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The professor of pish

Posted on October 15, 2015 by

We weren’t going to take Professor Adam Tomkins’ hysterical “NATMAGEDDON!” article for this week’s Spectator seriously enough to pull it apart line by line.


But once we’d wiped the tears from our eyes we thought we’d better do our job.

“Centralising, illiberal, catastrophic: the SNP’s one-party state”

We covered those this morning. It’s hard to describe an eight-year period of power which has seen any government’s poll lead rise from 1% to 32% as “catastrophic”. A catastrophic government tends to see its poll ratings fall, not go through the ceiling.

As for “one-party state”, we’ve dealt with that at length, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more concise destruction of the claim than that posted yesterday by Lallands Peat Worrier.

“For years, the Scottish government has used the independence argument to avoid proper scrutiny.”

Wait, what? How exactly can the Scottish Government ever achieve such a thing in the face of an almost entirely hostile media? It has no power over newspapers (quite properly) and no power over broadcasting. Anyone who wants to scrutinise it is able to, and does so, endlessly. Such as, for example, on the front page of the Spectator.

“Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such a scheme was compulsory, no matter how strongly parents objected.”

We’ll come back to this one.

“Imagine that the ruling party controlled 95 per cent of MPs,”

We’ll presume that by “controlled” Prof. Tomkins means “got democratically elected”. The SNP firmly opposes the First Past The Post electoral system and has advocated proportional representation at Westminster for decades. It’s not its fault it got so many MPs, and presented with the opportunity to do so it would vote for a law that reduced their numbers substantially.

“and policed the political culture through a voluntary army of internet fanatics who seek out and shout down dissent”

We know, of course, that SNP/Yes supporters are up to three times more likely to be the victims of abuse than their Unionist counterparts. We know also that the latter are far more inclined to indulge in physical violence and intimidation.

“Welcome to Nicola Sturgeon’s Scotland in 2015. The First Minister is admired the world over. She has a few curious notions — chiefly, the idea that the political and cultural differences between Scots and the English are so great that the only solution is to sue for separation.”

Well, no. The First Minister believes that Scotland is a country (apparently unlike Tomkins, whose blog is called “Notes From North Britain”), and that Scotland should therefore get to elect its own governments, like normal countries do, rather than have them imposed on it by its southern neighbour.

However, it’s a fact that England has voted Conservative in eight out of the 15 elections since 1955, and that Scotland has voted Conservative in none of those 15.


That sounds like quite a significant political difference to us.

“I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.”

The SNP are apparently a threat to “the basic notion of liberty” now. Yet it was UK Labour governments who enacted a bonfire of civil liberties between 1997 and 2010, creating thousands of new crimes, imprisoning people without trial and being complicit in torture. It’s a UK Conservative government that wants to repeal the Human Rights Act and were blocked by the SNP.

“The proposal for a ‘named person’ — ie, a state guardian for children — is a classic example of what is going so wrong. The person will, in the Scottish government’s chilling words, ‘monitor what children and young people need’.

Badged under the ghastly Orwellian acronym Girfec (Getting It Right For Every Child), the ‘named person’ will ensure a child’s wellbeing is ‘assessed’ according to the extent to which the child is ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included’.”

Children safe, healthy, nurtured, active, respected and included? That really is chilling.

“So Ms Sturgeon’s ‘named persons’ will not focus only on harm, risk or even neglect — but the entire human condition. If my child is judged to be underachieving, inactive or somehow lacking in respect or responsibility, the ‘named person’ can discuss my child not only with the NHS, a social worker or the police, but with bodies including the Scottish Sports Council and something called Skills Development Scotland Co. Ltd.

The illiberal control-freakery of this measure might have attracted more attention had it been unusual.”

All deeply terrifying. Except that GIRFEC only makes someone directly responsible and accountable for duties which already existed within the health, care and social work systems. A complaint about it to the Court Of Session was rejected last month in unusually strong language for the sober men and women of the judiciary:

“The mere creation of a named person, available to assist a child or parent, no more confuses or diminishes the legal role, duties and responsibilities of parents in relation to their children than the provision of social services or education generally.

It has no effect whatsoever on the legal, moral or social relationships within the family. The assertion to the contrary, without any supporting basis, has the appearance of hyperbole.”

Professor Tomkins’ scattergun attack moves quickly on:

“If you want to know what England would be like under Jeremy Corbyn, the answer would not be far off what the SNP is doing to Scotland. Stridently anti-austerity, the party’s populist and highly successful general election campaign pitched them as Britain’s progressive beacon. It won them 56 of Scotland’s 59 MPs. It also helped Mr Cameron’s return to Downing Street.”

Except we know from the independent British Election Study that that last allegation is complete rubbish. Labour lost by almost 100 seats and the Tories got a majority from England and Wales alone, so whether Scottish seats went to Labour or the SNP was ultimately a total irrelevance. The same study found that if anything, it was people voting Labour that ensured the Tory majority (by freezing out Lib Dems).

“Yet in the eight years in which the SNP have been in power, next to nothing has been done to reform the health service in Scotland, save that SNP ministers’ controls over Scotland’s 14 health boards have been tightened.”

What Tomkins means by “reform” is exactly the sort of Tory assault on the health service which the SNP was specifically elected to protect NHS Scotland from, and which former Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley has said was his “biggest regret” about the coalition government of 2010-15.

“This has not led to improved service. The latest figures show waiting times rising alarmingly.”

This is a complete lie. Alert readers of this site may recall the last sustained Unionist attack on Scottish NHS waiting times, back in 2013.


As you can see, in a single month (December 2012) the figures showed 12,874 patients waiting four hours or more for treatment and 323 waiting more than 12 hours.

The most recent figures, for August this year, show those numbers decreasing to 1,572 and 0 respectively. Even allowing for seasonal variation, those are stupendous reductions of 88% and 100%.


But Tomkins isn’t just lying. He’s also furious that it’s been done efficiently:

“When the SNP came to power, Scotland spent a higher share of its budget on health than England, but under the nationalists this has been reversed. The Institute for Fiscal Studies ran the numbers last September, and found England’s health budget this year is 4.4 per cent higher than before David Cameron came to power; Scotland’s is 1.2 per cent lower.”

Despite lower spending, Scottish hospitals saw 95.2% of patients within the 4-hour target time. The figure for English hospitals in the same month was slightly lower, at 94.3%. Conservatives are supposed to admire better results being achieved with less money, not be outraged about it.

“The same is true in education. Scottish schools and colleges are going from mediocre to poor. Numeracy scores are plummeting, 140,000 college places have been cut”

Again, these are claims which have already been comprehensively covered by this site. The line about college places is ancient and incredibly misleading, as we detailed back in January last year.

As for numeracy, the “plummeting” figures are that the number of Scottish children performing at a satisfactory level in S2 has dropped from 68% to 66%. Any decline is bad news, of course, but one of just 2% during a time of severe cuts to the Scottish Government budget from Westminster is a remarkably resilient performance.

“The SNP’s famous ban on tuition fees means that a Scottish teenager from a poor background is now half as likely to go to university as an English one. And the gap is widening.”

Another claim based on seriously distorted statistics, as we noted last month.

“Under the SNP, Scotland’s eight regional police constabularies were merged into a single force. While Theresa May was creating locally elected police and crime commissioners in England and Wales, increasing the accountability of the police to local voters, the SNP was doing the opposite.”

The creation of a single centralised police force was, a touch embarrassingly for the Professor, a policy set out in the 2011 Scottish Conservatives manifesto (page 20).


(The public was so spectacularly unenthused by the “accountability” of May’s police commissioners, meanwhile, that turnout for the elections shattered all UK peacetime records, averaging under 15% with the lowest reaching a mere 11.6%. A by-election for one area in 2014 saw that all-time low sink even further, to just 10.3%.)

“Basic policing mistakes that just were not made in the old days now fill the newspapers: in July a woman was left lying next to her dead boyfriend in a car in Bannockburn for three days after the crash was reported to police; she later died.”

The case of Lamara Bell is a tragedy. But the incident was reported as essentially an abandoned car – it was called in to the 101 non-emergency line, not as someone dying. The failure to follow it up was a one-off administrative error with appalling consequences, and the idea that such things never happened in “the old days” is as farcical as the politicisation of her death is distasteful.

There are not as yet any grounds whatsoever to blame it on the centralisation of the police force – which, as we’ve just seen, Professor Tomkins’ party was fully in favour of anyway – and even less to blame it on the Scottish Government.

“Recorded crime is falling the world over — and Scotland, happily, is no exception. Despite having fewer offences to investigate, however, Police Scotland manages to clear up 50,000 fewer crimes each year than the eight old constabularies did a decade ago.”

We covered this in June. Obviously with crime falling the number of crimes being solved will also fall, because there are fewer of them TO solve. But in fact a greater percentage of crimes is now being solved, and each individual officer is also solving proportionately more crimes.

(We must presume that if crime fell to zero Professor Tomkins would be apoplectic with fury, because the number cleared up would then also be zero.)

“A recent survey found that a third of Police Scotland’s staff planned to leave the force within three years”

The reason they overwhelmingly gave, however, was reforms to their pensions which were forced through by the Conservative UK government, against the will of the Scottish Government which was prepared to fund their protection.

“SNP activists love to invoke the concept of freedom, but they support a party that brings no such thing.”

Well, now, that one’s just unfortunate timing.


That’s quite an impressive litany of misinformation from the good Professor. We count at least EIGHTEEN seriously misleading claims or outright lies in a 1500-word rant which still found room for acres of spittle-flecked, swivel-eyed ranting and repetition. We look forward to the corrections which we’re sure will follow.

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  1. 16 10 15 17:43

    The professor of pish | Politics Scotland | Sc...

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    Whom The Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Mad | A Wilderness of Peace

  3. 29 03 16 11:00

    Think of the Children | A Wilderness of Peace

  4. 25 04 16 16:57

    Named Person proposals for Scottish children - Page 4

167 to “The professor of pish”

  1. donald anderson says:

    Labour’s long rule over Scotland from Westminster, Holyrood and local Governments, plus quangos for the boys, could be closer to one party state?

    Even when Labour first lost Holyrood to the SNP they were in denial and still cannot accept the decision and the loss of their gravy train.

  2. Donald MacKenzie says:

    Like I said in response to the earlier post, we can debate the interpretation of evidence as we shall always have differing views as to what any given piece of information is telling us. But for anyone to completely ignore evidence and just launch into an ill-informed rant with, presumably, the purpose of frightening people is unacceptable. For it to come from an academic, whose professional background should inform him that research evidence is everything, is disgraceful.

    It really calls into question his competence for holding a post in academia.

  3. Russell says:

    It is typical of so many of his type – never mind the facts, say whatever you think will further your cause. This attitude has worked in the past because of the bias in the media (BBC, et al) but now, with more and more people getting their news from independant sources like “Wings Over Scotland” such lies are being exposed. Keep up the good work!

  4. george says:

    outstanding 😀

  5. Ian Brotherhood says:


    This, surely, is the best-yet WOS post title – ‘Professor Pish’ is one that will stick, and it’s hard to imagine a more worthy recipient.

  6. Dan Huil says:

    The bbc loves Tomkins

  7. donald anderson says:

    PS. Let’s not forget Labour’s murderous undemocratic invasion and rule over a part of Ireland: Six occupied Counties of a Nine County Province of Ulster. No talk of one nation one island there, nor of their endless infractions of Civil Liberties making them the worst offender of Human Rights in the EU?

    Who remembers Murphy, terrified on top of a recruiting Armed Forces Day tank in George Square, appealing to Loyalists stabbing Republican protesters that he was one of them? He was, but the wrong religion and fitba team he used to promote his own Labour Brit Rule loyalism and “celebrity” career.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    “Professor Proud to be a Serial Liar”

    Professor Adam Tomkins rejects Honorary Degree in Falsity from Nigerian University.

    “I’d was happy to accept it until I discovered it’s for dentistry, not the discipline to which I have devoted my life: fabrication, untruths, and falsehoods aimed at Scotland’s elected government. And they wanted £9,000 paid into some odd account before they sent it. Stuff that. I sent half!”

  9. Murray McCallum says:

    Tomkins has not bought into the “straight talking, honest politics” concept.

    Why would you when you have SNPcatastrophe.

  10. Wulls says:

    Comprehensively debunked.
    What a fantastic description.
    The only injustice I can see here is this absolute zoomer is still allowed to teach our most precious natural resource, our children, at university level.
    If he cannot get the basics right what chance do his students have ???

  11. Lollysmum says:

    Having just watched Day 1 of the SNP conference I certainly know who I want to see in power & going from strength to strength. My only regret is they can only govern in Scotland 🙂

    England & Wales is crying out for such quality in their elected members so Professor Tomkins I suggest you cast your clearly jaundiced eye over what passes for governance south of the border & then have the integrity to apologise for that rubbish spouted in the Spectator. Wonder how many prospective votes that piece lost for you-a good many I hope.

  12. Rjf says:

    If Rev. Campbell wants to bring up an obsolete manifesto, can we continue to attack the SNP for its pro-austerity and regressive cuts in corporation tax that were promised in the independence White Paper?

  13. galamcennalath says:

    The Rev is on fire with this one 🙂

    Begs the obvious question, why does the professor talk so much pish?

    It seems to be a regurgitation of all the Unionist and CorpMedia made up baseless propaganda over the past year. An astonishing feat of bull shitting!

    He cannot possibly believe it’s true, can he? Is it his BIG ( in his mind) contribution to the final defensive line of the Union? A kind of … use ’em or lose ’em strategy? Fire all shite at once!

    What an odd man he must be.

  14. muttley79 says:

    “I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.”

    This is absolutely ludicrous from Tomkins. What is he trying to achieve with this demented nonsense? Is this pish all the unionists have left now, these silly one party state, SNP dictatorship smears?

  15. Jules says:

    Hopefully someone will bring this to the attention of the editorial team and board/ trustees (if there are such people) at the Spectator..??

  16. chic thomson says:

    Actually, in a way Scotland has not only a one party state but also a one person state. One MP, fluffy, can over-rule almost any decision of the Scot’s parliament, or indeed, on his whim, dissolve it. This highly unsatisfactory state of affairs doesn’t rate a mention!

  17. Helpmaboab says:

    Tomkins is a man with a mission, I think. He wants a lucrative career in the Conservative party.

    That’s surely the real purpose behind this article. His haverings in The Spectator won’t influence a single voter in Scotland.

    They may, however, earn the Prof kudos among metropolitan Tories. A safe seat in the Home Counties might eventually be his reward…

  18. Bill Fraser says:

    What a load of drivel with maybe an odd exception of fact.Does this man think he will get elected in the Scottish election? no way will he. be tolerated up here

  19. Ruby says:

    Professor Pish!

    It’s been too much today my sides are sore laughing.

  20. Kragos says:

    Wow, much kudos for reading through that, Stu. Took me several attempts spread around recuperations in a darkened room, to recover from the tidal wave of garbage in that article.

    Professor of Pish? Perfect!

  21. Sandra says:

    Looked him up on Google as I hadn’t heard of him before. (BTW what is ‘zoomerism’?)
    Seems like just another embittered tory unionist carping from the sidelines. Then again he’s maybe angling for a peerage – it worked for Lady Mone and Lord Darling.

  22. Bob Mack says:

    I think he is slowly being brought to the attention of a Psychiatrist.

  23. gus1940 says:

    The Spectator is owned by the loathesome Barclay Brothers through their company Press Holdings.

    The Chairman of Press Holdings is our old pal Brillo Pad Neil who doubles up as an ever present supposedly neutral political commentator nearly every day on The BBC.

    Perhaps it might be an idea for Rev Stu to contact Brillo and ask for his observations on Tomkins’ pack of lies and the analysis of them above.

    He should also be asked to comment on the competence of the Editor (you know – the one with the horrendously strangled fake accent) for allowing such a pack of so obvious lies to be published in such a historically respected political organ.

  24. David McDowell says:

    A Short Extract from “A Nation Again: How Scotland Won Back Freedom” (Luath Press, 2122)

    “Having learned nothing at all from Carmichael’s disastrous attempt to smear Nicola Sturgeon, the Unionists sent out their new champion…Professor Adam Tomkins.

    “The tittering from the ranks of Cybernats was so loud that one of their commanders, the formidable Reverend Stu, rode along the line threatening to “kill with hammers” the next man who made a sound.

    “From that moment on, not a single titter was heard.”

  25. Garrion says:

    I really, REALLY hate this guy.

  26. awizgonny says:

    Re the voting history of the Scottish electorate in Westminster elections: the tendency to vote for socially reforming, progressive parties goes much further back than 1955.

    Since the formation of the Liberal Party in the 19th century, Scotland has returned a majority of Reformist MPs in 32 of the last 38 elections. Of the remaining 6, only once did they return a majority of Conservative MPs – the other 5 were under the banner of the right-of-centre Unionist Party formed in 1912.

    The Unionists always took great care to distance themselves from the Conservatives – they had their headquarters in Scotland, they always claimed to be fighting for Scotland’s interests and for the best interests of the working classes.

    The fact that there was only ten years from their record victory in 1955 to their extinction in 1965 ably shows how shit they were at doing that. The voters deserted them in droves.

    But it was not the SNP who benefitted most from that collapse. It was Labour…

  27. Bob Mack says:


    You miss the point. It was at one time Tory ambition to do exactly what they now criticise the SNP for actually achieving.

  28. Bob Mack says:

    @david Mc dowell

    Are you Frankie Howard. ? Titter ye not.

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “If Rev. Campbell wants to bring up an obsolete manifesto, can we continue to attack the SNP for its pro-austerity and regressive cuts in corporation tax that were promised in the independence White Paper?”

    No, because we’re not idiots.

    Is it now Tory policy to reverse the centralisation?

  30. Dr Jim says:

    Triffic Stu

    Hannibal Lecter couldn’t have spooned his monkey brains out any neater

  31. Big Jock says:

    Let’s hope the balloon gets his marching orders. I think when the real campaign kicks off next spring. The SNP vote will go up to 57%. One thing the SNP gets right are elections. Slabour may fall below 20%.

  32. Craig Watson says:

    Hey, Professor Pish, I’ve got another acronym for ye – not Orwellian as such, more Boyle-ian – GIRFUY!

    Great post, Rev, as usual. Put me mind of the ‘sins’ vids on youtube that catalogue all the mistakes in popular movies. Brilliant!

  33. KenC says:

    “Better do our job”.

    As ever; brilliantly.

    The ammunition you provide us with, Rev, in order to counter this tripe, is second to none.

    Many, many thanks.

  34. mealer says:

    Professor Pish.Belter.

  35. woosie says:

    Great research and analysis.

    The prof laments the single Scottish force. Only a few weeks ago, a man lay seriously ill ( I’m not sure if he actually died ) on a roadside in England, while 3 police forces stood by, claiming he was in another force’s area.

    I love this guy. I hope the tories can rustle up another few such candidates.


  36. Peter Macbeastie says:

    He’s going to stand for Holyrood? Oh please.. let him get a seat, it’ll be funny.

    Has the experience of Davidson, Dugdale and Mr Indigestion at FMQs awakened his masochistic tendencies or something?

    It takes a special kind of idiocy to want to enter an environment where you routinely get ridiculed… to your face, rather than online, where you can’t actually see the people laughing at you.

  37. Al Dossary says:

    Just had my wife come through wondering WTF I was laughing at. I came across the 10 minute version of @The Imperial Deat March@ from Glasgow last year.

    Anyway – serious business now. Does anyone have a link to the complete conference from today that I can watch online. So far all I can find are snippets from the MSM.

    Not to worry, the good lady and the kids are off to Ras Tanurah tomorrow to spend the day at the beach whilst I immerse myself in politics from chilly Aberdeen.

  38. Frank says:

    Hats off! I read it and paused for disassembly, but I I really could not be arsed. His audience should be our concern.

  39. Training Day says:

    A sobriquet is defined as ‘a name familiar enough that it may be used in place of a real name without the need for further explanation’.

    Professor of Pish seems to fit the bill admirably.

  40. chris kilby says:

    The trouble with this sort of pish is it’s so shrill, hysterical and relentless that many Scots have simply stopped listening. We’ve heard it all before. Many, many times. Which is why I have no interest in reading anything Professor Tompkins has to say.

  41. heedtracker says:

    Well all I can say is, its great to see my wildly attractive Slovene girlfriend’s career in Scottish politics blooming. What its blooming into is anyone’s guess. Arise Lady Jezereena Tomkins of Slovenia and may god have mercy on us all:D

  42. Ian Kirkwood says:

    Ka-Ching, love it! Don’t like Tomkins……

  43. liz says:

    Now that the EC complaint kicked into touch & Mt ‘story’ on hold we now have ‘watered down’ land reform coming up to discredit the SNP.

    Think land reform is a great idea but since the toffs have been scewing Scotland for 300 years, only so many sides can be fought at once.

    Apparently a tenant farmer has been reduced to tears on C4 news, so headline – SNP reduce farmer to tears.

    Does anyone know how much more could be done at the present time on this issue?

  44. scottieDog says:

    But it was such non-factual drivel we were subjected to in the lead up to indyref.
    How do we beam a balanced view into folks’ living room?

  45. heedtracker says:

    Libby Carrell of rancid The Graun gives Prof Smirky a big boost, shock

    “Scotland’s first minister was portrayed as the head of a one-party-state in a Spectator article by Adam Tomkins, a Glasgow law professor and Conservative MSP candidate, who took issue with what he called a “chilling” decision to bring in state guardians to monitor what children want and need.”

    Actually if anything display’s the extraordinary difference between the miserable attack SNP propaganda pouring out of all UK media and actual journalism, its the Graun on Smirky today and the above report by WoS.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, both!

  46. jimnarlene says:

    Professor Pish. As he will be known, henceforth. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

  47. robert graham says:

    Not really sure what would be the best outcome here with this nutjob , he dosent get elected ,so is free to poison impressionable minds(ie) students at Glasgow UNI , or he does get elected and we can keep an eye on him ,his bizarre thoughts and ideas that to most normal people would put him next in line for a straight jacket , with time off for normal behaviour , should be out about the time we discover Lord Lucan & maybe Shergar , its a tough decision ha ha just a thought

  48. schrodingers cat says:


    jaserna will be spitting feathers, expect a new troll on here very shortly

    hint, long winded cut an pasted essays are a dead give away

    ha ha ha

  49. heedtracker says:

    Apparently a tenant farmer has been reduced to tears on C4 news, so headline – SNP reduce farmer to tears

    They voted NO over there. I mean C4 news detest Scottish democracy anyway but this is the real world of BetterTogether UKOK, what they voted for.

  50. CameronB Brodie says:

    “I have decided to fight the SNP, and their pernicious ideology, by standing for the Scottish parliament as a Conservative candidate. What follows are my reasons for joining not just a fight for the survival of the union, but to preserve the basic notion of liberty that Scots have done much to define and defend.”

    He is a card.

    Firstly, the book is explosive because it reveals direct participation by the United Kingdom in torture since 1944. This probably will come as a great surprise to many readers but the official line that “the British do not participate in torture”, is revealed as just part of a deliberate and well-practised line of deceit. The book charts the use of torture from “the Cage” in London used to interrogate leading Nazi’s at the end of the Second World War, through the colonial campaigns of Kenya, Cyprus and Aden and then makes the link to Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan with the repeated and wilful use of “the five techniques”. It exposes the exceptional brutality of the British in the treatment of the Mau Mau in Kenya – as is just beginning to emerge in the case of Nzili, Nyingi and Mara, currently being heard in the High Court.

    Evidence reveals that one British policeman at the time described the conditions in the camps as “far worse than anything I experienced in my four and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese”. To hear the British described as being more brutal than the Japanese will come as a great shock but, should there be any doubt as to the depravity of British Forces, the description in the book is unequivocal

    It would appear that the first attempt at democracy in the British Isles (the post-war settlement), has not been a failure but a sham from the get-go.

  51. Al Dossary says:

    Well, what is not to be expected about British brutality ?

    The British are commonly regarded as one of the the original masters of the modern “Concentration Camp” as practiced against the Boers.

    And let us bot forget the great number of PTSD affected soldiers that during WW1 they executed as Tractors.

  52. ahundredthidiot says:

    I have a double digit IQ

    Can I be a professor?

  53. boris says:

    Wow!!!! I wouldn’t like to be the subject of that!!! Probably the most commanding, disassembling of a would be politician I’ve ever read. No wonder the Unionists fear “Wings”

  54. Andrew Gordon says:

    First post after last few years of reading.

    Please forgive me for being off topic on first post.
    Just listened to interview by Laura Keunessberg with Nicola Sturgeon, what appalling ineptitude by a so called journalist.

    The awful interview aside I made the terrible mistake of looking on the BBC comments page regarding same.

    If anyone is still in the frame of mind that we are better together I strongly suggest they take a look at the bile, hatred and complete ignorance of what is actually going on in Scotland.

    I have to say reading it prompted me to post ion WOS and thank you to Stuart and all contributors for keeping me sane

  55. msean says:

    I’m sure the Independence White Paper was about after independence,2011 tory manifesto was for the Scottish Parliament elections.Different things.

  56. The University of Glasgow is over 500 years old, whose School of Law educated the sainted Nicola.

    I would hope whoever is in charge of the School of Law has a quite word with Tomkins before he, through his right wing obsessions,brings The University of Glasgow and the nearly 50 Profs and Dr`s of the faculty in the School of Law into disgrace and disrepute.

  57. manandboy says:

    On land reform. It just so happens…..
    If anyone wants the whole 40 pages, I’ll put the link up.

    The primary reason the Review Group made this recommendation was to increase
    the transparency and accountability of land owners in Scotland. The Scottish
    Government have come to the view that the recommendation made by the Review
    Group would not achieve this aim. The main problems being;
    ? There is no clear evidence to suggest that having land owned by a company
    or legal entity incorporated in a Member State will increase transparency and
    accountability of land ownership in Scotland. To illustrate, the Tax Justice
    Network began publishing in 2013 a Financial Secrecy Index17 that ranks
    jurisdictions according to their secrecy and scale of their activities. The results
    from 2013 show that Luxembourg ranks second on the index, Germany eighth
    and Austria 18th. It is also worth noting that the United Kingdom ranks 21st
    (just behind the British Virgin Islands (20th) and somewhat higher than some
    of countries that are sometime perceived to be tax havens; Liechtenstein 33,
    Isle of Man 34, Turks and Caicos Islands 63).
    ? Limiting ownership to EU legal entities may encourage more land to be held
    by trusts or in even more complex corporate structures, for example
    landowners may form an EU registered company to hold the title to land but
    behind this company will be the existing ownership structure, that may include
    non EU companies registered in “off-shore” jurisdictions. This may have had
    the effect of reducing the accountability and traceability of land owners.
    ? There is no clear evidence base to establish that the fact that land is owned
    by a company or legal entity that is registered or incorporated outside the EU
    has caused detriment to an individual or community.
    ? There are many examples of concerns about the actions of landowners
    where the person or legal entity that owns the land is either a UK citizen or
    has been incorporated in the UK. There is no evidence to suggest that where
    a landowner is domiciled has bearing on how the land is managed and
    whether the land owner is prepared to engage with the community at large
    when making their land management decisions..
    The Scottish Government does not consider that is appropriate to bring forward
    measures to Parliament that are known to have substantial flaws and would not
    achieve the desired policy objective.
    The challenge is to provide better information about land ownership to inform how
    the land reform agenda should be taken forward in Scotland in long term. This will
    partly be achieved by the completion of the Land Register. This will provide a clear
    picture of the individuals and organisation that own land in Scotland and how much
    they own. It will also be achieved by providing the public with better access to land
    ownership information. Both these measures are being taken forward and do not
    require legislation.

  58. msean says:

    I really felt for that farmer on ch 4,irrelevant of how he voted,losing your home like that is crazy. Its like something from previous centuries.

  59. Paula Rose says:

    (@Andrew Gordon hello sweetie xx)

  60. Rock says:

    Adam Tomkins is a proven liar.

    Why is he a Professor of law at a Scottish university?

    To teach his students how to lie as best as they can.

    Lying is the stock of trade of lawyers.

    The “best” lawyers are the ones who can lie the best.

    The vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

    The SNP should stay well clear of “Lawyers for Yes”.

  61. CameronB Brodie says:

    Andrew Gordon
    “Careful now”. Our Paula has hidden charms. 🙂

  62. donnywho says:

    One Mundell to rule them all, one Mundell to find them,
    One Mundell to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

    This is the one Party One Member State we live in.

    Fortunately all that awesome power resides in an empty vessel

  63. Rock says:

    “(apparently unlike Tomkins, whose blog is called “Notes From North Britain””

    Well, that is the only thing Tomkins has not lied about.

    As our resident historian and geographian Robert Peffers will confirm.

  64. Legerwood says:

    Heedtracker @ 8.04 pm

    I think you have misrepresented the CH4 news item about the land reform act and in particular the end of the item where a tenant farmer in the Lothian’s was about to lose his farm. He, his family and the man who works for him and his family are going to lose their home.

    He does not know where he is going to live or where his children will go to school if he has to move from the area and the man working for him is in the same boat.

    His case underlined why land reform is necessary but as he said any reform would come too late for him.

    Overall it was a relatively fair summary of the situation.

    I did not notice any ‘SNP reduces farmer to tears’ headline.

    Overall CH4’s news reports from the conference seemed OK including Jon Show’s interview with Ms Sturgeon.

  65. Lollysmum says:

    Al Dossary
    Link to conference

  66. Rock says:

    chic thomson,

    “One MP, fluffy, can over-rule almost any decision of the Scot’s parliament, or indeed, on his whim, dissolve it.”

    He can do no such thing.

    The Scots are “sovereign” remember?

    Or maybe they are not.

  67. heedtracker says:

    I did not notice any ‘SNP reduces farmer to tears’ headline.

    Overall CH4’s news reports from the conference seemed OK including Jon Show’s interview with Ms Sturgeon.

    I didn’t say there was a C4 headline like this. The fact is we know Dundee and Glasgow voted YES, the rest NO and this is what BetterTogether means. Scotland cant live in a world of grey areas when you chose NO.

    Also C4 news largely ignore Scotland most of the time. Yet C4 is just another BBC, paid by adverts and subsidy. During the ref run up, they were extremely NO.

    If you want to end the kind of horrendous C4 news tonight, get off your arse and do something to make Scotland an independent country, or keep on voting red and blue tory.

  68. Phronesis says:

    With regards to the comments about the ‘Named Person’ Scottish Government consulted widely on this aspect of the new legislation, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. The responses can be read here (pp26-38);

    Scottish Government. (2013). Children And Young People (Scotland) Bill Explanatory Notes
    (And Other Accompanying Documents), available at;

    The Law Society responded to this consultation along with many other statutory and voluntary organisations and individuals. Positive and negative comments were published and reflected on- this is not a government that is attempting to railroad through damaging legislation whilst turning a deaf ear to those who disagree with the policy.

    The new legislation will promote and augment the family role in child- centred holistic help to vulnerable children and families when they require assistance, it’s primary aim is not designed to catapult children into the child protection system.

    The UK has ratified the UN treatise on universal child rights, it is a framework that balances parent’s and children’s rights, the rights to autonomy and protection and balances rights and responsibilities. It is delivered in a child welfare structure of mutual respect,is an extremely important guidepost for the social order and an expansive articulation of social and economic rights.

    And that is why UKOK voting for yet more austerity measures knowing fully the effect that this will have on vulnerable children and families living in the UK is quite disgraceful. Far from fretting over the function of the ‘Named Person’ perhaps questioning the legal position of the UK Government may be more appropriate for any legal mind with a burning interest in children’s rights.

    The UKOK government has willfully abandoned any notion of obligation to protect the social and economic resources minimally necessary for optimal children’s development and personal identity on a massive scale with unwisely constructed social policy that will adversely affect the quality of life and economic viability of generations of young UKOK citizens. That is a more worthy discussion and is perhaps why the Children’s Commissioner in England felt compelled as far back as 2012 to warn her own Government that they may be in breach of the UN treatise;

  69. bookie from hell says:

    Rev,not sure how you have the hours in the day,to respond so comprehensively

    brilliant research

    you should enroll as one of his students ( : > )

  70. Al Dossary says:

    Watching PM question time for once (damn you SNP – No Kezia Skelping today to laugh at !)

    Most obvious thing to me about the shots that the camera gives us of the Pig lover is that they mostly come from the PM’s Left hand side. Notably there seem to be 68 out of 283 Blue Tory MP who happen to be women. Somehow the favoured camera shot shows at least 50/50 or the most often played shot is roughly 60/40 women to men.

    In addition, every time they happen to pan their camera across and it manages to catch good old Gideon, he is completely spaced out of his tree. No wonder they seem to be pushing him for leader. If he is as much of a cokehead as some places infer, then he will be probably the most controllable of PM’s in history.

  71. Jim Thomson says:

    @Al Dossary 7:43pm

    go to YouTube and search for snp conference 2015. They certainly have session 1 (morning) and should also have session 2 (afternoon).

  72. yesindyref2 says:

    @Scot Finlayson
    For a “professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University” to describe Scotland as a one-party state does indeed reflect badly on Glasgow Uni’s credentials. It’s a shame for it.

  73. heedtracker says:

    Not so much progressive liberal The Guardian give up another big cheer for Prof T.

    Its not that relevant to rancid Graun that Prof Tomkins makes Snatcher Thatcher look like a Mother Teresa, when it comes to monstering SNP

    “Adam Tomkins, a professor of public law at Glasgow University, whose damning verdict on the SNP’s record in government is the cover story of this week’s Spectator, believes that the continuing constitutional discussion – which Sturgeon will vainly hope she has parked with her speech on Thursday – can only benefit his own party.

    “The more they talk about it, the better it is for the Scottish Conservatives because there are a lot of voters on the centre-right of Scottish politics who voted SNP in the past but will never vote for them again as long as they keep alive the possibility of another referendum,” he said.

    Tomkins is likewise dubious about Sturgeon’s appeal for those who voted no to support the SNP in government: “No voters took the SNP at their word that this was a once in a generation vote. But the reason that they keep talking about the constitution is because they don’t want to talk about their record in government because it is dismal.”

    Is Bettertogether Slovenia the only branch available for UKOK stuff tonight?

  74. Albaman says:

    I have watched Prof Tomkins, and I class him as a cancer in Scotish politics.
    He’s one person who must be beaten at the ballet box, ( actually I think Ruthie would not be too upset if he failed, as she recognise that he would be after her job, such is his view of his self importance, so I think she’d be happy for him to be a S.N.P. wrecker from outside Hollyrood ), but still, he must be stopped from winning a seat for the Conservatives.
    As I said at the outset, he is a political cancer.

  75. Bob Mack says:

    Thanks for the post Andrew Gordon.
    If nothing else it should harden your resolve to fight against the lies and misinformation from the BBC and others which has become an hourly and daily occurrence

    Keep up the contributions Andrew.

  76. CameronB Brodie says:

    In addition, every time they happen to pan their camera across and it manages to catch good old Gideon, he is completely spaced out of his tree.

    Perhaps he’s a ‘deep thinker’ rather than a hedonistic neo-Fascist? 😉

    “WHERE is the fairness,” asked George Osborne, “for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next-door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?”

  77. steveasaneilean says:

    Stu – I believe you should submit this article to the Law Society of Scotland as a formal complaint against Professor Tomkins.

    I believe he is in breech of Rule B 1.2 of their Code of Conduct for lawyers which states:

    “You must be trustworthy and act honestly at all times so that your personal integrity is beyond question. In particular, you must not behave, whether in a professional capacity or otherwise, in a way which is fraudulent or deceitful”

  78. Chitterinlicht says:

    Trying not to swear.

    What a total numptie.

    How can a Pofessor of Law write such pish?


  79. Macart says:

    In the immortal words of the great Keanu – Whooaaaaa! 🙂

    Clonker Rev.

    That fella’s issues have issues.

  80. Al-Stuart says:

    What do those who can’t teach do? They teach teachers. An old adage that may well apply to The Professor of Pish. This guy is an example of why academics should be capable of being sacked.

    I am looking forward to seeing what vote this idiot Tomkins receives in efforts to stand for the Tories at Holyrood in 2016.

    BTW is it just me, or has John Swinney and the SNP managed to balance our books here in Scotland ever since 2007 – whilst Westminster has sunk billions upon billions further into their unbalanced red hole – by both Red Tories and Blue Tories? Tomkins you are way off the mark with that one pal.

    As for Tomkins and his proctological overtones directed to insertion of his flatery and ego up Iain Duncan-Smith’s fundament – especially praising Duncan-Smith’s murderous welfare reforms. Well MR Tomkins, best you wash your hands of the blood that will undoubtedly splash on them from these nasty, lethal, toxic Tories. How many people with disabilities have so far been killed off by Labour/Tory Work Capability Assessments?

    AN ACADEMIC FACT – For the academically challenged MR Tomkins…

    30,560 Severely Disabled People have so far died at the hands of the Tories…


    What an utter self-serving self-publicising arrogant mouthpiece spouting so much excrement.

    Stu., I know this is your job, but I was having a nice evening up until this odious idiot Tomkins polluted my computer screen.

    As for the University of Glasgow – what on earth are they thinking? Allowing this academically challenged idiot to be called professor and then placed on their payroll.

    Shame on the University of Glasgow

  81. Croompenstein says:

    What is it with Glasgow Universities and unionist crackerdom, remember Glasgow Caledonian gave the pig fucker a lectern to stand behind and cry about loving his country and now this fuckwit Tomkins from Glasgow Uni.. an insult to the Yes city.

    Spot on Stu, Professor of utter pish..

  82. Macart says:

    @Andrew Gordon

    A big hullo and well said. 🙂

  83. Meindevon says:

    Sorry O/T but this headline is on The Wail, sorry Mail online for those interested.

    ‘Thousands gather to support Catalan regional president as he is summoned before Spanish judges to answer charges of civil disobedience over referendum vote.’

  84. @yesindyref2

    Hate to say it but Tomkins could do irreparable damage to the reputation of not just The University of Glasgow`s School of Law but also its faculty and alumni.

    just sayin.

  85. Al-Stuart says:

    Reporting Concerns To The Law Society of Scotland

    Hi Stevie,

    I totally agree with your posting. After Stuart Campbell’s forensic dissection of Mr Tomkins rant, I believe Tomkins may allegedly have infracted Law Society rules. Consequently a missive will be fired off to the Law Society about the Spectator article from this supposed academic – who frankly should have known better.



    Replying to: steveasaneilean says: 15 October, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Stu – I believe you should submit this article to the Law Society of Scotland as a formal complaint against Professor Tomkins.

    I believe he is in breech of Rule B 1.2 of their Code of Conduct for lawyers which states:

    “You must be trustworthy and act honestly at all times so that your personal integrity is beyond question. In particular, you must not behave, whether in a professional capacity or otherwise, in a way which is fraudulent or deceitful”

  86. K.A.Mylchreest says:

    With so many BritNat bullies strutting around the playground, I’d be more than proud to have Nicola for my Big Sister 🙂

    Wouldn’t you? Maybe someone should start a poll?

  87. K1 says:

    Gee…we must be doing something right if the Professor of Pish is so agitated, and by we I mean Us, and by Us I mean the people who actually live here, and by Live here, I mean Vote for who we want to represent Us and by voting for who we want to represent Us I mean Not voting for Nutfuck’s like the Professor of Pish and his ilk.

    Let’s remove them all, next year. We’re in charge Professor Nutfuck, not you. Wanker.


  88. ClanDonald says:

    So glad you changed your mind, Rev, and decided to give this piece the right good fisking that it truly deserves.

    PMSL LOLZ etc

  89. dakk says:

    ‘the professor of pish’

    Fully comprehensive exposure of this fraud of a man.Great journalism.

    One of your more understated titles though Stuart.

    ‘The Professor of Explosive Verbal Diarrhoea’ would have been more apt I feel.

    Welcome to Andrew Gordon,sorry if you were eating your supper 🙂

  90. Graeme Doig says:

    Hats off again to Rev and Wings.

    Tell you what brit nats. You keep lobbing them apples and we’ll keep ramming them right up you.

  91. Quakeawake says:

    OT but a welcome break from talking about drooling Tory morons.

    Stewart Hosie’s speech at the conference today was electrifying. Wide ranging, crystal clear on ever point he makes and, well:

    “David Cameron may have folded up the saltire that flew over Downing Street and put it back in its box but the Scottish people refuse to be quiet, refuse to curl up, refuse to go back into their box.

    Friends, we will never, ever again accept we’re too small, too poor or too stupid to take any decision for ourselves.

    And our determination to see Scotland independent will never fade”.

    Very much worth catching the whole thing.

    Scottish National Party TWICE in May. Bring it on.

  92. Grouse Beater says:

    No one has noticed Steve Bell cannot draw for toffee least of all Steve Bell.

    If you don’t want to pollute your brain with his latest cartoon, don’t click on the link.

  93. Tackety Beets says:

    Thank you Rev , Prof Smirkey , as some have christened him, is another Onionist Clown who thinks he can spew the crap and no one will notice it’s crap.

    Andrew Gordon @ 8.23 Welcome post

    Thanks for getting me to the NS v LK interview , cringy , and effin annoying disgrace.
    Well done NS , who is clearly starting to slap back .

    Maybe she would do well to remember what parents used to say in the 60s

    ” Dinae dee aat or yel get a dirler in e lug ”

    Ch4 Fairmer upset , he has my sympathy.
    I am not up to speed with the Land Reform & CH4 failed to enlighten.
    The thing is what reform could have been in place to help said Fairmer ? By this I specifically mean time for due process to become law ?
    Again Ch4 failed to indicate ?

    Out of interest what are the proposals on LR of the other parties ?

    Today’s highlights In ABZ , for me Tommy Sheppard and later WM Hour .

  94. Ian Brotherhood says:

    There’s been a mur-dur!
    It was Prof Pish, in the Spectator, with a blunt object.

    It was right here that I discovered Prof Pish had addressed the SSP’s Calton Hill Declaration rally in 2004. (Still can’t quite believe it, and I was there that day…)

    Many of those who witnessed Sheridan’s performance were not impressed – the man looked preoccupied and didn’t sound right. A few weeks later the SSP imploded.

    Now, Prof Pish has hitched his wagon to a party which Ruth Davidson expects to grow for the perfectly sensible reason that it could hardly get any fucking smaller.

    All things considered, the venerable Prof would appear to be a bit of a jinx. We’re a sociable, inclusive kind of bunch here, but if he switches camps again and tries to attend a WOS social I suggest we tell him to GTF (aye, even if he offers a raffle prize).

  95. jock mcdonnell says:

    Al Stuart, Stevie, are you sure he’s a member of the law society of Scotland ?

  96. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    ON/Topic (I think – did a lot of catching up just now).

    Those of you looking for videos of today’s sessions from the SNP conference, should find them here.

  97. Hamish100 says:

    Slightly O/T but only just. It is all concerted effort from the Brit state.

    Surprise well not really. A spoiler story from the BBC Scotland re Lockerbie to put the snp second on the story line. They even bring out one of the heid yens from Bbc branch office to talk about 2 suspects who were always suspects! Well done bbc ? Not really, we are all alert to such set up jobs.

  98. ronnie anderson says:

    Tomkinson as a proffesor of law should be hauled before his beak at Uni for fabricating the evidence. What a example to his students.

  99. K1 says:

    Nicola’s conference speech today: From 11.58 on…

    114,121 party members and growing…

  100. Robert Louis says:

    Well done REV for dissecting this piece of nonsense in The Spectator.

    Tompkins is absolutely entitled to disagree with independence. He is also entitled to disagree with the SNP, and say so publicly.

    However, can it not be argued, that given Tompkins is a current Professor of Constitutional law in a Scottish University, and this article by him in the Spectator is so terribly misleading, and literally riddled with mis information, that it may actually bring his academic institution into disrepute?

    You see, this article in the Spectator is not merely an opinion piece, it actually makes quite ridiculous assertions, which as we can see are demonstrably untrue.

    I personally find such a piece of written work by a Professor of constitutional law, hard to reconcile with any kind of academic credibility, even within an unrelated field.

    It does make you wonder, doesn’t it. Perhaps he’ll defend it by saying it’s obviously a joke. He might be right.

  101. peter says:

    Tomkins is a complete and utter tit and an opportunist who changes his allegiance depending on the prevailing wind.

    The hierarchy of Glasgow University would do well to remember where a large part of their funding comes from and pay more attention to what their employees are up to.

    Im sure they wouldnt want to cut courses and have to offload some “Professors” would they?

  102. Laverock says:

    Caledonia @7.56

    Thanks for that link. I took the poll ‘Was the BBC coverage of the referendum biased?’ and found that 100 % of respondents agreed with me that it was.

    Lol. What will they do with that result?

  103. ClanDonald says:

    By the way, just in case anyone doesn’t know, Labour also proposed a centralised police force in their 2011 Scottish manifesto so don’t let them away with any two-faced farmyard slurry either.

    Page 47 of their manifesto stated that they would:

    “Deliver better services and cost efficiencies through the creation of a single police force and a single fire service for Scotland.”

    The link:

  104. Cadogan Enright says:

    @ Grouse Beater – even an old curmudgeon like me has learned to archive

    Dont give Bell / Guardian the benefit of hits

  105. yesindyref2 says:

    “For years, I have watched this with increasing alarm from my position as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University.”

    “as a professor of constitutional law at Glasgow University”

    I don’t think professors or academics are meant to do that. Instead they often give a disclaimer “views represent my own, not those of Glasgow University”.

  106. Grouse Beater says:

    Hamish100: Surprise well not really. A spoiler story from the BBC Scotland re Lockerbie

    Oh, you can be assured GCHQ has been hard at work to mark the start of conference week. Here’s their other effort, that old chestnut about a Scottish Liberation Army – bang on cue.

  107. Angra Mainyu says:

    So, correct me if I’m wrong, but Sturgeon is essentially ruling out a second referendum being in the SNP manifesto for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections next year. Even assuming it’s in the next manifesto in 5 years time, then add say 2 or 3 years for preparation, at best we would have independence in about 10 years…

    This is what happens when you start pandering to opinion polls and the abusive rants of pundits in the media; water everything down, confound their accusations by denying your own convictions, and softly, softly we all go into the footnotes of history.

    But we need to win over the Unionist electorate, right? Show them that we are responsible people, that we can wield power responsibly. Then there’s the good old middle classes, let’s win them over too — a few tax cuts maybe, or a bigger trough for their greasy snouts?

    It’s all very familiar to me. If the SNP had a Clause 4, we’d no doubt be preparing to ditch that too. As a symbolic gesture we should probably refer to ourselves henceforth as the New SNP.

    The truth (that we all know) is that we would have won the referendum if the media wasn’t so rigged against us; these so called unionists that we need to win over were simply ordinary people who fell victim to lies and scaremongering. And yet, again, on the basis of some notion of diplomacy that escapes me, we need to pretend it was a free and fair referendum and deny the truth, deny our beliefs and pander to the make-believe.

  108. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Not sure if Prof Pish is in the Law Soc of Scot. Did a search on their page and it shows no results. As he’s not a practising solicitor he probably hasnt joined it. (And before anyone asks, I did use Adam Tomkins-nice name for a cat, not the one above…)

  109. Simon says:

    Just some Tomkins…

    I was delighted to see Michelle Thomson the spokeswoman for “Business for a United Kingdom” taking her well earned place in the house of Lords today. David Cameron stated that her inclusion in the honours list was well deserved and that she embodied the entrepreneurial spirit that put the Great into Great Britain.

    In other news the Seperatist Bra Tycoon who’s business dealings have come under scrutiny again was said to be in hiding after her company profits were announced. George Osborne said that this showed the level of ecomomic competence of SNP supporters…

  110. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Most of us know, or have heard about, ordinary citizens who become insufferable as soon as they obtain certain acronyms to tag onto their real names.

    But there are some, like Prof Pish, for whom those additional letters simply aren’t enough:

    ‘Look at me – I’m a doctor!’

    ‘Look at me – I’m a Scottish Socialist!’

    ‘Look at me – I’m a Scottish Tory!’

    ‘Look at me – I’m cracking walnuts with my arse!’

    For narcissists, it doesn’t matter what they’re doing – what matters is that they’re getting attention.

    Well, he’s had plenty now, eh? And the fact that fundamental dissatisfaction with perceived attention-denial has led him to be lumbered with such a crass pseudonym is no-one’s fault but his.

    Suck it up Professor Pish – you asked for it. (Er, what was your real name again? Would you like a walnut?)

  111. ArtyHetty says:


    Well said. Many were worried about GIRFEC to begin with, me included as an ex carers advocate. However, on closer inspection, it became clear that it protects children within the UN convention on the rights of the child. Something which ukok do not give a flying fk for.


    I was reading an article today in ‘Scottish Housing news’ online about some ‘ council homes’ in the highlands having been found to have higher than normal levels of naturally occuring radon. I was a tad taken aback to read that highlands council, ‘ commissioned’ an ‘English Public Health’ organisation to do the tests. Wonder how much that cost and why could it not have been carried out by a Scottish public health board or something. Anyway, just thought folks might be interested.

  112. tartanfever says:

    Tompkins goes on about child guardians in Scotland !

    He should see whats just happened in England.

    The judiciary fear children are being radicalised and may be at risk to being taken to Syria and other ISIS strongholds. To counter this, they will allow MI5 to make secret allegations which the parents cannot rebut in court and could lead to their children being taken away from them.

    I kid you not, this is truly worrying.

    Here’s what one prominent barrister, Dinah Rose said on twitter:

    ‘Chilling guidance. Court will remove children from parents on basis of secret MI5 allegations they cannot rebut. ‘

    and in conversation to a reply she says despairingly of the legislation,

    ‘How did we get here?’

  113. X_Sticks says:

    One of your best ever deconstructions of demented unionist ranting from Prof Pish Mr Campbell. Kudos to you.

    @Andrew Gordon

    Good to see a lurker taking the plunge, welcome aboard. It doesn’t hurt after the first one 😀

    Pity the Law Society thing doesn’t look like it’ll fly. Would’ve been fun.

    How convenient they’ve just found (after 27 years) some more suspects in the Lockerbie bombing just in time to knock Nicola Sturgeon off the top spot on the news. Also convenient that these ‘suspects’ turn up to shore up the cock-up or conspiracy that was the Camp Zeist trial.

  114. Tam Jardine says:

    “Imagine a country where the government so mistrusted parents that every child was assigned a state guardian — not a member of their family — to act as a direct link between the child and officials. Imagine that such a scheme was compulsory, no matter how strongly parents objected.”

    Does Tomkins think no other party were responsible for children before the named person thang? Midwives- I suppose they had no responsibility. And health workers had no responsibility as well I suppose. And in school primary school teachers and secondary school teachers had no responsibility towards pupils in their care. And guidance teachers had no responsibity towards pupils.

    Its symptomatic of the misalignment between all media in Scotland and the state that this policy (described by my anti authoritarian wife as having no effect whatsoever) is demonised.

    If you listen to the propaganda and dickheads like Tomkins, the SNP want to take your children. Back in the fucking real world they are trying to avoid a situation where 5 different agencies all claim ignorance and some neglected child falls through the cracks.

  115. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I posted this on a couple of Facebook pages, earlier tonight…

    Last year, at work, I had one or three blethers with people who turned out to be NO voters.
    When asked ‘WHY?’, the common response was “It’s too soon” or “We’re not ready”.

    Nobody said that they were voting NO because they believed in the sanctity of the UK, therefore, in no way, could they be described as “unionists”.

    A lot of people seem to be falling into the trap of believing that which the corpmedia puts into print – and other social media commenters repeat.

    Nicola said NOTHING today about “unionists”. She did say that we Yessers have to convert NO voters into SNP voters. I see that as the first stage. Once they have crossed the line to vote for the SNP, they may start asking themselves why they voted NO in the referendum.

    Once the doubt in their mind is sewn, it becomes easier to persuade them that a YES vote in indyref2 is the way forward for Scotland.

    Do not fall into corpmedia and troll traps, by conflating NO voters with unionists!

  116. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Or “sown”…

  117. yesindyref2 says:

    @Brian Doonthetoon
    Yes, many if not most NO voters aren’t unionists at all.

  118. yesindyref2 says:

    Some issues where there is common ground between some YES and some NO voters, and issues that NO voters might care just as much about as YES voters:

    Anglification of British news
    Garbage BBC
    Media bias

    Oh, I think that’s 100% of NO voters – and 100% YES voters, in one or more ways.

    It’s finding the common ground, and working from there.

  119. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘Professor Pish’


    Sorry. Had to type it one more time before hitting the sack…just to make it that wee bit more real.

    ‘Professor Pish’


    Sorry…did it again!

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Aye, now it’s real right enough. (Poor sod.)

  120. Angra Mainyu says:

    Brian Doonthetoon, it may have escaped your notice but by voting No they were as a matter of fact voting to keep (and stay in) the Union.

    Everywhere I look these days I see people twisting things around and inside out. This is just another example.

    Earlier I was told that independence would result in me remaining British and now I am being told that No voters were not in favour of the Union. By this logic It would seem to follow that Yes voters were the unionists and No voters were pro independence.

    Sturgeon’s speech today was the most disappointing speech I have ever heard. But since everything is so paradoxical these days, that’s probably a good thing.

  121. yesindyref2 says:

    @Angra Mainyu

    From Ashcroft immediately post-referendum poll, looking at NO voters only:

    % saying ‘most important reason’ NO voters
    The risks of becoming independent looked too great when it came to things like the currency, EU membership, the economy, jobs and prices: 47%

    A strong attachment to the UK and its shared history, culture and traditions: 27%

    NO vote would still mean extra powers for the Scottish Parliament together with the security of remaining part of the UK, giving the best of both worlds: 25%

    So that’s 47% non-unionist, 27% unionists, and 25% Devo-Maxers with some attachment to the Union but wanting a lot of change, i.e. unhappy unionists. And yet again you’re confusing Britain and the UK.

  122. K1 says:

    I recommend looking on the Rev’s twitter feed to see the clip from Question Time of the woman in the audience who is so distressed by the Tories Tax Credit cuts. It’s fuckin’ heartbreaking.

    They are heartless lying bastards…what will it take for the people in England to wake up to what They chose. The shamed look on the Tory woman’s face that the camera is panning to during the exchange says it all…they know what they are doing is wrong, no amount of ‘rationalising’ changes this…and still they will continue with their ideological driven purging of the poorest from our society. I fuckin’ despise these creatures…they are not human beings.

  123. john king says:

    Al-Stewart says
    “As for the University of Glasgow – what on earth are they thinking? Allowing this academically challenged idiot to be called professor and then placed on their payroll.”

    this Glasgow university?
    who provided the lectern for Cameron to deliver a landmark speech to a rapturous audience in the London Olympic stadium

    Apparently the audience was spellbound by a historic speech by a world statesman unsurpassed in his time

  124. Ghillie says:

    K1 @ 2.54am

    Do you think maybe that is the first time that tory woman met a real person? A normal hard working mum trying to do her best to provide for her family?

    Kinda looked that way to me.

  125. john king says:

    Andrew Gordon
    “First post after last few years of reading.”

    Where dae ye thing your gaun Mr
    stay richt where you are! 🙂

  126. Alan Mackintosh says:

    John King, nope that’ll be Glasgow Caledonian University founded 20 years ago from Queens College and Glasgow Poly. Rather than University of Glasgow which is a different entity. This of course being the establishment which employs Professor Pish… (for Ian B)

  127. john king says:

    Alan Mackintosh says (hi Alan):)
    “John King, nope that’ll be Glasgow Caledonian University founded 20 years ago from Queens College and Glasgow Poly. Rather than University of Glasgow which is a different entity.”

    What the hell is wrong with Glasgows (a yes city) universities?
    that makes it worse, we have Glasgow Caledonian providing the facilities for a PM speech 400 miles away in London,
    but now we have a different Glasgow uni providing us with this nutcase,

    We really need to get those clowns out of our seats of learning!

  128. WeAreAllTemporaryHere says:

    Thanks for all these, unfortunately very necessary, responses to “journalism” and “expert opinion”. What upsets me most is that there is a section of the Scottish population, mainly my age or older, who are only ever exposed to mainstream news and opinion. I fear that while I have to live under the demographic supervision of many of my silver, non-surfer, peers I will see out the rest of my years in the waiting room surrounded by selfish, ignorant numpties.

  129. Dorothy Devine says:

    John King , I’ll bet they are super glued to those seats of learning ,a bit like some of those nonentities in the house of lords , and I’ll bet they would have to be prised off those chairs with a rather large monetary settlement and pension – even though they are pish purveyors.

  130. Angra Mainyu says:

    Yesindyref2, you’ve done it again — you want to oppose my argument but provide evidence to support my argument. I should thank you.

    The 47% who feared the impact of Independence in terms of the EU, currency, etc., they straightforwardly voted to keep the Union and the status quo. The others did too.

    Twisting the facts is never a solution.

    That all said, it’s always worth bearing in mind that statistics only provides a snapshot. Given the scaremongering and bias in the media that Scotland was subject to in the run up to the referendum, I wouldn’t attribute much value to those snapshots. It’s difficult to be certain in that sort of climate about anything but if there’s one thing you can probably be certain of its volatility.

    And actually there’s research that shows a pattern of rebound and backlash against propaganda — it’s more of a concern of quantative survey methods / psychology (rather than quantative analysis) but typically when you manipulate people with lies there’s a backlash as soon as you switch the lies off and that backlash often renders propaganda counterproductive in the longer term.

    Nobody can guess what the mood will be in 4 years. Ruling out a referendum for 10 years on the basis of the skewed data that’s flying around now makes no sense at all.

  131. Proud Cybernat says:

    Smackdown! How’d you like them apples, ‘Prof. Pish’ (PP)?

    Professor? Idiotic, imperialist, xenophobic sabre-nat more like.

  132. Turnip_ghost says:

    Seriously…can the public not sue for being lied to so blatantly?!?

  133. Muscleguy says:


    Except the worries over land reform are real and not at all limited to No supporters. Those of us in RIC are pretty worried too. Apparently the minister has been hobnobbing with the Duke of Buccleugh.

    Policies strongly recommended by the land reform commission have been abandoned on extremely spurious lines. The one about secrecy jurisdiction holdings ignores the fact that the EU is moving strongly to restrict that in Europe. So the EU restriction would likely work.

    I saw the C4 piece and it was balanced and fair. The SNP need to watch this, their support could easily bleed to the Greens/RISE on this issue if they do not think again.

  134. Douglas Appleby says:

    It should be noted this Professor was able to
    use his position at his workplace to influence
    a whole generation of legal professionals.
    More kudos to Mhairi Black for standing against the
    anti INDY storm because she would have been one of them.
    This from someone who is supposed to encourage freedom of thought!

  135. Thepnr says:

    @Angra Mainyu

    Who exactly is “Ruling out a referendum for 10 years”?

  136. Now's the Hour says:

    A cry of ‘Pish!’ rang out indeed.

    This loon makes Dugdale look like a political colossus.

    Seriously, it is a matter of concern that a clown like this, with no grasp of fact or reality, holds a major post at one of our ancient universities. Is he as carefree with the facts when ‘teaching’ his students as he is in his own demented ramblings?

  137. LegalWeasel says:

    Hard to believe that Tomkins once self-described as “a man of the left”, in the introduction to his (and Alasdair Gray’s) 2005 book “How We Should Rule Ourselves”.

    A volume which, while primarily about creating a Republic, also flirts with the breakup of the UK.

  138. yesindyref2 says:

    @Angra Mainyu
    Your words to BDDT were: “…by voting No they were as a matter of fact voting to keep (and stay in) the Union.”

    I’ve given you the post-ref poll reasons why that 55.3% voted NO, and you can interpret that any way you like, as can I.

    What I see from those figures is 47% of NO voters (26% of the total vote) who weren’t convinced by the case for YES but might like Indy – so hardly unmoving unionists. They’re potential future YES voters.

    Then there’s 25% of those NOs (14% of the total vote) who wanted more powers, perhaps persuaded by the VOW, who might be disgusted at the Scotland Act and change to YES voters.

    There’s then only the 27% of those NOs (15% of the total vote) who could be described as hard and fast unionists.

    So that’s just 15% of Sotland are unionists, leaving a potential YES vote of 85% next referendum. That’s great isn’t it Angra?

  139. LegalWeasel says:

    @Now’s the Hour wrote:

    “Is he as carefree with the facts when ‘teaching’ his students as he is in his own demented ramblings?”

    No, he’s not. He’s actually a very good teacher. I was lectured and tutored by him in Constitutional Law (2011-12), and his political leanings were kept veiled, at least in class. The same was true of the Nationalist-leaning professors who also taught and tutored me.

  140. Will Podmore says:

    Seldon and Snowdon in their useful study of the Coalition note, “But then the polls strengthen again for the SNP, and a wipeout for Labour in Scotland becomes increasingly likely. This is welcome news for the Conservatives: with Labour going into the election with 258 seats, they will now need to gain some one hundred seats to offset the Scottish losses if they are to gain a majority – an almost impossibly steep hill to climb.”
    Yet the ‘Rev’ claims that “it was people voting Labour that ensured the Tory majority”!
    By the same logic it must have been people voting Yes that ensured the No majority.

  141. James says:

    More of the usual one-sided, cherry picked arguments from Wings. For instance, “We know, of course, that SNP/Yes supporters are up to three times more likely to be the victims of abuse than their Unionist counterparts. We know also that the latter are far more inclined to indulge in physical violence and intimidation.”

    If you click on the link to their own study, it does suggest that almost twice as many (not three times) as many Yes voters have experienced online abuse – which is appalling and to be condemned, but then it also indicates that there is a higher propensity for verbal and physical abuse to be received by No voters. Not the opposite, as Wings assert shortly afterwards.

    The commentary on the Named Person act is accurate inasmuch as it only evaluates those parts of the argument that suit Wings stance, and whilst acknowledging that the Unionist case against it is thin, the reason that there are concerns is that many (including professor Tomkins I assume) feel that it gives the state the right to place itself above the parents in a family. That may not be the intention, but as always Wings deliberately walks past the idea that a child’s ‘safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible’ development are considered by many to be the preserve of parents and not that of the state. Not to mention the dissonance raised by Wings following point that GIRFEC only makes someone directly responsible and accountable for duties which already existed within the health, care and social work systems. How can it be both? Best not ask.

    Then comes the real rubbish – the assertion that waiting times have dropped. As usual Wings have chosen a study that suits their cause. The fact is that the waiting times for treatment are higher than they were a year ago – Choosing one measure and trying to present it as the entire picture is a well-worn political tactic that Wings just loves to point out when anyone critical of the SNP puts it to

    So it is also the case with their assertion that the “The SNP’s famous ban on tuition fees means that a Scottish teenager from a poor background is now half as likely to go to university as an English one. And the gap is widening” has been based on seriously distorted facts. No it has not. Despite a misleading graph, the underlying evidence is strong and can be found here:, and here:

    As Mr Campbell has pointed out on many occasions, the facts are generally online and easy to find (good thing too).

    There is no doubt that tabloid newspapers and politicians try and spin their narratives out of distortions and obfuscation and indeed Wings provides a small service in attacking them with verifiable facts, but it only does so in the narrow scope of trying to defend the SNP. If they actually spent some time subjecting the Scottish Government’s politicians to the same scrutiny then they may become the Journalists that they like to claim to be.

  142. That was my second mistake in that I have made in the last three days, reading Will Podmore’s, post of pish, another mistake I will not make again.

  143. Proud Cybernat says:

    @Will Troll

    “Yet the ‘Rev’ claims that “it was people voting Labour that ensured the Tory majority”!

    I can’t help with your utter stupidity but I can, hopefully, help with your ignorance. In your point (above), Rev Stu is refering to a multi-party, multi-choice vote whereby people in (if I remember correctly) seven constituencies south of the border voted Labour in (what were) Lib Dem seats that allowed the Tories through the middle, thereby resulting in a Tory majority in WM. Had the Lib Dems held those seats then the Tories would not have got an overall majority.

    “By the same logic it must have been people voting Yes that ensured the No majority.”

    More idiocy. IndyRef#1 was a BINARY vote, you clown! As such what you describe (above) is completely and utterly impossible. But you know that, don’t you–but you just can’t help yourself from showing everyone your complete twattery.

  144. Angra Mainyu says:

    Thepnr says: Who exactly is “Ruling out a referendum for 10 years”?

    Sturgeon has more or less declared that a second referendum will not be in the manifesto for the 2016 elections. That means, in effect, that a second referendum is unlikely for at least about 10 years, assuming it’s in the next manifesto in 5 years time.

    yesindyref2, I repeat, twisting the facts is never likely to be a solution.

    There’s nothing great about your analysis, unless you are deluded.

    If you want to put a positive spin on our current situation, all you need to do is give emphasis to the staggering levels of propaganda and bias the electorate was subject to in the run up to the referendum. That’s something the SNP leadership is not willing to do.

  145. Grouse Beater says:

    Legal Weasal: I was lectured and tutored by him in Constitutional Law (2011-12)

    Your defence of your tutor is admirable, but no one will be convinced by someone who is so shoddy with truth in one public pursuit, and apparently scrupulously clinical about truth in his lectures. It’s a personal discipline that should apply naturally to both activities, or else you are presenting people with a split personality.

  146. Proud Cybernat says:

    Angra Mainyu

    “Sturgeon has more or less declared that a second referendum will not be in the manifesto for the 2016 elections.”

    Nonsense. Sturgeon has said that if there is a consistent majority of people in Scotland in support of independence, then it is not for the SNP or any other political party to thwart such aspirations. She is saying if there is a consistent majority of the Scottish electorate demanding Indy then there will be a referendum on the issue. Conversely, if here is no such consistent majority then the question will not bne posed. In short–it is up to the people what WE want and when WE want it.

    It is otherwsie known as ‘democracy’.

  147. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    And, Angra Mainyu,

    As you typed that which Proud Cybernat quoted above, could you, perchance, provide us with a link that supports your premise that,

    “Sturgeon has more or less declared that a second referendum will not be in the manifesto for the 2016 elections”
    BTW: most of us on the YES side of last year’s referendum vote refer to the First Minister as “Nicola”. Your use of her surname to identify her, rather gies the guff awa’, as ti whaur yir cummin’ fae.

  148. Nuggets O'Pish says:

    The Professor of Pish is not related to me.


  149. JLT says:

    If this country ever does become politically independent from the rest of the UK, then oh by God, are the people of the South East of England going to be put through the ringer.

    Probably howls of joy at first as they wave goodbye to the perceived racist-poverty-stricken-one-party-state and the EU loving-bammers north of the border.

    And then to the howls of rage and bitterness when it finally …finally dawns of them, that all they were told was absolute and complete bunkum. That those lucky folk north of the border were actually not only enlightened, but did have some brilliant ideas when it came to social democracy.

    It may not plain sailing when we do go it alone …but I think our problems will be far less to worry about than worrying about nukes, subs, the Middle East, the Falklands, Russia …and wondering how it is all going to be paid for once ‘Northern Britain’ is lost?

    In fact …losing Northern Britain might be the best thing to ever happen to Southern Britain! It just might make the people there re-focus on what really and truly matters!

  150. Angra Mainyu says:

    Proud Cybernat, it is my assumption that a referendum on independence would need to be proposed in the SNP manifesto. Legislation of that importance couldn’t just be pulled out of the hat; if they tried that they would be accused of hoodwinking, conning, misleading, etc.

    Sturgeon is saying there are two mechanisms that might potentially lead to another referendum: 1) a measurable change in the collective mood of the country, and 2) that it could be triggered by certain events such as the EU vote going the ‘wrong’ way.

    The SNP have been fairly consistent about those 2 mechanisms since the referendum but, crucially, up until yesterday they were hinting that (or certainly not ruling out) the possibility of proposing another referendum in the manifesto for 2016.

    I’d say yesterday the possibility of it being proposed in the 2016 manifesto was straightforwardly ruled out. The emphasis was on trying to convince no-voters to change their minds.

    There’s a widespread assumption on here and elsewhere that the mood of the country or demographics will change favourably in 5 to 10 years. My guess is that assumption is at the heart of Sturgeon’s grand strategy. If so, then that strategy is irresponsible in my opinion.

    This surge of support for independence and the SNP isn’t likely to last forever — nobody can take it for granted. It’s here now, that’s all we know for sure. If we are willing to speculate about the demographics and mood of no-voters in 5 to 10 years, we might also consider the possibility of developments on the Yes side too.

    Playing the long game in itself is likely to impact negatively on supporters for independence and many are likely to fall away. Without the momentum and enthusiasm that the groundswell brings along with it, I dread to think what the complexion of the country will be like in 5 to 10 years. And that’s why I think Sturgeon is acting irresponsibly.

  151. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Angra Mainyu.

    What do see as the situation arising, if an SNP majority government in Holyrood next year, put forward the motion that ‘The Act?/Treaty Of Union’ be repealed?

  152. Angra Mainyu says:

    Brian, are you on drugs?

    How could any parliament repeal legislation or policy that it did not create in the first place and has no jurisdiction over?

  153. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Zoro Troll

    “Proud Cybernat, it is my assumption that a referendum on independence would need to be proposed in the SNP manifesto.”

    Alas, assumptions are of little relevance here. All the SNP need put in each and every election manifesto is a satement, for example:

    “Should internal and external opinion polls consistently show a majority of the people of Scotland desire independence, then an SNP will not thwart that desire and will bring ofrward an independence referendum in those circumstances.”

    Everyone will then know the SNP’s position i.e. that it will hold an indy referendum only when there consistently exists a majority showing such a demand in opinion polls.

    It couldn’t be clearer and it’s no’ rocket science. You’re looking for problems where there aren’t any. I do wonder why?

  154. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “More of the usual one-sided, cherry picked arguments from Wings.”

    Blah blah. Out of EIGHTEEN identified misleading or directly false claims in Prof. Tomkins’s piece, you’ve raised issues with FOUR of them. So presumably the other fourteen are fair criticisms. But because we’re fair-minded, let’s look at your four in turn.

    (1) I said up to three times”. One of the surveys linked found 21% of Yes voters subjected to abuse as opposed to 8% of No voters. That’s a little short of three times as many, but if we’re rounding to whole numbers it’s closer to three than two. I also linked to a litany of actually documented cases of violence, mainly involving prosecutions. Feel free to counter that with an equivalent list of Yes supporters being charged with violent acts. Take as long as you like.

    (2) You haven’t actually identified anything inaccurate here, just made the same groundless whines that all the opponents of GIRFEC do. The simple fact is that it does NOT provide for any new interventions by the state. it simply makes an identified person responsible for the ones that exist now. That’s why the Court Of Session gave the complaint short shrift.

    (3) You’ve linked to a “rate this document” page, not an actual document. Tracing back results in a page with over 100 separate files containing data and tables relating to waiting times. If you think I’m wading through all of those in order to make your argument for you, bad luck. Do your own research. But the “waiting times” Unionists have been exclusively banging on about for weeks are the A&E ones. If you can show me that Prof. Tomkins meant something else I’ll buy you a hat.

    (4) I fail to see the relevance of either of those documents to the point you appear to be trying to make. What does a claim about the value of student debts dating back to Labour’s introduction of fees have to do with access to higher education for the poor?

    Weak effort. 2/10 for trying.

  155. yesindyref2 says:

    @Angra Mainyu “yesindyref2, I repeat, twisting the facts is never likely to be a solution. “

    Good, you’re past the denial stage, next steps are to correct your mistakes and stop twisting the facts.

    But you’re making good progress.

  156. wull says:

    I think we should not dismiss too easily what ‘Legal Weasel’ (LW) is saying about Tomkins. If we regard Tomkins as an ‘enemy’, in the sense of being an ‘enemy of the cause’ – and probably LW does the same, though I can’t speak for him – we should at least do him the honour of trying to ‘know’ him. You have to ‘know’ your enemy if you want to defeat him.

    In that regard, LW is being very helpful. He is speaking from personal experience of the man, which I suspect most of us (myself included) entirely lack. On the other hand, some of us may have read some of the academic articles or books that Tomkins has published, or even just extracts from them.

    I did a little bit of ‘browsing’ of that kind towards the end of last year, when I saw he had been appointed to the Smith Commission (by the Conservatives). I found much with which I disagree in his arguments, and both his attitude towards Scotland and his interpretation of the Union irked me profoundly, but I had to admit that he is no slouch, and no idiot.

    Indeed, judging by his academic work, here was a potentially formidable (and dangerous) opponent. Which makes his ridiculous rant in the Spectator all the more surprising.

    So we have to ask the question: What has happened to him? Or: Is it really the same man? Is he still the same person?

    Presuming he is, let’s put it another way: What is the link between the razor-sharp logical precision of his academic work (for such it is, despite being based on false premises about the Union) and the misinformed bile he pours out in a rabbid article that is only fit for a tabloid and the old Spectator would undoubtedly have refused?

    How can an intelligent and even a relatively erudite man sink to such low absurdity, and write such drivel? The answer might be: by becoming a politician.

    That is, by ‘migrating’ away from the rarefied surroundings of academia, where he is (probably) most at home, in order to (try to) enter into the field of the professional politician, where he is (probably) an alien.

    Alien or not, politics is a field he thinks he knows – he read plenty of books and articles about it – but one in which he turns out to be a total idiot. His Spectator article shows him so completely out of his depth in this new environment that the only thing he can think to do is imitate its worst and lowest practitioners. To succeed in his bright new field he thinks he has to throw logic, objectivity and all semblance of academic integrity out the window … and onto the dung-heap of his own invention that he is busily excreting and spraying around. He thinks that by doing so he is capturing the essence of the difference between being a (successful) academic and being a (successful) politician.

    That is one explanation. Another – more plausible – is to posit a direct link between Prof Tomkins’ academic work and his Spectator article. The key lies in this plain fact: he is NOT a Scottish Unionist; he IS an English Nationalist. Think about it. The erudite books on constitutional law which he has published with respectable academic publishers and the bovver-boy attack-dog lies he recently published in the Spectator are all of a piece. They are two sides of the one coin.

    Simply that: they belong absolutely together. On one side of the coin, a highly articulate, super-sophisticated veneer of what seems to be polished argument and rhetorical perfection. On the other side, the reality that this mask hides: mad-dog, power-crazy, hate-inspiring, reason-despising anti-Scottish abuse and aggression. This thing is fundamentally imperial, and it is as old as the hills. Or, at least, as old as the 13th and 14th Centuries. Prof. Tomkins and his diatribes have a long pedigree.

    At that time, Scotland resisted. And how well she did it. Insipid forms of contemporary Scottish nationalism would do well not to forget it. Indeed, to dig into it, for the real story is far more profound, and extraordinary, than the myth that surrounds it.

    Scotland’s shame began at the end of the 17th Century, when she started to develop imperial ambitions of her own. Then, still worse, during the 18th, she became a willing partner – a collaborator – in England’s.

    What should have been the anti-imperial nation par excellence became, shamefully, the most acquiescent accomplice in the English-imperial enterprise. Instead of being the people who had repulsed the juggernaut, we became the people who joined it.

    This is the legacy which the independence movement seeks to overcome.

    England is not the ultimate enemy, but that deep flaw within ourselves, inherited from our own pro-imperial history. Think of those shameful attitudes, especially towards other people, that we once internalised – without admitting it, of course. Insofar as the residue is still there, we need to get rid of it. We also learned to despise ourselves. Not least by the way we collectively profited from our collaboration in an enterprise that wasn’t ours, and never should have been, yet an enterprise which we willingly embraced.

    This was the kiss of death that almost killed Scotland (even as it seemed to give her life). Almost a final fatal blow, from which there would be no possibility of recovery … but not quite.

    The revival of Scotland which is now under way means instead the final triumph over an imperialism that is old, decrepit, withered, yet still fighting for its life at Westminster, and madly, malignantly destructive.

    Scotland has a moral duty to revive herself at this juncture in her history to defeat this old monster (even if it also means confronting and admitting the shameful aspects of her own past, and no longer hiding and running away from them). This is her present moral duty. And not just for her own sake, but for that of her oldest neighbour, with whom she is inevitably (geographically) joined at the hip, while yet remaining radically distinct and different from her.

    If Unionism in Scotland has to rely on the likes of an old-fashioned English Nationalist like Prof. Tomkins, it is actually a good sign for us, for it means that the Unionism that was once genuinely Scottish has already died the death. It no longer has any Scots to defend it, at least publicly, so the field is left open to the likes of Tomkins. However irritating he might be, this is fine. Tomkins is not the kind of man who is going to convince genuine Scots, or those who genuinely know and love Scotland, of anything.

    Few of those many educated Scots who voted ‘No’ did so because they were convinced Unionists; their motives were purely pragmatic. Making abstraction of entities like the Orange Order (which is another story) the only ideologically motivated and fully convinced Unionists living in today’s Scotland are English Nationalists.

    The kind of English Nationalists, moreover, who consciously or unconsciously seek the destruction of Scotland. And therefore, ironically, the destruction of the very Union they claim to support. The one that was established in 1707 and that gradually won genuine support among large swathes of Scottish society, but which is now fast disappearing.

    This new English Nationalism which masquerades as Unionism, though it is no such thing, is a throwback to Edward I. It makes abstraction of the more recent Unionist centuries. If King Ed was the man who viscerally aimed at the total destruction and absorption of Scotland, the new English Nationalists are his successors (though unlikely to be half the man he was).

    This new English Nationalism utterly fails to understand a more mature Unionism, which it rejects and replaces. It is emphatically not a continuation of the pragmatic (English) Unionism of the 18th and 19th Centuries, when sensible English people gradually found themselves able to accommodate Scotland (within certain limits, of course). These pragmatic English Nationalists let common sense prevail. So they abandoned any idea of extinguishing Scotland, since that would serve no useful purpose … and maybe even came to respect her. Sometimes grudgingly, but sometimes genuinely, and even wholeheartedly …

    That new attitude, in its own turn, helped to produce a pro-British yet distinctively Scottish kind of Unionism in Scotland. This flourished for a long time, but it is now dying on its feet. Prof. Tomkins and his ilk seem to be intent on killing it off completely, not least by means of their infantile anti-Scottish tantrums.

    I wonder if Tomkins has enough knowledge of Scotland to realise that even someone like Ruth Davidson is not as convinced a Unionist as she pretends to be. Davidson would quickly accept an independent Scotland, and adapt to it: independence (many will say alas!) would not be the end of her political career … It might even see that career flourish. Freed to become genuinely Scottish Conservatives once again (as maybe they once were), and from the shackles of Cameron and his ilk, she and her party might just undergo a surprise transformation that would see them miraculously revive in an independent Scotland.

    Scotland’s current challenge is to save England from herself. From her own self-destruction, which is what will occur if she does not free herself from her own past. England’s greatest present need is to liberate herself from what was once her most glorious but is now her most dangerous illusion.

    Scotland breaking up the UK illusion in which the Imperial Dream became enshrined is the only hope for England. It is an urgent task. Henry VIII envisaged some kind of Union with Scotland, on the assumption that the smaller part would always follow the greater. The truth, especially today, is the opposite. Where Scotland leads, England will follow. The break-up of the Union will bring England, kicking and screaming, into the reality of the modern world.

    A world in which she will no longer be able to dress herself up in the vestiges of her long-lost Imperial grandeur. Once she gets used to breathing the new air in the new atmosphere into which she has been re-born, England, I am sure, will once again flourish. She is too great a nation not to. But in a completely new and transformed way.

    Indeed, in a way that is genuinely good for others, as well as for herself. It is up to Scotland to make this happen. Our independence will be the mid-wife that brings a new, and better England into a world that still needs to see the best of her. And the best of us. C’mon Scotland, just do it – for everyone’s sake.

    Maybe Prof. Tomkins, the erstwhile Professor turned numpty politician, is the very man to help us out, making it all go faster. With friends like him, Unionism does not need enemies. The England he represents is dying too. Time for us to look forward. To the Scotland-to-be – yes, of course. But also to that new England – the England-to-be – that will eventually arise from burnt-out ashes of its Imperial past.

    Hasten the day …

  157. Angra Mainyu says:

    Proud Cybernat, the example you gave isn’t a clear policy commitment, is too vague, and thus wouldn’t be acceptable.

    To take the country into a referendum you need to make it clear to the electorate that should they invest power in you then you will endeavour to do such and such. Now it is acceptable to put conditionals in there similar to those you outlined but they’d be required to be unambiguous and grounded in terms that were clear and measurable in terms of the triggers.

    The problem the SNP has is that if it does spell out those conditionals and triggers, it will be slaughtered in the media and potentially lose votes from people who don’t fancy another referendum. If it doesn’t clearly spell them out then it will arguably have no mandate to press for a referendum and the likelihood is that Westminster would refuse to sanction one (they’d probably do that anyway on the grounds that we just had one).

    You talk about creating problems were there are none. The SNP are doing that by fudging the issue. Why not simply say we intend to legislate for another referendum without any caveats or conditionals? What’s the worst that could happen? The big nightmare scenario for us all is that people lose interest and the surge dies; we are walking right into that without a clear commitment to a second referendum,

  158. Angra Mainyu says:

    Wull, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading what you posted.

    On the question of how this seemingly intelligent being suddenly appears so dumb, the answer is obvious: he is arguing a dumb case. There simply are no intelligent reasons or arguments for the Union.

    Most arguments for the Union actually rest on sentiment rather than reason. Their most weighty reasoned argument, in my opinion, revolves around the idea that independence brings with it uncertainty and risk. For many/most people in Scotland, though, life is far from risk and uncertainty free at the moment; and arguments for the status quo are as always inherently boring…

  159. r.esquierdo says:

    He speaks from his waste expulsion pipe

  160. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Wull
    Stonking post, Wull. Makes a lot of sense.

    @ Zoro Troll

    “… If it [SNP] doesn’t clearly spell them out then it will arguably have no mandate to press for a referendum …”

    If the majority of the people of Scotland support independence (tested by consistent opinion polls showing such) then the SNP will have its mandate to hold another indy ref. Period.

  161. Wired of Hermiston says:

    Nicely done. What an utter weapon.

  162. ClanDonald says:

    Excellent comment, Wull, it deserves to be somewhere better than the tail end of a days old thread. Get yourself a blog!

  163. brewsed says:

    I see that the text has been regurgitated on:

    So I have posted’s excellent rebuttals.

  164. Will Podmore says:

    Proud Cybernat states correctly that the referendum was ‘a BINARY vote’.
    But a British general election is too – its result is either a Tory win or a Labour win. So a vote that is not for Labour helps the Tories to win, and a vote that is not for the Tories helps Labour to win. And in Scotland the votes that went to the SNP took seats away from Labour thus helping to defeat Labour, so helped the Tories to win their overall majority.

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