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The stench of rotten stables

Posted on August 07, 2020 by

It seems to be becoming apparent to the SNP’s aggressive woke wing that they badly overreached themselves with last week’s trainwreck of an NEC meeting. The backlash from ordinary members has clearly been severe, with senior party figures lining up to distance themselves from the decisions made, and one of the two contentious moves (the effective deselection of James Dornan) has already been reversed, although the one regarding Joanna Cherry still stands at the time of writing.

Yes-supporter social media was aflame last night as Stirling MP Alyn “Daddy Bear” Smith pulled an unexpected move in which he basically threw most of the Twitler Youth members of the NEC under the bus in an attempt to save himself.

To save you straining your eyes on that tiny text, key highlights follow below.

“The NEC is too big, unwieldy, unfocussed and, as recent events have proven, politically unsound. Since last week’s unedifying meeting I have seen a grumbling bemusement amongst the membership turn in parts to anger, not without justification, at the conduct of the NEC as a whole and some individuals specifically.

For the best of reasons, over the last few years we have allowed the NEC to expand, and while each change has been discussed and approved with good intentions (all of which I supported), I think we need to learn lessons of recent experience. Expanding the NEC to 42 people is an experiment which has failed.

The Equalities ‘brief’ has expanded to by my count almost a dozen people representing one strand or another of their interpretation of the Equalities agenda. This is of course important, as a gay man equalities are close to my heart, but not as close as independence. 

I am not alone in thinking that too much of the Party’s oxygen has been taken up by discussion of peripheral issues like GRA reform, with a small but vocal number of NEC members focussing on these peripheral issues, however worthy, to the exclusion of all else. 

This imbalance has not served that debate, the Party, or the Cause well and has led to pushback and resentment from the membership.”

To solve the problem of “political unsoundness” Smith proposed that more than half of the NEC be removed, cutting it from 42 to just 18 members. Booted out to advisory committees in such a restructuring would be most of the leading lights of the woke division, eg women’s convener Rhiannon Spear, equalities convener Fiona Robertson, students convener Julia Stachurska, BAME convener Graham Campbell, disabled members’ convener Morag Fulton, Out For Independence rep Josh “I use female toilets all the time” Mennie and Young Scots for Independence rep Cailyn McMahon.

Two other extremely woke and extremely loyal leadership allies, Julie Hepburn (a former NEC member who holds no public office but ran to be the SNP’s Depute Leader in 2018 and previously worked for Pete Wishart) and Alex Kerr (a current NEC member and unsuccessful 2019 MEP candidate said to be close to the First Minister), also have an article in today’s National calling for NEC reform.

(All of this also represents a rather embarrassing ditching of Glasgow councillor Mhairi Hunter, the First Minister’s election agent, who only last Sunday was despatched to the pages of the same paper to obediently defend the NEC’s conduct and has now, like Pete Wishart, somewhat been left dangling in the breeze.)

On the face of it, the reforms suggested by Smith, Hepburn and Kerr are unarguably positive ones. In addition to streamlining the NEC and reducing the disproportionate representation of fringe groups, Hepburn and Kerr have proposed that the NEC itself be elected by the full membership, rather than only by delegates at conference as now.

But a note of caution should be sounded.

Due to its great electoral success in recent years, the SNP now has a “payroll vote” – that is to say, MPs, MSPs, councillors, their staff and general party staff – numbered in the hundreds, perhaps as high as 1000. (MPs, MSPs and councillors alone total 541  – 47, 63 and 431 respectively.)

All of the payroll vote is expected (and whipped) to vote for whatever the official party line is, and a voting bloc of that size at conference would on most occasions be enough to swing whatever policies the leadership wanted.

(Pictured below is Nicola Sturgeon’s keynote speech to the party’s last full conference, in October 2019. Judge for yourself roughly how many are present for the gathering’s main event, never mind for a dry procedural debate.)

Nevertheless, any prospect that the SNP’s governing body might be rebalanced in favour of people who actually prioritise independence is one to be welcomed. The party appears to have had a real shock to the system in recent days, and a lot of people are scrabbling for the last helicopter out of Saigon.

Alyn Smith, the woke faction’s choice for next leader and someone who formerly had a very warm relationship with this site before he decided to spend his time attacking ordinary Yes campaigners, certainly isn’t happy, as another email from him this week (leaked to us by a concerned party member and reader) reveals:

“You may have seen that a blog called Wings over Scotland has tried to smear me personally and is attempting to create an entirely misleading impression of the Party nationwide and locally that there is a culture of bullying. This is utterly false, but I am afraid it is gaining traction in some quarters and I write to stop it now.

This blog has previous form on attacking me and other members of the Party. It recommended in the December election that I was not worth support, yet, we took this seat from the Tories with 51% of the vote.

I am afraid it is a fact of life of modern politics that politicians are targets for abuse, and I get more than most. This is entirely because we are winning, and I am in a senior position within the Party and the Cause of Independence. I also do not suffer fools gladly and am direct in my dealings.

The latest Wings over Scotland article on Stirling is a remarkably fact free attack on Stirling City Branch office bearers, and attempts to insinuate they somehow had anything to do with the recent NEC decisions (which I emailed on last night). This is a daft conspiracy theory and does not bear scrutiny.

A particularly unpleasant smear is to try to link me to posts made on social media by other people, particularly my ex partner. It seems remarkable to have to explain that I am not responsible for anyone else’s twitter output, but I am not. I speak for myself, and I condemn all abuse, online or otherwise, from anyone. The recent blogpost on Stirling also attempts to smear me by association with tweets my ex partner sent in 2012. This is as absurd as it is unpleasant.”

We shan’t dwell on the misleading and untruthful claims in that email here. It is in fact solely because of the reporting of sites like Wings, rather than the “shush for indy” crowd, that this apparently serious problem within the party has been brought out into the open to be addressed at all. One might think that a little gratitude was in order.

But the way things stand in the current SNP, the fact of Smith’s unhappiness alone may be the most optimistic sign there’s been for quite some time.

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  1. 07 08 20 14:57

    The stench of rotten stables | speymouth

  2. 19 10 20 16:02

    Waiting For The Men –

  3. 11 11 20 15:10

    To the faraway towns –

216 to “The stench of rotten stables”

  1. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Cue much gnashing of beards in the Stirling area…

  2. Doug says:

    Well fingers crossed the SNP will get their act together and remember it’s voting priorities.

    Independence First
    Independence Second

    Everything else after that.

  3. Muscleguy says:

    None of this impacts the Sturgeon/Murrell axis which is the main impediment as Robin McAlpine outlines here:

    This is the issue for unicameral legislatures everwhere. It’s long been a danger in NZ for eg. The HoS is a figurehead Governor General nominated by the govt to the Palace. After Goff Whitlam’s intervention to remove an elected Labor Govt in Australia that pussy cat will not be allowed to roar again.

    I’m going to propose both that we elect a Senate (we could base it on the List Regions) and a Republic with an elected President on the irish constitutional model. So not all powerful as in the US or France but not impotent when things go awry either.

    Either one or both would have raised the alarm over much of the stuff Robin details.

    We can argue over whether Senators can occupy ministerial office as with the Lords at WM, or not. We will need a proper constitution to govern what happens when the Senate refuses to pass a govt bill or who steps in if the President dies unexpectedly. That sort of thing but there are enough examples around the world we can crib from.

    I don’t suggest the Senate should be large, far from it, or expensive. We don’t have to feather bed them.

    We can argue that being in the EU could fulfill much of this if we join enough of the programs (and rejoin the Council of Europe). But it is clear our democracy is too easily captured by small cabals. This should indeed worry us.

  4. Iain Lawson says:

    What we are witnessing is triangulation where various parties throw out suggestions which appear to move in the direction of the complainers. Be wary. Nowhere does Alyn Smith call for the reversal of the NEC decision that barred Joanna Cherry. His suggested “solution” removes more regional representatives than his WOKE allies. He hopes you don’t notice this or can’t count.

  5. Corrado Mella says:

    The SNP is paying the entryism of the 2014 and subsequent years.
    Let’s hope the example we see from the Labour rotting carcass left over by its internecine war is resonating in the heads of the high echelons.
    The few opportunists with personal agendas not directly supporting the path to independence must be weeded out to allow the fruits of the many to grow and mature.

  6. kapelmeister says:

    Giving Sturgeon more time to get things right is just giving Sturgeon more time to make things worse.

  7. Bob Mack says:

    I stated we had the ability to force change by binning your membership and telling them why. I was right.

    This is no time to let them off the hook.They must change direction sooner rather than later.

    Reclaim our party. They have been using our money to facilitate these characters and they wil! Hope the noise does down from us to allow them to carry on as before.

    Keep the pressure up.

    Lzdtly,would Smith have taken these actions if not for the scathing article in Wings? You bet he wouldnt

  8. P says:

    Thanks Stu

  9. Margaret Lindsay says:

    Stated he has no responsibility for other people’s comments on social media, but was fairly quick in his denouncing of ordinary members/voters for voicing concerns ‘re GRA reform and self id. And unless I’m becoming senile, I remember him endorsing his “ex” partner’s bid for election not so long ago. Smith, aka daddy bear is full of shite.

  10. Confused says:

    Alyn Smith, covered in shit says : “oh! look at all the muck in here … !” (raises eyebrow)

  11. David Wardrope says:

    “It seems remarkable to have to explain that I am not responsible for anyone else’s twitter output, but I am not.”

    Perhaps Alyn could explain this to his friends/colleagues who have a habit of condemning whole swathes of people on the basis of individual idiotic tweets.

    Also, the use of ‘attack/attacked’ instead of ‘criticise/criticised’ drives me bonkers.

  12. Alice Timmons says:

    And no matter what’s done to try to clip Wings, this shows that this blog remains a hugely effective means of keeping the politicians honest. Or at least exposing their dishonesty to the light of day. Keep on keeping on.

  13. jfngw says:

    I’ve raised my eyebrow. I beg him to keep a light on for independence supporters who read wings.

  14. susan says:

    Another great article Stu, as Bob Mack says, your journalism is part of the reason the wokies are squealing.

  15. susan says:

    Alyn is just sick his ‘under the radar’ stealth approach to policy forcing appears to have been rumbled. Unsatisfactory character.

  16. Kenny says:

    “I also do not suffer fools gladly and am direct in my dealings.”

    I find that this expression usually can be interpreted as:

    fools = those who do not agree with ME

    Like an above poster, I also cannot understand how a unicameral parliament is allowed to make policy.

    Reserved? Goes through two houses
    Devolved? Goes through one house

    Either there is no need for two houses in resolved issues, or…

    How can something as fundamental as hate laws be left to just one chamber?

    Turnout in 2016 for Holyrood was 55.8% for the constituency vote and 55.9% for the list vote.

    Also, how can something like law or education (which was left in national hands in 1707) be governed by a devolved assembly, which is not the same as the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland?

    There are tons of constitutional issues which simply do not hold water.

    Finally, do you remember the way Michelle Thompson (an excellent speaker who was the main contributor to me changing to Yes, by the way) was thrown under the bus by Nicola Sturgeon (and there are other similar examples)… yet the most appalling things have been publicly said by the SNP wokerati, the abuse sent to Cherry… and complete silence (silence gives consent)?

  17. GeeH says:

    Can’t see them being able to whip the staffers. First of all, there’s no process to do this. Secondly, loads of MSP and MP staffers aren’t even members of the SNP.

  18. Vivian O'Blivion says:

    The Smith household must be an irony free zone. To complain about “unfair” accusations of bullying while using the wonderfully Stalinesque phrase “politically UNSOUND” events.

  19. SophiaPangloss says:

    ‘The stench of rotten stables’ being of course a reference to the task Hercules was given to clean out King Augeas’ stables, somewhere in Ancient Greece, where he housed 3000 divinely healthy cows, producing as ye may imagine an inordinate amount of dung, and which hadn’t been cleaned out in 30 years…

    Because 30 years ago was 1990, the year Salmond was first elected SNP leader, and they haven’t had a properly-contested heart’n’soul leadership election since.

    Hercules managed to clean out the Augean Stables by diverting two rivers, interestingly they were called the Equalitas and the Regionas… roughly translated from the old Greek…

    I don’t think Alyn Smith is Hercules, he won’t stand a chance against the Stymphalian Birds…

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “‘The stench of rotten stables’ being of course a reference to the task Hercules was given to clean out King Augeas’ stables…”

    I do love an alert reader 🙂

  21. Confused says:

    – in our augean stables, the stallions identify as mares

  22. Astonished says:

    Best news in ages. I hope humza sees it and drops HIS idiotic bill. If I was woke I would be raging at Daddy Bear.

    Although it does give the woke an idea of what happened to grousebeater et al under their watch.

    We are not through the woods but I can see some light .

    Well done to all who wrote to their MPs and MSPs. And to those who left – please come back to get rid of the woke forever.

  23. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Aye they are on the run @Bob Mack says at 1:28 pm

    But now is not the time to sit back and congratulate ourselves on this apparent reversal.

    All Indy Supporters (not just SNP Members) must continue to exert pressure, contact SNP Councillors, MSPs, MPs challenging GRA, Hate Crime Bill, Wokeism, The Cherrymandering decision.

    Make it clear no vote for SNP on the Region and Indy List will get your vote.

    The current SNP Leadership must really fear effective opposition and strong voices asking why they won’t utilise the multiple mandates given to them by the electorate (not to mention the apparent misuse of power/corruption by COPFS)!

    They fear the loss of list MSPs as much as the loss of Membership Money (of those who’ve resigned in protest) which pays 6 Figures to Mr Murrel who as CEO really has to go for presiding over this farce (and whose position I suspect this rearguard action is designed to protect).

    I also think @Iain Lawson is correct with his comments at 1:24 pm, in thinking that Wokoharam will try to show this as a climb down and rig something else in their favour.

  24. jfngw says:

    Oh good biblical references! Which party was recently led by Judas, Methuselah and Salome (bring me the balls of John the trans-sexual).

  25. Douglas says:

    This email is sleekit
    It’s crafted to look like a climb down or throwing the woke under the bus but as you point out strengthens their grip on the party
    I’m delighted by Chris McEleny’s blog post
    Only something as radical as him taking over as interim National Secretary with a plan to clear out the rot will satisfy the grass roots.

  26. Dan Watt says:

    See, voting with your wallet can work. The sad, tragic thing is though, that were nobody to cut their membership cards up and post that online, then the SNP would keep on rolling along in the righteous bus to oblivion. Well done all.

  27. jfngw says:

    Oops I was thinking about Samson, there you go.

  28. Alec Lomax says:

    Meanwhile in the real world we have a pandemic.

  29. Janelochleven says:

    We will see… Maybe wrong …I don’t think Alyn Smith condemned all the abuse Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine received. That shows the measure of the man. I certainly wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. They think we will forget about the Joanna Cherry stitch up. We won’t. Alyn Smith has a lot more to do to even begin to solve this mess.

  30. orri says:

    Take one way his proposal might seem reasonable. However the idea that there would be one or more bodies able to veto the NEC is suspicious.
    Stupid question but a quick search shows an attempt in 2018 to get rid of the SNP National Council. It’s still mentioned on their wiki page but that seems to be badly edited as there’s no clear description of what it consists of. The important thing here is that it’s the Council and not the NEC who were meant to be in charge of adopting policy between Conferences.
    I wonder if this proposed shrinking of the NEC might be part two of plan. First get rid of Council and expand the NEC to make up for it on the logical grounds that it’d be more efficient if they were merged.

    Section 10

    obviously the attempted coup in 2018 might have worked but I kind of doubt it.

    All this needing oversight bullshit might be seen in the light that as the NEC make up part of the Council then removing people from the NEC removes them from there too and makes a difference to the body that, between Conferences, decides whether any of the rules concocted by the NEC should actually be put in place.

    The whole episode is one of rule lawyers trying to pull a fast one. The NEC have the responsibility of approving candidates. They could do so and take the flack. They’ve decided instead to absolve themselves of responsibility in a ridiculous way. They weren’t asked to come up with a rule to outlaw dual mandates. They were ask to take into consideration the economic, a very tory concept against democracy, and political ramifications. Was Joanna Cherry the best candidate to face whoever the Tories put up? This is where the regional voices direct presence being turfed of the NEC would have an impact. In candidate selection in general as well as specifically. If the regional rep covering Edinburgh was to back one candidate over another due to area knowledge and feedback from those on the grounds then that might influence the decision.

    Also the logic is that all equality issues are the same, it’s the Stonewall philosophy which now has trans issues as the top priority over all others. Even worse considering there might be an overlap in some of the briefs if minority religions are more prevalent in some ethnicities.

  31. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Maybe there was a reason why Mr Smith was sent to Brussels.

    And what are all these references to Greek mythology? Surely what is needed is The Muckin’ o’ Nicola’s byre.

  32. susan says:

    And why does Alyn think it’s his job to deal with this mess? Who elected him fuhrer? Egotistical overreach much?

  33. susan says:

    Maybe someone can interrupt Nicola from her latest read and tell her her party is going to the dogs and she needs to step up to the plate. Or maybe she’s happy with things as they are.

  34. Bob Mack says:

    @Alex Lomax,

    Also in the real world we have a Tory government who have not stopped, and will not stop until they get what they want.

  35. Robert Graham says:

    one thing caught my eye in all the stuff posted

    Gender Neutral Toilets

    Well duck me does that mean a bleedn field somewhere

    i used to believe old pervs in dirty coats hanging around toilets was a thing of the past it looks like the band is getting together again .

    I really really hope my comment offends someone , frankly my dear i dont give a flying Duck , all this pish about egg shells and watching what and who you say it too , is a load of pish

  36. Dave Beveridge says:

    Clearly nothing says get your finger out like the cancellation of direct debits.

    BTW anyone boasting about using female toilets sounds like one for the watching.

  37. mogabee says:


    As for Smith, he would throw his granny under the bus to ensure the best seat. Cannot believe I ever thought he was honest and decent.

  38. Polly says:

    On first seeing that one last night I actually wondered whether it was faked, since it seemed too obviously a ditching of all and everyone he’s supported for so long before. Just shows how obnoxious he is, whether because of his personal agenda or what might seem increasingly likely another agenda entirely, either way he’s a horror and should be avoided at all costs by anyone with any integrity.

  39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “And why does Alyn think it’s his job to deal with this mess?”

    Well, he’s on the NEC, and any party member can propose changes.

  40. red sunset says:

    What I don’t know is whether Smith has to kowtow to the chief.

    He obviously has greater freedoms than ordinary members, or even than other MPs.

    How long is his chain ?

  41. Thomas Dunlop says:

    We are at a pivotal moment in the organisation called the SNP. is it going to sell out to vested interests or remain true to its democratic principles? We shall see.

    To be fair, it has happened to many organisations. Governmental, churches, companies, whatever…, that when they attain such strength they attract a certain type of power hungry folk (power in its own, some kind of sociopathy, in my books) or folk with keen interests (lobbyists, social groupings) who try to subvert them from their original goals and try to ride the horse. This all familiar to me, a scientist. It is the age old struggle to be objective over subjectivity. What I don’t understand, or someone point me if I am wrong, that there should be good practices to prevent this sort of stuff happening. I mean Science has the scientific method (reproducibility, falsifiability of hypothesis, peer review) to enforce objective examination of results and findings. Has anyone came up with this sort of stuff, and can it be applied to organisations, so that they don’t rot from within with careerism, small c conservatism, and lobbyist influence?

  42. dakk says:

    ‘BTW anyone boasting about using female toilets sounds like one for the watching.’

    To be fair ‘they’ also said’sooner we get to gender neutral toilets the better’.

    Many buildings already have them including Glasgow Uni Medical School and don’t seem to have any issues.

  43. Stu hutch says:

    The problem started and thereby should end with alyn has been broken and beyond repair.moving the peices does not make everything hunkydory.time to stand aside alyn your human sheild has is pretty galling to watch a man throw so many people under the bus to save his political skin.lets get Cris McElney in. bring OPEN and fair democracy back to the nec.lets drop gra and hate crime bill till after may election.bring the party back together and start fighting the real enemy.

  44. Bob Costello says:

    Yup,looks promising the rotting facade is falling

  45. Fraser Reid says:

    @Doug spot on!

  46. Astonished says:

    I see Chris McEleny has called for the resignation of the National Secretary. If Angus MacLeod doesn’t resign we really can’t criticize any of Boris’s henchmen.

    ‘It is with regret then that in order for the party to put this saga quickly behind us, the National Secretary must immediately resign for the good of the party and for the greater good of the Independence cause.’

    I agree wholeheartedly with Chris.

    MacLeod must go.

    I will be writing to my MSP (again) to say Angus MacLeod must go. And Humza has until next week to drop his daft proposed hate crime bill.

  47. Alasdair MacLean says:

    Hi just read an article by Business for Scotland by Gordon MacIntrye Kemp on Indy Plan A or B, this is the type of article I want to read Stuart can you please get back to what you do best, I’m sure the NEC will be sorted out and as a SNP member I am confident this will happen as he said she said type of chatter is tiring

  48. kapelmeister says:

    See that Josh-Aaron Mennie states on his twitter account that he has Tourettes.

    So female Wingers, if you’re in the ladies toilets and a bearded man walks in compulsively shouting the same word over and over, don’t worry, it’s only Josh Mennie on one of his Mennie visits.

  49. Seen that Chris McIlheny is weighing in.
    He thinks The General Secretary should go too.

  50. orri says:

    Another point is, how is this holding to account going to work in practice.

    His proposal is to give remits to the people who are being removed from the NEC and consequently their right to adopt or amend the rules and Standing Orders the NEC comes up with.

    So the 18 members on the regional committee only get a say on some issues. Those on the minorities on others.

    It looks a bit EVEL.

    Especially if the Woman’s Officer was ditched for one actually interested in promoting woman’s rights. Wheels in motion and a committee where she was put in the corner might sort that.

  51. MightyS says:

    Meanwhile Ms Cherry is still blocked from attaining an HR seat unless she stands down for the next GE.

    It must be noted that trying to change the NEC from the inside was attempted by some – who were immediately discredited and suspended…left in a state of permanent appeal and never to be allowed to participate again. That’s pretty much how cliques work.

    I’m glad the sudden drop in membership has woken up some in the SNP. Serves them bloody well right.

    Martin Keatings People vs S30 court case needs funds. It’s doing great so far, but let’s get it to the target and damn our political party that couldn’t be arsed.

  52. BrianW says:

    Nice distancing going on regarding his partner, sorry, Ex-Partner. So much so ‘Daddy Bear’ drills home the point twice.

    Jordan does know he’s single now?

    And thanks for the Greek mythology lesson SophiaPangloss, it gives the article a certain resonance.

  53. willie says:

    Iain Lawson on his blog ” Yours For Scotland ” has just published an email sent by NEC member to the Business Convener and copied to the National Secretary to complain about the NEC secret voting and where yes / no options were not available.

    I’ve copied it below and I leave it to readers to make their mind up about what her concerns illustrate.

    ” From: Dorothy Jessiman <mail@Redacted
    Sent: 03 August 2020 19:07
    To: ‘Business Convener’ <redacted
    Cc: ‘national.secretary <national.secretary
    Subject: Double Vetting – Vote taken NEC Meeting 30th July 2020

    Dear Kirsten ,

    Having thought over the matter very carefully I am writing to you to challenge the manner and form of the vote taken on this item. I think it will by now be clear that my warning of the impossibility in the circumstances of our being seen as impartial was more than justified. Given that many speakers claimed to be taking a decision of principle the need for a secret ballot it seems odd, and certainly would seem to imply that the members were well aware of the probable result of certain of the options and chose, shamefully, to hide their actions behind a secret ballot. More importantly I wish to challenge the use of the single transferable vote and in a form that left no option to abstain from expressing a “preference” on options some of which I found frankly abhorrent. I was therefore unable to prevent my preferences from contributing to a succession of increasingly unacceptable options including the most extreme. Others must have been similarly placed leaving the final result in dispute . I am not prepared to accept this or to be seen as a party to it. The only democratic action available to us is for the vote – open – to be retaken and voted on a straight yes/no basis for each option."

  54. Stuart MacKay says:

    The merest hint of the possibility of a minor scratch and a lot of people are rushing to declare victory in the War on Women and the War on Independence. I think judgement should be reserved until the baskets are starting to fill up with heads and not before.

  55. Republicofscotland says:

    So Daddy Bear Smith getting in there first, on reforming proposals of the NEC, a bit like Angus Robertson backtracking the other day as well. These people aren’t progressive, or concerned in the direction that the party’s going on independence, they’re merely reacting to the public outcry.

  56. Ian says:

    Crocodile tears. I’m waiting to see what the SNP say about the next GERS due in a couple of weeks. Also possibly an ‘alternative’ GERS is still on the cards. Or will it again be a case of leaving it to others to explain why the official GERS figures are deliberately manipulated to meet the desired outlook (and headlines) of unionists.

  57. Robert Louis says:

    Well, is the message finally getting through??? More importantly, is it actually getting through to Nicola Sturgeon?

    In the Bill Clinton 1992 US election campaign, the phrase ‘it’s the economy stupid’ was used by one of the strategists, and it became almost like a mantra – going on to become a somewhat famous slogan – a bit like Obama’s ‘Yes we can’. That of course was back in the days, when the USA didn’t elect racist, thick, sexist, homophobic, egotistical, corrupt, white-supremacist twisted Pr*cks as president. However, I digress.

    The point is, we need a strategist to sit Nicola Sturgeon down, and write on a board (as was reportedly done to Clinton) ‘It’s INDEPENDENCE, stupid’, to which should be added, ‘And it’s URGENT’.

    Let us hope the SNP get on with independence, instead of endless nonsense and procrastination about this, that and the other. Political strategists will tell you, that you are either attacking or defending, and NS has spent the last six years, defending, always on the back foot, waiting for Westminster, rather than setting the agenda and actually leading. Currently the SNP has more Mp’s, MSP’s and councillors than any other party in Scotland. In Westminster they are the third party, and by a very large margin, they dominate Scottish politics, yet it is like they are afraid to use that electoral mandate and democratic power, afraid to assert Scotland’s rights, too busy deferring to Westminster’s made-up ‘rules’ – rule which only apply to countries other than England.

    If England decided to leave the union, they would just do it. There would be no ‘consent’, no section 30. That is what is needed from the Scottish government. Do it, then force them to block it, force them to say ‘NO, Scots CANNOT vote on independence, because England says no. That pushes the political agenda forward by leaps and bounds. Indeed, I think that if that is what they did, Westminster would suddenly realise that by refusing they would be dealing themselves a losing hand. But, sadly, Nicola Sturgeon seems afraid to act.

    Political leadership in these current ridiculous times, is not for the faint-hearted, yet sadly, that is what NS seems to be. Maybe she still has time to prove us all wrong??

    The SNP as a party always like to talk of ‘standing up for Scotland’, but for the last six years, I have seen precious little evidence of it. If ever there was a time for the SNP to act in accordance with that phrase, and ACTUALLY stand up for Scotland, it is now. Not in May 2021, not in ‘sometime in 2022’, but now.

    The clock is ticking.

  58. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The merest hint of the possibility of a minor scratch and a lot of people are rushing to declare victory in the War on Women and the War on Independence.”

    The article sounds a very clear note of caution.

  59. Robert Louis says:

    Stuart Mackay at 319pm,

    Well put, ‘baskets filling up with heads’. Marvellous. Let us see, if the SNP WILL actually respond, and reject the ridiculous barring of JC from the Edinburgh central selection. I mean, honestly, Angus hasn’t a hope in hell of winning that seat now. The whole thing has been very badly managed.

  60. Josef Ó Luain says:

    What a brass-necked, smarm-bag of a man Smith truly is. That, I should add, has been my firmly-held opinion for a very long time. Success always attracts his type of self-seeking insincerity, in this case, the electoral success of the S.N.P..

  61. JayR says:

    This article by Robin McAlpine also highlights how much of an authoritarian mess Sturgeon is.

    “Cabinet Government
    I’m weary of writing about this – I’ve spoken to five cabinet members about this exact issue and not one of them has sought to pretend that government policy is made in cabinet. This is reflected in the fact that the first minister barely mentions it and the media never shows any interest in it.”

    It is I think finally possible to write in public what everyone has been saying in private; SNP HQ is utterly corrupt and has been for years.

    This is an entity in which the person in charge of the rules can receive a very serious complaint of sexual abuse, suppress it, be publicly exposed for this – and not only face no consequences but be there corrupting the party’s decision-making processes months later.

    Everyone, in my experience, has been saying that SNP HQ is an utter disgrace for five years. I talk at SNP branches a lot, and when I do I am the picture of diplomacy (you don’t go to someone else’s house and criticise the wallpaper). Three years ago, I was asked at one meeting why the SNP’s political campaigns are so incompetently organised.

    I gave a diplomatic non-answer. Asked again, I suggested there was a quality deficit in HQ. A respectable-looking older woman immediately got to her feet and shouted “Peter Murrell is a disgrace!”. The room burst into loud and unanimous applause and shouts.

    I know a group of business figures in the party were proposing a vote of no confidence in Murrell (based on the fact no Chief Exec could be that bad and keep their job in their sectors). They backed off when they were told (effectively) that Sturgeon/Murrell would burn down the whole house if they tried.

    “It’s an indivisible package,” one told me, “unless we are willing to rip the party apart”.

    HQ routinely (and remarkably openly) smears internal critics. It rigs things to favour preferred candidates. It simply ignores serious complaints if they’re about ‘the wrong person’. It is toxic and nasty, but people have believed they have no option but to stomach it.

    The real truth is that it doesn’t pretend to act for the party as a whole, but only for the leader and a small clique organised around her. It is a stain on Scotland’s democracy.”

  62. orri says:

    One thing I wasn’t aware of was the Associate Groups having a vote thing.

  63. SilverDarling says:

    He defended his ex when approached about his vile history and he wasn’t his ex in March 2020 when the Sun ran it’s article.

    ‘ Stirling MP Mr Smith said his partner had sometimes been “undiplomatic” in defence of party policy but he was “more sinned against than sinning” on social media.’

    I would urge caution – this sounds reasonable on the face of it but the woke faction won’t take kindly to being sent away from the big table.

  64. SilverDarling says:


  65. A C Bruce says:

    Smith said nothing about his partner (or ex partner) Jordon’s – don’t remember his last name – abusive and stomach churning posts on social media. In fact, he was eerily quiet given that he called out other people’s behaviour when it suited him.

    If he’s got the vapours, then the backlash must have been something to behold. Still, I don’t trust him. He thinks only of himself.

    The SNP needs to reverse out of that cul de sac they’ve disappeared up in the last few years and get themselves back on the main road to Independence.

    The wokerati need reined in at least; Culled* would be better though.

    *Figuratively speaking, of course.

  66. schrodingers cat says:

    nec can rearrange the deckchairs however they wish

    the real issue is when will the mps who cant apply to be msps be overturned?

  67. Ottomanboi says:

    As others see it.
    Rather more than a grain of truth in this, despite the political persuasion of the author.
    Never liked Smith since the time of his girly blubbering over Brexit in the EU parliament.
    You can see Sturgeon’s heel marks all over.

  68. Beaker says:

    @Confused says:
    7 August, 2020 at 1:49 pm
    “– in our augean stables, the stallions identify as mares”

    What about geldings?

    I think things are going to get a lot messier. Be interesting to see what sides are taken, but given what I’ve read here and on Twitter over the past few months, it could be 50 alliances fighting over 100 issues…

  69. TJenny says:

    To quote the Robin McAlpine article:

    ‘I know a group of business figures in the party were proposing a vote of no confidence in Murrell (based on the fact no Chief Exec could be that bad and keep their job in their sectors). They backed off when they were told (effectively) that Sturgeon/Murrell would burn down the whole house if they tried.’

    How? What did the group of business figures have to fear? I’m sure the Murrells have lots of dirt on their MPs, MSPs, cooncillors etc, but the same must be true re dirt on the Murrells. I think their postions may be on a shoogly peg soon anyway, what with the committee looking at redacted pages of evidence from govt and the truth from evidence provided by AS. Maybe we need the burning for the phoenix of an indy SNP to rise from the ashes.

  70. Lenny Hartley says:

    “i propose the creation of an equalities forum to hold the NEC to account.”
    He is trying to make the Wokes more powerful not less, there should only be one single issue group in the SNP , the Independence for Scotland group.

  71. Dogbiscuit says:

    Mammyes looks like Peter A Bell in a wig. Peter?

  72. Kenny says:

    I do not really think anyone in the SNP leadership can ever take issue with the website “Wings over Scotland”.

    When has the SNP *ever* countered a media story based on lies against Scotland? Where is their media unit?

    What sort of a salary does its chief executive have? Clearly based on the savings made by not having a media unit at all.

    If there *is* a media unit, exactly who works for it and what do they have to show for it?

    That is besides all the free training the website has given SNP MPs in countering media lies. How many times have the SNP missed open goals or let blatant lies pass them?

    I have seen Tommy Sheridan neatly handle loaded BBC questions, while members of the Scottish government come across as fish on dry land gasping for air.

    This lack of any media unit or any attempt to get broadcasting devolved or even set up independent broadcasting (personally I would approach someone like Al Jazeera in return for the chance to replace the BBC when independence comes) makes me think that, like the woke nonsense, the hate crime laws and letting appalling people speak on behalf of the SNP online in a way that can only be a gift to the No campaign in the future, the SNP is, in the words of that good Labour lord, “doing it deliberately”…

  73. Breeks says:

    JayR says:
    7 August, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    …. They backed off when they were told (effectively) that Sturgeon/Murrell would burn down the whole house if they tried.

    That, to me, would have been a red rag to a bull.

  74. DickieT says:

    10 members of my branch I know of are sitting with membership cards and scisors ready to send a message if

    1 #Cherrygate is not fixed within 7 days
    2. The NEC members who caused this are removed
    3. Hate Crime Bill is shelved
    4. GRA is shelved

  75. Dogbiscuit says:

    Alyn Smith you’re not getting abuse because you’re winning it’s because your a seat warmer on a cushy number.

  76. Willie says:

    A most interesting comment by an earlier poster that Murrel and Sturgeon were an indivisible package who would burn the house down if the party moved to split the incestuous leadership.

    Well I don’t think that will happen. Sturgeon and her coterie will be burnt out not the house.

    The rolling junta are not supreme leaders. They may have snatched control, corrupted the processes of the party, but they are only there by the grace of the members.

    There needs to be a purge. It is not there yet and the news today that the Government is not going to release to Parliament documents relating to the Alex Salmond enquiry reinforces this.

    Standing against the will of parliament, saying initially that the civil service was too busy, then saying no because they are allegedly legally privileged tells us again how the odious Sturgeon / Murrell have to go.

  77. Dogbiscuit says:

    People who say they don’t suffer fools gladly are often fools themselves. The woke mob are surely the most foolish people you could have the misfortune to meet? Oh and Alyn? Smith you don’t half talk out your ass.

  78. Kenny says:

    Think of how the BBC (aka Scottish Labour), the likes of Alex Massie, Robert Neil, et al. go through *anything* with a toothcomb for any dirt on the indy movement.

    Then read the following paragraph:

    “I know a group of business figures in the party were proposing a vote of no confidence in Murrell (based on the fact no Chief Exec could be that bad and keep their job in their sectors). They backed off when they were told (effectively) that Sturgeon/Murrell would burn down the whole house if they tried.”

    What a dynamite and loaded quote to run with and to ask Sturgeon (who promised on camera in 2014 that she would become “the most transparent First Minister ever”) to commentate…

    Now ask WHY this will never be asked of Sturgeon by anyone from the unionist camp?

    [Burn the whole house down? What do they mean? The SNP, which is a parliamentary party not campaigning for independence? What will that do, exactly? If anything, it will gain votes for indy in tandem with Salmond’s book coming out, as it will simply show he was right all along. Surely this is a win-win situation? Burn, baby, burn?!?]

  79. Tannadice Boy says:

    JayR says

    …Sturgeon/Murrell would burn down the house..

    Haven’t they done that already?. A fitting legacy some would say.
    The real power is with them and not the NEC. A bunker mentality has enveloped them. So what’s to be done?
    Luckily we have an election coming up. Still waiting for a strong list party to emerge. My constituency vote will be left blank as things stand. A small protest I know.

  80. Republicofscotland says:

    Smith and Co are a symptom of a party that’s lost its way, to get it somewhat back on track Sturgeon and Murrell need to be removed somehow.

  81. Dogbiscuit says:

    If the SNP are truly focused on Independence then they must get on with it for the cock is tickling.

  82. Beaker says:

    Sturgeon won’t be replaced before the next elections unless something truly devastating happens.

    No one could really pick up the pieces. So she’s probably untouchable at the moment.

  83. susan says:

    I have an auntie in the SNP but I’m sorry (not sorry) I cannot vote for them as they stand.

  84. TJenny says:

    Kenny – yes, I’m not getting the threat of the ‘Burn the whole house down’. Whose house? Theirs, the Murrells? I think I’d be handing them a box of matches. The indy movement? Again how? Nobody who wants indy is going to give a tinkers cuss about smears and sneers thrown around in the SNP heirarchy playground, and I doubt very much, after their abysmal failure in trying to bring AS down, that they’d be very successful with any lying cabals in future. Or are they saying they’ll stop the SNP from pursuing indy, well, who among us would even notice, to be honest.

  85. Patrick Roden says:

    I have been hugely dissapointed about Alyn Smith and have found him to be a bit ‘creepy’ to be honest.

    I’ve completely given up on the SNP and had also began to give up on us ever gaining independence under our woke loving, man hating leadership.

    Maybe there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to remember that actions are louder than words.

    If Chris McIlheny is made chairman of the NEC and Joanna Cherry is allowed to challenge for a seat in the Scottish Parliament, then some of us might begin to get our mojo back.

    Or of Joanna was to become leader of the SNP, it would be time to get the flags out because independence would be just around the corner.

  86. Black Joan says:

    The revolt must have been massive to provoke this. People have been resigning for months with not a hint of concern from HQ.

    So many more questions . . .

    What does Murrell do to justify his pay? Is he ever seen? Is he, perhaps, transitioning in private?

    Why is there no effective media strategy, specifically challenging the BritNat Press and BBC lies? Why do they hate Wings for doing it? What happened to Murray Foote, supposed repentant convert after the great lie that was The Vow, and God’s gift to the independence message? (Not)

    Where is the near half a million pounds raised by Yessers and handed to the SNP and supposedly ring-fenced for indyref2?

    Why is it left to individuals outside the SNP to raise yet more money and pursue a court case to establish the right to a referendum?

    I note the Daddy Bear’s faux-naive and dismissive reference to “a blog called Wings over Scotland” as if it was something hardly anyone had heard of.

    I am reminded of distant, innocent days and an outdoor pro indy/EU event in Edinburgh. There was a Wings stall but they’d been told they were not allowed to call it that or advertise themselves. A newcomer to the scene, I could not believe that such a major contributor to the Yes campaign was being blackballed.

    Smith had just made a good speech in the EU parliament so when I saw him I went and thanked him for it. Result: big smile and charm until I went on to ask if he could do something about the suppression of the Wings insignia. Silly me. The smile and charm vanished instantly. Not a welcome message at all. It was a swift lesson in political behaviour.

  87. AwakeNotWoke says:

    I’ve been chatting with a few non Twitter parents last week or so & they’ve been completely unaware of GRA & Hate Speech issues. Reaction to GRA, showing them the Twitter car crash & explaining possibile outcomes around toilets/changing rooms for their kids… reaction has been universal. Anger & signal of intent to re-examine where their vote will go. It’s an instant reaction as soon as you inform them. And I think that has been the whole plan. Configure Woketopia while the herd sleeps.

  88. Neil H says:

    Repeated references to his ‘ex-partner’ may indicate that his partial volte-face has triggered some much needed personal introspection regarding his place in the SNP debacle.

  89. ahundredthidiot says:

    Policies made in the shadows do not suffer the light of day.

    The SNP would do well to remember that.

  90. Bob Mack says:

    At the bare minimum Murrell must go along with several who currently inhabit the NEC.

    This Chief Exec has been complicit by his silence on the destruction of the party. It wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere.

    Bring them down. You have the Power.Your money your and your time. . Without them they can only function as a facade.

    We can make the SNP electable and a party for the people again because right now they are anything but.

    Too many self indulgent people doing exactly that.

    I want to be a member again.

  91. Socrates MacSporran says:

    The SNP really need to get their collective finger out and sort-out all these issues such as the GRA and “Hate Bill” proposals. Becuase, you can be certain, The Linesman and the Buffalo Baroness, not to mention their Unionist friends int eh mainstream media and BBC Shortbread will be attacking them on these fronts come the Holyrood elections.

    IF, as seems possible, given the bawbags in-charge at Westminster, Independence is showing even-greater support in Scotland come May next year – Full-on SNP BAAADDD!!! will be all they have left, and they will use this big time.

  92. Bob Mack says:

    My personal thanks to you Stu. What a bloody mess we would continue to be in without your insight and articles.

    I have no doubt you have many inside the SNP helping you. Rightly as it happens.

    You may be reviled by many SNP supporters who refuse to even look at how in reality the party is imploding, but for my money you are head and shoulders above any other blog because at least you are not afraid to print the truth at any cost to yourself.

    Well done Stu.

  93. Ian Foulds says:

    SophiaPangloss says:
    7 August, 2020 at 1:46 pm
    ‘The stench of rotten stables’ .

    Well said.

    Who is Hercules now?

  94. Tannadice Boy says:

    Bob Mack says

    I will second your comments.

    Good response from Cormack and the Aberdeen manager. Recovery statements they may be but needed to be said.

  95. Tannadice Boy says:

    Goodness me I am posting twice in quick succession. Just heard Patrick Harvie come up with a really good policy. I am gobsmacked.

    No detriment policy on the SQA results meaning no downgrade on a pupils prelims result allowed.


  96. schrodingers cat says:

    Aberdeen fans very very unhappy with the club at the moment

    “aberdeen should have forfeited the points to the saintees”

    “the players responsable should personally apologise”

    “the manager should make a statement as to what he knew”

    graham sherriffs@gsherriffs·4h
    We are not out of this Scot free,we will be hammered.
    if deaths result from our players actions…:(

  97. John H. says:

    Statues may be unfashionable these days Stuart, but when we’ve got through all this and Scotland becomes independent, they really should erect one to you for all you’ve done for the cause of independence.

  98. Awizgonny says:

    Not sure if it’s been referenced here yet, but this devastating dissection by Robin McAlpine of the SNP government’s constitutional and democratic record over the last 5 years is a perfect partner-piece to this one. Jaw-dropping isn’t the word…

    “How many countries in the world made the first act they took when Covid hit to effectively suspend freedom of information laws and float abandoning jury trials and the suspension of elections more than a year in advance? Not Trump. Not Putin. Not Bolsonaro. Sturgeon.”

  99. Michael Laing says:

    @Beaker at 4:57 pm:

    “Sturgeon won’t be replaced before the next elections unless something truly devastating happens.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. If it’s found that she lied to Holyrood regarding what she knew and when she knew it about the Alex Salmond fit-up, I should think she’ll be on a very shoogly peg. Even more so if it turns out that she was central to the conspiracy, or actually instigated it, which it looks like she did to me. In that case I think she’ll have to go, and she’ll be relieved by a caretaker leader.

    Meanwhile, the civil service is refusing to hand over documents regarding the case to the inquiry. I wonder why that would be? It hardly suggests they’ve got nothing to hide. It looks more like they’re in a hole, and they’re continuing to dig as fast as they can.

  100. Republicofscotland says:


    Yes someone posted a link to it further up the thread, but yes its devastating to read, that we’ve pinned our hopes on the wrong horse for independence.

    Someone said in here the other day, that we need a right coldhearted ruthless bastard in charge if we want independence, I’d say there’s one in charge just now, but independence isn’t her goal.

  101. Margaret says:

    It kind of looks like he is just wanting to move his little cabal out of the NEC to avoid scrutiny but for them to retain power by ‘holding it to account’ and not be voted out by ordinary members that are sick of their nonsense

  102. schrodingers cat says:

    governments never hand over details of legal advice they’ve taken

    alex refused to do the same

    Salmond insisted he was being misunderstood. He said: “Every major document which is published by the government is underpinned by law officers’ advice. When we ask for specific advice, the law officers will give their opinion

  103. Flower of Scotland says:

    @Tannafice Boy 6.15

    That had nothing to do with Patrick Harvie. That was from the SQA!

  104. Bob Mack says:


    Yet there is a provison that the advice can be handed over with Ministerial permission.

    Given that they could clear themselves of any wrong doing you would imagine they would be happy to do so.


  105. Bob Mack says:

    Besides I don’t recall Alex Salmond trying to imprison someone for life. Did he?

  106. schrodingers cat says:


    yeah, it allows conspiracy theorist a field day.

    in the real world

    The Scottish government said it was usual practice to withhold legally privileged material.

    legal advice given in confidence which is subsequently published, usually results in lawyers no longer willing to give advice in confidentiality

    thats why alex refused

  107. Bob Mack says:


    True, but there should be no problem with the government explaining their actions based on that legal advice without going into detail though of lawyer\lawyers who gave it.

    Just the same as the women remaining anonymous.

  108. Tannadice Boy says:

    Flower of Scotland says

    The SQA are holding by their statistical model. Appeal etc. The opposition parties have taken a few days to get their act together but they are doing so now in their own way. I was struck by the interview Patrick Harvie gave as opposed to the SQA interview. I expect fireworks next week in Parliament. This unjust SNP fix is doomed to failure. You cannot sacrifice the dreams of our bairns on a whim.

  109. george wood says:

    Good to see that World Rugby have grown a pair over the Trans issue.

    The BBC (aka BTBC) have reported on their sports page that transwoman are to be prevented from taking part in Women’s contact rugby. Transmen can take part in Men’s contact rugby if they sign a consent (waiver?) form.

    This is because of the findings of two studies.

    One is that the latest peer-reviewed research confirms that a reduction of testosterone does not lead to a proportionate reduction in mass, muscle mass, strength or power.

    The other is that there is likely a 20-30% greater risk of injury to women tackled by transwomen who have gone through puberty as male.

    Neither of these findings would be a surprise to anybody who has knowledge of the science involving testosterone and it’s effects on the body.

    It is frustrating that so many other sports , businesses and politicians are ignoring the science in the transgender debate.

  110. katherine hamilton says:

    Hi Flower of Scotland, Do you have further info on the “no detriment” issue with the SQA?

  111. Bob Mack says:


    Bexides,there are only 4 possible lawyers who give the government legal advice, and only 1 who specialises in matters of constitutional change. Not hard to guess is it??

  112. jfngw says:

    Started reading the McAlpine piece then I came to this:

    I may be critical of many UK institutions – and the civil service no less so – but its scrupulous independence (I’ve seen it in person a number of times) is why endemic governmental corruption isn’t one of the UK’s problems.

    This published on the same day we are discovering massive corruption in the UK government that has been going on for ages, from shipping contracts for companies without boats, financial companies being used to procure PPE equipment and advisors on the boards of these companies. Not to mention the MP’s using the system to feather their own nests in the past by flipping houses.

    This is not new, as Grouse Beater pointed out a while ago, Churchill entered WWII near bankrupt but exited it a very rich.

    Gave up at this point, if this is the level of his analysis then it is worthless.

  113. schrodingers cat says:


    thats maybe why governments dont release the advice they are given

  114. Kate says:

    @Michael Laing – the civil service is currently under the cosh of Sturgeon’s pal Evans. They’re not allowed to do anything not approved by NS herself. As a non-member, I’d say getting the gender-obsessed weirdoes out would be a good start to making your party more accessible to voters not already on board.

  115. Bob Mack says:


    Ordinary civil servants in Scottish government are just normal people. They are not corrupt. They just troubleshoot for the government of the day.

    The leaders of The Civil Service is a different ball game altogether.

    Don’t mix the two things. Just like the SNP.

  116. jfngw says:

    Oh look:

    Once the the other countries in the UK re-evaluate the marking of teachers who set and mark their own prelim exams and they keep their pass rate fairly consistent. How will Scotland’s education system be viewed if we go down the route of increasing the pass rate by a massive percentage. The education system is going to be viewed as a toy town outfit where passes will be looked upon with suspicion, given away as confetti under duress from pressure groups.

    It may make everybody feel good and the pupils ecstatic but I suspect it will do untold damage to Scotland’s educational reputation.

  117. Bob Mack says:


    Keeping the advice secret may be Ok, but What they can’t say and are leaving themselves open to is that they took actions opposed to legal advice. I could make a good case of that.
    “So you complied with legal advice to reach your end position” How could they say No?

    Questioning on that would be ok.

  118. jfngw says:

    @Bob Mack

    Not sure what you are referencing from my comment, McAlpine was talking about the UK civil service in London and the lack of corruption in Westminster. Apparently the civil service has kept corruption at Westminster at next to zero, that is just laughable. The civil service may not be corrupt, I don’t hold the same view of Westminster.

  119. Beaker says:

    @Michael Laing says:
    7 August, 2020 at 6:51 pm
    “I wouldn’t be so sure about that. If it’s found that she lied to Holyrood regarding what she knew and when she knew it about the Alex Salmond fit-up, I should think she’ll be on a very shoogly peg.

    If she lied she would definitely have to resign. That is the devastating issue I’m thinking of. The SQA issue might knock her off as well, given the quotes she gave in 2000 and 2015.

    Mike Russell is the only safe bet in the short term. Everyone else in Holyrood is frankly useless or lacking real political experience.

  120. schrodingers cat says:

    i have no knowledge of the case, i must be the only one unable to do jigsaws

    i have no knowledge of this review either

    this place has already become judge jury and executioner.

    me? i would urge caution

  121. Bob Mack says:


    When you think of recent resignations at Whitehall because they would not bow down to Tory demands it seems reasonable to suggest they must have a degree of impartiality.

  122. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Hi just read an article by Business for Scotland by Gordon MacIntrye Kemp on Indy Plan A or B”

    I read that article this morning. It’s utter nonsense. If you want to be fed utter nonsense this isn’t the site for you.

  123. Bob Mack says:


    You usually have an opinion on most things. I don’t think contempt of court applies at this Inquiry.

  124. schrodingers cat says:

    I don’t think contempt ……………

    dae ye, aye

    carry on then m’lud

  125. george wood says:

    Why aren’t teachers in the dock over the grades changes?

    Either teachers have been bumping up their pupil assessments or teachers in years gone by have been sleeping on the job.

    You have to smell a rat when you get a pass rate previously through exams that is exceeded by 20% when teachers do their own assessment of their pupils.

    External exams are the only way to minimise teacher bias.

  126. Bob Mack says:


    You can’t have contempt of court in a court case until the court stipulates the terms of the Inquiry.

  127. jfngw says:

    @Bob Mack

    Some resigned most didn’t. Next you will be telling me that most of the Aberdeen squad didn’t go to the pub so what’s the fuss about.

  128. Bob Mack says:


    No they did.

  129. Tannadice Boy says:

    George Wood says

    We have an external examiner it’s called the SQA. Teachers will always try their best for their pupils. But they have had little input into the SQA grading model. Ignored on a postcode basis. The prelims results are the benchmark. No detriment policy. Next week in Parliament wait and see. It will all unravel for the SNP.

  130. Bob Mack says:


    The ones who resigned were the top guys in their field. Even today we were talking about Clive Ponting who did the same thing.

  131. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I think that the ‘no-detriment’ thingy, in respect of prelim results, should be open, transparent and effective.

    If a pupil achieved a C, B or A in the prelim, that’s the grade they should be awarded.

    Having attended one of those schools in a “deprived area” (back in the late 60s), I saw peeps achieving brilliant results, while I, who couldn’t be @r$€d revising, achieved 6 ‘O’ Levels and one Higher at grade C.

    I got my professional (technical) qualifications as a ‘mature student’, in my late 20s. Understood revising by that time.

    Our current bunch of students shouldn’t be penalised by “a system”.

  132. jfngw says:

    @Bob Mack

    But you are highlighting the exceptions, how many Clive Ponting’s are there. There are people with integrity that will not stomach things that are happening, most will just put their head down, carry on and hope they can avoid any of the debris from the fan.

  133. Beaker says:

    @jfngw says:
    7 August, 2020 at 8:00 pm
    “It may make everybody feel good and the pupils ecstatic but I suspect it will do untold damage to Scotland’s educational reputation.”

    As to England and Wales results – pupils who were downgraded won’t give a shit how they are done.

    They could have applied a method based on individual pupil performance. Schools will have data on each pupil and how they have performed over the past four / five / six years. It’s easy enough to apply a weighting score which would give fairer results. The data will be electronic so it is relatively simply to work with. Whoever came up with the moderation method was being lazy. I’m really suspicious that a consultancy was hired to design it.

    The appeal process will now look at individual pupil performance, something that should have been done from the fucking start as soon as it was obvious COVID would have an impact on teaching.

    But the damage has already been done. There are now 133,000 people who will be first time voters next year… add to that parents and relatives…

  134. Tannadice Boy says:

    Brianthedoon says

    Exactly. Every year pupils in deprived areas work hard to achieve the grades to get out of their situation. It may only be a few but they have been denied by this postcode system. I count myself as one of those pupils. It used to be called social migration. Now the only passport to success is an SNP membership card. Next week will tell…

  135. Bob Mack says:


    The Civil Service exist to support The government of the day whatever hue. It’s their job. They must be impartial in the main.

    The only time I have heard them admit to breaking that rule was post referendum, but then they were serving Westminster not Holyrood.

  136. jfngw says:

    @Brian Doonthetoon

    What you are advocating here is an unregulated system with no checks and balances we just accept the marking of an individual teacher with no comparison across the system.

    If we accept it this year why do we need exams next year.

    What I want to know is why are schools with a historical pass rate around 70% predicted a 85% pass rate. I would want to analyse their prediction for the last 5 years and compare it to the actuality of the results. Those that have been fairly accurate with their predictions then accept it for this year, if they have a record of over prediction then it needs looked at.

  137. Yes. This is surely why behaviourists would prefer using Alyn to rodents in their experiments, for there are some things you just can’t get a rat to do.

  138. Bob Mack says:

    @Christian Wright,

    L.O.L. Brilliant.

  139. jfngw says:

    Just to add to my previous post. Some think I’m excessively hardline but once you lose your reputation then it is not easy to get it back.

    I view the education system in the same way as Scotland the Brand, it is important we are seen to have high standards. Once it’s gone it could be gone for a long time.

    Others see it as a way to stick a knife in Ms Sturgeon’s back, I’m not interested in destroying Scotland’s reputation for some petty revenge, some things are more important.

  140. Andy Ellis says:

    @Rev Stu

    It’s dispiriting indeed to find Business for Scotland spouting the gradualist gospel.

    I had thought better of them. Looks like I was wrong. It’s telling that McIntyre-Kemp has been briefing Scottish Government ministers. The rot runs deeper than we feared.

  141. jfngw says:

    @Bob Mack

    The BBC tell me they are impartial and they are run in pretty much the same way as the civil service. So if I accept the civil service are totally impartial I must accept the BBC is totally impartial.

  142. Kenny says:

    I agree that the “Business for Scotland” article is absolute mince.

    I genuinely think such a bad article can only be written “to order”. It is so bad, it reads as if it has been written by Nicola Sturgeon or Pete Wishart.

    “With independence next May at 60% and a majority mandate on top of all the other election wins, we dare Westminster to say NO to a referendum – if they do, the Union will disintegrate one way or another and if they offer a Section 30 Yes wins convincingly – checkmate.”

  143. crazycat says:

    @ jfngw

    I know the SQA were criticized for taking too long to explain their methodology, and the image in that tweet is just an example, but it doesn’t seem outrageous to me.

  144. Bob Mack says:


    You must have missed the BBC Director General state his job was to the United Kingdom, not Scotland.

  145. twathater says:

    I’m sorry but nothing this faux independence supporter could say or do, will make up for the lost time, energy , worry , frustration and disgust that him and his science denying cabal has cost REAL independence supporters

    Even now these policies have NOT been ditched and still no word that they will be , the exclusion of Joanna Cherry has not been overturned and yet we are to believe the hierarchy are now going to listen , sorry i am NOT convinced

    As is evidenced Allllyn is ONLY interested in Alllyn and how best to benefit Alllyn ,this sudden rush to address the concerns of voters and members is JUST an indication that Alllyn is worried about his cushy number and big salary , so much so that he is willing to throw his allies under the bus

    But Alllyn is a very shrewd operator and knows how to manipulate and con people so he will land on his feet no matter what

  146. jfngw says:


    I’m not against individuals having their grades corrected if they have in sincerity be given a grade lower than they deserved.

    What I have trouble with is this idea are all teachers are somehow devoid of human frailties and are perfect in their assessments, they are immune to judging pupils without any inbuilt prejudices or wanting to boost their personal reputation. I might as well accept every David Icke declaration as being of equal validity to scientific research.

    It the same nonsense that all nurses are angels, many are, many are not.

  147. defo says:

    Swinney will be the firewall I suppose.

    Pedant alert, it was Greek mythology, not philosophy.

  148. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    What’s the problem in accepting the prelim results?

  149. Tannadice Boy says:

    Jfngw says

    And you think the SQA are devoid of frailties?. This is a question for the Scottish Parliament next week. All the arguments will be presented in full. The Government will lose. Sure Swinney may be the sacrificial lamb. But this fiasco was made in Bute House.

  150. jfngw says:

    @Tannadice Boy

    None of us are devoid of frailties, the difference is a teacher is an individual frailty, the SQA is a group of people that you would expect to be able to counteract any individual frailty, it won’t be perfect, nothing is.

    If you question the ability of this then you would need to question all past exams in every country.

  151. Think Alyn “Daddy Bear” Smith has been given the ‘hairdryer treatment’ by Nicola,

    `get yirsel fricken sorted and get they misogynist woke c@nts frae Stirling and the NEC tae f@ck or your fat ar@e will be on the end of my tartan stilettos`

    “can i please blame everything on someone else Nicola”

    `aye a suppose so , jist get oaf yer knees and stoap greetin,jeezo`.

  152. jfngw says:

    @Brian Doonthetoon

    Prelims are set and marked by the same teacher, their is no comparison across schools regarding the exam or the marking. The quality of the questions is easy to compare, the quality of the marking is much harder to assess.

    That’s why marking in the real exam is much more stringent, guidelines are used and schools are not marking their own pupils.

  153. Tannadice Boy says:


    You have lost the argument. The Scottisb people are not stupid. This is now a question for Parliament. Not me or you. And btw my experience of the SQA is that groupthink is worse than indivudual frailties. Let the Parliament decide next week. All opposition parties lining up. And so they should be.

  154. Breeks says:

    fngw says:
    7 August, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    ….Others see it as a way to stick a knife in Ms Sturgeon’s back, I’m not interested in destroying Scotland’s reputation for some petty revenge, some things are more important.

    I’ll be honest, education and teaching isn’t my ‘thing’. I don’t really have a dog in the race, but I agree, the whole Nation benefits when it enjoys a reputation for good education.

    So speaking from a disinterested perspective, (and apologies if it’s a poorly informed perspective), the issue which sticks out for me is having an exam system which requires this heavy handed modification of the results. Why can’t an exam result stand upon its own merit without such apparently ham fisted ‘modification’?

    Doesn’t this rather suggest the exam itself isn’t very good, and is failing as a worthwhile assessment of what an individual is capable of?

    Furthermore, is the modification of the results limited to subjective interpretation, such as interpreting the quality of a written answer? By that I mean, if a pupil has sat an arithmetic exam or mathematics, where the answers are either correct or wrong with no grey area in between, then I fail to see how these papers could be marked down to suit an ideological ‘norm’.

    And lastly, even if there is a sound logical reason for assessing pupils in this apparently ephemeral manner, it seems disastrous News management to telegraph a narrative that kids from poor schools are discriminated against by comparison to the kids from good schools. What else is that except a slap in the face for poor kids and tacit acknowledgement that the education system not only tolerates double standards in our education system but maintains them?

  155. jfngw says:

    @Squadron Boy


  156. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Christian Wright (8.52) –

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Good to see you popping in.



  157. terence callachan says:


    You said
    What I have trouble with is this idea are all teachers are somehow devoid of human frailties and are perfect in their assessments, they are immune to judging pupils without any inbuilt prejudices or wanting to boost their personal reputation. I might as well accept every David Icke declaration as being of equal validity to scientific research.

    It the same nonsense that all nurses are angels, many are, many are not.

    My reply…

    I see what you’re saying but you could say the same thing about exam markers , there is no absolute way of perfecting markings where the answer to a question is not simple yes or no.

    Judging the depth and quality of an answer is never going to be done exactly the same individual to individual

    At some point you have to trust the judges …as in a court….to reach the correct decision

    An appeal process is FAB …they have one in Scotland but not in England ,their results are due out next week.

  158. jfngw says:


    The exams are always moderated, the difficulty varies from year to year, this may be because the focus for the year has not been conveyed properly and the teachers have been focusing slightly off the topic of the exams. It could be the exam setters have misunderstood the criteria. The pass mark will be moved to accommodate these variations, it has always happened this way.

    This years moderation is just being done differently.

    I’m not involved in education (my son is a teacher though) in any capacity but it is just common sense, their is a window that countries aim for in the pass mark. These claims of the pass mark has increased is a decision made by authorities, they can vary this as much as they want.

  159. McDuff says:

    Black Joan 5.19

  160. jfngw says:

    @terrence callaghan

    I believe the markers have guidelines on how they mark to try and iron out these variations, it won’t be perfect, that is impossible. That’s why there is an appeals procedure.

  161. Tannadice Boy says:

    Breeks says

    True you have to be an insider to understand the nuance. My kids are through this process many years ago and my grandchildren are a long way off. But I am not a disinterested player because this issue is at the heart of where an Indy Scotland goes. I was a consultant for the SQA many moons ago and a lecturer. Since decided to work for myself. Let the Scottish Parliament decide on the way forward next week. I can forecast a disaster for the SG. And so it should be. These MSPs have a raging parental audience. They have to keep their seats you understand.

  162. cirsium says:

    @Christian Wright, 8.52

    zinger of a comment.

  163. jfngw says:

    I hear President Trump was talking about Thighland, he’s still thinking about that woman and the ping-pong balls isn’t he!

  164. SilverDarling says:

    Slightly OT

    For those who flounced off to other sites but still obsess about Wings, just reflect on how many articles recently from here have been instrumental in shining a light on the SNP hierarchy and the way they have subverted democracy and the blurred the roles between the executive and judicial branches of government.

    How many have drawn attention to the GRA reform (and now the Hate Crime Bill) when many on here were denying and still do deny elsewhere that it was an issue? We were told ad nauseum that the SNP were a listening party and as long as you followed the rules your voice would be heard. We were told they were a party of democracy. Now we see that is not only untrue for ordinary members but for their elected representatives too.

    Just reflect that MSPs and MPs actively discussing the content of Wings articles not just that the Rev is a bit sweary.

    I miss the Rev on Twitter but his detractors cannot dismiss the content here using the his Twitter account the way they did in the past.

  165. Took them a while to start eating themselves.

  166. Beaker says:

    SQA continued…

    Apparently, the priority for appeals is being given to those with university or college places at risk. Fair enough, but even then the cut off deadlines are cutting it very, very close. There are also allegations that some appeals may not be concluded until May 2021!

    You couldn’t fucking make it up. I do recall Swinney mentioning that there was adequate resource in place…

    Sturgeon has painted herself into a corner. In 2000 she, quite rightly, described the SQA results as “utter chaos”. In 2015 she asked to be “judged on education”. Add the allegations of postcode lottery and it simply gets worse.

    There is now likely to be a confidence vote on Swinney next week. He’s fucked as the Greens are highly unlikely to support him.

    This isn’t just politics. There are real lives impacted.

  167. Still Positive says:

    I am a retired English teacher. When my husband died 20 years ago it was the day before the SG exams and I made sure the class I had taught for 2 years would not know why I wasn’t there.

    All teachers want the best for their pupils no matter what.

  168. Still Positive says:

    I am a retired English teacher. When my husband died 20 years ago it was the day before the Standard Grade exams and I made sure the class I had taught for 2 years would not know why I wasn’t there.

    All teachers want the best for their pupils no matter what.

  169. Still Positive says:

    Sorry about the double post.

  170. McHaggis69 says:

    I can’t be alone in ditching my SNP membership this last week.
    On the cancelaltion form, you are invited to comment and I listed that the party has lost its way with far too much focus on –
    GRA reform
    Hate crime Bill
    Stopping a brexit in england that that country clearly voted for
    oh… and Pete Wishart

    I can’t have been alone.

  171. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Still Positive –

    You sound like the kind of teacher I had in secondary (Holyrood, Glasgow, 75-81) – most of them were really kind, thoughtful, forgiving, humorous, and very very tolerant.

    Looking back, I can say honestly that they were some of the finest people I’ve ever met.

  172. Bob Mack says:

    @Ian Brotherhood,

    Me too apart from my Maths teacher for two years ,who was a monster in a black gown.

  173. jfngw says:

    @Still Positive

    It would be great to believe all teachers are perfect but that is just not possible, even more so now than in the past were the pressure to produce results for the school is so high. There may be no official league table in Scotland but parents still look at the performance of a school when choosing where to buy their home, my daughter certainly did.

    As I said earlier my son is a teacher and he finds the pressure on him to produce good results is intense.

  174. bipod says:

    Sturgeon reached new levels of hysteria today. Even tighter restrictions on leisure and hospitality sectors when they are currently being decimated. Shes furious that some football players had the audacity to go to a pub (Remember when her own chief medical advisor broke the lockdown rules and nicola had to be pushed to sack her?), hasn’t anyone told them you are not allowed to have fun in Scotland anymore? not on nicolas watch. I wonder what kind of reprisals the dear leader has in mind for them.

    Why is she doing this? Well because there has been a “spike” of a 100 cases in a country of over 5 million. How many people have died in the past month? How many people have been hospitalized? how many people in the so called “spike” are actually ill? Why does she continue to assert that lockdown is the only way when it is clearly a failed policy thats caused immense damage to the nation?

    If anyone is interested here is another article from the cebm on why we are not seeing a “second wave” in England:

    The reasoning is just as applicable to Scotland.

  175. HandandShrimp says:

    On the SQA situation, I’m struggling with what the issue is. There is no way that coincidentally in the year there are no exams there is an absolutely massive increase in pupils attaining pass marks. To wave that through will simply render the 2020 qualifications meaningless. That will disadvantage everyone. If the SQA had agreed those numbers the opposition parties would not be celebrating a massive increase in the pass rate. They would be screaming blue murder about gerrymandered success.

    I left school at 15. When I was 21 I decided to sit Highers at night school while working full time and achieved 5 good passes and entered Edinburgh Uni. When I hear people like Ian Murray talking about a generation betrayed I am just baffled. It is utterly pathetic, defeatist tripe. These grades are estimates, don’t like them, pick yourself up and sit them for real and prove the SQA wrong.

    I am pleased to hear that a generation is just one year though 😉

  176. iain mhor says:

    Haha a week ago I’m thinking ‘Hmm Nicola isny well and due gardening leave, I wonder what John Swinney is up to, he’s been quiet. – I wonder if he’ll be getting bumped as deputy for the likes of Angus Robertson…’

    This week John Swinney, ‘what a c*nt get him tae f*ck’

    Ahh, politics… some times it’s easy peasy 😀

  177. jfngw says:

    @Ian brotherhood

    I suppose eveyones view is coloured by their own experience. I went to what could only be described as a sink school in Edinburgh, left in 1970 (it didn’t even do highers). Out of a class of around sixteen (only the boys had the option on maths) only 2 passed the O Grade. Mostly because the math teacher never turned up for many of the lesson in the final year, he was also deputy head and seemed to think that was more important than his class.

    Most of the other teachers were fine, excluding the woodwork, metalwork, they were just animals. Plus the PE teacher whose only input was give us a football and tell us to go outside.

  178. David Wardrope says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell 1.48pm

    Ach, Sophia was just saying what we’re all thinking… ?

    Well played SophiaPangloss

  179. crazycat says:

    @ Breeks at 9.45

    By that I mean, if a pupil has sat an arithmetic exam or mathematics, where the answers are either correct or wrong with no grey area in between, then I fail to see how these papers could be marked down to suit an ideological ‘norm’.

    Unless I’ve misunderstood – and I’m sure someone will tell me if I have – the problem is that there weren’t any exams. There were prelims, marked by the teachers, and coursework, but unlike in previous years, there was no “snapshot” of performance in a one-off final exam.

    It is, of course, often unfair that students are judged on such a one-off – they could be unwell, or overcome by nerves, or be good at the subject but have poor exam technique, etc.

    That affects any “adjustments” made with reference to the performance of previous cohorts of examinees – something which is unfair to a certain extent anyway because they are not the same people, nor are the exam papers being compared identical. (They should be the same standard, but there are often accusations that a particular exam was unusually difficult.)

    But something had to be done, once it had been decided that there would be no exams and there had also been a gap in teaching. If the threshold adjustments in the chart that I referred to at 9.08 were all that happened, that seems like a reasonable response to a tricky situation. But maybe that wasn’t all that was done.

  180. Ian Brotherhood says:

    How’s this for ‘off-topic’?

    God bless this man, and all that he did with his brothers – the music they made will stay with many of us for as long as we live, and the way he deals with such horrible loss is just fuckin brilliant.

    Salut, Mr Gibb!

  181. Tannadice Boy says:

    Hell hath no fury than of a woman scorned. A phrase I dont agree with it. But did you know you can multiple that a thousand times when it comes to parents. Lots of SNP posters trying to justify the advice of the SG. Laughable! You lost the argument. Take your medicine and don’t be so arrogant in future. After all the Parliament Wiil decide next week.

  182. jfngw says:

    The likelihood is the SNP will fold on the exam results, they will put there electoral prospects ahead of the integrity of Scotland’s educational reputation.

  183. Fireproofjim says:

    I note that some English papers for tomorrow are saying that English exam results are likely to be marked down 40% due to inflation of prelim results by teachers. Welsh have already done it.
    Wonder what the opposition in Holyrood will make of that.
    I agree with Hand and Shrimp. The 20% sudden improvement in results, as graded by teachers, was wildly optimistic and completely unrealistic. There will be some pupils who have been let down but that always happens and should be corrected on appeal.

  184. jfngw says:

    @Ian brotherhood

    Liked their early stuff and later stuff, not that keen on the disco or falsetto material in the later 70’s.

    They regularly liked to use a double line (my terminology) when phrasing their songs. That is they would pair up two lines of a song with a slight break between them. Chain reaction and You win again are good examples, of course it could be just me that sees it this way.

  185. Confused says:

    “everybody’s clever nowadays”

    – the downgrade, in the large, seems necessary to preserve credibility, but the nature of its application seems suspect.

    I could write a long ranty one about how the middle class rig the entire education system “as of right”, but, concision helps the BTL. “make your point” (and fuck off) – good advice for any writer.

    The next wave in the industrial revolution, pervasive machine intelligence, will wipe out most of the middle class anyway, so welcome to the freemarket; I started a legal action the other day using a legal bot on a website.

    – back to greek legends – whitaboot – ulysses coming home to his kingdom, over-run with “suitors”/violent squatters, and tractorous servants – all ending in a jolly bloodbath and some hardcore cruelty. The charismatic trickster king, would be …

  186. jfngw says:


    There is a problem that didn’t exist when I left school. There was a wealth of jobs, many companies would train you and send you to either day release or a condensed course at college, even the BBC used to train hundreds of broadcast engineers every year. These options have all but disappeared, companies now want pretty much fully trained staff or someone with a degree, the breadth of choice is nowhere near as vast as it was in 1970.

  187. HandandShrimp says:


    That is true but we didn’t have on line learning. It has never been easier to study or revise for an exam. Every text is a finger tip away and video tutorials abound.

    I see that the Guardian is reporting the 40% figure fireproofjim mentions. They also say that English students can’t appeal. Their exam board decision is final. That should make for an interesting back drop to next weeks discussions in Holyrood. Ruth will have to argue what is sauce for the goose is axle grease for the gander.

  188. jfngw says:

    @Tannadice Boy

    That’s going to be amusing, Labour and Tories are going to have to vote for the opposite to what they are doing in England and Wales. They are going to look a bit stupid if that is the case, bring it on.

  189. jfngw says:


    That’s true but I don’t think you can beat a good lecturer giving a face to face lesson, a really good lecturer can really get the concept across. I always found the really clever lecturers the poorest at handling people struggling with a subject, they couldn’t comprehend how you were struggling as it was so easy for themselves. Sometimes it just takes a tiny linkage to unlock the blockage.

  190. Orri says:

    The revision period this year coincided with lockdown and a curtailing of pupils extra curricular activities. It also had a dedicated effort to get equipment to the most deprived pupils to give them a chance at online study. In addition some pupils were even allowed to attend depending on their parents. All factors that might lead to a disproportionate increase in exam results for the most deprived sector.
    Not to mention that there’s been ongoing efforts to lessen the attainment gap. If those were working then there would have been an increase in results for the most deprived areas.
    Worth pointing out that most years appeals cost money. Which means the better might appeal in cases where there’s little chance of improving a grade. Which would potentially lead to even better results on average.

  191. Beaker says:

    @jfngw says:
    8 August, 2020 at 12:31 am

    “That’s going to be amusing, Labour and Tories are going to have to vote for the opposite to what they are doing in England and Wales. They are going to look a bit stupid if that is the case, bring it on.”

    What does this have to do with education in Scotland? Is Sturgeon going to use this as an excuse? Then Boris will have a go at Labour. Starmer will have a go at Boris and Nicola. Whosisface will have a go at whatstheir name in Wales…politicians shouting at each other while thousands of pupils around the UK wonder what the fuck is going on.

    @Orri says:
    8 August, 2020 at 12:49 am
    “Worth pointing out that most years appeals cost money.”

    True. About the only positive to come out. If they had charged for the appeals there would have been hell to pay.

  192. Big Jock says:

    Nicola has just told the BBC. If she is elected she will serve the full 5 term.

    So I take it independence will have to wait another 5 years, and we are stuck with Nicola for 5 years.

  193. twathater says:

    I don’t know how true this is I have just read it in a comment on Indy car Gordon Ross youtube blog

    The Scottish parliament is proposing a new bill to stop Alex Salmond publishing his book! Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill

    If true I’ll say again what a load of shit, it appears the SNP are deliberately trying to defeat indy chances

  194. Davie Oga says:

    It’s morally wrong to grade an individual attainment on a collective basis. Subjective opinion has replaced merit.

    Better 10 average students are given a leg up than 1 one gifted student has their hard work and diligence binned in order to fit desired comparisons with previous years. The exceptional circumstances of 2020 mean that a like for like comparison is unsound anyway.

    Children from deprived areas have effectively been collectively punished by the SQA.

  195. Michael Laing says:

    @Big Jock at 1.42am: Sturgeon’s sounding like Thatcher, isn’t she? “I will go on and on…” Well, we know how that turned out.

    I think Sturgeon is for the chop. Perhaps she feels it necessary to make out that she’s going to continue in post in order to not give the impression that she knows fine well her days are numbered. But she has been such a complete and utter failure that I can’t see her lasting much longer. Never mind the fact that she’s up to her tits in corruption.

  196. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Alex Salmond is not writing a book. My source for that: Alex Salmond.

  197. CJ Robertson says:

    I’d call this article Praising With Faint Damns.

  198. twathater says:

    Rev Stuart @ 2.10am I’ll take yours and Alex’s word for that, but I wish he feckin would so we would all know who shit the bed

  199. Breeks says:

    I wish Alex Salmond would write a book too, but from the off, I wondered how any book that gave away the identity of the alphabet women would be possible while these malicious conspirators enjoy protection from anonymity, the State, and the Scottish Government. What a grievous indictment upon Scotland that they do.

    twathater says:
    8 August, 2020 at 1:54 am

    …The Scottish parliament is proposing a new bill to stop Alex Salmond publishing his book! Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill…

    My god, if that’s true, what a nasty and vindictive phenomenon we have passing itself off as a Scottish Government. An absolute ogre, crushing the Scottish people and squandering their constitutional birthrights, and lying through it’s teeth about Independence, yet cowardly, gutless and wholly ineffective in it’s capacity to defend Scotland from Westminster.

    The SNP increasingly looks like a rotten Scottish Local Authority. No competence in any sector except it’s nepotism, corruption and collusion between itself and it’s domesticated rogues, and the general public denied any path to justice.

    I actually understand the ‘good’ people which have been taken in by Nicola. It’s the next mandate, not the last 6 mandates, which will make the difference and unlock Independence. They are just ordinary people who don’t want to believe their eyes and ears.

    Nicola hasn’t been building the case for Scottish Independence. Brexit gave her all the tools needed to do that and secure Scotland’s exit from the UK but she enthusiastically ducked and dived her way out of that, and squandered every opportunity for nothing in return. The only thing Nicola Sturgeon has been cultivating is her own political citadel, surrounded by her own praetorian guard, and spitefully vindictive towards anyone who expects her to deliver material progress on Scottish Independence.

    All these people who attempt to slaughter Wings, and dare to suggest it is the criticism voiced here which threatens Independence are truly unprepared for the shocking reality that’s heading their way. The SNP under Sturgeon isn’t going to deliver Independence. They had the ready means of doing precisely that on every single day since the Brexit result was declared, but instead they laid on extra bullshit and diversionary rhetoric until one by one, Scotland’s windows of opportunity were closed.

    I’m going to say something nasty, but you’ll just have to take my word that I’m not trying to be nasty, but Scotland’s problem isn’t Sturgeons cosy wee autocracy. Scotland’s inherent weakness are the decent and ordinary YES footsoldiers who shore it up, who don’t ask questions, and who will follow the SNP simply because it carries a pro Independence banner.

    Maybe these folks are lucky enough to have never known betrayal, and refuse to believe it will ever happen to them. What’s so depressing is that Scotland has just been betrayed, twice, and it still doesn’t register. Our democratic mandate to fight Brexit was sold down the river. The Constitutional Sovereignty of our Nation has been body swerved so that the Scottish “Government” could forfeit Scotland’s constitutional strength and capitulate to the will of Westminster.

    What are these devastating injuries to Scotland if not betrayals? What are all those squandered mandates we have wasted on the SNP if not broken contracts?

    The SNP is living on borrowed time. The 54% for Independence is lying hostage to the SNP’s borrowed time, because for the time being, much of the Scottish electorate is in the dark about these betrayals, and the dirty smearing of Alex Salmond, the ramifications of GRA reform, the Hate Crime Legislation, and the SNP’s aloof indifference to criticism. But for some of us who consider ourselves more astute, the SNP under it’s current leadership is a walking catastrophe which simply unelectable because it has committed sins which are unforgivable. It is the SNP’s hubris and strategic incompetence which represent the greatest possible threat to Scottish Independence, NOT the anger and frustration of those who will speak out about their damaging ineptitude, and demand something better.

  200. susan says:

    Well said Breeks.

  201. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


  202. Bob Mack says:


    You often commit to words my exact feelings. We are not the enemies of Independence on this site. In fact looking at other sites we may be the only true friends it has just now.

    It’s like doing or saying nothing when you see someone you love putting themselves into trouble. A friend speaks out rdgardless of cost. That’s what Wings and most of its posters do.

    We are shunned by many as the unacceptable face of Independence but in fact we are the only ones who actually want to do something. The rest are content to slumber.

  203. John H. says:

    “…The Scottish parliament is proposing a new bill to stop Alex Salmond publishing his book! Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill…”

    And we all know who is behind it, but you will never find her fingerprints on it.

  204. John H. says:

    Big Jock says:
    8 August, 2020 at 1:42 am

    Nicola has just told the BBC. If she is elected she will serve the full 5 term.

    So I take it independence will have to wait another 5 years, and we are stuck with Nicola for 5 years.


    If everyone of us witholds all donations to the SNP, and make it clear why we are doing so, then, even she would eventually be forced to stand down.

  205. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Would a “Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill…” will mean that the current crop of propaganda, gossip and demonstrable shite passing its self of as Newspapers will be illegal?

    Like Scotlands Levison 2?

    Unfortunately like the rest of you I feel it is one of Wokoharams tools (GRA, Hate Crime Bill) to protect themselves and further the Big Pharma Trans Agenda.


  206. Liz says:

    So depressing. Breeks is right as usual.
    I made many friends during 2014, one no longer contacts me as she is a Nicola admirer.

    She has made excuse after excuse, all the clichés are there. This is someone who was loyal to SLAB for decades and she always said she couldn’t believe she supported them for so long.
    Some people put loyalty above everything.

    Many others have resigned from the SNP.
    I’m now at the stage where I can’t even listen to NS speak.
    The thought of her at Holyrood for an other 5 years is despairing

  207. Andy Ellis says:

    @Liz & others

    I feel much the same. It looks increasingly like the SNP is a lost cause. For those of us who just don’t buy the Wishartesque magical thinking that “independence has never been nearer”, the blithe assurances that we still have to wheesht for indy and must deliver yet another mandate and trust Nicola to deliver, it sees the next few months will be important.

    I no longer have much hope that the SNP can be rendered fit for purpose. The wokerati may have over-reached themselves recently, but they remain firmly entrenched. Worse still, the party is fundamentally a gradualist project. We are already being prepared for disappointment post Holyrood 2021 elections.

    The British nationalists will inevitably say “now is not the time” irrespective of the SNP majority or vote %.

    The SNP as currently organised will rattle its sabre ineffectually but actually achieve nothing. Priority will be given to post Covid recovery, building the consistent 60% required for the next mandate for the mandate display cabinet, and fighting off unionist attempts to divert powers away from Holyrood.

    The realisation that the SNP has failed us and has very little prospects (and it seems even less actual desire) to deliver an indyref this decade leaves us with only one feasible alternative: build a new movement. A list only party for 2021 is a start, but not an end.

    To “work as if you live in the early days of a better nation” requires something new, because it is increasingly obvious the SNP isn’t the vehicle to take us to a better nation unless we’re prepared for a long wait.

  208. Polly says:

    ‘Alex Salmond is not writing a book.’

    Thank god for that. I always thought any idea of a book would be used against him, people calling it self promotion or money grubbing. Also for things so serious a book wouldn’t be the proper medium. I do hope though that he does write for a newspaper or give a statement at some point to clarify his side of what happened during all this. Not the alphabet women obviously, however intriguing they are, but focusing in detail on the procedures which failed or were manipulated and the timings will be of great interest to us all.

  209. Mialuci says:

    I will vote for the SNP until we get independence and will do so after we get independence, I have a long long memory and I will never forget what the unionist parties in scotland hav done to derail independence, I hope their members bag the lot of them, cause one thing is for sure, with them still in control after independence they are dead in the water as political parties
    5 decades I have been voting for the SNP, I have seen them all come and go, and I accept its the way life works, nothing remains the same, but the one constant for me has been the hard fought struggle for Independence and as I have said before, If anyone on this forum or anywhere else does not have the balls for the fight, move over and let the rest of us who do get on with it Alba Gu Bra

  210. SOG says:

    “…The Scottish parliament is proposing a new bill to stop Alex Salmond publishing his book! Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill…”

    Does anyone else immediately think of ‘Spycatcher’? Published abroad, the car-crash of a trial brought it maximum publicity. Though less air travel at present will reduce the sales at foreign airports, to be brought home to the UK.

  211. SOG says:

    I just read Stu’s comment above.

  212. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    RE: exam estimations.

    You should read this comment BTL –

    Alasdair Macdonald
    August 7, 2020 at 8:14 pm

  213. Joe says:


    The SNP may be a ("Tractor" - Ed)ous lot. However politics is also shaped by underlying culture. Garbage in – garbage out. The SNP may well have betrayed Scots with inaction over independence but the culture of the SNP is also a product of the underlying base of Scottish indy support.

    The blind arrogance shown by the SNP is endemic throughout the indy supporting public ‘we hold the moral high ground, so facts don’t matter. Away with you Tory.’

    As for the damage the SNP have done – this can be laid squarely on the people who continued to vote for them without drawing any personal lines in the sand. Its called having self respect and integrity.

    While throwing hysterical fits about the evils of Westminster the Scottish nationalist base empowered the SNP to start stripping basic fundamental rights from people while howling at any who spoke up. Its not enough to say ‘but thats not what I wanted’. Its what your vote was doing. Here’s the thing – if the SNP had just continued to make the right noises and be less arrogant then fundamental freedoms would still be getting cast on the independence sacrificial fire.

    I have nothing but disgust for what passes for ‘Scottish indy’ supporters for the most part now, despite agreeing on the fundamentals of Scotland being an independent state. It has been a club for brainwashed uber leftists who put wishful thinking before all while outsourcing their responsibilities to the state. Sensible people who tried to warn what was going on were faced with ridicule and hostility by this herd.

    Its not just that the SNP has to go. Its the entire ‘think like us or you are just a Tory’ culture of the Scottish Indy movement.

    A period of self reflection and growing up is in order.

    BTW – if you haven’t already then you should have your own blog.

    This will probably be my last comment on WOS. Cheers

  214. robertknight says:

    Salmond’s night of the long knives won’t matter.

    The SNP’s popularity won’t matter.

    What matters is that with Sturgeon/Murrell at the helm, Indy isn’t any more likely to happen now than it has at any other time in the last three centuries.

    “Now is not the time” will not be remembered as May or Johnson’s mantra, but Sturgeon’s.

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