It was thus that the English interpreted the title of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Lord of Aberffraw, which was briefly held after his death by his successor Dafydd ap Gruffudd. This meant that when Llywelyn rebelled, the English interpreted it as an act of treason. Accordingly, his lands escheated to the king of England, and Edward I took possession of the Principality of Wales by military conquest from 1282 to 1283. By this means the principality became “united and annexed” to the Crown of England.

    Bold emphasis is mine.

    The definition of the term escheated refers to English Law of property:-

    escheated – the reversion of lands in English feudal law to the lord of the fee when there are no heirs capable of inheriting under the original grant.

  196. Chick McGregor says:

    “There is no empirical evidence either from recent, post 2014 events or in the distant past that the majoritarianism (the ‘Anglo-centricity’) that is deeply embedded in the UK state is up for any substantive constitutional change.”

    I get what you are saying, I think we all do, however it is slightly inaccurate, IMV.

    ‘Majoritarianism’ is a convenient notion which to some extent alludes to compliance with democratic principles. It can simply be portrayed and defended as being a natural consequence of democracy. Tyranny by the majority, ‘unfortunate’ as it may be, being therefore an unavoidable accident of the electoral support demographic.

    “It’s not our fault that more people happen to live in England than in all the other countries of the UK put together. That’s just democracy for you.” A justifiable defence in the mind of the English voter.

    The inaccuracy comes about in that that defence, ignoring as it does the principle of subsidiarity adopted by democratic organisations elsewhere, is only possible since the advent of democracy itself and therefore does not apply to the ‘distant past’.

    For example, at the height of the Bringlish Empire, London showed no inclination whatsoever of relinquishing the seat of government to Delhi in India, by far the most populous country of the Empire. That very idea would have been considered ridiculous, even in the short overlap period between full franchise and losing India.

  197. Nana says:


    Absolutely agree that their aim is to leave without a deal and naturally it will be the fault of the EU. It’s always someone else to blame for Westminster screw ups. Smoke n mirrors is what they are good at with their lapdog press pushing whatever the Gov tell them to. However they seem to forget we have the internet.
    It’s always a good idea to visit the european press pages for what is usually a different ‘take’ on the situation.

    I checked into Kirsty Hughes’s twitter earlier to see what she made of it all. See post at 8.22am

    @ Petra haha, a job with the beeb you say. Blimey Petra, need to retain the little sanity I have left.

    Have one more and mind the blood pressure

    Nice little earner

  198. mike cassidy says:

    manandboy 9.34

    And remember, the Boris Johnsons are educated in a system that is subsidised by the people they are being told they are superior to!

    I’m sure they find that highly amusing.

    Though all is not well in publicschoolland.

    especially when even your natural supporters are worried!

  199. Robert Peffers says:

    @Petra says: 24 October, 2017 at 1:03 am:

    ” … They should think about checking out the “stories” that Bessie was actually Bertie, which makes a lot of sense … not marrying, no heir etc. However I doubt the fragile English ‘psyche’ could bear that if it were found to be true.”

    Indeed so Petra – Goggle, “The Bisley Boy”, for some background on that particular theory.

    Bram Stoker wrote something about it too. It is not, as has more recently been claimed, a new theory.

  200. Ken500 says:

    Cable who caused Brexit going into coalition with the Cons warns Scotland will lose out again. What a total hypocrite. The LibDem liars caused this to happen, agreeing to a EURef for a AV Ref. That no one was interested in but the LibDems thought it would line their pockets, What a load of stinking liars. Now they start their hysterics. To think folk in Scotland vote for these unionists lying bastards. After they muck up the electoral system in Scotland for their advantage. They would do anythink to waste taxpayers money and leave folk poorer. Coming out of the EU. Brexit.

    The Tirues will ‘negotiate’ less rights for more money. They will lose the rebate and be paying more, in repayments and contributions. They are completely dumb, lying greedy bastards. They will do anything to muck up the economy. Wasting taxpayers money to line their greedy pockets, They are despicable.

    Ruining the Oil & Gss sector. With illegally high Tory taxes. Losing £Billions and thousands of jobs in Scotland. Losing Scotland £Billions. In tax evasion £3Billion a year. Trident £1Billiom. £1Billion a year no minimum pricing for five years, The Whisky industry challenged it. Decision in up to four months, Some whisky companies make vast profits and pay no tax. £Billion in loan repayments Scotland doesn’t borrow or spend. Spent in the rest of the UK. Scotland can’t borrow and spent to invest in and grow the economy,

    Hinkley Point, HS2, Trident, Heathrow, all a total waste of money of no value. £Billions wasted by the Tory/Unionists wasting public money. So they and their cronies can tax evade and embezzle public money. They do not care about anyone else but themselves.

    Cutting £Billions from NHS, Education, social care essential services. To waste £Billions on grotesque projects of no value. With far more cost effective alternatives.

    The Tories will be gone. They could have been voted down several times. Another 30 years in the wilderness. How can folk in Scotland vote for these hypocritical, lying greedy parasites. They could not make a bigger mess,

    Scotland will be Independent.

    Torrance and Hague are off their heads. Spout a load of nonsense. They have never read a book in their lives, ignoramouses,

    Scotland raises £58Billion in tax revenues and could grow thev economy and raise more. Manage the Oil & Gas sector better. No illegally high Tory/unionist taxes. Ruining the industry. Taxed according to price. They are now doing the same with the Whisky industry. Ignoramouses. No Trident (Brexit). Scotland would be £20Billion a year better off. Independent. With full employment, Better wages and conditions. The Tories are throwing people out of Scotland illegally for absolutely no good reason, Illegally changing the rules, These people should be allowed to stay and given compensation. May and her cronies are an absolute disgrace. Appalling. A laughing stock, a total embarrassment,

    The UK raises £533Bilkion in taxes. Scotland raises £58Billion. £10Billion more pro rata. The rest of the UK borrows and spends £10Billion more (pro rata). £44Billion raises + £10Billion borrowed (pro rata) The rest of the UK does not raise enough to pay it’s bills. So borrows and spends more. Putting up the debt. £533 minus £58Billion = £475Billion. Divide by 11 (11/12 pop) = £43Billion.

    Scotland has being held back by Westminster illegal, interference. Losing Scotland £Billions by mismanagement. Independence can’t come soon enough. Get these warmongering, tax evading crooks out of Scotland, illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion, causing the worst migration crisis in Europe since 11WW.

    The Banks were acting illegally defrauding customers in 1997. The computer says no. Putting people out of business. Illegally taking people’s businesses/property. Not giving them any leeway. Selling them off cheaply and taking a vast illegal cut. To boost bank profits, Losing money hand over fist, illegally over valuing property. To make false profits. Until the pozzi schemes collapsed Along with people’s money down the drain. Some people have been compensated but not enough. It was happening ten years before the banking crash. Total lack of UK banking regulation. Fred Goodwin arrived at RBS, Appointed by George Mathewson. Not a banker. A chartered accountant.

    The UK Treasury (US) had allowed leverage to be dropped from 25% reserves world wide to 13%. (Regan and Thatcher) Thatcher gave the Oil revenues to the Bankers to waste for donations. To keep the Tory Party afloat. Halved capital reserves. Illegally interfered and manipulated libor rates, This affects world banking rates etc. Darling and Gov of the BOE were interfering with Libor rates. They should have gone to jail. Along with the rest of them. Psycho Bastards. Ruining the world economy, .

    Write a letter with complaints to Westminster/Downing Street. Their administration system will be extremely busy, Tell them what folk think of them. Be polite to get a reply. Or more robust. Do not put e-Mail address or telephone number on. It will need a physical reply. If thousands did it it would be more affective, Get it out in the open. The way Tory/unionist policies are affecting people. Killing and maiming innocent people. Wasting public money like there is no tomorrow. For them there will not be. On groteque projects of no value. That no one wants. Putting up the debt. There are effective better alternatives. Then cutting essential vital service that everyone needs and wants. They will be held to account. Universal credit delays are a disgrace. Appalling. Starving people. Beyond belief.

  201. Proud Cybernat says:

    BREAKING from Pravda Quay
    with Jackie-Kim-Ono:

  202. Proctor Lewis says:

    I found the statement that its “a forum for debate founded in the conviction that no crisis should be allowed to go to waste” very revealing.

    Looking at this limited company in more detail it appears to be, or wishes to be at least a yoony answer to the independance social media blogs, and a good opportunity to garner expenses from gullible yoons.

    So hats off to Kevin for he has found an innovative way to monetise his afflictions, less messy than jam making I suppose.

  203. galamcennalath says:


    Kirsty Hughes has since tweeted …

    cd just perhaps do a free trade/Canada in 4 yrs starting now, instead of 7 yrs Canada took but v tough

    …. so she reckon a trade deal might be possible in 4years.

    The Tories are just not serious, are they. They want to wipe the slate clean, take the hit, then build their ‘brave new England’.

    Oh please, Scotland, open your eyes, pick yourself up, and get to out of this mess!

  204. Ken500 says:

    Mary’s son (sire cousin Darnley) James V1 took over the English crown. James the 1. Union of the Crowns. 1603.

    Gunpowder plot.

  205. Nana says:

    @ galamcennalath

    Enda Kelly speaking in New York yesterday said brexit transition could take up to five years

    Mentioned in this article

    From same article

    The reality is that it was never going to be possible to conclude a fully-blown trade agreement within two years. The government thus had a choice of extending the Article 50 period or of going for the “off-the shelf” Efta/EEA agreement. The failure to opt for either has led directly to the crisis to which we are heading.

    That the entire political and media corpus has been unable to come to terms with this simple truth is an indictment of the system, which is no longer capable of serious analytical thinking. This is a system which has passed its sell-by date and before we get anywhere, we are going to need a replacement. For that, there is perilously little time.

  206. Breeks says:

    galamcennalath says:
    24 October, 2017 at 9:51 am

    “…That may include transitional arrangements for the first few years.
    That cannot possibly include a long term full trade deal too, can it?”

    No. I would say impossible. In fact sometimes it’s difficult to believe Barnier and the UK Government are going to the same meetings.

    When you read Barnier’s actual comments, his great concern about a trade deal with the U.K. is having a trade deal which the EU can no longer control or legislate over, with an economy on a diverging trajectory away from the EU, with no parameters or boundaries set for just how far or how fast it might diverge, nor any idea upon which regulations and standards it intends to abandon. That’s just not how the EU works. It doesn’t do random.

    But when you see a UK reference to a Trade Deal, any Trade Deal, you sense it is perceived as something automatic. There’s a shallow presumption that says, “Ah, the Canadians like us so they’ll give us a Trade Deal”. It doesn’t seem to care what a trade deal might mean, say or do, just as long as it has a deal, – any deal. Look at the joy and relief drawn from Donald Trump’s mere mention of US Trade Deal which you can only speculate about because it hasn’t been written yet.

    The UK seems breathtakingly shallow in appreciating its own position. The closest personification of Westminster Leadership as it stands would be Hugh Laurie’s Lieutenant George caricature in Blackadder Goes Forth. The UK Brexiteers can sum up a trade deal in two words; good deal, bad deal, no deal, then it’s time for tea and biscuits. Anything deeper and more meaningful just flies right over their heads.

    Seems dashed unsporting and hopelessly one sided that they’re expected to negotiate with someone like Barnier, that pesky European type, who actually knows chapter and verse about what a Trade Deal actually is. That’s cheating isn’t it??? Well, no. You’d better take a seat UK…

    In reality, Barnier’s negotiations with Westminster are going to be as tricky as stealing candy from a baby, with everybody’s faith in Barnier that he’s a decent sort, who won’t punish the UK’s niaive childlike stupidity too harshly.

    Thing is, it isn’t a question of punishment. With the best will in the world, how can you formulate even a rudimentary framework principle for a Trade Deal when you’re negotiating with people oblivious to the severity of their own predicament, who don’t listen to advice, who don’t respect matters which are non-negotiable, and who are seemingly deficient, if not wholly incompetent, of rudimentary comprehension? Even protocol seems too challenging at times.

    Once Barnier gives up in frustration, if he hasn’t already done so, his primary objective will move on from an amicably agreed constructive resolution to simply truncating the Brexit process to have it tied off and finalised as quickly as it can be done.

    I saw it written somewhere that right now, Michel Barnier is the best friend the UK has got. I didn’t understand what that meant right away, but now I do. Barnier isn’t a monster, although he might as well be. Brexit negotiations are simply where the 21st Century Eurostar Electric goes head to head with a 1940’s Thomas the Tank Engine.

  207. Alba 46 says:

    O/T Re story in the National today about a defence minister saying “Clyde shipyards should be happy with the work they’ve got”.
    Duncan McPhee is complaining that they are not happy that the work for 5 Type 31e ships is probably going to Merseyside.

    My message to McPhee is stop complaining. Stop waiting around for the crumbs from westminsters table. Get off your arse and diversify. This dependency on westminster is what is killing Scotland.

    It is clear even to a blind man that westminster is hell bent on running industry in Scotland into the dust. The signals have been there for long enough for those who chose too see. This blinkered dependency attitude coupled with a total lack of vision for the future is killing us.

    We have to break this reliance on westminster. Think out of the box, be radical.

    Independence will come only if we are progressive and positive in our own future.

  208. galamcennalath says:

    Ken500 says:

    Gunpoweder Plot

    There is the theory, with much spread around the interweb, that the plot was more anti Scottish than anti King/Parliament/Protestant.

    Guy Fawkes gave this as his reason, “to blow the rascally Scots back to their native heath”.

    The motivation might have had more to do with English Nationalism, than Catholicism.

    James, being the epitome of deviousness, used the opportunity to declare it a Catholic plot and thereby clamp down on Catholics.

  209. Capella says:

    RT article on far right “identarian” group setting up in UK. These Islands has company – of the worst kind.

  210. ScottishPsyche says:

    I don’t get the love for Alex Massie, a pet Yoon who can sometimes write with less bitterness than the rest. He often seems out of time, stuck in Brideshead Revisited.

    However, he has excelled himself today in claiming that ‘Britishness’ preceded Scottishness and Englishness. His cites a story about animal remains found from North Britain eaten in South Britain.

    Really, because a raiding party probably stole some animals from Scotland to consume during a Stonehenge party, this somehow demonstrates British identity?

    Or is this the evidence we have been looking for of the mythical ‘UK single market’? No tariffs on beasties from up north?

  211. CameronB Brodie says:

    Here’s a little something to help folk prepare for Josh Simons explaining Britain to the unaware, on behalf of “These Islands”.

    Pluralism and the Politics of Difference: State, Culture, and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective


    How do political processes, working through the authoritative institutions of society (the state), shape and reproduce difference? How do societies cope with ethnic and cultural diversity? Ernest Gellner observed that culturally and ethnically plural societies ‘worked well in the past’ but not under modern conditions. Comparison of anthropological and other data on ethnic and cultural pluralism in various historical configurations of state and society (early or pre?industrial states; modern industrial states; and contemporary, post?modern, and post?industrial states) is instructive. In many early states, rulers had little concern with the ethnic identity and cultural practices of their subjects so long as they paid their taxes. In some cases, such as the Ottoman empire, societies were divided into ethnic and cultural corporations, which were in large measure autonomous. Under conditions of modernity, however, many industrial nation states engaged their populations in processes of national integration, demanding the suppression of difference within national territories and the ethnic and cultural assimilation of immigrants and refugees (when they did not reject them). In the last third of the twentieth century, however, in the post?industrial, neoliberal economies of the West, there was apparently a move towards greater acceptance of differences as societies experimented with various forms of multiculturalism. Whether contemporary states have the political and economic will to sustain non?essentializing forms of egalitarian multiculturalism remains an open question.

    Stratification in Plural Societies


    N.B. Scotland’s democratic deficit indicates a lack of pluralism in the UK, which is dominated by English political structures and English voters. Scotland did not vote to leave the EU but is expected to do what it is told, for example. Then again, apparently Scotland has no culture. We existed in a vacuum and amounted to nothing until Yoonion.

  212. Nana says:

    A couple of links before I have to go out

    Pro-Brexit Scots fishermen fear Westminster ‘power grab’ [aye Pro Brexit fishermen]

    The horror

  213. Like the Nazis the unionists will claim anything they can to represent Britishness.

    Remember when Neil Oliver, visited the neolithic site in Orkney, built long before Stonehenge, and without a shred of evidence he claimed it was the capital of Britian.

    The reality is no one knows the full extent of all the trade routes used by Neolithic man.

    They left no written language, and we don’t know what they called themselves, so how could any unionist claim they called themselves ‘British’?

    Its rather like the skeleton of the so called ‘King of Stonehenge’, they claimed him as British, until DNA proved he came from the Swiss area of Europe.

  214. Chick McGregor says:


    There is plenty of evidence that Scotland traded with other countries for millenia, including of course, the rUK.

    What I fail to see is that that fact has anything to do with national identity whatsoever.

    For example, significant reforestation of Scotland of land previously cleared for food production occurred in Scotland during the Roman occupation of South Britain which implies, unless one postulates the Romans killed off a significant proportion of the Scottish population, that Scotland prior to the Roman invasion was already a net food exporter.

    England has been a net food importer for over a hundred years and today net imports half the food it consumes – from lots of places including Scotland. Does that mean they are not English? I don’t think so.

  215. Dan Huil says:

    @ScottishPsyche 12:31pm

    Re: animal remains

    That explains the Butcher’s Apron. Nothing else though.

  216. ScottishPsyche says:

    It is a bizarre notion that he alludes to. The reasons that animal remains from one area are found in another has a myriad of explanations. National identity is probably at the bottom of the list.

    I think Mr. Massie was grasping at bales of straw to try to prove his nonexistent point.

  217. ScottishPsyche says:

    *have* a myriad of explanations

  218. Chick McGregor says:

    @Alba 46

    It struck me, reading your post, that a really good project for the Scottish Government to back would be a program of replacing the fleet of current ferries around Scotland with electric ferries like those Norway has started to roll out.

    The battery charging units at the terminals would use renewables generated electricity and add to the national storage capacity.

    The custom built ferries in Norway are made from aluminium (although retro fits with electric motors on existing ferries is also possible) which might well dovetail with the Aluminium plant at Lochaber and the stated aim of Liberty to support downstream technologies.

    They are cheaper to run than deisel ferries, cleaner, smoother and a greenie’s delight.

    A potential triple bird shot for the SG.

    Work for the yards
    Great project for the new Electricity company maybe
    Support for Liberties Lochaber smelter.

    Because of the payback from running costs, I’m sure a good taxpayer’s deal could be had with the companies concerned, perhaps even a loan and pay back format

    Epertise gained could lead to export orders in the future.

    Also, it would be a great symbol of a modern, forward looking country.

  219. Brian Powell says:

    The stones for Stonhenge came from Wales, is Stonhenge Welsh I wonder?

    In the caves at Wookies Hole there are hyena and rhino bones. Is England African, is Africa English?

    The people in Scandinavia and across the UK came from Iberia 4,500 yrs ago, tho there were people there before that for 6 or 7 thousand years. So are some of them Spanish, I wonder.

    The Angles and the Saxons came from Germany, the Normans came from Normandy after coming from the Scandinavian countries.

    Hmm. Tricky.

  220. GORDON FORREST says:

    Finally at about the 10th attempt I completed reading the article. Was it just me that fell asleep trying to read and concentrate on what they were trying to get at? or much more likely were they trying to make us give up the will to live?. Leave these muppets alone they will do the job for us. The yoons will be so bored by this guff they will fall into a deep coma or they will slash their wrists.

  221. misteralz says:

    Anent ferries, like Chick was saying up there…

    I don’t post on here regularly, but read almost everything. I live in NL now, and spend a lot of time travelling around Europe. A few months back I spent a week travelling around Scandinavia for fun and I utterly loved their ferries. The overnight one from Kiel to Goteburg was reasonably cheap and very comfortable. Just little things like having free wifi, a telly, a phone and a few plug sockets in your cabin elevated it above the Newcastle-Ijmuiden ones. But that was nothing compared to some of the little ones around Denmark – rock up, hold your card against a reader and the barrier lifts for you to join the queue for the regular ferry from island to island. They were usually made entirely of aluminium, had free wifi (which seems to be a basic human right in mainland Europe), decent cafes, never seemed to leave much wash or emit much fumes. None of them were particularly expensive to travel on, either. Certainly on a par with similar journeys I’ve done on CalMac, usually more expensive than taking the long way round by road, but usually a third of the time, sooooo…
    So yeah, ferries in Scandinavia. Loved them. A total joy to travel on. And yet completely bittersweet when I thought about how they could do it but Scotland couldn’t. I’m feeling that rather a lot at the moment.

  222. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Agree wholeheartedly @Chick McGregor says at 1:23 pm

    “a really good project for the Scottish Government to back would be a program of replacing the fleet of current ferries around Scotland with electric ferries like those Norway has”

    Scottish Government could also build hydrogen powered ferries as well.

  223. Chick McGregor says:


    Aye and I forgot to mention, electric ferries are virtually silent, until the motor vehicles start up for disembarkation.

    At least worth an exploratory meeting with SG, Liberty, Calmac, the new Electrical Power Team and Shipyard Reps I would have thought.

  224. Lenny Hartley says:

    re Ferries, has it not occurred to some people that with a 10% cut to our pocket money from Wstminster and rampant inflation there is no money for replacing all the Ferries. They don’t cost peanuts , the new Dual Fuel ones for Arran and the Skye Triangle are costing 97 million pounds for the pair.
    Electric ferries are already used on a few routes including Lochranza to Claonaig . It is not possible to store enough energy in the batteries for the ships to run all day so they are kept topped up by diesel generators.

  225. Breeks says:

    I think I saw the program about Stonehenge. The evidence beasts slaughtered in a feast were from Scotland was evident in the composition of the teeth. I believe the chemical signature present in the teeth created by the animals diet is a reliable way to determine where the animal grew up.

    If you worked for Time Team, you could no doubt do a CAD presentation with supporting artistic sketches of the ship and four man crew which actually brought the animals from Skye. On the other hand, you can scratch your head and wonder what other explanation might account for it.

    When I grew up, dinosaurs weren’t super scaled up birds. They were docile stupid critters which sat on their arses and used their awkward tails like a third leg to form a tripod for stability. Even the SwapShop Dinosaur Posh Paws was sitting in wrong posture in the 70’s/80’s. Sure, it’s obvious now that the big tail is a counter balance to let the beast run upright like an athlete, but only after somebody clever added their knowledge to somebody else’s theory. The truth catches on because because suddenly it makes sense.

    So why were people tucking in to “Scottish” animals during the solstice feasts at Stonehenge? I really don’t know. But the theory that the British mainland was one homogenous people awaiting for some Tower of Babel event to carve us up into warring tribes sounds a lot like us having fat tails to sit on or use as a third leg. It’s going to serve as orthodox belief until a better theory displaces it.

    We shouldn’t feel threatened if we are more alike or less alike in our ancestry, because it will cloud our judgement getting to the truth.

    Can I account for Scottish animals at Stonehenge feasts? It’s what, 400-500 miles? Suppose we just traded amongst ourselves in Scotland, Stranraer to Wick is 350 miles. 18th Century Cattle droves of 300 miles for fair sized herds weren’t unheard of. A drove sees the animals walking herded by people on foot, so even a crude comparison suggests the feat is maybe not so spectacular.

    Similarly, in the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, we see Scotland describing its ancestry as “In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen of their own royal stock, the line unbroken by a single foreigner”. But interestingly, that lineage comes about after the reference to “first driving out the Britons and utterly destroying the Picts”. They said that in 1320, not me.

    It’s tantalising in its detail, or lack of detail, but given life expectancy in Roman Briton was 35, say a Scottish monarch reigned for an average of 4 years, 113 monarchs in unbroken line is a very plausible 450 years of chronological possibility. (The 4 years is just my guess by the way). But deduct 450 years from 1320, and the year is 870AD, 400 years after the Romans left, and the time of Alfred the Great fighting of Viking invasions, and it’s a chronology which might indeed start after the Picts seem to disappear from our history. Curious eh?

    So when 14th Century Scotland maintained references to first driving out the Britons and crushing the Picts, I’m suddenly curious about who precisely were the Britons they referred to?

    But hey, I’m doing a Time Team, and drawing elaborate pictures from a minor line of text in an ancient manuscript. But it does make you think eh? The person drafting the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 considered it orthodox belief that the Picts had been crushed and “Britons” driven out, then an unbroken line of Scottish monarchy begun.

    Bear in mind too, Stonehenge was still at least 2000 years further back in time. We are closer to the Picts disappearing from record than the Picts were to the construction of Stonehenge.

  226. Ottomanboi says:

    The only new thing here seems to be the pic of David Torrance. What we have is simply a rehash of romantic unionism, the hubristic mentality of Jewel in the Crown imperialism of the early 20th century whose central focus was England, its monarchy, laws, traditions and language.
    When we finally get out of this bind British, Britain, Great Britain and British Isles ought to become taboo terms as they signify conquest, oppression and racism. The new Scotland must cut loose from this cultural strait-jacket.

  227. Capella says:

    Watching David Mundell humming and hawing his way through not answering questions – it is clear that he seeks to put everyone to sleep. What a waste of a vastly increased budget.

  228. Chick McGregor says:


    First of all, no-one is talking about immediate complete replacement.

    Second, A Norwegian study has shown that although it will take over $3 billion for them over a number of years by the time they have completed a replacement program, savings of around $700 million in fuel and maintenance costs per year means pay back in only about 5 years. There after, effectively a paid-for-itself cheaper to run ferry for the remaining 15-25 years of service life.

    Third, The Norwegian solution to storage is to have a storage battery at each terminal which can store electricity at a rate suitable to local grid capacity but which can then recharge the on board battery after each trip in minutes. Siemens are the technical partner there.

    Hybrids are more costly and only reduce CO2 emissions by about 20% so should be avoided unless necessary (longer trips).

  229. heedtracker says:

    Great links Nana! You’re the editor in waiting of the Scotsperson news.

    Here in Glasgow, Iceland has started putting big Saltires in their shop windows, which made me laugh considering how hard the owner of Iceland pooped all over the Scots ref1 YES campaign

    Its all bollox, we’ll lose influence, says Mr Walker, then a regular NO camper on C4 toryboy news, now plastering his Scottish shops with Scotland flags.

    Ah the britnats…

  230. galamcennalath says:

    Young Scots voted for Indy. Across the UK the young want to stay with the EU.

    Perhaps this is an indication that they recognise these routes as the way to improve their prospects (article is a year old but interesting all the same )….

  231. geeo says:

    Tory rat Douglas Ross having the cheek to state the SNP MP for Falkirk is not at the emergency UC debate today…!!

    Horrible wee snivelling bastard.

  232. schrodingers cat says:

    recent dna on ancient bones in roi and ni indicates that we are not descendants of the neolithic/stone circle building people of these islands. these ancient farmers seemed to suffer a great die off, plague?famine?crop failure) about 2400bce,

    they were replaced by waves of invasion, from the russian steps, across germany and northern europe and into these islands by the cordedware/beaker people, ,lactose tolerant, copper wealding, cairn coffin building, indo european speaking, horse masters and better farmers. It these beaker people who we are descended from.

    present day dna red hair distribution
    western/northern europe =2%
    ROW = 0.2%
    england = 6%
    ireland = 11%
    scotland = 42%

    tacitus 84CE states the caledonians and meaetae were red haired.

    2400 years during which this change in hair colour took place but the climate and the environment cannot be the cause since similar environments across northern europe existed during this time.

    ancient dna studies still in their infancy but the large number of red haired people in scotland appears to be a man made phenomena. !!!

  233. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    galamcennalath @ 15:22,

    Well, there’s one one fact we know for a certainty right now, which is that Brexit – any kind of Brexit – is going to make us all poorer.

    The young ones who don’t get out and away will have a vile inheritance to overcome, and some of us won’t be around when any hoped-for recovery ever does happen.

    Unless we all, together, get out of this runaway train before it hits the buffers looming ahead.


    PS: I noticed a little typo – the kind I seem to do all the time, alas – in a posting of yours @ 09:13 where you mentioned a trade deal being “trashed out”, and it struck me as even more accurately reflecting reality than perhaps your original conscious intention…

  234. Jack Murphy says:

    geeo said at 3:24 pm
    “Tory rat Douglas Ross having the cheek to state the SNP MP for Falkirk is not at the emergency UC debate today…!!”

    This is a news report on the very same Tory MP Douglas Ross last week!

    “A Tory MP is set to miss a debate and vote on welfare policy because he will be running the line at a Champions League football tie in Barcelona………” 🙁 🙁

  235. yesindyref2 says:

    Re ferries, quite a lot of points really. First is that Norway has a fair number of “inland” ferries, whereas in Scotland they’ve been erplaced wirh bridges over the years. Which means they’re not needed to be ocean-going as Calmac’s are. Secondly, to provide reilience, Calmac moves ferries around when one breaks down or is in for maintenance or regular refit.

    Thirdly though is, though I haven’t checked this out, I think even then Norway has moved to all-electric via a hybrid stage, with hybrids still being built, specially for cruise liners.

    Thing is, remembering that Stornoway to Ullapool ferry taht went out and had to stay out because of a storm for 12 hours, they need endurance, and that’s basically speaking, diesel at least as a reserve.

    But there’s nothing to stop Calmac having onshore recharge facilities and recharging the hybrids from shore in normal operation. I’ve been on Calmac’s hybrids a few times, and don;t remember the diesel going off – all you get is the silence of the electrics, very pleasant.

    Oh, fourthly, Calmac’s priority is to replace a really ageing fleet, which must be expensive to maintain, and need perhaps more refits as a result of being old. Sad to see the old ones go, all the same, when perhaps particularly the Clansman goes there’ll be tears all over Scotland, including mine.

  236. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    yesindyref2 @ 15:43,

    The “Clansman” – ach, so very many fond family memories – we could surely all navigate round it blindfold!

    (But we digress… )

  237. gus1940 says:

    Why call for a pro Union Forum? – we’ve already got one in the form of The BBC, STV and all the papers except The National and The SH.

  238. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ve got to say (about ferries), between Ullapool and Stornoway, Oban and Barra, Uig to Tarbert / Lochmaddy, or Mallaig to Lochboisdale, and probably even Kennacraig to Islay (either port), all of which I do, I’d want to be on a diesel or at least a hybrid, not an all-electric. Just in case. Even the Clyde can get very rough, and then there’s the tide as well.

  239. geeo says:

    @jack murphy

    I just presumed everyone knew Douglas Ross was the particular tory rat you alluded to re the football match in question.

    Doesn’t harm to point it out though.

  240. galamcennalath says:

    759 treaties to be renegotiated.

    Then new ones.

    What are the chances when they struggle with ONE?

  241. Robert Graham says:

    o/t – but as it includes the Tory loonies at Holyrood most who haven’t been voted in by anyone it’s not so o/t ,
    We have one party who not only defends Fracking, but promote the building of Nuclear power stations , everything that has been discarded as harmful Worldwide,they embrace to make a fast buck, that’s the whole ethos of these bunch of liars, we are doing alright so f/k the rest of you ,

    This lot would destroy everything and anything just to make some short term cash, it hasn’t occurred to them you can’t eat f/n money it doesn’t digest easily, b/trds every one and the deluded people who have supported them.

  242. ScottishPsyche says:

    Mundell today trying to defend the huge increase in spending of SO propaganda machine and being held to account by Deirdre Brock:

    Also, apparently refuses to disclose the cost to Scotland of Brexit as it might fuel another Indyref,

  243. Robert Graham says:

    ScottishPsyche – thanks for the link to fluffys performance I think ha ha ,
    i hope everyone has a look , has a look at a truly disgusting individual who has the look of someone who has been asked a cutting question tries to defend something that cant be defended ,

    Hes not even a good liar , a shifty disgusting excuse for a human being makes you puke just watching him squirm and twist when attempting to answer a simple question , and this is supposed to represent us , is this article the best they have , god help us .

  244. Dr Jim says:

    I am a consumer so I get to choose what I consume and if it’s got a Union flag on it whether it’s a box, a tin, a lid or plastic wrapping I don’t consume it, it does not come in my house, cupboard, pantry or otherwise, and that’s even if it was made in Scotland coz that’s even worse (have you no pride)

    So manufacturers, maybe you think I’m mentally irregular but there are lots like me and if you want to sell me something in Scotland which is where I live, stop filling my local shops with products from other countries where I don’t live so the English government can tell me the economy of my own country is bad, so then I’d rather support the economy of my own Country to help make it better thanks very much, and keep your Union flags out of my face, particularly Morrisons where I keep expecting Ant and Dec to come jumping out from behind one of the hanging things to sell me sea fish from Grimsby and Trout from a Yorkshire brook, in Bloody Scotland the land of the trout where they are practically queuing up to throw themselves into our shopping bags there are so many of the buggers

    Let’s have a wee bit more of support for Scotlands single market, It’s why I shop in Aldi and Lidl for god sake

    I feel like Gerard Butler every time I walk round Scottish supermarkets

    !!*This is Scotland*!! ffs

  245. Petra says:

    @ galamcennalath says at 4:47 pm …. ”759 treaties to be renegotiated. Then new ones. What are the chances when they struggle with ONE?”

    Oh my God galamcennalath!!!! How on earth are they going to manage Brexit, plus old deals, new deals and Scottish Independence??? What a nightmare and what a bunch of assh*les. Was no one aware of this? Well other than Sir Ivan Rodgers the UK Ambassador to the EU who walked out on her in January.

    From Russia alone: “It is a hell of a task. Trade will keep them very busy,” says Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the EU. “All the quotas will have to be recalculated, and I assume anti-dumping calculations should be changed at some point. There are 164 members at the WTO. And all of them will have to agree.”

    Asked whether this presented Moscow with a weakness to exploit against Britain, he said with a smile: “The Russian diplomatic service has been known for its tough negotiators. We are very proud of that.”

  246. mike d says:

    Spoke to a nice sounding lady on the phone in Glasgow today, ‘re personal matter,was wrong number as company had moved. Anyroads got chatting for 10mins or so. (With my scots accent phoning from dorset).
    Conversation got around to nhs waiting times as lady had friends who had waiting issues.lady herself had bupa cover.when I politely explained that nhs england was worse than Scotland,and a lot of it was already privatised to virgin,she couldnt take it on board,and wasn’t keen on ‘sturgeon’.i then laughingly said,Now that we’ve put the world to rights,have a nice day etc,etc.Good luck yessers trying to win these people to yes.head of brick wall comes to mind.

  247. mike d says:

    Head off brick wall .sorry.

  248. Ken500 says:

    The ferries can be replaced. They cannot afford not to be. Not building so many frigates and naval vessels which don’t come anywhere near Scotland. Even to patrol the shores. A Scottish navy could be based at Faslane. Even more investment than there is now. Patrolling the shores. Preventing drug drop off and protecting the Oil installations. Could free up the £2.5Billion Defence contribution. Plus £Billion for Trident. It will be going at Brexit. Funds could be freed up to build ferries, supply boats, turbines and liners. Much more productive, No nuclear subs to prevent commercial activity on the Clyde. £Billion to help investment in ship building.

    Hammond sniggered and sneered at the mention of Scotland having a Navy. Westminster committee. Hammond, Fallon Johnstone and the rest. Illegally killing and maiming millions of innocent people. Ruining the world economy. Wasting £Trns.They could not make a bigger mess. They are illegally selling arms to Saudi Arabia, To kill innocent, vulnerable people. Saudi Arabia the most absolute despot monarchy in the world. The Tories are despicable killers.

    The ferries investment pays for itself. The Isles put in £Billions into the Scottish economy. Orkney/Shetland contribute £Billions. Oil & Gas revenues. So do the other Isles. Tourism, food and drink, wind turbines, music etc. Any investment in ferries comes back 100%. The Isles are only getting some of their contribution back. There should be excellent Ferries services. The revenues comes back 100%. £200Million investment in ferry services is a drop in the ocean.

  249. galamcennalath says:

    Robert J. Sutherland says:

    … one fact we know for a certainty right now, which is that Brexit – any kind of Brexit – is going to make us all poorer.

    There are bad Brexits and there are catastrophic Brexits! Especially for Scotland.

    The penny just doesn’t seem to have sunk in with much of the population.

    I think perhaps many are treating it like a rerun of the Millienium Bug Threat … much hype, much discussing, much intrepidation, then no one actually noticed it passing. A lot of people are thinking like that … “no matter what the outcome, it won’t effect me” … pushing their heads further under the sand.

    At worse planes won’t fly, shelves will empty, prices will rocket, ports won’t function, hospitals won’t get essentials. At best prices will rise, some people will lose their jobs, the young will find it even harder to make a life for themselves.

  250. galamcennalath says:

    mike d says:

    When you said “head of brick wall”, I took that as a description of the cognitive ability of “these people”. 🙂

  251. Lenny Hartley says:

    Yesindy2ref ref cal-Mac Hybrids, the diesel gennies are running all the time, or at least one of them is. All computer controlled, frugal on fuel compared to Diesel only , fuel consumption for nearly 30 mins running 50 Litres . I agree I would not want to be Sea on an electric Only ship unless for example Diesel generator backup. I remember back in the 70’s the Clansman (one before the current one) spent nearly 24 hours running around the Clyde as it could not berth at either Brodick, Ardrossan or Gourock. As for the new dual fuel ships being constructed for the Arran and Skye Triangle, the jury is out on their engines reliability, suitability and capability. I will say no more!

  252. Welsh Sion says:

    Mike d and his chatting up techniques @ 5.32 pm.

    Be assured – my wife works for the NHS in England full time and is well-aware of how “privatisation creep” is underway in her profession (Hearing Therapy/Audiology) and much else besides, within NHS England.

    Professor Alison Pollock (qv) came to see us at London SNP some months ago and pronounced NHS England to be hollowed out shell – even then. The prognosis looks bleak and the patient is on life support.

    Did I also tell you that both my 8 year ols niece and her mum can no longer access NHS treatment in England, despite my sister-in-law being previously registered with her surgery for over 40 years, since her birth? Or that I had to wait nearly 2 months to see my doctor over what could have been a life-endangering insect sting? (My mum in the same instance can walk into her GP’s surgery in Wales and be seen the same day …) Or that we have to pay £8.60 a pop for our prescriptions? (But you already knew that …)

  253. Chick McGregor says:


    Re Calmac’s 3 small hybrids, the reported CO2 reduction I have seen is only 20% but that may be down partly to electricity source rather than usage. Their services are all within the range of electric ferries.

    The Norwegian all electric jobs are much bigger, 120 cars 360 passengers and have a 1 megawatthour battery which can typically do several trips although, as I mentioned, their practice is to top up every trip.

    Still not suitable for long trips like Ullapool to Stornoway.

    Norwegian plan is for about 85 all electric, 45 hybrid.

    Scotland would have a smaller proportion of all electric.

    Biggest issue is making sure the electricity is from renewables wind, or HE or eventually tidal and therefore cheap.

    Eventually battery technology will give much longer ranges.

  254. Derek Henry says:

    I breathe a huge sigh of relief that after 80 years. The SNP finally came up with the right solution of our own free floating currency and central bank.

    If any of you think joining the Euro is still a good idea then think again.

  255. Derek Henry says:

    It should be obvious to many by now why the Euro was set up in the first place

    It does not suit our independnce agenda. The Catalans are trying to break free but want to keep the Euro.

    Currency slaves by another name then. They are making the exact same mistakes that Alex made.

    All of this was widely known in 2012

  256. schrodingers cat says:

    Derek Henry

    to join the euro an indy scotlandwould still need to launch its own currency and be in the ermII for 2 years before we could even adopt the euro

    so it really isnt an issue for us in indyref2, it only becomes an issue that could divide yessers after we are independent

  257. Derek Henry says:

    Mr Fry in the national today was saying that if Scotland became independent then the private sector should be free to do what it likes and the government should step out of the way.

    Complete Tripe !

    What’s the point of having independence. So I replied to him like thus….

    As a memeber of the UK – Modern Monetary Theory Group I have to disagree with Mr Fry.

    First, there is a widespread belief that global finance markets can shut down a nation through the foreign exchange markets.

    This sentiment is, of course, a lasting hangover from the 1970s when the British Labour Party claimed in 1976 that it had run out of money and had to borrow from the IMF.

    It is a resonating theme among the Left that somehow, these global capital markets are stronger than a sovereign state.

    So the question that has to be dealt with in progressive ranks is why do they still limit their aspirations as a result of this erroneous fear.

    It is true that if governments do nothing and allow hot money (short-term speculative capital flows) to flow in and out at will then the hedge funds will have a field day and will treat the national well-being as an irrelevance in their quest for yield.

    But, in reality, national governments, which issue their own currencies have a range of options, all of which, largely, overcome the power of the global financial markets.

    The first thing that we need to do is to distinguish Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) where a foreign investor provides funds to a productive enterprise in another nation, from Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), which represents foreign investments in a nations financial assets which bear no interest in an underlying productive activity in the real sector of the economy.

    FDI might take the form of building a factory, purchasing land for a firm to locate to, or providing plant, equipment, and skills to aid an firm.

    Clearly, once this investment is in place, the notion of capital flight becomes difficult to sustain. Productive capital is in situ. It is not a speculative asset. It usually represents a long-term commitment to the growth process of the nation involved.

    A nation that maintains a rule of law, has stable government, develops a skilled labour force and has strong investment in public infrastructure is attractive to FDI.

    But the fixed-in-place nature of the assets created by FDI provides workers with opportunities should the owners abandon the capital. Argentina in the early 2000s demonstrated that if the owners abandon their enterprises, workers can take control and continue producing if legal approvals are forthcoming.

    Esteban Magnanis 2009 book (the original text was in Spanish and came out in 2003) The Silent Change: Recovered Businesses in Argentina documented experiences of worker control where factories are recovered by various worker organisations after the capitalist owners abandon them after insolvency.

    [Reference: Magnani, E. (2009) The Silent Change: Recovered Businesses in Argentina, Buenos Aires, Editorial Teseo.]

    He talks about establishing a more horizontal form of democracy beyond the typical notions of representative democracy where workers know from their experiences how to take control of their workplaces.

    There is a great quote from Naomi Klein (from the movie The Take) where she is out the front of the Brukman factory from which the workers had been evicted and various opinions were being aired as to the best way forward.

    She said:

    “The idea of this round-table, that so-called intellectuals and journalists should offer theories about how the working class should organize and fight, is both offensive and dangerous. This idea is responsible for a lot of whats dysfunctional about the Left today. If theres anything to be learned from these surprising Brukman women, its that the working class already knows how to organize and fight. In Argentina and around the world, original, creative, effective direct action is way ahead of intellectual leftist theory.”

    The Brukman factory is a textile factory in Buenos Aires currently under the control of a worker cooperative under the recovered factories movement.

    It was a central battle ground between the owners who abandoned it and the workers. The state sent troops and police in on behalf of the capitalists but through collective action, supported by a solidaristic working class, the Brukman workers retained control of the factory they occupied and as far as I know they continue to operate.

    But all that aside, there is a clear distinction between FDI and the other category of capital flows, Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI)

    FPI includes purchases of shares, corporate and government bonds, and other local currency-denominated assets which are typically easier to liquidate than assets created by FDI. Real estate is included in this category if held for speculative purposes, although it is less liquid than the array of financial assets that the hot money is attracted to.

    Clearly, this capital can be withdrawn very quickly and can be the source of financial instability.

    Capital controls function to limit the extent of the currency depreciation when a currency is under attack from hot money speculators.

    If targeted to short-term capital transactions (hot money) they counter the speculative flows that might destabilise an exchange rate and force a nation to run down its foreign exchange reserves.

    In February 2010, the IMF released a research paper Capital Inflows: The Role of Controls where they argued that under certain circumstances capital controls is justified as part of the policy toolkit to manage inflows.

    The IMF concluded that short-term speculative surges can compromise sound macroeconomic management by pushing the exchange rate up and undermining trade competitiveness.

    They also acknowledged that:

    ” large capital inflows may lead to excessive foreign borrowing and foreign currency exposure, possibly fueling domestic credit booms (especially foreign-exchange denominated lending) and asset bubbles (with significant adverse effects in the case of a sudden reversal). ”

    FDI which may include a transfer of technology or human capital can boost long-term growth, but the flows associated with FPI such as portfolio investment and banking and especially hot, or speculative, debt inflows seem neither to boost growth nor allow the country to better share risks with its trading partners.

    Another IMF article (June 2016) Neoliberalism: Oversold? concluded that short-term capital flows have questionable legitimacy and that:

    “Among policymakers today, there is increased acceptance of controls to limit short-term debt flows that are viewed as likely to lead toor compounda financial crisis. While not the only tool availableexchange rate and financial policies can also helpcapital controls are a viable, and sometimes the only, option when the source of an unsustainable credit boom is direct borrowing from abroad. ”

    Which brings into question why a nation would ever allow unfettered FPI.

    Capital inflows that manifest as FDI in productive infrastructure are relatively unproblematic. They create employment and physical augmentation of productive capacity which becomes geographically immobile.

    So a SNP Government with its own free floating currency and central bank has many tools available to it under law to curb the destructive impacts of these short-term speculative FPI flows that do nothing to advance long-term well-being of the people.

    The imposition of country-by-country capital controls can help eliminate the destructive macroeconomic impacts of rapid inflows or withdrawals of financial capital but may not be sufficient.

    Outright prohibition is one option.

    For example, China prevents foreign funds from investing directly into its capital market. It also has quotas on the use of short-term foreign debt that its domestic banks can engage.

    Other forms might include required fixed deposits to be made at the central bank of some proportion of the any foreign currency borrowing by domestic firms.

    If we adopt a progressive view that the only productive role of the financial markets should be to advance the social welfare of the citizens then it is likely that a whole range of financial transactions, which drive cross-border capital flows, should be made illegal rather than controlled through capital restrictions.

    In this context, capital controls may be an interim strategy while the nation sorts through the legislative tangle that would be involved.

    This approach would best be introduced on a multi-lateral basis spanning all nations rather than being imposed on a country-by-country basis. The large first-world nations should take the lead. However, given that such leadership is unlikely to be forthcoming a single nation could still act unilaterally in this regard.

    Local banks should play no role in facilitating the entry of speculative short-term flows. In this context, the only useful thing a bank should do is to faciliate a payments system and provide loans to credit-worthy customers.

    These approaches are unlikely to impact on the willingness of investors to provide FDI as long as the nation has stable government, contractual certainty via the rule of law, and a growing economy with a skilled workforce.

    Local tax rules can impact on FDI but that is another story again.

    Despite the claims to the contrary, governments impose such controls because they are effective.

    The retort is that the financial markets will always subvert capital controls, but the reality is different. Speculators know full well that such controls stop their damaging behaviour.

    As Dani Rodrik noted in his Op Ed (March 11, 2010) The End of an Era in Finance:

    “Otherwise, why would investors and speculators cry bloody murder whenever capital controls are mentioned as a possibility? ”

    While it is usually claimed that imposing such controls would automatically cut a country off from access to international capital markets, plunging the nation into autarchy, the experience of various countries that have imposed capital controls in recent years disproves this claim.

    Indeed, the evidence shows that countries that employed constraints on surging capital inflows fared better than countries with open capital accounts in the recent global financial crisis.

    The fact is that a strong state can curb destructive capital flows and defend a floating exchange rate from collapse.

    The New York Times article acknowledges that:

    “As it turns out, while businesses predictably wince at Labours plans to increase corporate taxes, party advisers say many in the business sector welcome their commitment to investing in infrastructure, especially technology.”

    This is the point. Financial markets chase profits not ideological purity. A growing economy with innovative investment in public infrastructure is fertile for attracting FDI.

    This is not to say that it should fix the exchange rate. Far from it.

    Both flexible and fixed exchange rate regimes are subject to speculative attacks from financial players intent on seeking short-term gains.

    Ultimately, the best way to stabilise the exchange rate is to build sustainable growth through high employment with stable prices and appropriate productivity improvements, even if the higher growth is consistent with a lower exchange rate.

    The choice of exchange rate regime provides no defense against destructive capital flows. However, evidence shows that sudden stop episodes are much more common in fixed exchange rate regimes.

    In fact, it is often forgotten that the Bretton Woods system was ultimately derailed precisely by speculative capital flows that threatened the exhaustion of the foreign exchange and/or gold reserves of nations running external deficits.

    It is also the case, that it was only capital controls that gave any semblance of currency stability during the fixed exchange rate period, especially in the various European arrangements that followed the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971.

    The other point relates to claims that a nation will run out of money if foreign investors lose confidence in the government, or, more to the point, dislike the policies it is pursuing.

    This is also patently false.

    For example, China does not fund the US government. It just invests the financial surpluses in US dollars it earns from its current account surpluses against the US economy. Instead of keeping the cash receipts within the US banking system, Chinese interests swap into a US-dollar denominated financial asset earning a return above cash.

    No foreign investor funds any currency-issuing government.

    Further, given a sovereign nation does not have to borrow anyway, global financial markets cannot influence the capacity of such a state to spend to advance domestic well-being.

    Also, any exchange rate depreciation that might occur under a SNP government as growth stimulates imports will change the fortunes of the traded-goods sector of the economy. Exports become cheaper in world markets while at the same time imports become more expensive.

    Scotland could expect its tourism industry to grow even further as a result of the currency depreciation. The depreciation during the GFC and then again after the Brexit referendum certainly has led to a rise in tourism.

    The British government tourist agency VisitBritain provides excellent data on British tourist flows and spending.

    It shows that for the first-quarter 2017, total visitors rose by 9.88 per cent and their spending rose by 15.58 per cent over the year. So that is the Winter-quarter.

    In July 2016, the UK recorded its biggest-ever month for tourist visits.

    Tourism is Britains fourth-biggest service export, and one of [its] fastest growing sectors.

    Further, The sharp drop in the pound has inevitably made tax-free spending attractive for overseas visitors.

    We also witness a rise in import substitution when the exchange rate depreciates, which stimulate local employment and relieve the cost pressure on local citizens.

    Whenever the Australian dollar depreciates (as it does regularly), they go on holidays up the coast rather than to the ski fields of Europe.

    What about the claim that the bureaucracy would undermine the SNP’s governments agenda?

    The New York Times article writes:

    “Labours plans to restructure the economy represent a break with a neoliberal consensus of the past 30 years. This shift does have popular support, yet it might conceivably face institutional resistance. Britains civil service, which has met with the Labour leadership and which is democratically committed to political neutrality, could respond to populist left policies with a technocratic disposition toward continuity and slow, incremental change. ”

    Possibly but not insurmountable.

    And, finally, what about free trade agrements?

    These so-called free trade agreements are nothing more than a further destruction of the democratic freedoms that the advanced nations have enjoyed and cripple the respective states abilities to oversee independent policy structures that are designed to advance the well-being of the population.

    The underlying assumption is that international capital is to be prioritised and if the state legislature compromises that priority then the latter has to give way.

    A progressive agenda would ban these agreements and force corporations to act within the legal constraints of the nations they seek to operate within or sell into.

    Fairly simple in fact.

    The sabre-rattling from the conservatives and Mr Fry above will always accompany the likelihood of a progressive government being elected. There are clear cases when capital has conspired to undermine a government it saw as threatening its position.

    But usually the government has failed to use its own capacities correctly in these situations. For example, if the private sector goes on a capital strike and reduces investment, the solution is simple. Increase public investment to improve essential services while the private sector gets over its uncertainty.

    The point is that short of invading a nation with a military force, all capitalist interests have to work through the existing legal framework that is set by the legislative fiat of the nation state.

    A SNP government would be able to resist any threats from self-interest capital interests to ensure its acted in the interests of all the people rather than just the few!

  258. Derek Henry says:

    @ Schrodingers cat

    If you read that link the Euro is the last thing we want bar none.

    It is very clear why the Euro was set up and this was very well known in 2012

    As a truely free independent nation. We do not need or want to be any part of that.

    New Zealand is a far better model for us.

  259. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Good old BBC Shortbread, reporting on the ban on fracking. The ban is backed by every party in Holyrood, except the Tories, so, BBC Shortbread managed to turn their report into another SNP Bad diatribe.

    Talk about the enemy within. The first move of an Independent Scotland has to be, to shut-down BBC Shortbread.

  260. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Ruby at 11.56 pm

    Page 3 is gone. It’s botties now, not titties and a generation of folk now can see as much as they want of either online.

  261. yesindyref2 says:

    @Lenny Hartley
    Could be the jennies are on idle, they can be a problem starting up so it might be the rule. I was on one though I’m pretty sure it was off, Locahaline to Fishnish not that long ago, so maybe they’re starting to try it out. I’ll ask next time I’m on one.

    @Chick McGregor
    It’d be interesting to see if an electric or even hybrid could cope with the tidal flow on the Kennacraig to Feolin ferry.

    I did forget one relatively inland ferry not replaced by a bridge – what I call the floating bridge at Corran 🙂

  262. Lenny Hartley says:

    Chic mcgregor as I said on an earlier post the Cal-Mac hybrids are running with at least one diesel generators working all the time, otherwise the 1 million quids worth of batteries on each ship would go flat. That is probably why there is only a 20% co2 reduction against same size conventional Diesel powered ships. . I have been in the engine room of one whilst at sea and seen the real time data on consumption , that is why I know they use about 50 litres of fuel for 30 mins running.
    I don’t know how much fuel a conventional diesel powered ship uses but. I was told that there was a considerable savings , off course the cost of electricity used recharging the batteries at night have to be taken into account.

  263. Footsoldier says:

    Socrates MacSporran says: 6:45 pm

    “”Good old BBC Shortbread, reporting on the ban on fracking. “The ban is backed by every party in Holyrood, except the Tories” so, BBC Shortbread managed to turn their report into another SNP Bad diatribe.””

    I’m not with you on this unless there is something I am missing. I heard that clip and it made the Tories sound out of kilter. In no way did I detect an “SNP bad” situation.

    Maybe a little bit of paranoia?

  264. Effijy says:

    I know which end of the dog this crackpot would like to feed,
    but he seems to be promoting what comes out the other end of a bull.

    How pathetically sad the Torrance and the Herald continue to peddle this crap as worthy legitimate news.

    Those who purchase the Herald, are you totally brainwashed?

    For lining the bottom of your budgies cage, its fine, but how many budgies have cages in Scotland?

    I guess fewer and fewer every day.

  265. Lenny Hartley says:

    Yesindy2ref on the hybrid I was on at least one genie needs to be operating to keep the batteries topped up. The Gennies are in a compartment well insulated so you can’t hear them topsides. I have been given a guided tour of the engine room and that what I was told. I asked why a gennie was running and was told that the batteries had to be kept topped up. you can hear it in the control room but it’s a lot quieter than a traditional engine room .
    Other gennies may be brought online if needed later in the day, I was on a first sailing and the batteries were full having been charged overnight And they were still running one gennie. I guess in case of some issue with the fuel there needs to be enough capacity in the batteries to get you to port.

  266. CameronB Brodie says:

    It goes without saying that EU membership does not equate to a requirement to join the Euro. Ach well, I thought it unnecessary to mention but did anyway. 😉

  267. mike cassidy says:


    Blowing a gael?

  268. Tinto Chiel says:

    Footsoldier: saw a bit of Reporting S______d down at my daughter’s. Thank God I never watch it normally. The fracking thing seemed to me to suggest hypocrisy on the part of the SG, banning fracking here but importing gas fracked in other countries. It seemed a very contrived and rather desperate classic SNPBad angle of attack.

    Of course, maybe my lugs were not functioning properly.

    See Jackie’s still got that smirk. I suggest surgery: not a good look.

  269. heedtracker says:

    Beeb gimp network in Scotland is hideous tory bias ofcourse and on everything Scotland at all.

    Mind their gimp rage at SNP Scots gov rewilding of the Highlands, even just a wee bit, because trees spoil planet toryboy’s view og their Scotland region? Fair enough beeb gimps do actually work for toryboys that own most of Scotland.

  270. ScottieDog says:

    @Derek Henry
    Michael fry is an absolute liability. His grasp of economics is up there with kevin Hague

  271. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @TC –

    Jackie’s resemblance to the Memorex skeleton strengthens with every passing month.

    Unfortunately, no sign of her fading away just yet…

  272. Rock says:


    “A self proclaimed genius is usually just a self loathing narcisist with mental health issues, who projects his insecure inadequaces onto others, who he knows are his intellectual and emotional superiors.”

    A good self assessment.

  273. mike cassidy says:

    Somebody’s been polling the citizens of EU member states about their attitudes to Brexit.

  274. Ghillie says:

    Derek Hendry @ 6.37 pm Thank you =)

    That was a lonng post!

    However, I did read it all carefully and I think I’ve got the gist of it…

    FDI = good.

    FPI = not so good at all.

    Hot money = bad bad bad (though no doubt it’ll still sneak in occasionnally)

    Very much like the sound of Brukman.

    And as for Mr Fry, of course he would say that.

    The future looks bright ! The future looks iScottish 🙂

  275. Petra says:

    @ Derek at 6:37pm …. “Fry talks complete tripe.”

    He sure does. I’m presuming your excellent response to him will be in the long letter section of the National Derek, lol.


    There was some great articles in the Sunday Herald at the weekend with one by Angus Robertson entitled “One hundred years on: the forgotten front that inspired A Farewell to Arms.’

    “We also hear next to nothing about the southern front, which pitted Italy against Austro-Hungary and was just as bloody as anywhere else, but took place in the Alps. To this day it is the biggest ever conflict in mountains in the history of mankind with over one million casualties.”


    Snippets from yesterday’s National:

    ‘Mundell sends his support to Dugdale.’

    ‘Mundell has provided written testimony in support of Kezia Dugdale in her legal battle with Wings Over Scotland.’


    “Lies, damned lies: How Westminster plundered Scotland’s North Sea oil wealth. Excellent article.

    “As a ballpark figure Scotlands share of the UK’s North Sea assets is approximately 80%.”

    “On the event of Scotland ever winning it’s freedom, it has already paid off any share of national debt owed by the UK.” ….. “Scotland can justifiably claim all of the national debt (approx £1 trillion) belongs to England.”

    “And worse still, if possible, over the past 50 years or so Westminster has encouraged maximum production at all times, even when prices were ridiculously low. Is this a breach of fiduciary duty to protect the interests of past and future generations of Scots for whom the oil and gas resources were their birthright.”

    “In total Scotlands oil should have contributed £600 billion to Westminster had Westminster followed the approach taken by Norway.”


    Tory MP Ross says he’ll quit his second job after he participates in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, if selected.


    Britain’s most seniors judge, Baroness Hale of Richmond, may be asked to come before a Holyrood Committee to say why the UK Supreme Court has different rules from the judiciary of Scotland on the question of judges admitting and registering their interests (or recusals)….. as they did pre-UK SC days as Law Lords in the House of Lords.

    The SC serves as the most senior court in the UK for both civil and criminal appeals from Scotland.


    Great article by Caroline Leckie.

    “Twenty years ago when Tony Blair came to power the wealth of the top 1000 amounted to £99 billion…. It now stands at £658 billion….Last year their mountainous riches grew by £83 billion.

    Had the value of the state pension grown at the same rate it would now be worth £415 a week instead of £122. Higher rate disability living allowance would be £329 a week instead of £83 and the national minimum wage would be £24 an hour instead of £7.50.”


    Scottish gin sales set to outstrip whisky for the first time. Prestigious conference being held in Dundee, Scotland for the first time with delegates coming from all over the world.


    Fantastic two page article from George Kerevan on Catalonia.


    Scottish inventor Robert Davidson (1804-1894) built the world’s first electric locomotive called the Galvani which was tested on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway in 1842.


    And much more!

  276. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    “Actually, Bob, it can not really be called a legal union. More like an illegal union as it was enforced upon Wales by the Kingdom of England.”

    Was the union between Scotland and England legal?

    Yes or No? No long essays please.

  277. heedtracker says:

    Rock says:
    24 October, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    “A self proclaimed genius is usually just a self loathing narcisist with mental health issues, who projects his insecure inadequaces onto others, who he knows are his intellectual and emotional superiors.”

    A good self assessment.

    I dont know Rock, all you ever say is Scots are stupidest of the stupid in the world and we’re all going to be murdered in our beds, for voting YES.

    Its all rather monomaniac Rock:D

  278. Rock says:


    “Absolutely agree that their aim is to leave without a deal and naturally it will be the fault of the EU.”

    Rock (19th September – “The warning notice”):

    “For your information, a “snap” Brexit means the talks between the two sides will collapse without a deal being reached, which is the intention of the UK government as the EU is not going to give in to any blackmail.

    The UK might technically remain in the EU until March 29 2019, but it will be de facto out.

    Scotland will be at the mercy of the Westminster government, with no official status in the EU other than a region of the UK.”

  279. Ghillie says:

    Tinto Chiel @ 7.54 pm

    Except it is not the Scottish Government that is importing fracked gas from the US but Ineos at Grangemouth.

    We got SNP bad over baby boxes! So of course there would be a dredging of empty barrels to smear together a bad spin on protecting Scotland from fracking.

    I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Add there are folk all over the World wishing they too had a government that actually protected them.

  280. Paula Rose says:

    I wonder if the arrival of These Islands is because the bored board consider Scotland in Union to be too extreme – is there a schism?

  281. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Tinto Cheil 7.54 The SG dont import Fracked Gas Jim Ratcliffe does , he’s tied into a 15 yr contract with the Americans he would have preferred a local source ie The central belt but Hee Hoo the SG put a spike in his wheel .

  282. Bob Costello says:

    Apologies for encroaching into this conversation folks but I think many of you would want to now of the passing of Jeff Duncan. Jeff was the guy who organised the two rallies in 2012 and 2013 in Edinburgh. He passed away in July of this year but left instructions that his passing was not to be widely published There is to be a remembrance on November 11 in the Black Watch club in Aurtherstone terrace in Dundee and Alex Salmond. I am assisting with the arrangements and it would be great to see some of you guys there.
    I attach a blog I wrote about Jeff.

  283. Rock says:

    mike d,

    “Good luck yessers trying to win these people to yes.head of brick wall comes to mind.”

    As long as the SNP government protects them from the worst consequences of Tory austerity, they will never change their minds.

  284. Rock says:


    “and we’re all going to be murdered in our beds, for voting YES.”

    Guardian reader with a Slovene (ex?)girlfriend, reading The Guardian (and having an unfaithful girlfriend) is definitely affecting your mental health.

    heedtracker (23rd October – Ticking off the boxes):

    “Reading newspapers is low risk health wise.”

  285. yesindyref2 says:

    I didn’t read it and can’t without clearing all my tabs and using ccleaner, but I tend to leave him alone as at least he’s speaking to the Conservatives or some of them.

    I’ve always had my doubts about all this “Inward Investment” garbage, better to help our own businesses to grow than pay for unfair competition to put us out of business or strangle our own growth. Whatever happened to “Scottish enterprise”. But if Ghillie has it right “FDI good, FPI not so good”, then I’ll go along with that one.

  286. yesindyref2 says:

    Rock (31st September – Don’t Stop, thinking about tomorrow): “Why does today not exist?”

  287. Petra says:

    @ Mike at 8:56pm …….. “EU Poll.”

    Interesting to see that the country that would like to take the hardest line with the UK re. Brexit is Spain. Gibraltor, fish or something else?

  288. Reluctant Nationalist says:

    Derek Henry @ 6.37pm

    I enjoyed reading that, thank you.

  289. Tinto Chiel says:

    Petra: lovely stuff. I can’t understand why we can’t just tell the Supreme Court to stick it where solar rays are quite prohibit, but I’m probs too naïve.

    IanB, it’s pretty gruesome close up, this BBC Reporting Scotland prog: Cringetastic is the word, I think. Can’t be good for the health to watch it long-term.

    Just back from a week in the Balkans, and God, does it make you see how Scotland has it all in the palms of our hands. All these wee diddy countries, recovering from an appalling war, spending their diddy currencies and, despite all the obstacles in their way, managing to avoid Armaggedon and look forward, and all without WM support. *Irony Alert*

    Croatia has a population of about 4M, is in the EU but doesn’t use the Euro at the mo (the Kuna is the currency) and Slovenia is about half that size but uses the Euro as a EU member. Montenegro has the Euro but isn’t a member and has a pop. of about 600,000.

    Bosnia Herzegovina, despite the dreadful war visited upon it, functions with the Convertible Mark and a pop. of 3.5 million, but still seems oblivious to the charms of The New Great British Beat-Off, pair wee sowills. “Give us back our Sue Perkins!” was their constant refrain to me.

    It’s a funny old game, Saint.

  290. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Ronnie and Ghillie: I know. It was BBC Scotland, after all. I did say, “It seemed a very contrived and rather desperate classic SNPBad angle of attack.” How can folk watch this keech?

    Law of diminishing returns, I’m sure. So many light-bulb moments everytime Tokyo/Earnock Rose opens her mouth.

  291. geeo says:

    Derek “why am i not running the global economy” Henry…..Zzzzzzz

  292. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Methinks that a commenter or one doesn’t actually understand the reference to “my Slovene girlfriend” but has decided to type it in willy-nilly – for effect, yi unnerstan’?.

    Such are the dreams of the everyday housewife…

  293. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Bob Costello Thanks for the information Bob , hopefully I can make that date .

  294. Petra says:

    @ Bob at 9:19pm …… “Jeff Duncan.”

    Real sad news Bob. Too bad he never lived to see his dream fulfilled; his country become Independent.

    I hope his family and friends take some solace from a great turnout in Dundee on November 11th.

    Condolences to his loved ones.

    RIP Jeff X

  295. heedtracker says:

    My Slovene girlfriend is a very good kisser, she’s a bit hacked off today her new fav fiba team bombed out yesterday, so she takes it out on horrid vile seps,

    Adam Tomkins MSP Retweeted
    Philip Sim?Verified account @BBCPhilipSim 7h

    Replying to @BBCPhilipSim
    Murdo Fraser says “ludicrous” ban on fracking shows “contempt for science” & “sheer hypocrisy” given fracked gas still imported to Scotland

    Adam Tomkins MSP Retweeted
    Kevin Keane? @KKeaneBBC 7h7 hours ago

    Tory @murdo_fraser accuses Scottish Government of hypocrisy for championing the Oil and Gas sector but banning #fracking

    I keep telling her, pillow talk, monstering SNP Scots fracking ban is really weakest stuff yet from planet toryboy, in her Scotland region, even with all her besties in Pacific Quay jumped about like clowns.

  296. yesindyref2 says:

    @Derek Henry
    Yeah, I read that, very clear and logically laid out.

    I still have a problem even with FDI in that it can suppress growth in native industries, best I can think of as a comparison is the way councils go like “Hey, we’ve given planning permission to X big supermarket in town and will build access roads and roundabouts, and it will bring 1,000 jobs to the area”, and then wonder why the high street is deserted, local businesses close down and even their supply chain suffers, costing a total of 5,000 jobs to the economy, while the 1,000 jobs “created” are mostly minimum wage.

  297. Tinto Chiel says:

    Hey, Heed: you’re quite an alley-cat, innit? Forget your Slovene girl-friend/great kisser: wot happened to your lovely Lithuanian doughnut-selling lady at Morrison’s?

    For shame, sirrah, for shame.

    You Yes yet says we’re better than this…..

  298. Petra says:

    I started to watch “Oh, AH, Oh AH” Mundell earlier tonight and then it cut out on me for some reason. I noticed near the beginning that they were complaining about Mike Russell in relation to DEFRA. “Mike Russell misled them.” Could someone elaborate on that?

  299. TheWasp says:

    I wish everybody would give the ebc building it’s correct colonial title. I’ve been doing my family tree, and the ancestors lived in that area, known as Plantation not Pacific. Thank you…

  300. heedtracker says:

    Tinto Chiel

    I am a Scottish slut:D Its the foreign accents that really do it.

    My Slovene girlfriend does a really good impression of tory twerp from the south coast of the greatest country in the whole wide world, what Scotland should be very grateful to be run by…


    Mini electric, made by Germany, union jack tail lights. Whatever Brexit next for teamGB. That is a first though, integrating car design with a national flag, as opposed to just painting it on the roof for example.

  301. Breeks says:

    OT. Meant in a light hearted way…

    You know I go on and on about Sovereignty? I had an idea.

    Imagine if we made IndyRef an annual convention. Instead of Scotland’s default position being in the Union, all the time, 24-7, what if we tweaked the constitution so that our membership of the Union was a vow that had to be renewed and ratified once a year?

    Only fair. There’s a Scottish kid being born tomorrow who will inherit his sovereign birthright but won’t be empowered to use it because the generation before he or she was born pushed it beyond their reach. Why should the poor kid be shortchanged of their birthright indefinitely?

    Revise the IndyRef2 question: Should Scotland stay in the Union for 2018? Y / N? – Repeat annually, and call it democracy. We could take our time and torment Unionism to distraction by turning it slowly on a spit. We’d only have to win once, and they’d have to win year, after year, after year…

    We could have the vote every Hogmanay and have Jackie Bird forced to announce the result live just before the bells to add a frisson of extra jeopardy, One joyous Hogmanay in store when we win, or we have Johnny Logan on hand to sing What’s Another Year? If we lose.

  302. Robert Peffers says:

    @Rock says: 24 October, 2017 at 9:02 pm:

    ““Actually, Bob, it can not really be called a legal union. More like an illegal union as it was enforced upon Wales by the Kingdom of England.”

    Sheesh! I didn’t say it was legal or illegal. It was, as far as England was concerned UNDER ENGLISH LAW, a legal annexation.

    They did much the same with Ireland by, “The Crown of Ireland Act”, and with Scotland by the enforced, “Treaty of Union”.

    To date non-of the annexed Kingdoms/countries has been able to have either their own courts, the courts of England/Westminster or the international courts to make either the 1248 Statute of Rhuddlan, The 1542 Crown of Ireland Act or the 1706/7 Treaty of Union proven in a court of law to be illegal.

    The point being, which you obviously do not understand, is that any such law, (no matter if it is right or wrong), remains legal under whatever jurisdiction it was passed, until it is proven to be illegal

    “Was the union between Scotland and England legal?
    Yes or No? No long essays please.”

    More stupidity and lack of understanding by yourself, Rock.

    Furthermore, these things are never a yes or no situation. Just consider the present legal dilemma of the Catalan/Spain situation.

    The Catalan Government claim they are being treated illegally but the Spanish rule of law says the Catalans are acting illegally. Thus neither the Catalans or Spanish can prove their claims and, to date, the international bodies are sloping shoulders. They will probably go on doing so until forced to do otherwise.

    So guess what, Rock – it will be up to public opinion and public support, (or lack of it), forcing their hands to make a difference. Just as the only way that the people of Scotland can enforce their legal sovereignty is by a majority of them making it stick.

    The People of the Republic of Ireland did just that and I’m betting the rest of Ireland may soon be joining them. Nobody gives you either sovereignty or legal right – you take it.

  303. David Caledonia says:

    Do people still watch the telly, i gave it up years ago, its not just the bias from the BBC, its the whole sorry state of it all, take a saturday night for example. millions of people sit down to watch a thing called X-Factor, its a so called talent show with a woman dressed up like a high class tart and giving her opinion about some people who can’t really sing very well, yes folks saturday nights ymust be a real intellectual experience in some houses, what do i do on a saturday night you may ask
    Well, i certainly don’t sit in front of a nelly vision set, mainly because i don’t have one, as Groucho said, television is very educational, when someone switches it on, i go and read a good book, or in my own case, watch paint dry . heh heh heh

  304. Alex Clark says:


    I believe you are right about Plantation Quay. There was a good discussion on that on Wings a while back, I seem to remember it was where the slave traders boats sailed from.

    I’d guess then if true that’s why the name was changed.

  305. Tinto Chiel says:

    Fairy Nuff, Heed: accents so important.

    Heard of an unfortunate incident a few years ago of an under-15/16 fitba’ team from a famous Citrus Fruit-oriented town in Lanarkshire who won a tournament en France.

    When presented with the trophy, French dignitary said, ” Vous etes les vainqueurs!”

    Cue major diplomatic incident…

  306. heedtracker says:

    David Caledonia

    If you don’t watch tv David, how do you know about telly like X Factor:D

    TV’s a social thing, people like to sit together and watch it, which is why UK telly like Antiques road show or auction thingee is so popular.

    It beats actually talking, about heavy stuff.

    US telly’s taken a totally different route, in that its extremely entertaining.

    BBC attack propagandists, or the Sociology of UK tory propaganda is and are fully aware of how their subjects sit and digest their tea together.

    Cameron B will have a thesis on it all. The latest BBC 1 ad things between their glossy grot, now takes lots of people together doing stuff, canoeing, in various parts of “their” country, together, better, with the BBC, because we are all together under the BBC/union jack, 2017.

    BBC r4 radio news takes a different route to UKOK tory greatness, having effectively given up reporting anything about tory UK gov now.

    Instead of telling us how truly horrifying the UK is under the tories, how horrifying the Brexit future is clearly going to be, the beeb r4 gimp network is doing outstanding coverage across and all over the planet now, from China to Africa, beeb r4 gimp network will tell us all about everywhere, except how fucking awful the Teresa tory UK gov really is.

  307. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tinto Chiel at 11.07

    Do you speak of Larkie, Tinto?
    I took John Ogilvie High School football team up to the Smillie Memorial Park to contest a cup final against Holycross High. (We won 4 – 3)
    Sadly J O High played in green and gold hoops. The windows of the Parks of Hamilton bus we were in got panned in at the traffic lights. That was in the last century. I expect things have improved?

    PS I note your MSP is a J O High ex pupil.

  308. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi TheWasp.

    Plantion Quay – old news.

    2015 –

  309. heedtracker says:

    TheWasp says:
    24 October, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    I wish everybody would give the ebc building it’s correct colonial title. I’ve been doing my family tree, and the ancestors lived in that area, known as Plantation not Pacific. Thank you…

    Is Plantation Quay not the actual dock that’s behind the science centre?

    The graving docks are under threat now. They are stunning too, all from a very different era of Glasgow.

  310. yesindyref2 says:

    @Alex Clark
    I seem to remember it was where the slave traders boats sailed from.

    Still do, except it’s airwaves these days not ocean waves.

  311. Meg merrilees says:

    heed tracker

    Mini union flag electric car…

    What an abomination and so confusing as well.
    The red stripey bits of the flag look like arrows when lit up but the arrows are pointing in the opposite direction from that being indicated by the flashing light – bound to cause confusion and possible accidents, n’est-ce pas?

    What twit thought that one up? Maybe it’s a freudian explanation of how Britain is viewed – seem to point one way when actually meaning something completely the opposite.

  312. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Do you speak of Larkie, Tinto?”

    Vraiement, mon vieux!

    DMH: thought Christina McKelvie went to St Leonard’s in the East End but she is a fantastic MSP, with a great, kind heart.

    Incidentally, Wingers, there will soon be a dinner to commemorate Madame Ecosse’s great victory in the then Hamilton and Larkhall constituency in 1967, when Dave McEwan Hill was part of the winning team, I believe. Tickets have sold out lang sine, I’m afeared, but it will take place in Low Waters Miners’ Welfare in Hamilton, where elegant Winnie walked into the spit-and-sawdust bar and started talking to the local miners. They were mightily impressed and voted accordingly.

    A huge milestone on our road to independence.

  313. manandboy says:

    Q. Which country is Scotland in?
    A. The Canary seems to think Scotland is a region of England.

    In The Canary:- “Catalonia – and now Veneto and Lombardy – could embolden other regions with claims to greater autonomy or independence across Europe. They include Scotland; Flanders and Wallonia in Belgium …….

  314. heedtracker says:

    Meg merrilees, good point mini indicator safety wise. Marketing that car as British is core to it all, so they designed it in to the lights. Its a curious one though, not many other cars have a nation flag directly in the gimmick. Mini was an Italian design too.

    It probably depends on who the car makers want to sell to.

    Where I am there’s giant billboards of the new Ford Kuga, on a beach in front of the White Cliffs of Dover, its arse pointed directly back at France, but its not facing directly in to England either.

    Mixed messages for your average 4X4 buying Brit.

    Its nice to think of all the OO turning up at the lodge in their new electric mini though, orange paint work, or say their great friends and supporters at the Guardian too.

  315. Still Positive says:

    It was Winnie Ewing’s victory in the Hamilton bye-election that got me on the road to independence.

    I was living in East Kilbride and my wee sister was at Hamilton Academy at the time.

    I was 17 and wee sister was 14 at the time. I didn’t realise the significance until earlier this year at the SNP Conference in Aberdeen where Nicola paid tribute to her.

    I have voted SNP whenever they stood a candidate and I think my sister did too.

    Sadly, she died in September 2012 so did not get to vote for Independence which she would have done.

  316. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tinto Chiel at 11.53

    I was indeed and I chaired the eve of poll meeting at the Town Hall which was a shattering event as Ludovic Kennedy has just declared for independence and was at the meeting. We had expected a few hundred to turn up but a huge four figure crowd turned up at a standing room only event. This included my young brother with the Strathclyde University Labour Club who tried to boo all the way through but got shouted down.The count in St John’s is still the best night in my life. I was Winnie’s agent for the subsequent general election contest where she lost at which the Labour Party threw the whole country into Hamilton and our daft HQ left us at Hamilton SNP to try to hold the seat on our own.

  317. Capella says:

    @ Petra 10.35 – it was very difficult to stay alert during Mundell’s havering performance, which was maybe the intention.
    From what I recall, he took offence at Mike Russell’s description of Westminster’s plans to take over repatriated agriculture and fisheries as a “power grab”.
    It is not a power grab, asserts Mundell, but a very sensible guarding of the UK single market (which nobody had ever heard of before. But when you think about it, all states have a single market although with many regional differences e.g France.)

    I may have dropped off in the middle of his complaint.

  318. Chick McGregor says:

    @Lenny Hartley

    OK. Didn’t know that.

    Must be quite small batteries then.

    Hybrid motors have a wide range of designed operations.

    They could have had large batteries and only need topping up occasionally.

    That design your really only talking about efficiency savings because the diesel motor can be run at a steady rate and therefore more efficiently than the speeding up and slowing down would entail for direct drive. Boat speed change is then handled by the electric motor which doesn’t have the same efficiency loss associated with speed change.

    The Norwegian all electrics have two batteries which in total can store 1000kWh, about the equivalent of the daily domestic consumption of about 200 homes.

    So they could do several crossings on one charge but instead they retop up from storage batteries at each terminal, achieved within the 10 min turnaround.

    A lot of the charging is done at night using cheap renewables (HE in Norways case).

  319. Chick McGregor says:

    PS approx costings comparison
    Annual electricity cost about £130,000
    Equivalent fuel cost about £1,000,000

    Also Aluminium hull does not involve the same maintenance costs ditto IC engine maintainance costs.

  320. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ll say one thing, we live in a mad mad world right enough!

    Still, it does appear that the statement 47% of voters in the US are independent voters as appeared elsewhere and “We want …” is bs, having looked it up (little to no interest in internal US politics).

  321. CameronB Brodie says:

    Attracting FDI is the name of the game in the age of neo-liberal globalisation.

    Introduction and summary

    Inward foreign direct investment has often been restricted Attitudes and policies towards liberalisation of international capital flows have been subject to considerable controversy.1 This is because free capital movements raise concerns about loss of national sovereignty and other possible adverse consequences. Foreign direct investment (FDI), even more than other types of capital flows, has historically given rise to such concerns, since it may involve a controlling stake by often large multinational corporations over which domestic authorities, it is feared, have little power. For these reasons, governments have sometimes imposed restrictions on inward FDI. In recent decades, however, an increasing consensus on the benefits of inward FDI has led to reconsideration of these restrictions and this has been reflected in formal agreements on such capital flows (Box VII.1).

    Foreign Investment and Shared Sovereignty


  322. CameronB Brodie says:

    Oops, I wondered where that had gotten to.

    The Pros and Cons of Foreign Direct Investment

  323. Nana says:

    Does anybody fancy joining me on the Royal Mile this coming Friday evening in peaceful Anti-Trident protest to welcome hypocrite Corbyn
    See here

    The Brexit economy: the storm clouds are gathering

  324. Macart says:

    @ Nana

    Just in time Nana. 🙂

    I take it you clocked Labour claiming credit for the banning of Fracking in Scotland?

  325. Nana says:

    Morning Macart. Aye I did, seems to be their latest ploy to take credit for snp’s policies. Lying bunch of useless …..

    A few more links, the Jeff Flake one is worth watching.

    New terror laws ‘would criminalise thought’, watchdog warns

    “…world leaders are aware that much of what [Trump] says is untrue. Certainly people here [in Congress] are.
    video here

    Republican Senator Jeff Flake attacks ‘reckless, outrageous and undignified’ Trump
    video here

    Protest after Western media ‘troublemakers’ barred from Xi Jinping speech

  326. Tinto Chiel says:

    DMH: the funny thing about the anti-SNP folk you met when canvassing in Larky was that some of the older ones would go all googie-eyed when you mentioned Winnie, and some even claimed to have voted for her. Then the spasm passed and it was back to the normal SNPBad frothing.

    Ludovic Kennedy was an interesting guy, wasn’t he? I think he likened our relationship with England to being in bed with an elephant, to which I would only add “incontinent” before elephant. It was my impression his BBC work dried up after he went mad and espoused independence.

    I see now you were thinking of Angela Crawley, the MP. Yes, she went to the old J.O. She is the polar opposite of Jimmy “Where’s ma Jag?” Hood, a real hard worker for her constituents in and out of parliament.

    Nana: amazing links this morning. Watch the old fingers, please.

  327. Macart says:


    A Republican Senator…, but damn! That speech the world of politics over.

  328. Ken500 says:

    Tory high taxes on the Oil & Gas sector when the price is low have led to the decline in exploration and production. Costing Scotland £Billions and thousands of jobs. At least £4Billion a year since 2010. When Osbourne/Alexander increased the tax 11% (£2Billion) a year. 2010 Budget. Up to 80% tax. Oil price was €110. When it fell 75% Osborne was taxing it at 62%. Leading to a fall in exploration and production. It wasn’t the oil price it was the tax, illegally high Tory taxes. Total mismanagement if the Oil & Gas sector by ignorant incompetent Tory/unionists.

    The Tax has been 40% since Jan 2016 on the Oil sector. Too high when the price is lower. If it had been been 30%- The decline in the Oil & Gas sector would not have happened. Corporation tax is less than 20%. The Tories are total incompetent. Their mismanagement has led to the decline in the Oil & Gas sector. Losing Scotland £28Billion++. Losing 120,000 jobs, Scotland could have had full employment. Putting up wages and conditions. Unemployment 103,000.

    Oil & Gas has to be imported. Putting up the balance of payment deficit and the debt. Fracked Gas from US and Gas from Norway because of the Tories inadequate, expensive policies. Two tidal barrages (Humber planned etc) would have cost – £20Billion and produced more fuel and energy than Hinkley Point (7%), by the sea. A disaster waiting to happen. Nuclear waste stored from other countries now being flow all over the world.

    There is no Gas to fracked in Scotland. None at all. Declined in 1960’s. Not worth the effort or investment. There is a better return on renewables. Turbines the magic money trees. Printing money with every turn. Wind wave and solar.

    Scotland can’t stop fracked Gas being imported from US. UK policy. Not devolved.

    The Tories are wasting £Billions on Hinkley Point, HS2, Heathrow and Trident. Trident will be going with Brexit, A total waste of money. They are just riping off the public purse for them and their cronies. Embezzling. There are much cheaper, safer alternative. HS2 will make journeys throughout Britain take longer. Just a total waste of money. The present system should be improved. Nationalised?

    Money should have been spent cutting rail journey times in the north of England and Scotland (total lack of investment for years). In order to cut journey times throughout the UK. Compete with air times. Cut unnecessary flights. Rail journeys take twice as long (pro rata) in the north of England and Scotland, as they do in the south, because of years of lack of investment and neglect. Rail services are being improved in Scotland because of the SNP Gov policies. Times being cut. 30mins between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Times and services elsewhere being improved

    Why are trains going south starting the journey at Inverurie instead of Aberdeen. Leading to chaos at Joint Station, as passengers try to access the train and find their seats. Often not booked properly. etc. The MSP’s do not have a problem. 1st class on expenses. £100+

    Decommissioning costs £1Billiion a year. Totally tax free. Brings jobs and benefits. Scrap metal etc Massive barges are now used to extract oil & gas, pipe lines take it ashore. Or it can be stored. It is more cost effective. Going back to how it was extracted st the start. Oil tankers extracted the Oil and took it ashore to various ports.Then pipe lines were built. The Oil rig structures are done. Forty+ years of maintainance and support. New methods are being developed. Renewables etc. Hydro still maintained.

    The Tirues are 3rd rate rejects, They do not have a clue. Sanctioning people and starving them to death. Illegal wars killing and maiming millions of innocent, vulnerable people, causing the worst migration crisis in Europe since 11WW. Now Brexit to destroy the world economy. . The Tories are total ignorant incompetents. They haven’t got a clue.

  329. heraldnomore says:

    Hey DMH/Tinto, I’ve just finished reading James Mitchell’s Hamilton 1967, having been at the launch at conference. I was but a short-troosered school boy in Hamilton back then, but some great stuff in the book, memories to wallow in.

    Who’d have thought that John Smith didn’t get the Labour gig, or what might have happened if he had, and lost; or that wee tale of Mr Sillars a few years later

  330. Lenny Hartley says:

    Chic Mcgregor , I’m no expert on batteries but appears to be quite a lot,was told the batteries cost £ 1 million , presumably that would include the management system but I would imagine you could purchase quite a lot of capacity for that. I know the boat is plugged into a charging unit at night, but presume it’s just standard mains elect. Was very impressed by the silent running of the boat plus it got off the mark sharpish.

  331. Les Wilson says:

    Yesterday the BBCs had yet another “Murdo” moment.
    The man himself was allowed to talk as much pish as he wanted to, quell surprise.

    SNP bad was the usual from our (naw, f..k it, I long disowned him) Murdo. The SNP were Hippocrates apparently for using fracked gas from the U.S.
    Well I do not know what others think but I very much prefer fracked gas, if we need it, from other countries who enjoy their fracking, than gas fracked in Scotland. They can go ahead with what they want in their own country, accepting the dangers that they could trigger, that is up to them.

    Oh, the thousands of jobs we have lost, wails Murdo,I could hear the wind of BBCs heads furiously nodding in unison. yet apparently there would be far less jobs fewer jobs than the naysayers say there will be, in a vain attempt to prove their case.

    So BBCs and their pal Murdo can just frack off.

  332. galamcennalath says:

    Macart says:

    Worth reading

    Paul makes good points.

    Suppose IndyRef2 was called as consultative without a Section 30, and the Unionists just boycott it. They would use their vast media to say it’s irrelevant.

    I’d vote, as so would a million other YES supporters. But a great many YES inclined folks would be swayed to ‘not waste their time’. Most NO voters would stay away.

    Result might be … 50% turnout, 80% YES.

    From a WM/Unionist perspective the best plan would be to refuse Section 30, and boycott the vote. They know their chances of winning a full referendum are in the balance.

    Paul suggests the next Holyrood election should be fought on the issue of independence instead.

    IMO that only makes sense as a last resort. And to be a last resort I think we need a (consultative if necessary) IndyRef2 in responses to Brexit. It would allow an Indy centred campaign, get people thinking and talking again. It would show widespread demand for Indy, if not a proven majority. However, most importantly, it would show WM as both feart and obstructive on Scottish constitutional issues.

  333. Nana says:

    “old fingers” these well used fingers are doing some tapping and pointing right now! lol. I’m trying to give you all plenty links so you won’t get bored at the weekend seeing as I won’t be here [again]

    There used to be a fair amount of ‘good men and true’
    It appears to me that nowadays some who would maybe like to speak out are either afraid to do so or its plain and simple greed holding them back.
    I wait to see if there is one person with a spine within Whitehall ready to spill the beans re Brexit impact. Somehow I doubt it.

  334. Bob p says:

    End of the day. The union between Scotland and England is illegal,as it was passed and foisted on Scotland without the people’s consent.

  335. manandboy says:

    There is much written about the incompetence re Brexit of this batch of Tories, but the same cannot be said of the Civil Service in whose corporate memory lies the accumulated lessons and strategies of more than four centuries of Empire building.
    So when the Tories are obfuscating on Brexit with repeated delays and minimal progress, keep in mind that this is precisely the tactics Westminster needs in order to scupper the Scottish Government’s plans for Independence which depend on large numbers of soft No voters turning to Yes upon seeing what a disaster Brexit will be for Scotland.

    If the details of Brexit continue to be kept hidden from the Scottish electorate, then the anticipated shift from No to Yes is unlikely to happen, and a repeat of the 2014 No result would therefore seem likely, given the apparent stubborn polling data.

    Either that or we believe that six silly Tories are actually running the UK and conducting all the negotiations with Brussels.

  336. ScottishPsyche says:

    If the tone of Biggar’s debut article in ‘these islands’ is anything to go by, it will be interesting to see if it changes anyone’s mind from Yes to No.

    So far everything from them seems to say, look how clever, well known, prestigious these people are, they must know more/better than you. We know that wasn’t the case in Better Together and it isn’t the case now.

    During the Independence referendum, the idea that people I knew to be pompous charlatans were given platforms to spout preachy nonsense about how I should vote put me right off – hence the search for alternative sources of information.TI seems to not only adopt that condescending approach but to embrace it.

  337. Ken500 says:

    Parliamentary Channel

    Brexit negotiation. Committee

    The ignorant incompetents.

  338. Ken500 says:

    Brilliant Nana’s got Committee linked

  339. Macart says:


    It’s well worth pointing out to people that there is always more than one route. For some time people have queried the consultative referendum as having any weight if the other team don’t turn up or refuse to accept an outcome.

    Plan A is the precedent. A section 30 and mutually agreed outcome as last time. If that is not granted, it’s plan B and a consultative referendum based on the competences and remit of the Scottish government. If no one turns up or this is ignored, then it’s plan C, a snap SE which no one can ignore since it is about electing seats in a devolved legislature under the Scotland Act and no party can refuse to participate.

    Ruth made the GE about indyref, yes? Well, turnabout is fair play. Should any SNP Scottish government be returned to Holyrood on a ticket of suing for independence, that’s pretty much it.

    Their choice.

  340. Chick McGregor says:

    Lenny Hartley
    For eFerries the battery technology is key.

    First of all it has to be big enough to make the crossing + any reasonably forseeable difficulties.

    Second the battery has to have a rapid charge capability so it can be topped up within the turnaround period.

    Third you need an on shore storage battery which can be charged over a period of time which does not overtax the local grid supply, which topping up from the grid would do unless a high capacity grid exists (unlikely).

    That is why Siemens is a major partner with Norled on the project.

    With current battery technology the Norwegians reckon about 70% of their ferry crossings can be electric or hybrid of which about 2/3 electric so just under 50% of their existing crossings can be electric.

    In Scotland with similar tech. it would be less than that proportionately because of distances to the outer Hebrides and Shetland but there are still plenty of inter-island and inlet crossings.

    Several battery technologies under development, if successful, look like we may fairly soon have capacities up to ten times more per battery weight than at present but unlike the case for eCars that may not solve the range problem for eFerries since it is likely that charging rates for on shore battery stores, even using all spare grid capacity and time available, would exceed the capabilities of the local grid supply. i.e. departure points for longer distances would still require expensive (and therefore unlikely) major grid capacity upgrades.

  341. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tinto Chiel at 11.53

    My mistake .I was talking of your MP, Angela Crawley

  342. galamcennalath says:


    What will WM do? Reactive or proactive?

    Reactive ….

    I can’t see them going along with Plan A. The risk is too high for them.

    Plan B, if they won’t risk Plan A then they will boycott in an attempt invalidate it. That doesn’t mean we still can’t make capital from it.

    So that leaves Plan C as their chosen ground to stand. There is something inevitable about a Holyrood election on a mandate to declare independence, at some point.

    They could be proactive, of course. In an uncertain post Brexit world, with a regime high on nationalistic adrenaline they might decide the integrity of the UK to be worth legislating for. Labour could back the Tories on constitutional changes securing the Union.

    For me, that means getting out early is the safest option for us!

  343. Chick McGregor says:


    Yep, those are the mandate backed options.

    At the end of the day, I believe a unilaterally invoked referendum with a majority for yes would in effect have no less political authority than an agreed one.

    But in regard to option C, would the U parties be required to participate in an SE?

    Up to now, I have presumed they would not.

    That is why, in the past, I have said that that option would have had to be exercised via the MP contingent (when we had 56/59).

    BTW, if the Catalans can force a GE there where the unionists have to re-stand then, as I have said on WGD, that would be their best way forward at the present time IMV.

  344. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Tinto Chiel at 8.35

    The odd thing is we won in Larkhall and Blantyre in 1967 and lost them both in 1970 (when I unfortunately was Winnie’s agent).

    Larkhall was easily understood. Winnie collapsed with overwork (careful there, Nicola) and went for recuperation to Bon Secours nursing home in Langside. Photos of Winnie with concerned nuns hovering over were widely circulated.(Home rule is Rome rule). In Blantyre the story was that the SNP was an Orange, Masonic organisation.

    I know this sounds stupid to our many fellow Scots who live outwith the central belt but this was the shite distributed continuously by unscrupulous, useless Labour and kept them in power.

    Labour’s campaign against Margo that put “Lord” George Robertson in in a by election plumbed similar depths.

  345. Dr Jim says:

    A theory

    Everybody’s wondering how Mundell gets to increase the Scottish Office staff from 5 to 71 and why, because with more and more power coming to the SG the need for the SO getting bigger makes no sense

    Does direct rule sound like the sort of plan England would prepare for

    They know they can’t get a Unionist party elected to the SG so why not
    You might say what about the outrage it would cause, but I don’t think it would because the BBC would just report it as a normal everyday thing and the press would love it

    *Blow for Sturgeon and her separatist party*
    and given what’s happening in Spain right now I don’t see a hand lifted or a voice raised to stop them

    They’re taking back control just like they said they would

  346. Chick McGregor says:

    Perhaps it is not clear that I meant a SE called by the SG rather than the mandatory prescribed general ections (which are post Brexit).

  347. Macart says:


    I suspect that even if they didn’t participate in a snap SE, then short of Holyrood being abolished by 2021, they’d be compelled to participate in the scheduled SE. It is after all an officially sanctioned legislature under the Scotland act.

    They’d have to come to the ballot at some point and the longer they put it off, the longer period people have to suffer the effects of Brexit, which WILL focus some minds quite spectacularly.

  348. Breeks says:

    Correct Manandboy.

    If the details of Brexit continue to be kept hidden from the Scottish electorate, then the anticipated shift from No to Yes is unlikely to happen, and a repeat of the 2014 No result would therefore seem likely, given the apparent stubborn polling data.

    I would have much preferred to build Scotland’s defiance upon the actual event of Brexit, not the details, hidden from us or otherwise.

    We know Brexit means expulsion from Europe.
    We know Scotland has a sovereign majority and democratic to remain.
    We know the EU will neither divide the four Freedoms, nor entertain cherry picking.
    See above, we know there will be no soft Brexit. Neither for the UK nor Scotland Region.
    We know, without constitutional separation, the fate of Scotland is doomed be the same fate as the UK after Brexit.

    Those five certainties above are more than adequate basis to construct an impregnable defence of Scotland’s economic and cultural interests, contest the subjugation of Constitutional Sovereignty (and win), contest the removal of European Citizenship from Scots, win and be popular, and define in more that adequate detail, the cliff edge of economic crisis which awaits Scotland’s economy if we allow ourselves to be dragged out of Europe.

    It is a strategic blunder to capitulate all five interests and resign Scotland to the inevitability of Brexit happening, and thereafter seek consolation in our disaster through EFTA membership or any similar such notional sweetener.

    The European Union, for objective reasons of fragmentation and instability does not presume in favour of secessionist movements. But! In the context of Brexit, it is the UK which is seceding from Europe, it is the UK acting contrary to the stability of Europe, however a Scotland seceding from the body UK with the express intent of remaining part of the EU puts Scotland in the unique and largely unprecedented position of having Europe actually able to support our “secessionist” campaign for Independence to detach ourselves from anti European prejudices and choose to stay part of the great European project.

    We do not need to join Schengen, we do not need to adopt the Euro, in fact as an emerging sovereign nation which has not technically left the European Union, (if we get our skates on), we could find ourselves tailoring the details of our distinct Scottish EU membership with an EU body which fully wants to embrace Scotland’s defiant rejection of EU secession which Brexit represents. We could actually see Scotland being promoted the poster child for a wiser Europe..

    The above is my summary of where I think Scotland should be positioned at the earliest opportunity.

    Forget EFTA. Forget any acquiescence to distancing ourselves from Europe, and European magnetism we’ll assist Scotland’s extrication from the UK and protect our interests while the wrench in UK fabric happens. If you cannot abide Europe, then please, at least postpone your antipathy until after Europe has helped to wrestle Scotland free from the tentacles of the UK, and please also steal yourself a period of time to engage with Europe from a Scottish perspective, a new perspective unsullied by decades of BBC or BritNat xenophobia and prejudice.

    Leave YES free to be a fully and unapologetically pro European body which is still sympathetic towards those who doubt EU membership, because otherwise, we create divisive uncertainty and confusion for pro European youngsters, foreign nationals, and EU citizens living here.

    Furthermore, flexing our sovereign muscles without necessarily pressing the sovereignty release button could conceivably allow Scotland wriggle room to seize some control over broadcasting. Not I would suggest to interfere with any aspect of current UK broadcasting, (leave the b#*,#$s be), but instead to allow a new and complimentary broadcast network to exist, if not under the umbrella of Scottish sovereignty itself, then In the guise of European Broadcasting that is invited here by the umbrella of Scottish sovereignty.

  349. Nana says:

    At @CommonsEUexit @DavidDavisMP confirms to me that UK Govt’s assessment of #Brexit impact on Scottish economy will be shared with @scotgov

  350. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Nana Gave up watching David Davis waffling scenarios & lots & lots of IF’s .
    And your point is caller . WTF Parliament might just might get a vote on Brexit after March 19 lol.

  351. Nana says:

    Aye me too Ronnie. Clueless chancers the lot of em

  352. galamcennalath says:

    So, waffling David Davies says trade deal can be done in 12 months. Everyone else says 2 – 7 years! And some of those assessments will be impartial.

    This trade deal is going to have to be unique.

    Every other free trade agreement relies on the parties involved agreeing to converge on standards and regulations. Thus there is trust in the quality of each other’s products and services.

    This UK/EU deal is the opposite – it begins with 100% mutual compliance but the UK wishes to diverge and lower standards. That is the main purpose of Brexit.

    That is going to be one very complex agreement! Agreed divergence? I’ll believe it when I see it!

  353. Petra says:

    Really interesting to hear about Winnie Ewing and your input Dave. Thanks for staying the course for so long. Still making a massive, positive impact X


    @ Capella says at 12:50 am …. ”Petra it was very difficult to stay alert during Mundell’s havering performance, which was maybe the intention. From what I recall, he took offence at Mike Russell’s description of Westminster’s plans to take over repatriated agriculture and fisheries as a “power grab”… I may have dropped off in the middle of his complaint.”

    Thanks for responding Capella. From what I heard he is capable of putting one into a deep coma. Or go even further and actually bore you to death. He reminds me of some low-life crook from a Dickens novel. No doubt the credential for getting the job.


    @ Macart says at 8:18 am ….”Just in time Nana. ? I take it you clocked Labour claiming credit for the banning of Fracking in Scotland?”

    A bad habit of their’s Macart. Labour and Tory.

    The following is a post from a National reader about Labour taking credit for the NIB followed by a snippet about the Tories taking credit for the commissioning of Statoil’s Hywind floating wind turbine.

    ”In relation to the article by Andrew Learmouth regarding the Scottish National Investment Bank (The National, October 21).

    I wish to point out to Jackie Baillie that she and her party should not feel flattered, because months before Labour had even mentioned the National Investment Bank, the SNP conference passed a resolution by acclaim to introduce and develop one.

    The First Minister in her programme for Scotland made it a key objective and convened an advisory group to take it forward. I should know, because I proposed this as a Resolution 8 on March 18 2017. I did not ‘’sketch it on the back of a fag packet’’. In fact I spent considerable time and research prior to my presentation.

    A copy of my presentation can be made available if required. The investment bank is a classic example of how the SNP takes a grassroots proposal and turns it into government policy.

    Such an investment bank is not a new concept. A number of European countries have been operating these for some time. Daniel A Wood, Kirriemuir.”


    Plus there’s another letter in the National that points out that Westminster should not be taking credit for the commissioning of Statoil’s Hywind floating wind turbine array off Peterhead. ….

    ”Your report on Tory minister Claire Perry had me choking on my cornflakes……..

    It was the Scottish Government and Marine Scotland that fast tracked the marine license for the project. As far as I’m aware the Westminster Government has been a bystander as far as practical support to the project is concerned. Raymond Hunter, East Kilbride.”

  354. FTDMail says:

    Kevin Hague was bragging to someone I know that Andrew Neil uses him to prep before interviewing any SNP figures. All the Unionists together eh. Bunch of cretins.

  355. Chick McGregor says:

    Post Brexit is very risky IMV.

    I give 3 possible scenarios, there are, of course, others.

    1) No deal. The Britnats using their well honed propaganda machine blame all the ensuing disasters, and there will be many, on Europe and, in Scotland, on the SNP Europhiles.
    Xenophobia is rife whipped into full frenzy mode by the compliant media.
    This may allow the completion of the transition of the UK into a full blown totalitarian Nazi state. Which I am certain some want.
    With nothing to lose by annoying Europe, the UK leaves the ECHR as well, enabling them to conduct arrests and internment at will, torture, slavery and deportation.
    The whipped up resentment at the SNP would ensure little protest from the English population when the Scottish Parliament is dissolved.
    It is not even inconceivable that the death penalty might make a come back, after all we have only recently had calls that British Isis fighters should be killed. Remember this guy from the BT campaign?

    2)A good deal. See, we told you it would be OK. Stupid remoaners, especially the SNP. Rule Brittania…

    3)Scottish Goldilocks deal. A deal that is bad enough so that Scots can see they would be plainly better off in the EU but good enough so that Westminster cannot put it at risk it by refusing the Scots an indyre2.

    The problem being that that ‘just right’ Goldilocks zone might well be small and therefore less likely.

  356. Tinto Chiel says:

    I could believe anything of BLiS______d, Dave. I saw them lie and smear during Indy14, the last two GEs and the council election here and found it truly jaw-dropping. Their hypocrisy is exceeded only by their deceit.

    heraldnomore: thanks for the tip-off on the book. Didn’t know of its existence.

    Nana: watch the plastic if you’re out on the randan again this weekend. You flexible friend can be an expensive one…

    *assumes sanctimonious expression*

  357. Macart says:


    I agree, a post Brexit ballot would be appalling for all the reasons you state and in my view the worst of all scenarios. I’d be surprised if it got to that state personally. I think the unionist parties have shot their bolt in attempting to crush a Scotref before it became popular. They failed to remove an SNP majority at all levels of government this past year or so and they certainly gave it their full attention, not to mention a fair amount of resources. The best they could manage was a stall in momentum.

    Scotgov has its mandate and the numbers to carry it forward either when it suits, or becomes necessary. As to which of the three options I outlined may come to pass? I’d say first or third simply because it allows the unionist parties respective head office a degree of control and input they couldn’t exercise in option 2 and they do so love to have input.

    How and ever, that is pure speculation on my part.

  358. Chick McGregor says:

    Although I was not at the meeting, I can confirm from my copy of the minutes that Daniel Wood’s Investment Bank Resolution was adopted by the branch on 13th Feb 2017

  359. Macart says:


    They have no policies, no power and little influence, therefore they generate their own artificial influence.

    An old tactic, and in the past with limited public access to record or communication, one which a compliant media could steer votes with. Today? A tactic of diminishing returns. Social media had shot the myth down before it had taken two steps.

    Didn’t stop the shear brass neckery from happening, but it did give more than one twitter account a good laugh at the expense of Labour.

  360. Lenny Hartley says:

    Chick Mcgregor The charging station in Lochranza looks quite big, it could be a battery storage system as you describe. I will find out.

  361. schrodingers cat says:


    The eu has already said we would need join as a new state under A49. You recognise that the EU’s hands are tied but still believe they will come to scotlands rescue during indyref2 cos the uk is leaving. I hope you’re right and if they do, great but i wouldnt plan our campaign based on that happening. Also, you can bet the bbc will find a spanish politician to completely pooh pooh any idea that an indy scotland will get into the eu any time soon after a yes vote.

    EFTA accepts the 5 principles eg FMOP and FMOG, nicola has gone out of her way to reassure eu nationals that they will be able to stay in an indy scotland.
    indeed, tying efta to indyref2 and not eu membership, may disappoint very pro eu people, but the idea they will vote no in indyref2 because of this is for the birds.

    i think we need to differentiate between what is politically expedient to win indyref2 and the reality of what happens after.
    eg, we cannot make promises that require others to agree, eg westminster for a currency union or the EU for eu membership.That just leaves open goals for the unionists to ask about our plan B.
    we did this in indyref1 and lost

  362. yesindyref2 says:

    In Catalonia they got hundreds of thousands on the street to demonstrate for Independence. In Scotland we’re lucky if we can get 10,000. What does this mean? In Catalonia a boycott might actually happen, people are active. In Scotland it’d be a few hundred, even a few thousand anti-indy activists boycotting a consulatative referendum, most people would still just vote. It’s our duty and our democratic right, whether for or against Indy.

    Regarding Mr Average, he has a great way of arguing in blogs, or should I say “educating”. He uses his previous blogs to prove his current one, rather than any facts in hand “as I said in my previous blog” as though his word is gospel. Even in any one blog he says something is, becaue he says it is, therefore it proves whatever ele he wants to say. His best argument is to insult anyone who disagrees with him, and call them stupid because they don’t agree with his “education” of them. He plays the grandstand to his followers, basically, not to anyone who’s undecided.

    But the other thing is he has to contradict anyone who argues, which means he ends up contradicting himself, as happened when I had a go in one blog article. My last post quoting his contradicton and pointing them out, never got published for some reason. He’s weak, and would be a doddle to beat in open debate. He’s a useful tool for us: “Is this the best you’ve got?”.

  363. yesindyref2 says:

    OT – defence, Fallon and the T26 on the Clyde
    From UKDJ, compare these two versions of the same prese release. The old one

    and the new one

    which has this bit missing: ”

    The OPV programme is sustaining around 800 jobs in Scotland at BAE Systems and is maintaining the vital skills needed to build the new cutting-edge, anti-submarine warfare frigates, the Type 26s, for a Royal Navy growing for the first time since the Second World War.” (my bold)

    What a surprise, the UK Government is changing history, once it’s pointed out it was lying.

    From the point of view of the Clyde though, the reomoval of this bit is significant: “The OPV programme is sustaining around 800 jobs in Scotland at BAE Systems and is maintaining the vital skills needed to build the new cutting-edge, anti-submarine warfare frigates, the Type 26s”.

    800 jobs? How many were there before? Was this an inadvertent slip?

  364. yesindyref2 says:

    Some quotes, from dear old Sevvie: “UK ministers have made it clear they are acutely aware of the significance to next September’s independence referendum of the fate of the thousands of shipbuilding jobs at Govan and Scotstoun, in Glasgow. Those jobs are currently protected by the project to build two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy.

    “Thousands”? Did he mean 800?

  365. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Macart and Schrodingers Cat

    Really interested to read your comments about possible IndyRef2 plans and counter plans.

    I posted this a few days ago, sorry if you’ve already seen it. It is just my opinion, and I put it out there for thought, so we are prepared, not sucker punched the way we were in the last GE.

    When the terms of Brexit are known, and the Scotgov go for IR2 – England will demand another Brexit ref. And will very likely get it and win it.

    This would mean IR2 would be run at the same time as Bx2 – which would potentially split the vote – what kind of Indy/devo max/ federalism do you want with your in/out, shake it all about, hard boiled, soft brexit? Hmmm.

    The MSM would be in heaven.

    And as soon as England returned an over 50% return to stay in the EU, all terms for Indy Ref 2 are null and void.

    Voter fatigue would be through the roof.

    Whatever the best future plan with the EU is for Scotland (and I dinna ken) it will have to be simple, and snappy and fit on the side of a bus, and the voters in Scotland have got to trust us the Yessers, but more importantly the SNP (since they’re in govt) to be the nice safe pair of hands. The ‘no brainer’ vote, if you’ll forgive the expression.

    It is very interesting how the ground keeps changing, and I never thought I’d be looking at this option seriously, but a snap SE on the grounds of Indy/EU membership (of some kind) might just avoid the above set of circumstances.

    Best wishes to all.

  366. schrodingers cat says:

    hi daisy

    the issues around euref2 have been a subject of convo with my friends and you rightly point out the problems. chick pointed out above, the window for indyref2 could be very small so we need to be ready
    1. a short campaign
    2. a small manifesto
    3. efta membership tied to a yes vote
    4. a scottish currency
    5. we declare independence immediately after the vote, not 18 months after negs with westminster are finished.

  367. Macart says:

    Hi Daisy

    One or two things to consider RE: another EU ref. Firstly UKgov is hugely invested in Brexit (of any kind) at this point. It would take a political UTurn of epic proportions to prevent it coming about in some shape or form. Secondly, in the off chance UKgov decided this a worthwhile gamble and this occurred, (and also in the off chance a remain vote would win), the UK must face up to the very real probability that it would not enjoy the opt outs it enjoyed prior to the initial vote. The loss of face internationally for UKgov would be biblical (on top of the humiliation it currently enjoys). Latterly would be the societal backlash and political fallout from those committed to Brexit among the electorate.

    Society is already hopelessly fractured along multiple lines and demographics. It’s trust in the institutions of government at an all time low. The damage to parliament and its authority would be near irreparable.

    Other than all of that? What the cat said, though point five would be dependent on the form of dissolution and the events and pressures surrounding both governments I’d say. How and ever, yes, I’d personally like to see the period between any YES vote and a declaration of independence kept to as tight a timetable as possible. 🙂

  368. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    ““Was the union between Scotland and England legal?
    Yes or No? No long essays please.”

    More stupidity and lack of understanding by yourself, Rock.”

    Why don’t you answer the question if you are as clever as you pretend you are?

  369. Paula Rose says:

    From their twitter account –

    These Islands is a forum for debate that stands unabashedly for the view that more unites the people of the United Kingdom than divides them.

    Could be this instead –

    These Lands is a forum for debate that stands unabashedly for the view that more unites the people of the World than divides them.

  370. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Why does one or one commenter here insist on another commenter repeating input that has been multi-posted over the last couple of years?

    Does the questioner not have memory retention (like a pigeon, I understand), and has to repeat, endlessly, the same questions? Just one suggestion to make, concerning someone with such a lack of awareness…–7K58_4ZQ

  371. Alex Clark says:

    Next Independence referendum?

    Short and sweet, get right in there with the head down.

  372. Daisy Walker says:

    Macart at 5.56

    Respectfully, my guess at the Establishment policy/plans are different from your good self.

    A hard brexit is asset stripping on speed dial. A slow brexit is asset stripping on austerity max. The establishment can go with either of these business plans.

    What it cannot afford is to loose Scotland.

    We underestimate them at our peril – and May and co are currently being very useful fools, keeping us all entertained.

    As much as the media have been downplaying all the bad news Brexit. There is no Good News about it in any way. Slowly the English electorate are waking up… and this will accelerate.

    If Scotland is to be allowed another IR2, they will have a very good democratic argument for a Brexit 2. Run them both at the same time, get England to stay in this time, and destroy the terms that justified IR2 at the same time, as well as splitting the vote.

    Will it prove to be a crisis at WM – yes. The tories will be out for 2 – 3 terms. The labour party will be allowed in, and even allowed to have one big token ‘socialist’ policy (not the NHS too profitable, maybe railways). And then they re-form, business as usual.

    I might be wrong, but this is the only plan I see that they have, and that has a really good chance of working.

    All I ask is we keep the above in mind as we campaign.

  373. Breeks says:

    schrodingers cat says:
    25 October, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    The eu has already said we would need join as a new state under A49. You recognise that the EU’s hands are tied but still believe they will come to scotlands rescue during indyref2 cos the uk is leaving

    Sorry to be slow getting back to you, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

    The reunification of Germany was a totally different scenario from which no parallels can be drawn except the parallel of being an unprecedented situation which required a new solution to be improvised and create its own precedent.

    If neither Article 48 nor 49 are appropriate to the unique and unprecedented circumstances Scotland finds itself in, not quite independent enough for Article 48, not quite the non-member status appropriate for Article 49, then Scotland should right now be lobbying hard for transitional status mooted by the EU immediately after Brexit and doing so from the perspective that there is No precedent for how the EU could or should embrace Scotland’s Membership.

    It reveals a paucity of lateral thinking and creative ideas to simply adopt the Manuel Barosso flatline approach to Scotland’s Membership. Scotland could, and in my opinion should, be much more bullish about our Sovereign capacity to exist outside the UK, and similar Sovereign capacity as proper Nation which already has EU Membership status, and multiple generations of EU Citizens.

    It’s a facile analogy I accept, but consider a married couple with joint membership of the golf club who decide to get a divorce. It is their marriage which ceases to exist, not the Membership, and it should be a formality of minor difficulty to sub divide the joint membership without requiring one or other spouse to leave the club and reapply.

    Article 49 route to Membership is just as bad a fit as Article 48, and the Lisbon Treaty is rendered obsolete to an extent, overtaken by unforeseen precedence which requires a bespoke solution which the Lisbon Treaty did not envisage.

    I would go much further – these issues are the precise reason WHY Scotland must establish clear sovereign distinction between Scotland and the UK, even probationary Sovereignty while the Union still exists. Scotland must empower Europe to recognise that Scotland can engage EU Membership preambles as a sovereign nation in waiting. It would be SUCH a productive use of our time that simply isn’t happening.

    If such negotiations were currently taking place however, there is no reason why a Scotland, even if it did apply for membership as a new state, could not have all the preliminary issues agreed, ratified by EU members, and see our “New” membership status begin the very instant that Brexit occurred.

    I thus do not change a single word of my previous comment. Scotland MUST embrace Europe with vigour and enthusiasm, otherwise Scottish Independence becomes a matter of little consequence to the EU, and the EU’s presumption against the secession of small nations will prevail.

    All Michel Barnier’s warnings about any Trade Agreement with a UK economy diverging away from the EU, will apply just as equally to Scotland the moment it leaves the EU.

    Scotland must advance a sovereign interface to liaise as a nation in waiting with the Europe and together, find a common solution that works.

  374. Breeks says:

    And another thing I meant to say…

    If Scotland could devise a platform for “sovereign-nation-in-waiting” negotiations with Europe, guess who would be excluded from the negotiations… – And it wouldn’t be Michel Barnier.

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