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Wings Over Scotland


The morning papers

Posted on November 27, 2020 by

This week on Wings has been altogether more navel-gazey than we’re comfortable with, as various SNP MPs have mounted a series of all-out personal attacks on the site before the weekend’s crucial NEC elections.

So we’ll have a proper article for you a little later on today, but in the meantime it’d be remiss of us not to tidy up the last fragments of shrapnel, so we’ll direct you to the right of reply to Alyn Smith’s column that The National kindly gave us today:

(Sadly they chose to disable comments, we’d quite have enjoyed the reaction from the few remaining diehard leadership loyalists still posting there.)

They also covered the revelations about Wings being the favourite indy site of Scottish Government staff, in a piece whose bizarre last line gave us an excellent laugh.

We can offer the wokebearded young hack some help on that question:

No. No it did not. (Bella never did produce any sort of evidence in support of that rather dubious 2014 claim, incidentally.)

A couple of newspapers, and also the Daily Express, run with Nicola Sturgeon’s latest feeble dangling of yet another shrivelled indyref carrot in front of the gullible on the eve of the SNP’s pseudo-conference.

Goodness knows how many amphetamine injections and jolts of electricity it took for the Express to work itself into such a froth over what was in reality the most anodyne and weasel-worded “commitment” to a second referendum yet, based on a couple of TV interviews in which Sturgeon said she “hoped” it “could” happen by mid-2023, while refusing to detail anything she’d do to actually make it happen.

(The distinctly sub-whelming nature of such unusually lukewarm, undercooked activist-fodder may be because with nobody present at this weekend’s conference in person, there’s less need to whip up the crowd in preparation for a nice long standing ovation.)

The Telegraph had by far the most interesting of the day’s front pages, which not only revealed what seems to be a real possibility of the Deputy First Minister being given his jotters by Parliament over the government’s ongoing and increasingly desperate obstruction of the slowly-tightening Salmond inquiry, but also used a rather cheeky pic (actually from last year) to illustrate a story about the Scottish Government’s ridiculous new “You can have a Christmas party but don’t” policy, featuring what the Scottish Sun’s Chris Musson archly described on Twitter as “the ghost of Christmas past”.

(There was a very telling piece in The Scotsman in which the First Minister admitted that the idiotic stance was to avoid her getting any bad publicity.)

So that’s the news. See you later on, folks.

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    62 to “The morning papers”

    1. Ian McCubbin says:

      It’s all no surprise and as I no longer activate for SNP, I will observe and watch.
      Independence in my lifetime, I wish and hope for.
      With the present cabal mmm methinks not.
      Let’s see how many of our good guy nominated folk reach posts to start the change in SNP.

    2. Ian Brotherhood says:

      A lot of cornflakes will have been spluttered this morning.

    3. Muscleguy says:

      Perfect opening paragraph in the Gnational There Rev. Gave me a good belly laugh and I thank you for it.

      Too right we aren’t going anywhere. The 2016 manifisto promised a referendum if Brexit happened, it happened but our referendum vanished when Sturgeon had no answer to the Ruth Davidson No Surrender, sorry No Referendum Party. No attempt was made to assert our democratic mandate for a referendum Sturgeon just rolled over. She marched us to the top of the hill then abandoned us.

      The Australians have an oath ‘Gordon Bennett!’ they will exclaim. Gordon Bennett was ranking Australian General in Singapore when the Japanese attacked. He ruled himself too valuable to be captured and ot on the last plane out abandoning his men. His govt was not too impressed and shunted him into an obscure desk job.

      Can’t think who that story reminds me of.

      Will we exclaim ‘Nicola Sturgeon!’ in exasperation when in polite company in years ahead under the Union yoke?

    4. Joan Hutcheson says:

      Great article in ‘The National’, Stuart. (To some extent the fact that you were invited or permitted to lodge the article in that newspaper restored my belief in it.) You hit the targets whilst being both witty and restrained. I had to laugh at your neat response to the Woldemort accusation. We in Stirling now play Alyn Smith bingo, crossing out his tired phrases. Here are a couple: ‘I play for the jersey’ (when pretending that he doesn’t support a heinous policy that he actually promotes but just goes along with it), or – when about to deny someone the right to challenge him ‘In this Party we have respectful conversations among friends’!!

      When a branch officer asked him (in respectful and friendly manner) why a biological male who is also legally male without a Gender Recognition Certificate was allowed to stand on a selection list restricted to women, he replied that he was sad and disappointed that she had asked that question.

      Displacement is how Smith works. Don’t answer the question, don’t look at the evidence. Count the tears in my eye!

      Carry on, Stuart!

    5. Muscleguy says:

      @HYUFD

      Do the SNP educated their voters to rank everyone in their preferences? that could have made a big difference.

      But then the SNP seem to be not too keen to educate voters on how the voting system works here in Scotland lest they see through the ‘Both Votes SNP’ mantra. We have a Scottish govt who wants the voters to be ignorant. Think about that.

      The get more like SLAB every day.

    6. Robert graham says:

      The National what can you say !

      I gave up on that Turkey ages ago after they banned me for well who knows actually I probably because I kept complaining about the same unionist twaddle from exactly the same people on every single article sometimes they had more comments from Unionists than the Scotsman they had set up a permanent camp and it was attracting them from all over , so I gave up and I questioned whether they were allowing this to increase their traffic , oops banned for life who cares

      A question to all believers in this current SNP Leadership what evidence do you actually have that they are preparing for Independence , just one bit of verifiable proof , the comment well they can’t give their Plan to the Enemy sorry folks won’t wash certain basic preparations need to be in place they are not Secret because they have to be done in full view of everyone otherwise they won’t be treated as workable or feasible basic stuff to enable a Independent Scotland to operate the day after Independence is gained, never mind all the froth and bluster WHAT PLANS ? .

    7. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Sorry Stu.,

      You do NOT look like Voldemort.

      But I love the photo of Alex Salmond with Kenny MacAskill guarding his back…

      https://archive.is/SqgYJ#selection-1119.0-1151.12

      Aye, with wee Eck I pray we have not yet seen the last of his bunnets and he will return for a final encore to get Nicola Brass Neck Promising IndyRef2 next year to be given her jotters.

    8. Ottomanboi says:

      « A consistent application of Reformed and Presbyterian principles of worship requires the repudiation of Christmas. Answer 109 of the Westminster Larger Catechism forbids “any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God [or Covid] himself.” The issue is not a matter of indifference. Since Christmas was not instituted by God [or Covid], it should not be approved or tolerated in the official practices of the Church. Ministers and church officers are not being true to their ordination vows, if they encourage or tolerate Christmas observance in their congregations. »
      http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/Xmas_ch2.htm
      You can take some Scots out of Calvinism but you cant take the Calvinism out of some Scots…love your repression brothers and sisters but do not embrace it!
      Oh, hide the Christmas pudding, the CovidPolis are at the door!
      Slàinte!

    9. Republicofscotland says:

      A little bit more news.

      LBC radio news reporting that Johnson’s “Union unit” will be asking that every single vaccine dose of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine has a Union Jack plastered on it.

    10. Dan says:

      Looks to be a big difference in overall turnouts for the two Perth by-elections.
      Perth City South (won by LibDem after transfers) apparently had 44%.
      https://twitter.com/PerthandKinross/status/1332277809876787202

      Perth City North (won by SNP on first preference votes) only 25.5%.
      https://twitter.com/PerthandKinross/status/1332283917873917952

      Perth City South info.
      https://twitter.com/BallotBoxScot/status/1332294508634058752

      No doubt other stats to follow from BallotBoxScot tweeter.

    11. 1971Thistle says:

      @Muscleguy@11:52

      James Gordon Bennett was an American newspaper publisher (1841 – 1917);

      “Bennett often scandalized society with his flamboyant and sometimes erratic behavior. In 1877, he left New York for Europe after an incident that ended his engagement to socialite Caroline May. According to various accounts, he arrived late and drunk to a party at the May family mansion, then urinated into a fireplace (some say grand piano) in full view of his hosts.

      Bennett’s controversial reputation is thought to have inspired, in Britain, the phrase “Gordon Bennett” as an expression of incredulity.”

    12. Teetering says:

      I’m a delegate for this weekend’s conference. I’ve signed up specifically to prevent the wokies from prevailing and to get the NEC to focus on clause 1 in the SNP constitution namely independence. That’s all.

    13. Kenny says:

      Great blog today!
      Closing out November with some rub-it-in ‘fun’, Stuart! Well-done.

    14. Andy Ellis says:

      Good work Stu. No huge surprise about them not allowing comments. As others have pointed out above, and you mention in your National article, it is interesting how the gradualists have begun to use the yoon playbook from 2012-14. Any disagreement, however moderately expressed becomes a pile on, or is mischaracterised as abuse.

      Little better can be expected from the likes of Pete Wishart, as we see with his twitter block list which must now include a good % of Scottish voters, but even more interestingly with his decision to respond to then delete critical comments on his own blog. What exactly is the point of responding to comments, then deleting them? How threadbare is your actual argument if you have to resort to such tactics?

      Of course, if we had MSM worth its salt it would be calling Wishart, Smyth et al out not just for their tactics but for the manifest errors in their analysis.

      Where are the MSM journos asking for evidence or back up for Wishart’s airy assurance that a S30 order for #indyref2 is guaranteed?

      Why do none of them pick up on his constantly repeated falsehood that plebiscitary elections would not be recognised and amount to UDI?

      Hasn’t it occurred to them to ask how he knows the britnats are currently knee deep in preparation for the #indyref2 he assures us is inevitable, and to show us the evidence?

      Folk like Pete, Alyn and their basket of deplorable supporters aren’t interested in debate, only unconditional surrender. It is pointless trying to negotiate with them in good faith. Unless the party demonstrates at conference that it will change, and the NEC is shaken up in a big way, nobody will have any excuse for arguing that it can be changed from within.

      Not long to wait.

    15. Dan says:

      Perth City North vote info.

      https://twitter.com/BallotBoxScot/status/1332304998680694784

      Would have thought HYUFD would have posted up the result sooner seeing they were so quick with the other…
      Spotted them trolling the Welsh Indy movement the other day so working on a few fronts which probably explains their tardiness.

    16. Freshmint says:

      “the First Minister admitted that the idiotic stance was to avoid her getting any bad publicity”

      That right there really is the root cause of a lot of our problems right now.

    17. Breeks says:

      “IndyRef takes front seat as COVID rages”… whines the Daily Express.

      Considering the SNP is the only political party on the planet which has allowed it’s activities to completely be shut down by COVID, you have to wonder at what planet the Daily Express is living on.

      But then you remember Sturgeon’s “brilliant” strategy of making COVID her own pet project, and putting everything else (except GRA, Hate Bill, and the Salmond Inquiry Cover Up), on the back burner, so that now Tory Rags like the Daily Express can freely attack every instance of Scottish Government activity which ISN’T Covid related as a scandal of convenience. Good call Nicola…

      This is the same inept strategic thinking as when Sturgeon telegraphed her intention to do nothing about Brexit until Theresa May had finished her Brexit negotiations; which at a stroke froze Scotland out of any negotiations, gave May the freedom to negotiate whatever Brexit she liked knowing there would be no IndyRef or Constitutional challenge from Scotland until the deal was done, and at the same time, with Sturgeon’s “lead”, nobody could do anything about Brexit because Sturgeon had promised to do nothing until the final details were known. Genius.

      Do you see the point I make yet? Sturgeon’s “strategic” thinking is flat, linear, dismally inept, routinely empowering Scotland’s enemies and detractors while crippling Scotland’s opportunities to rebel, fight back, or even dispute the issue. She is a liability.

      Westminster empowered, Scotland paralysed. All thanks to “General” Sturgeon.

    18. ClanDonald says:

      “…and Voldemort’s not much better.”

      Ah ha ha.

      Shame they won’t let us comment, what are they afraid of?

      As for Nicola Sturgeon allowing lockdown easing because she doesn’t want to be known as Grinch – When you’re on your death-bed in January because of a post-Christmas peak in cases, remember, you can die comforted in the knowledge that it’s because Nicola didn’t want anyone calling her names…

    19. Willie says:

      Off topic Rev Stu I know but I’ve just read a piece from the Huff Post released a few hours ago and it’s absolutely incredible and in reinforces the total and absolute malfeasance of the Westminster Government .

      Seems that the Union Unit, set of to destroy Scottish and Welsh nationalism demanded that Astra Zeneca brand their new vaccine with a Union Jack.

      Quite quite incredible such overt political interference and especially given that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is the least efficacious of the current vaccines in terms of giving immunity. Indeed, after initial announcements it is now currently now being subject to further testing due to concerns about vacinne immunity not being consistent across the age spectrum. This has to be of the gravest concern. Malign political interference in public health is a recipe for disaster.

      The vaccine as yet unapproved in the US, reports suggest that the Astra Zeneca drug was only 60% effective until by accident it was discovered that by giving a half dose, to be followed up a month later by a full dose, raised the immunity level to 90%.

      But the 90% immunity is less than the other two vaccines from Germany and the USA. More concerning however is that the 90% figure does not represent the lesser immunity it inculcates in the most at risk citizens – the over sixties.

      Absolutely outrageous. Murderous even. Here is the article –

      https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/oxford-university-astrazeneca-vaccine-uk-flag-union-jack_uk_5fbfdd14c5b68ca87f827a0e?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvLnVrLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJZ3mVzeBDR3wu2_8Pjtilc2iIdmrUhWvqgA435TjPnsg6URtWXi0CuuEhHHolAKy_1WSmxzBsGxqgrfZOzXx54nQ5opUN1kKDHobft2coNlfNVNBAJQygMLCV9cFLkq_1aSJo0yOc-cv4IND36f6Ah–p1HIESMb6MyhNp29-7C

    20. Confused says:

      When The National first came out there was a bit of hard arguing about it on Wings – support it, give it a chance – while other were suspicious of it, given its origins.

      I took it a few times but was never impressed by it – the trigger for me was it says

      “the paper that supports independence”

      – why even say that? Why not just, you know, be impartial, report the facts, check your stories, do journalism and gain respect and readers by being an honest broker? (Let’s suck in all the indy crowd then subtly feed them disinformation and demoralisation.)

      Since then it has become a mouthpiece for that general Green/Bella/Woke-NP dribble that “is for independence” but would put anything else in front of it – “are the pygmy stamp collecting cross-dressers of zambia being oppressed” … let’s get on it!

      – “make us independent, Oh Lord – but not yet”

    21. HYUFD says:

      Dan Perth City North is an SNP safe seat, Perth City South was the marginal so the SNP loss there to the LDs far more significant especially as South had double the turnout of North

    22. A Person says:

      The story about the vaccine branding is hysterically funny. Is that seriously all they’ve got? And of course, it doesn’t seem to work, meaning faith in the efficacy of all vaccines is undermined.

    23. susanXX says:

      Same here Confused @1:11pm. I bought it at first but wasn’t impressed. Too much opinion (mostly woke) and not enough news. Thoroughly scunnered, I stopped buying it. Since then my local shop has stopped stocking it.

    24. Peter S says:

      So, Nicola’s kicking the independence can a bit further down the road. When is she going to pick it up and run with it, for goodness’ sake?

    25. Cenchos says:

      Tweety Pete to claim Perth City South result was runrigged.

    26. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I see the “Scottish” Daily Express is backing the English NHS.
      Why ignore NHS Scotland’s logo?

    27. Astonished says:

      “But,but,but……look at the polls ” screamed the wokeratti ad nauseum throughout most of this year. They then proceeded to throw away all that goodwill and all those supporters, and all those voters.

      Now will they drop the genderwoowoo and yusuf thought-crime-stasi- like bill. I wont hold my breath.

    28. Willie says:

      You are absolutely correct A Person in your comment about malign political interference undermining public confidence in a coronavirus vaccine.

      What we have here in Astra Zeneca is huge monetary interest to the exclusion of public health. The AZ vaccine is by all reports the least efficacious of the current vaccines to emerge. And now it emerges that the test results are suspect and that the vaccine does not deliver for older people.

      Against this background and the suspected monetary interests of people like Dominic Cummings and others, the Westminster Government then try to demand that each and every vaccination phial be packaged with a Union Jack. Malign conflict of interest is not hard to see there.

      Indeed, for those citizens interested, consider the epidemiological lag of rolling out a mass vaccination programme where the initial dose has to be followed up by a second dose a month later. Not exactly a driver of inculcating mass immunity as quickly as possible given the required two stage process – which of itself will double the visits required to the local inoculation centre.

      And then of course, there are the older folks where the two stage virus does potentially nothing.

      What faith can anyone have in process like this. I certainly don’t have any confidence in it. Snake oil salesmen to whom life is cheap.

    29. Grouser says:

      I am a delegate at the conference. I signed up specifically to vote against Smith, Spears et al and I will do that.

      Can I ask delegates to consider doing what I intend to do and send a message by voting against the biggest load of bilge I have ever read in one place. I am going to vote against every single resolution put forward because there is not one word of genuine meaning in any of them.

      The SNP can’t count on my vote in May, and I have never in my long life voted anything but SNP. They can count on me cancelling my membership as soon as the conference is over. I’ll find some other group that supports independence and join them.

      There needs to be a clear out at the top of the SNP.

    30. Willie says:

      I see front page of the National today proclaiming that Humza Yousaf is beyond disappointed with the 2021 selection contest because only one more BAME candidate was selected by the members.

      Seems that our delightful Humza thinks that it’s a disgrace that the SNP don’t have a black candidate. Now I don’t know about others but I truly question anyone who adopts a position where skin tone, and skin tone alone, is considered the criteria for selection.

      Quarter black, half black, full black, negroid. What exactly is Humza’s criteria, is he really saying that there should be a skin tone meter and a nose width calliper measurement to be applied. I hope not because decent, fair societies, have no need for such metrics. Yes people can be partisan, yes they can be sectarian, but skin tone is the least of it.

      Education is the key. Mutual respect for all is the key. Not rhetoric based on skin tone. And now, this clown, and he is a clown sees the SNP membership as racist. Maybe he should look in the mirror because that’s what he comes across as. A devisive individual who sees colour and not the person.

      Meanwhile I’ll get on with my very good friendships with people some of whom actually have the characteristic that Humza describes as colour.

    31. Republicofscotland says:

      A good solid article in the National today (paper version), I can’t seem to find the online version from Kenny MacAskill.

      In it he seems to favour Common Weal Group candidates ( Joanna Cherry, Douglas Chapman, Neale Hanvey, Roger Mullin and Corri Wilson)for the NEC who have Scottish independence at heart, just what we need.

      Mr MacAskill added that favouritism for some candidates, had left a bad taste in the mouths of those candidates who were sidelined, and the membership.

    32. Kate says:

      Don’t buy or contribute to the National, gave up on it when no matter the story, good or bad about SNP, it always gave the last nasty words to YOONS. So there could be no comeback. Of course back then I was a Die hard SNP member, today I am not a member, nor a die hard SNP supporter.. But I did read your post STU, & it was the most honest post the National has printed & what a great take down of DADDY SMITH.. Keep doing what you do, because Scotlands INDY people need you still..

    33. A Person says:

      -Willie-

      It is just so typical to Westminster and, in fairness to her, proof of why Sturgeon is getting credit for her (actually poor) performance over covid. Johnson the buffoon wants to have a big shiny “world-beating” vaccine with a Union Jack on it and never mind that it isn’t actually working properly. Then when it is revealed that it is working, even people who are pro-vaccine (which I am) start to wonder, “hold on, if that isn’t working, maybe the others are botched too…”

      Similarly, a South Korean company developed a test and trace app, but oh no, Britain couldn’t use that, had to have a “world-beating” British app. Which lo and behold didn’t work when produced. Just think how much time that would have saved.

      A huge amount of death and (in my view) the equally bad disaster of lockdown, all because some upper-class fuckwit wanted to pretend he was Lord Curzon and it was the year 1900 and Britannia ruled the waves. How the hell does anyone want to remain a part of that?

      I’m not as convinced as many Indy supporters are that it’s inevitable, but if “put a sticker on a vaccine” is the best the Tories can think of, then it really is just a matter of time. They can’t approach **anything** like adults.

    34. A Person says:

      * should be “revealed it ISN’T working”

    35. Effijy says:

      Here we all know the UK media is completely corrupt and only
      exists to promote the agenda of the mega rich owners.

      Do they all lie? Yes
      Do they all distort? Yes
      Do they all that stories out of context.? Yes

      Do millions of people no longer read the crap they produce? Yes

    36. boris says:

      https://caltonjock.com/2020/11/27/the-snp-is-a-movement-not-a-plaything-for-politicians-to-abuse/

      Nicola Sturgeon sidelined an active pursuit of independence for Scotland in preference for the implementation of a left-wing agenda taking the SNP firmly into the Labour Party’s heartland with the intention of replacing that Party after independence. In effect re-establishing two-party politics in Scotland.

      The result of her abandoning the SNP principle of a united front has been increasing unrest and there is a real and present danger that the Party might split before an independence referendum can be held.

    37. Willie says:

      Bella Caledonia gets no visitors because it spouts absolute woke drivel.

      The editor as he calls himself and whose name eludes me is an absolute limp hand of an individual. Banned me some years back because I opined that an article understandable only by a one eyed, one legged, half demented individuals was racist and sectarian.

      Never been back since and so it seems have very few others. Small Mike as I now recall was the bloggers name. No wonder it is a ghetto web site.

      Anyway, back to the Rev. Having the highest viewing figures of all the pro independence sites added together, it’s difficult with this level of popularity to understand how folks like Wishy Washy Pension Pete can conclude the site as vile. Maybe he thinks the near one million visits in October 2020 was vile.

      Wishy for the House of Lards is what I say. To the Lards with him!

    38. Republicofscotland says:

      Check out the SNP GOODGUYS

      https://www.snpgoodguys.com/

    39. Stuart MacKay says:

      Willie,

      There’s concern that the 90% figure for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine was likely more than a bit optimistic given the sample size in the trials. There’s a lot of jockeying for mind share and market share and the gushing press and optimism might turn out to be poorly grounded in reality once the trials are expanded to all age groups.

      Now that Boris want Union flags splattered all over it I think we can safely conclude that will be the kiss of death for Astra-Zeneca. The worst part is that a lot has be invested politically in backing this option and people might be forced to go with it despite lackluster results. But then again whenever has saving face not been more important than saving lives.

    40. Daisy Walker says:

      I’ve just met one of the Nicla Loyalists, conversation went like this…

      ‘I’m just going to wait till May and see what happens’

      Me, ‘by which time it will be too late, we will have lost Holyrood’

      Him, ‘But I’m sure Nicla is going to have a Referendum’

      Me, ‘too late for that to happen now, before May, so that means she will need yet another Mandate in May election, which relies on her getting a majority in Holyrood, which is incredibly difficult, even before you’ve pissed off a large chunk of your loyal supporters’

      Him, ‘but I’m sure she will’

      Me, ‘where’s the evidence? the actual evidence is that under her watch there is reasonable circumstances to suspect 1/2 million £ ring fenced for the fight has been embezzled, hence the complete lack of campaign material – which means its not in her interests to go for it anymore.’

      Him, ‘aye, but I think it will ramp up nearer the time, and every party has corruption, once we get Indy we can sort that out later’

      Me, ‘No, you give them the keys to your house, they will lock you out and make merry with all your belongings, and you won’t get Indy. So where’s the campaign. It has got to be a plebiscite election in May or its game over.

      Him, ‘Aye, I think that’s what Nicla wants, a plebiscite election’

      Me, ‘ Whit? She’s ruled it out and put all the Indy eggs in the S30 basket’

      Him, ‘Aye, but I think they will go for it, I’m going to wait until May and see how it pans out.’

      Me, ‘ Go Away.’

      Incidentally he won’t look at WOS anymore, he just wants to focus on Indy and finds it too depressing reading up on awkward facts that challenge your belief system can do that apparently.

    41. SNP Good Guys, SNP Members for Independence Facebook group… the very fact that there needs to be offshoots like these pretty much says it all.

    42. Kenny says:

      Cenchos at 1:31 pm
      Tweety Pete to claim Perth City South was runrigged..

      ‘Surrender Pete’ would be the first to dispel any jiggery. I’d have more respect for him if he genuinely did imply a vote was rigged.
      He’s such a rank coward – who would ever rely on this mutt in a fight for Scotland’s right? Can you imagine that yin grabbing the Stone of Destiny in 1950? No. No-chance.

    43. kapelmeister says:

      Perfect reply to Alyn Stalin.

    44. Saffron Robe says:

      Very glad to read your right to reply Stuart, humour at the beginning and earnestness at the end. I had to abandon The National because I realised its editorial line was to always take the SNP party line without dispute and promote Nicola Sturgeon without question. Of course, they do selectively print criticism, but much like Buddha in the pantheon of Hindu avatars, the unorthodox is used to strengthen the orthodox.

      Like yourself I haven’t read any Harry Potter either so the reference to Voldemort is lost on me. However, as Heaver said on a previous post, you are much more reminiscent of Strider from “Lord of the Rings”. Come to think of it, the SNP have become the Harry Potter party of independence – based on cheap fantasy and magical thinking! And is it just me or does Nicola Sturgeon remind anyone else of John Knox in drag?

    45. kapelmeister says:

      Union jacks on the vax. They’re trying to needle us.

    46. Ottomanboi says:

      Stuart MacKay 14:38
      Astra-Zeneca originally claimed 70.4% efficacy in standard dosage. Later that increased to circa 90% but at augmented dosage in order to align with competitors’ claims.
      The question not answered by Big Pharma producers is what exactly is in the product and why is it being fast tracked? Brits get in first with cheaper vax perhaps? Patriotic dividend?
      All manufacturers play down contraindications too.
      The small print ‘contras’ are where the devil really lurks.

    47. John Jones says:

      I always thought(at one time) that MPs had to be semi intelligent.
      Seems not, just take Alyn Smyth,(anyone please) Imagine going up against the Rev in a battle of wits with only half the ammunition, do any of these “morons” realise that all the facts on this site have been researched and verified before publication.
      No wonder the membership is sinking so quickly, with the politicians showing what they really are.

    48. James says:

      HYFUD’s followed through again….

    49. Jim Bo says:

      Wow- what a letter Stu. Fantastic

    50. Robert graham says:

      Daisy @ : 2:39

      Ha ha like talking to a brick ” Iam Sure ”

      To be honest Eh Naw yer no sure yer hoping and praying. a bit different from being sure .

      Sure means you have some evidence , some Plan is in place , and by the way all you lurkers a draft bill is not a bill , this draft bill is flawed and is open to challenge its been pointed out by Mike Fenwick who appears regularly on indylive and talks about finance usually but is also interested in the details of legislation , he has pointed out a flaw in this it’s got something to do with the time scale and the cost of mounting a challenge to parts of the proposed drafting of the bill , not exactly sure what but Patrick Harvey of the greens pointed out that the SNP should have been doing work on this matter way back at the beginning of last year ,
      The Martin Keatings case is the same he is a whole year ahead in the fight the SNP will eventually have to confront I don’t know why the SNP are trying to Stymie it and hike up Martins costs , then again who knows what they are up to .

    51. Gregor says:

      ROTTEN Fake News chooses to censor/manipulate open public debate and comment, while expressing exclusive free speech rights.

    52. Dan says:

      So between covid and this, I guess we’ll be staying indoors for thew foreseeable then… (well apart from crimbo coz that would be a vote loser)

      #ByeByeSweetFreedom

      https://twitter.com/alanferrier/status/1332352919635628034

    53. Terry says:

      Joanna Cherry live just now. Pension Pete will be fizzing. https://fb.watch/20ZdgxFPj7/

    54. Polly says:

      Well done on getting a right of reply and a very measured reply you produced. Like others above, the National to me was initially a promising idea but lacked commitment, and possibly resources, to make it as good as I had hoped it might be. This was a pity since I feel I’m not the only person who would be willing to pay for decent, unbiased journalism whether it supported independence or not. In the event the paper is much poorer than I could have feared and I never actively buy it. Still glad they gave you space to write what you wanted though, so cheer them for that.

    55. Harry mcaye says:

      Bloody great response Stu, and good on The National too. I haven’t bought it since Scotland qualified but I did notice my local Sainsbury had a lot more on sale today – ten, when it’s usually five or six. Must have printed more specially…

    56. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      “I see front page of the National today proclaiming that Humza Yousaf is beyond disappointed with the 2021 selection contest because only one more BAME candidate was selected by the members.”

      I don’t think for one minute it is the lack of BAME candidates Yousaf is disappointed with @Willie says at 2:02 pm

      I think he is disappointed that his current wife and his cousin didn’t manage to get nominated for a place at the Holyrood trough!

    57. Lorna Campbell says:

      Wonderful riposte, Rev., in The National.

    58. Graham says:

      Rev,
      I laughed out loud at your Voldemort/Smith turnaround, a neat twist of a jest which took me totally by surprise! Excellent.
      I hope Manly Sith found it equally amusing.

      Or do I mean Shmily Nat? (Actually he’s not all that ‘smily’, so maybe readers can think up a more apt pejorative, I mean apt adjective.)
      On reflection, in view of his erroneous belief in your blog’s demise, I myself will from now on refer to him as:
      Y Nil Maths?

      On James Gordon Bennett,
      1971Thistle says:
      (27 November, 2020 at 12:28 pm
      @Muscleguy@11:52)

      “According to various accounts, he arrived late and drunk to a party
      [which was considered more offensive, I wonder: his arriving late or his arriving drunk?]
      then urinated into a fireplace (some say grand piano) in full view of his hosts”.

      (Thanks for that tidbit of society news!)

      I’m inclined to suggest that Bennett’s hosts must also have been well-oiled if they could not readily and unequivocally distinguish between a fireplace and a grand piano.

      I might more charitably suggest that this confusion arose from a mere trick of perspective, one dependent on each individual’s observing position, were it not that the phrase was used “in FULL VIEW of his hosts”.

      As a further thoughtful contribution to this ongoing mystery of history, I’ll add that a fireplace would seem easier to urinate into than would be a piano (grand or otherwise) – unless Bennett was aiming from a higher level (mezzanine or staircase, maybe) – but in that case, he surely would have been more conspicuous – and his actions more readily made out.

      The final options I come up with are 1. that he targeted both at different times during his attendance, or 2. that the grand piano was sited within the fireplace (note, no fire was stated to be lit there), and people were simply in doubt whether his intended prime object was the fireplace or the piano.



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