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This time they really mean it

Posted on December 07, 2016 by

Alert readers may have noticed with barely-concealed disinterest that Scottish Labour have announced their intention to have another really hard think about devolution.

With Labour not looking like being in power at either Holyrood or Westminster for at least a decade, and their opinions therefore being about as relevant as our ideas as to who should play in the back four for Real Madrid next weekend, most papers treated the news with the gravitas it deserved, such as this report in the Sunday Post:


But we thought it might be a snappy idea to keep track of all the times the Unionist parties have promised that they’ve come up with the ultimate form of devo-X.


The Scotland Act 1998. Almost 20 years after the first devolution referendum – which delivered a narrow Yes vote but was scuppered by a Labour MP’s “40% rule” – Labour produced its comprehensive and definitive vision for a “Scottish Executive”, the fruits of 19 years of deliberation.


The first attempted revision of Holyrood’s powers was the Steel Commission produced by the Liberal Democrats, a hefty 136-page document which made 20 recommendations, including having a second Constitutional Convention to “move towards a new modern settlement based on more federal principles and backed by a new fiscal system to address the issue of a deficit in accountability”.


The next year the Unionist parties duly embarked on the Calman Commission.


18 months later the Commission produced its report, concluding that airguns and speed limits should be devolved. Spontaneous street parties erupted.


Ruth Davidson pledges a “line in the sand” on devolution after Calman, saying that no more powers should be transferred. She tells the Scottish Conservatives at the launch of her leadership campaign that:

“The time for arguing about the powers the people want is over. It’s time now to use the powers that we have.”


Before any of Calman’s recommendations had been implemented the Lib Dems had another go, delivering the Home Rule and Community Rule Commission Report under Menzies Campbell.

At just 14 pages it was a much slimmer affair than the Steel report, and despite describing itself as a “radical programme for change” actually consisted of empty waffle and padding amounting to “we should talk about stuff again”.

Its second recommendation, for example, was:

“Led by the Scotland Office, the UK Government should begin an analysis of the options available to enhance the powers of the Scottish Parliament to implement the consensus set out in this report.”


The Scotland Act 2012, intended to deliver some but not all of the Calman proposals (the recommended devolution of Air Passenger Duty was excluded, for example), was brought before the UK parliament. It wouldn’t actually be fully enacted for several more years.


With SA2012 still lumbering slowly into law, seven years after Lord Calman and his pals had first sat round a table, the Unionist parties again embarked on their own devolutionary talking shops.

Labour’s Devolution Commission produced a final report which U-turned on key aspects of its own interim report after furious internal wrangling, and the Tories’ Strathclyde Commission abandoned Ruth Davidson’s line in the sand and stole a march on the self-proclaimed “party of devolution” by being slightly more daring.

The final recommendations, including those of the Lib Dems two years earlier, were summarised in a handy chart:


The whole mess was bundled up into “The Vow”, a woolly and non-committal promise to do something but not anything specific, fronted and “guaranteed” by Gordon Brown and presented on the front page of the Daily Record appended by the signatures of three party leaders who have all now, like Brown, departed the political stage.

Brown, however, did elaborate on what The Vow amounts to:

“We’re going to be, within a year or two, as close to a federal state as you can be in a country where one nation is 85 per cent of the population.”


“nothing else than a modern form of Scottish Home Rule within the UK”


Following the No vote, the Smith Commission was formed to put together a third Scotland Act in 15 years, essentially transferring most of income tax, control of road signs and (finally) APD to Holyrood. Labour bitterly fought against almost every new power, including abortion, employment law and the minimum wage, and managed to stop most of them.


Labour announces that it will in fact go further than “The Vow”, in what Gordon Brown describes as “The Vow Plus”.


But it loses the election, and instead devotes itself to blocking all improvements to the Scotland Act 2015 that are proposed by the 56 new SNP MPs who’d just been elected by the people of Scotland on a manifesto pledge to strengthen the act, following David Cameron’s pre-referendum promise that “all the options of devolution are there and are possible”.

The Daily Record ties itself in knots variously proclaiming that the Vow has been delivered, not delivered and flat-out betrayed.


Kezia Dugdale gives a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Review calling for a “new Act Of Union” which will create a new, more federal UK. She repeatedly and inexplicably insists that her position of a Scotland inside both the UK and EU represents the view of “the majority” of Scots, despite polling showing that just 28% actually back that option.

(The most popular choice being an independent Scotland in the EU on 32%.)


She doesn’t explain where the public or political support for it will come (given that it’s not an option supported by either the Scottish or UK governments), or whether it would be more federal than the “as close to a federal state as you can be” already described by Gordon Brown and supposedly implemented by the Scotland Act 2015, or whether it’s more Home Rule-y than the Home Rule that Scottish Labour said had already been delivered in January 2015.


(Having been promised since Keir Hardie first stood for election in 1888.)


This may be because with support for Scottish Labour at 15% and falling, it doesn’t matter in the tiniest possible way what she thinks or says.

But, y’know, it’s December. People have to fill newspapers with something. And they can always be sure that a new “final” Unionist devolution proposal is never more than a few months away.

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  1. 08 12 16 01:20

    This is the week « Wee Ginger Dug

300 to “This time they really mean it”

  1. misteralz says:

    Excellent article, but I’m perplexed as to where that last quote starts?

  2. Ian McCubbin says:

    A matter of time till her branch offices concedes all and becomes pro independence.
    They will be close to 1-2 % of electorate support before penny drops.
    My view no loss they deserve all after 2 generations of letting Scotland down.

  3. MajorBloodnok says:

    It’s remarkable that Labour have come up with this tosh [again] on the same day that the UK Government has made it clear (in the Supreme Court) that the Sewell Convention is just a political device and that Westminster can over-rule and indeed abolish Holyrood if and when it want.

  4. Sandy says:

    For a minute there I thought the Sunday post article you were referring to was the one on the left, headlined ‘Droning on About It.’ Might have been more appropriate.

  5. Tackety Beets says:

    Speak up Dugdale you’re thro’

    Or as Adam would say in the jungle

    “Shut up Dugdale!!!”

  6. Proud Cybernat says:

    The most Powerfulest DevoFedMaxSuperwithBellsandBaubles Parliament in the whole wide Universe and beyond:

    (Kez – a star is born. And will fade rapid-style after May 2017 CE results. SNP x n)

  7. starlaw says:

    The best suggestion I have is to RUN RUN Scotland RUN as fast as you can run of into Europe and leave the Union Jackery behind. Kezia will not notice until three weeks after you’ve gone. Then she will write about what a good idea it would be to leave the UK.

  8. One_Scot says:

    With any luck Scotland will be Independent soon and ‘Scottish Labour’ can be put to sleep.

  9. tartanfever says:


    that’s no coincidence, that’s planning.

    ‘Don’t look over there, look here.’

  10. mike cassidy says:

    As the weegingerdug points out today,

    there comes a point when you have to stop polishing a turd, and just flush it away.

  11. K1 says:

    It’d make ye laugh if it wisnae such a tragic litany of bullshit heaped upon manure covered in excrement that Labour has been selling tae Scotland for decades.

    Why o why are these people given any kind public platform to continue to willfully lie to the people of Scotland?

    Time tae finally get shot of them come May

  12. Marie Clark says:

    Seems to me I’ve heard that song before.

    Kez and SLAB, who gives a toss. Totally irrelevant.

  13. Sinky says:

    O/T More on BBC / UKIP love in

    And oh the irony at Westminster PMQs when a Tory backbencher was asking about BBC bias against the government.

    I suppose the BBC reaction will be … we are balanced as we are also against the Scottish government.

  14. Bob Mack says:

    All these magnificent powers, so many we can’t handle them. Yet yesterday what did we discover from the Advocate General? In fact they mean nothing. No power at all.
    Just window dressing to keep the gullible interested and compliant. As far I I am concerned they can stick their further powers where the sun seldom shines.

    I detest this Union. Full of tricksters and deceivers.

  15. Bruce L says:

    What do workable nuclear fusion and Scottish Labour’s final, final, definitely final pinkie promise position on Scottish devolution have in common…?

  16. Nana says:

    Someone on twitter said “It’s brownhog day again”

    I would like to know if Dugdale left a mark in the carpet during her Brown impression.

    @Marie clark
    Hope you are feeling better.

  17. Andrew Mclean says:

    I remember my grandfather telling me about the demands for home rule by the international socialist movement, precursor of the Labour Party, when he got home after WW1,
    Take their time, the Labour Party do.

  18. Ian says:

    Don’t forget labours hand the mcCrone report, surely the most jaw dropping indictment of Westminster control ever.

    From Wiki –

    ‘The McCrone report is a UK Government document which was written and researched in 1974 on behalf of the British Government of the day (Conservative, led by Edward Heath). It was composed by Professor Gavin McCrone, an employee of the Scottish Office, at St. Andrew’s House in Edinburgh.

    After discussions between St. Andrews House and the Cabinet Office in London, Prof. McCrone passed the report on to the new Labour government on 23 April 1975, along with a covering letter. The covering letter is the source of the oft-quoted phrase about “taking the wind out of the SNP’s sails”; Prof. McCrone was here outlining what actions he believed would be necessary to prevent support for the SNP from growing further.

    The report was classified as ‘secret’ by civil servants at the time, and successive UK Governments kept it so, over fears that McCrone’s findings would give a further boost to the SNP’s policy of Scottish independence.

    The report came to light in 2005 when the SNP obtained several UK Government papers under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.’

    Just google ‘McCrone report’ for more details.

    Thanks labour.

  19. orri says:

    What’s so wrong with the old Act of Union that we should authorize it’s replacement with a new one written by those who have a demonstrable ability to booby trap legislation to suit their own need?

  20. mogabee says:

    Seeing as it’s Christmas an’ all, I’ll do my best to be positive…

    Seriously! That’s fecking embarrassing looking at that. And “Kez” can go &)£$%”!)*%^^.


  21. Artyhetty says:

    All of these Scotland ‘acts’, and the unionists in WM are still taking the absolute rip out of Scotland.

    They rely on people not knowing what devolution actually means, in it’s current form, what is devolved and what isn’t, and their aim is to confuse people so that they vote for the status quo every time.

    Labour branch in Scotland are lying troughers, that has been proved many times now.
    Looking at the labour poster there, they might as well have said, ‘Scotland, you can be the fairest of them all’! Kezia dear, the people of Scotland do not want your weasel words, and abracadabra just won’t wash anyone.

  22. Capella says:

    SC back on. See that the QC has moved so we can no longer enjoy the glowers on the Govt advocates faces. Pity!

  23. One_Scot says:

    First time I’ve see Stephen Gethins. He looks like a rising star.

  24. heedtracker says:

    Act of Union 2.0. Other side of the federal SLab con, “give” us much more devo England, but not for Holyrood, oh no, as close to the people of their Scotland as is federally possible, yoon held councils. Then, they all shut up and vote SLab.

    If only there was some way to end all this begging our chums in the south for more devo, and for UKOK types like Kez to stop lying about “giving” Scotland more devo…

  25. Walter Scott says:

    Is support for labour in Scotland really as little as 15% ? Can a party that used to weigh its vote in Scotland & win landslide victories only a few elections ago have fallen to levels attained by the Greens or Solidarity ?
    They really should pack it all in & join a party that will fight the odious lying fat boab.

  26. Breastplate says:

    That’s quite right, proof positive that they care, not a jot about Scotland.
    If the McCrone report had have been about England we would have heard about it as much as the 1966 World Cup.
    It’s only Scotland that’s to look bad.

  27. Arbroath1320 says:

    So the teeny weeny Branch office of a continually infighting party from dan suff are going to have a go at having yet another *YAWN* really hard brain exercise, after they locate their universal brain, and come up with more ideas for devolution. 😀

    This, of course, would be the same party that wants Kezia Dugdale to lead her *cough* party for a decade of course. 😀

  28. heedtracker says:

    At least Kezia’s Act of Union 2, has brought them all back Bettertogether again. Kenfarq of the Times jumps in with “home rule” for you vile sep ingrates too. Just vote SLab and it all be fine and UKOK dandy. Not sure “home rule” is in any of Kez’s Act of union though. Sounds good though, to a Murdoch boot boy.

    Duncan Hothersall ?@dhothersall 2h2 hours ago
    SNP’s scorn for a constitutional convention is telling. Bringing all parties together to try to achieve a compromise is not in their plan.

    Duncan Hothersall Retweeted
    Kenny Farquharson ?@KennyFarq 3h3 hours ago
    Sour SNP response to Dugdale speech on home rule. Surely there is common cause to be forged here, to advance the Scottish interest?

  29. DerekM says:

    What and there was me thinking we had already got super devo better together federalism max of the most awesome kind.

    She really is brainless so Kez would you like to explain Smith to us hmmm?

    You see Kez when you and Labour thought it was all SNP bad so blocked Smith and let the tories turn it into a trap,what you actually did was block the people of Scotland not the SNP and for that your BOSS is very very unhappy.

    Do you know who your BOSS is lassie you know the folks who pay you or do we need to kick you up the arse again.

    Ah forget it going to shine up my boot for 2017 anyway you got it coming.

  30. msean says:

    A new act of union. Wouldn’t that require one of those dreadful referendum thingies? 🙂

    We don’t want any act of union at all.

  31. heedtracker says:

    Dr NO! likes it. Yoon culture is fickle up here. From two ultra unionistas implacably opposed to anything Scottish devo.

    Scott Arthur Retweeted
    Ian Murray ?@IanMurrayMP 1h1 hour ago
    Bold & ambitious by @kezdugdale today. We need a new Act of Union in a post Brexit Britain to maintain the UK & allow Scotland to flourish.

  32. Marie Clark says:

    Thanks for the kind thoughts Nana. Getting there thank you.

  33. orri says:

    I suppose it’s too late to mention the whole basis of EVEL is now even more suspect than it was in the first place. Or counter it by the claim that in voting for it Parliament, if not the Government, understands that unless it’s a genuine emergency Legislative Consent is needed for Westminster to legislate on devolved matters.

    I’m half convinced that there’s no law that Westminster enacts that Holyrood couldn’t simply counter. More to the point I genuinely believe that the FM can advise the Queen on the use of her Royal Prerogative to withhold Legislative Consent which is in effect a veto. Said power has specifically been removed from the grubby paws of Mundell (as Scottish Secretary) who would otherwise have been able to use it to veto laws passed by Holyrood.

  34. heedtracker says:

    And from the genius that gave the world Project Fear 1. If this is true, why their latest The Vow style shyste on Scots? Defeated independence hardly needs any more silly Kez style bleating to England for more devo please and so on?

    Blair McDougall ?@blairmcdougall 1h1 hour ago
    Blair McDougall Retweeted Philip Sim
    A startling admission of the defeat of the independence cause.Blair McDougall added,

    Philip Sim @BBCPhilipSim
    Linda Fabiani: “Billions of yrs frm now I half expect Lab politicians to be staring into a dying sun calling fr a constitutional convention”

  35. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Surely there is common cause to be forged here, to advance the Scottish interest?”

    Usually that only works with a SHARED Scottish interest. A Scottish Labour Party that would happily return billions of Holyrood budget to WM to earn themselves some ermine and who works hardest of all to undermine Scotland’s democracy is no party I want to have any shared interest with.

  36. Stoker says:

    In fighting parlance that article is what one calls a haymaker.

    ((((( AND STAY DOWN YOU FUDs )))))

  37. heedtracker says:

    Cant imagine the exciting and amazing Kez convention will mean dudes like this guy getting their P45.

    George Foulkes ?@GeorgeFoulkes 6h6 hours ago
    George Foulkes Retweeted Philip Sim
    Great initiative. Neither stale Unionism of @RuthDavidsonMSP nor separation but a new constitutional settlement for whole UK.

  38. Proud Cybernat says:

    Anyone get the feeling all the ex-SLabour voices are desperately trying to talk up this ‘new initiative’?

    (Stop laughing at the back).

    Labour – yer mince!

    And we KNOW yer mince!

    Mind you – what we DIDNAE know was that mince could lie. But there you go–every day is a school day.

  39. Andrew McLean says:

    For the avoidance of doubt the only affect of a new “Act of Union” is to bind Scotland fast.

    As the Speaker of the English House of Commons exulted, “We have catch’d Scotland and will bind her fast.”

    Well that hasn’t worked so lets try again, that the trick Kezia?, do you really think Scotland is so stupid, I know you are Kezia, but please give us the benefit of the doubt, after all we have knocked the wheels off your charabanc.

  40. Proud Cybernat says:

    Of course, what SLabour are attempting to do with this *new* initiative is to try and steal the SNP’s clothes as the party putting Scotland first with their massive intellect in coming up with these new forward-thinking proposals. And when the nasty SNP tell them to take a hike it’s more Bad Bad SNP, not putting Scotland first, SNP putting party first blah, blah, boak.

    BBC Misreporting Scotland had the script written last week. Didn’t yous!!

    They think we cannae see right thru them.

  41. Paula Rose says:

    I wonder what John McTernan’s view on this “new” initiative is.

  42. Karmanaut says:

    I expect they’ll come out with their usual “We’ll get rid of the House of Lords” spiel in the new year as well. They make and betray that promise every year, too.

    Labour is the party (as others here rightly point out) that sent £100s of billions of Scottish taxpayer cash back to Westminster while they were taking out scandalous PFI loans on schools that will cost us £1bn in repayments this year.

    They have shown time and time again that will damage Scotland if given the chance, if they can get something out of it themselves. This is way beyond simple incompetence.

    Spoke to a mate who reckons that the SLab/Tory/Herald “NHS Crisis (the SNP is really bad)” season is due to start on the 29th December this year. (My money is on it starting on Jan 2nd).

    So there’s that to look forward to.

  43. Noel Chidwick says:

    If, every time Labour proposed new powers, Scotland received new powers, Nicola Sturgeon would now be Empress of the Universe.

  44. steviecosmic says:

    The saddest part in all of this, is that Scots have essentially allowed themselves to be duped and hoodwinked by their political matters for what now amounts to centuries.

    Even post information revolution, when almost any piece of political knowledge is merely a Google search away, a nation condemns itself to servitude through shear ignorance alone.

    Those who have helped shackle a beggared Scotland to the now twitching corpse of the UK, because ‘Rangers, the Queen, the Union Jack’ or indeed ‘Labour’, will not be remembered well by history.

  45. R-type Grunt says:

    It goes without saying that the Tories are Unionist through & through (it’s probably carved in stone somewhere) but who knew that Labours sole purpose is to maintain the Union?

  46. Proud Cybernat says:

    Lord Advocate just been asked to “Speak up.”

    Aye – Scotland is speaking up a’right. First time in over 300 years!

    Pop-corn going down nicely.

  47. callmedave says:

    FGS! Has everybody at the back in court suddenly got the wheezes and sneezes and coughs since this morning.

    Ah speak up says a judge! Aye right. 🙁

  48. schrodingers cat says:

    1619 act by monarch, gives monarch the power to decide in scotland and england, that power was subsequently given to westminster, so suck it up holyrood

    scotland act issues which refer to devolved issues regarding the eu are now redundant

  49. heedtracker says:

    Everytime you look. What on earth’s got into that crew right now anyway? Brexit’s either usual toryboy triumph/catastrofuck or usual toryboy triumph/fudge, in a few very solid UKOK years time.

    If usual UK political cycles apply, tory BBC led SNP monstering should get at least a few SLab gimps back in Westminster 2020 and should chip away at SNP Holyrood numbers. Oh wait, there’s Scots council elections in May.


  50. Ian says:

    Labour have been digging their grave for decades. They hide the McCrone report from the public in 1974 and continue to do so from 1997-2005 under ‘new labour’. They set a 40% pass for the 1979 Devolution vote that turned a Yes into a No result. Thanks to their incompetence during their time in government from 1974- 79, they lose a ‘confidence vote’ and then massively lose the resulting 1979 election to Thatcherism, a disaster that lasted for 18 years. True to form, labour try to blame the lost confidence vote in 1979 on the SNP.

    The fixed loss of the 1979 Scotland Devolution vote was likely the start of labours downfall in Scotland. This isn’t history. Dennis Skinner, the bastion of labour left was a key figure in driving the 40% amendment to the 1979 Scottish Devolution referendum, and he’s still at Westminster.

    The McCrone report also isn’t history as the Westminster Club try to portray it (despite the fact that it was them who hid it for 30 years). In 2011 the UK balance of trade was minus £29 billion. Oil revenues from North Sea oil were £35 billion. So as recently as 2011, without North Sea oil, the UK balance of trade would have been double what it was. The North Sea oil and gas industry as a whole contributed £35 billion to the UK Treasury in 2014. In 2015 the UK balance of trade stood at minus £96 billion. All that North Sea oil money just pissed away thanks to Westminster.

    ‘In his evidence to the Lords Committee on the Economic Implications of Scottish Independence in 2012, Professor McCrone stated that Scotland’s GDP would increase by around 20% if North Sea oil were counted as part of it.’

    ‘In an interview for Holyrood Magazine on the 19th of May 2013, ex-Labour chancellor Denis Healey (who served in the Cabinet at the time the McCrone Report was submitted) stated: “I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of [Scottish] nationalism… I think they [Westminster politicians] are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it.”‘

    Scotland needs to free itself from the dead weight of Westminster deceit and control or it will never achieve what it is capable of, as McCrone correctly identified in 1974 –

    ‘The eighteen-page report focused on the likely effects of North Sea oil revenue on the economic viability of an independent Scotland. Professor McCrone predicted that North sea oil revenue would make an independent Scotland “as rich as Switzerland”, giving the country a large tax surplus, on such a scale as to be “embarrassing”. He also surmised that this surplus revenue would make the Scottish pound the hardest currency in Europe “with the exception of the Norwegian kronor”.’

    A lot of the money has gone but the Westminster lies & deceit are still as strong as ever.

  51. heedtracker says:

    “I was proud because it was a Labour argument I was making.

    “The UK provides the redistribution of wealth that defines our entire Labour movement and it provides the protection for public finance in Scotland that comes from being part of something larger.

    “Something good. Something worth fighting for.”

    UKOK Billionaires Club will certainly enjoy that slice of Kez. Billionaires of Scotland Club for SLab Chair person JK Rowling, invested £1 million in Better Together, yet to tweet?

  52. schrodingers cat says:

    this advocate guy is rubbish

  53. This latest announcement from Dugdale, that the UK needs a new Act of Union to prevent it breaking once and for all.

    Smacks of Fascism/Nazism, for what she is actually advocating is denying the people of Scotland the right of self determination.

  54. Macart says:

    Kezia didn’t get the memo about devolution then? Also (clearly) doesn’t have access to a telly, a laptop or a paper.

  55. People Carrier says:

    OMFJ – How can an advocate appear so totally incoherent in the oral presentation of his argument! The epic Scots ‘defeat from the jaws of victory’ scenario. Is he ready for the toilet? He’s jumping about like he’s an over-excited schoolboy.

    IMO – our lord advocate isn’t presenting the case well at all. He’s essentially conceded several points without establishing clearly the thrust of his argument. Poor show so far.

  56. Bill McDermott says:


    Listening to the Lord Advocate, James Wolfe at the Supreme Court. Not impressed. The two Northern Irish advocates were much more effective. Wolfe is floundering a bit.

  57. schrodingers cat says:

    so, holyrood cant stop a royal perogative which presses the a50 button

    but if a bill was brought forward to press the a50 button, it would need consent from holyrood

    the guy is still rubbish tho

  58. Orla says:

    You forgot one – Lords Salisbury, Hain & (Ming) Campbell issued an “Act of Union Bill” immediately after the EU referendum.

    Here’s the text:

    And the drafters’ own account of it:

    And a bit of background:

    From the detail of the bill it is clear that they had not taken the 2016 Scotland Act into account at all – there’s one passing reference to it (n. 28), saying that some clauses might need to be adjusted to take account of it. The main Bill would have actually clawed back most of the Scotland Act powers.

    Which reveals that this ‘bill’ must have been drafted for the most part straight after the indyref, then shoved in a drawer soon after. It only came out again when the polls were pro-indy straight after the EU ref. And then when the polls went back to being anti-indy, the whole topic was just dropped again.

  59. frogesque says:

    I notice on BBC 2 afternoon SNP bad politics whatever, Kez also wants to abolish the HoL.

    Oh look, it’s Christmas and all the turkeys are voting for Thanksgiving!

  60. Vestas says:

    I’m not really sure what he’s arguing?

    Can you trigger A50 with royal prerogative – answer is no.

    The NI advocate at least had some relevant points?

    He starts off by saying the Scottish Parliament doesn’t have a veto over Westminster then what? If they can’t veto it then why are you arguing for consent?

    Oh and some of the SC judges are doing their very best to help him along. Stage fright?

  61. One_Scot says:

    Please tell me he’s going to get better.

  62. Mike says:

    Is anybody else watching Wolff’s performance in the Supreme court today?
    Its absolutely abysmal. The man is totally shiteing himself stumbling mumbling getting himself into a right muddle.
    He is incoherent inconsistent and bungling.

  63. manandboy says:

    Either the Lord Advocate for Scotland, Mr Wolffe QC, is a nervous wreck, he hasn’t done enough homework, or he is very poor at clear and logical presentation.

    Whatever the reason, so far, this is an enormous disappointment.

  64. One_Scot says:

    I’m beginning to think we would have had a stronger case if he had not turned up.

  65. Mike says:

    Is this a deliberate bad performance by Wolffe? Is the man a Brexiteer or is he under instruction to undermine the Scottish Government?

  66. Bob Mack says:

    What is so hard about stating “Royal prerogative cannot be used because the power to make laws was given to parliament by Scotland and not the crown”

    I hope Aiden McNeil is better than this turnip.

  67. yesindyref2 says:

    Strange. The 11 judges seem to be desperate to make Wolffe’s case for him.

  68. manandboy says:

    Wolffe is going nowhere – except from bad to worse.

  69. manandboy says:

    Court adjourned – thanks be to God.

  70. schrodingers cat says:

    tfft, court adjourned
    he needs to do better, the sc are ripping him a new one

  71. gus1940 says:

    I can’t wait for tonight’s Misreporting Scotland which will no doubt be writhing in orgasmic ecstasy over Kezia’s latest wheeze.

    I see that our old pal Dr. Scott was given the privilege of the lead letter in today’s National.

  72. Fireproofjim says:

    Supreme Court
    Very disappointed in Lord Advocate’s presentation. Stumbling. Mumbling, Humming and hawing. Seems unrehearsed.
    Would have expected a confident and strong case. As far as I can see he is being helped along by the Judges who do not seem impressed.
    I agree with One_Scot. It would have been better if he had stayed at home. Certainly Scotland’s case has not been improved, but perhaps I am missing something.
    He has another half hour tomorrow.

  73. carjamtic says:



  74. Glamaig says:

    Wolffe seemed to state at the start that Holyrood cannot veto the withdrawal from the EU but then argued at length that a Westminster bill to trigger article 50 must have the consent of Holyrood because it unpacks into changes to Holyrood’s powers and law on devolved matters. At least I think so, I may have nodded off.

  75. Capella says:

    I was puzzled by James Wolff’s delivery. Has he got a stutter? He certainly sounded hesitant but seemed to get his points made anyway. There was a great deal of noise in the background and eye rolling etc.

    He was right to say the Scottish Government doesn’t have a veto. They don’t. His argument is that they have to pass a consent motion. What Westminster does after that is up to Westminster.

  76. Vestas says:

    Mike @ 3:53pm :

    “Is this a deliberate bad performance by Wolffe? Is the man a Brexiteer or is he under instruction to undermine the Scottish Government?”

    I wouldn’t have thought the Scottish govt wanted to win?

    Surely its in our interest to get told by a majority English court to “fuck off and learn what ‘normally’ means”?

    Isn’t the whole point of this – and other exercises – to tick off all the boxes so indyref2 happens?

    Having said that he’s not impressive is he?

  77. heedtracker says:

    Andrew Neil ?@afneil 6h6 hours ago
    Andrew Neil Retweeted Tim Jones
    Lots. Read my tweets. And do try to keep up.

    Tim Jones @TimJones_dydx
    UK Industrial output numbers not looking so rosy this morning, in fact worst month since 2012. Anything to say @afneil?

    Federal Kez hasn’t caught the interest of our imperial master baiters sadly. No point in trying to keep up with the Ligger.

  78. schrodingers cat says:

    joanne cherry qc would have been choice

  79. heedtracker says:

    BetterTogether Slovenia branch manager also, mute!.

    Great kisser though. He should have at least tweet something BetterTogether to say though. Even just for those lucky enough to sit at the great man’s knee, to hear his constitutional greatness of Britishness, federal UK wise.

  80. Alan Of Neilston says:

    The Lord Advocate has just folded under examination from the judges. The case is not being forcefully presented by James Wolfe. Why is he so nervous and ill prepared. Court is now adjourned thank god. Hope someone gets a hold of him tonight and tears into him. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a better performance but after this performance don’t hold your breath.

  81. Andrew McLean says:

    To be fair, he is balancing the political reality, with the political idealism of Holyrood.

    Unless you really believed the greatest parliament nonsense, we may say its a parliament not an assembly, but in the heart of that argument there is a fault, a flaw.

    Unless we have independence we will be forever the slave, tugging at our masters coat-tails, “please sir, more powers sir”.
    Its our masters whim to give and our masters whim to take away, that is why we are getting interference from labour “super new powers shite”.

    Our imperial overlords will forever throw us scraps and like a well beaten dog, we will snarl and bite for a piece his rancid leftovers, and return to our place on the ground, cowering in fear least he take it from us.

    We have been fed our gruel, ether take it or ram it down their throats.

    We have supported this union far to long, both financially and politically, like UKIP’s new leader says, its time to end the support.

  82. Bob Mack says:

    Aiden McNeil has still to speak on behalf of the workers union. He is well respected in England and Scotland and has written on the constitutional arrangements between both.
    My money is on him to state to the Court what Mr Wolfe was apparently reluctant to say today. He has in his submission everything we have talked about for months.

    Mr Wolfe seemed oddly reluctant to challenge the SC. I have no such fears about Mr McNeil.

  83. Liz g says:

    Good Grief if they want to know what the Westminster parliament intended by the word Normally…’s right there in Hansard.
    The Secretary of State for Scotland explained it several times.
    Can sumbudy no send them a YouTube clip o it?

    Although to be fair he did say that it wasn’t something that needed to be decided at this time!!! wonder what he means by that?

  84. Capella says:

    Lord Advocate’s microphone was turned off when he started. First time that’s happened at the SC so far. Maybe the volume was low.

    A tweet on BBC site says. Wolffe QC – when UK was founded in 1707 it was to Parliament, not the Crown, that the power to change the laws in Scotland was given.

    With Devolution, that passes to the Scottish Parliament – even in reserved matters if there is a knock-on effect.

  85. Capella says:

    @ Bob Mack – Aiden O’Neill is not listed as one of the speakers. See timetable:

  86. callmedave says:

    That was a poorish start in reducing the scope of the Scottish case through his concessions list down to a very narrow margin of law. Must do better tomorrow.

    Aye the Judges were trying hard to crystalise the essence of his argument (or conversely, put their words in his mouth) right enough.

    Is a convention legally binding and what about that magic word ‘normally’ introduced into the Myth Commission by Mundell.

    This intervention by the SG will do some good in the long run as folk with an open mind will maybe realise that Scotland does not have the most powerful devolved government in the world and turn towards independence as a solution.

    As most said yesterday ‘English Law’ will decide the case and the annoying Scottish question will be ushered into the long grass, better to let sleeping dogs lie…after all we (they ) have an unwritten constitution and that’s more comfortable… init!

  87. orri says:

    So basically he may have been sabotaged to put him off his stride. Is it paranoia to wonder if he or his family have been threatened in any way?

  88. bookie from hell says:

    Lord Wolffe

    it was like question time ,except it was supreme court judges asking

    as soon as the word normally was brought up he was toast

    is this the best advocate in scotland or greta

  89. Nana says:

    Alex Johnstone msp has passed away after a short illness

  90. yesindyref2 says:

    @Bob Mack
    Aidan O’Neill isn’t making an oral submission unfortunately.

    On the bright side, at least once it’s distilled down to words, Wolffe’s oral submission will only be about half a page to read. I can’t wait!

  91. Brian Powell says:

    Watching the Supreme Court and the spokesman for Scotland attempting to make the case that we are relevant in the UK, the obvious answer is that rather than spend time arguing over the Tory Brexit we should make ourselves relevant in our own right by voting for Independence.

    How the local office of Labour can see those proceedings and still gabble on about devolution is beyond my understanding. Dugdale said it was right to vote No in 2014 and it is right now, but not a single qualifying statement on why she thinks it is right.

  92. Marie Clark says:

    Watched a wee bit o the Lord Advocate. My, my, my Mr Wolfe, whit an embarrassment. Dearie me.

  93. Robert Louis says:

    Labour in Scotland: ‘..So this time we really, really mean it. We really, really, really will give Scotland some new ‘powers’. Honestly. We really, really mean it this time. Definitely for sure. Honest’.

    feckin Morons.

  94. Capella says:

    BBC Live tweets at 16:18
    Its been a pretty polished performance by Lord Wolff so far and he will get another 30 minutes tomorrow.

    Perhaps we are too critical?

    Wolffe urges court to heed devolution conventions via @BBCNews

  95. Andrew McLean says:

    Nana 4:30
    now that is not good news, he was a Scottish gentleman and a Tory, a rare man indeed.

  96. orri says:

    The First Minister might have a veto if she decides it’s worth advising the Queen to exercise the Royal Prerogative of withholding Royal Assent on bills concerning Devolved Matters as is her power within the Scotland Act. Not on passing them obviously but in preventing them being adopted into legislation before Holyrood has the time to enact nullifying legislation.

    However that’s of limited utility if contested by Westminster or if the Queen declines on grounds that the matter at hand does not come within the scope of devolution. In other words it’d only really apply to direct changes of legislation imposed on Holyrood.

  97. I would have thought. That a party whose very existence is for Scottish independence managed to won 56 seats out of 59 by the votes of the Scottish people that in itselfe was a mandate for home rule but no we keep playing by their rules that make sure we never win

  98. Robert Louis says:

    The supposed unwritten ‘constitution of the UK’ we are repeatedly told, is a collection of conventions and norms, based upon practise. Sewell is one of those conventions. THAT is the point.

    You cannot say we have all these conventions and norms, then when it suits, just say, ‘but we’ll just ignore that really important one this time’.

    Haven’t seen Wolfe’s performance, but if it is as bad as people say, he needs a boot up the *rse, and told to get his act together.

    I do hope the Scot Gov are on the case already. It will not do.

  99. stewartb says:

    These seem to be very dangerous times.

    The convergence of the Supreme Court’s deliberations, and in particular the Advocate General’s case regarding the lack of protections available to the status and competences of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government, together with various unionist initiatives (e.g. the draft proposals from the Constitution Reform Group of Peers and now from Scottish Labour) concerning a new Act of Union is seriously worrying.

    Given the make-up of the UK Parliament, both Commons and Lords, presumably a new Bill of Union, which could end any chance of independence for a very long time – even introducing a Spanish-type legal block on secession such as Catalonia faces – could readily be brought forward and passed into law, with the Scottish electorate and its representatives in both the UK and Scottish parliaments powerless to resist in a parliamentary sense. And in the near future, possibly for there to be no recourse to a European court of last resort.

    Would be helpful to have a view on this scenario from someone with legal expertise as I have none.

  100. Anne Bruce says:

    It’s the substance of Lord Wolffe’s argument, not his delivery, which will influence the SC Judges.

    Looking forward to what he has to say tomorrow.

  101. The Hidden Fortress says:

    today @ SC, 2 lordships suggested that the purpose of inclusion of the sewel convention in primary legislation could be argued to be a mere ‘douceur’ (sweetener) ; one even suggested its inclusion could be there for no other reason than to make the relevant section look less ‘bare’ ! wolffe’s response and overall performance were a little underwhelming but each advocate gets there in their own style, so here’s the written submission for more detail (conclusions begin at page 49) :

  102. Andrew McLean says:

    Blair the political machinations are very reminiscent of the culture and politics of the Americas during their separation from the UK, well that’s my opinion anyway.

  103. Bob Mack says:


    I think two of the judges hinted at exactly that very thing today.

  104. schrodingers cat says:

    we keep playing by their rules that make sure we never win

    no, we keep playing by their rules to manouver ourselves into a position where we can and will win. thats why we stood 59 candidates and won 56 mps who do attend wm, unlike SF.

    we are far closer to an indy scotland than SF are to a united ireland…

  105. One_Scot says:

    The BBC – ‘It’s been a pretty polished performance from Lord Wolffe so far and he will get another 30 minutes tomorrow.’

    And the Judges helping him stand up. Maybe I’m too paranoid but something does not feel right.

  106. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    So Kez has finally caught up with Alex Rowley, and the rest of the Red Tories are getting on-message too. They are now all ready for their latest group visit to the last-chance saloon. Whoopee!

    Except that the place is deserted, the floors are warped and the wind is gusting through cracks in the walls – the rest of us who have tasted the bitter ale served there before are now long gone.

    And the distant relations they also hope to invite to their little gathering can’t be effed to come.

  107. Artyhetty says:

    Sounds like a disaster regards the SC and Mr. Wolfe. Let’s hope his performance improves tomorrow. Again, humming and hawing just confuses matters, but maybe that is the objective.

    Surely Wolfe is experienced enough to be sure of what he is saying, and knows how to put his case across. Hmmm.

  108. Proud Cybernat says:

    Just heard that Wolffe had a visit to the dentist today. They took all his teeth out. Hope they fit him with some falsers for th’morra! Ah’d even lend him mine if it would help put some bite into his argument.

  109. Glamaig says:

    Wolffe’s delivery is poor but I think the substance was ok, argued that Holyrood should give consent to Article 50. Dont know how much delivery counts for in these things.

  110. yesindyref2 says:

    At the end the President said he was on time, so I guess he said all he had to say so far. The transcript may show he said all he needed to, a simple message, ehh, ahh, hummm, mmm, ….. simples!

  111. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It’s not an episode of Rumpole – if you watch the faces of those behind him it’s pretty clear that what he’s been saying is important, and they all know it. How he chooses to deliver his case is his business – daresay he knows a lot more about the judges facing him than we ever will.


  112. Robert Graham says:

    Blair Paterson .
    Agreed that was the verdict on their scabby Vow , all but three MPs told to piss off , even Maggie admitted that was all that was needed.
    The SNP need to stop being nice to the other unionist parties , stop giving the long winded detailed answers to their loaded questions they aint bloody listening all they want is their chance to rubbish everything thats being done to make life a little more tolerable for most people here , even the ones who piss on them on a daily basis .
    Being nice hasn’t and wont work with these people , and stop trying to be civil to anyone from the BBC .

  113. galamcennalath says:

    Further devolution, a handful more powers, maybe a trap or two thrown in?

    Oh FFS the Union is well past its sell by date. It is now on life support and it is unlike to survive to the end of the decade. Time to put an end to the suffering and move on.

    Very soon there will be stark choice between Brexit to a rather nasty UKnotsoOK, or take our future into our own hands. All lingering suggestions of middle ground must be discredited as no more than scams to delude the gullible.

    Labour (North Britain Branch) will die on the last line of defence of their Union, or it will embrace a future defined by Scots for Scots and play a constructive role.

  114. Orri says:

    For what it’s worth the same effective veto on devolved legislation used to reside in the hands of the Scottish Secretary. Can you imagine Mundell being able to prevent legislation on a consultative indyref#2?

  115. manandboy says:

    Of all the advocates, Lord Pannick has impressed the most, with James Wolffe the least – and by a distance.

    It’s perhaps as well that Mrs May has done a U-turn, rendering the SC appeal both unnecessary and a waste of a lot of taxpayers cash.

  116. Robert Peffers says:

    @One_Scot says: 7 December, 2016 at 1:26 pm:

    “With any luck Scotland will be Independent soon and ‘Scottish Labour’ can be put to sleep.”


    Div ye no ken, Labour in Scotland have been asleep for the past 30 years, and only wake up to fill in their expense accounts and flip their several homes. Then its fall asleep again while reading the Daily Wrecker, (Backpage only).

  117. Capella says:

    BBC live feed:
    Recap of Lord Wolffe’s arguments via @BBCNews

  118. mike d says:

    Karmanaut3.o6pm. Yeah i remember that pond life Blair making that promise just before he was first elected. (Abolishing the house of Lords). And i sat up all through the night to watch it.(gullible youngster) last time i ever voted for those self serving scum

  119. schrodingers cat says:

    also watched the HOC brexit debate

    the leavers tact (michael gove) is to now say the public knew what they were voting for since every time the brexiters said they wanted to take back control of their borders, the remainers pointed out that would mean leaving the single market, that includes all remainers from david cameron to ruth davidson.
    this is extremely disengenious, since many of the brexiteers, bojo etc, pooh poohed this idea.

    best intervention for gove came from the snp benches, short, sweet and to the point

    “Is giving up free and unfettered access to the single market now the government policy” ?

    gove…. um….

    brillo has made up a video showing all of the remainers, including cameron, stating exactly that, as proof the voters knew what they were voting for.
    too bad he didnt also make up a video of the leavers saying a variety solutions and out comes

  120. Capella says:

    And finally (honest) a short clip of James Wolffe:
    Watch: ‘Holyrood’s voice should be heard over Brexit’ via @BBCNews

  121. Juan P says:

    Re the Lord Advocate. It is the content of what is said and not the delivery that counts.

    Making poor legal points in the voice of of Morgan Freeman achieves feck all. It’s not a lay jury he’s trying to convince.

    Did he deviate from his written submissions or say anything which cobtradicted them?

    If not then I wouldn’t be too disappointed.

  122. Juan P says:

    Re the Lord Advocate. It is the content of what is said and not the delivery that counts.

    Making poor legal points in the voice of of Morgan Freeman achieves feck all. It’s not a lay jury he’s trying to convince.

    Did he deviate from his written submissions or say anything which contradicted them?

    If not then I wouldn’t be too disappointed.

  123. Lenny Hartley says:

    Stewartd U are forgetting we don’t need Westminsters approval to achieve Independence.
    They can try and make it difficult but the cannot stop self determination.

  124. Meg merrilees says:

    O/T Joanna Cherry on fine form in the Brexit debate just now – red-hot!!! ( 17.33)

    She referred to yesterday in the SC when the judges were told re the EU ref Bill:

    ‘This legislation is about holding a vote, IT MAKES NO PROVISION FOR WHAT FOLLOWS; the referendum is advisory”

    Triggering Art 50 means that the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament will be curtailed and rights of individuals will be affected; this triggers the Sewel Convention.

    She has accused the gov argument in the SC of utter disrespect to the Sewel Convention, and utter disrespect to voters in Scotland and indeed in Northern Ireland.

    Promises made that the only way to guarantee Scotland’s position in the EU was to vote to remain in the UK. These promises were made on behalf of the party opposite.

    The gov legal position in the SC is ‘ to kick sand in the eyes of voters in Scotland and to dishonour those promises has serious political consequences for this Union.’

    Sec of State, is a reasonable man and is conscious that not to give Scotland a role in this process would be deeply damaging and my request is that regardless of what the SC says, please persuade the PM to involve the Scottish gov and cabinet formally in this decision re Brexit. ..Seek Scotland’s consent to this process. ‘

  125. Glamaig says:

    One significant thing Wolffe said was that Lisbon Treaty states Article 50 has to be triggered ‘according to the constitutional requirements’ of the leaving country and he did stress that.

  126. mr thms says:

    Mr Wolffe was conscious of sticking to his support of the ‘Union’ and the N.Ireland submission. Which I though was brilliant.

    It can be summarised as follows.

    No to Scotland having a veto.

    Yes to Scotland giving its consent because of The Scotland Act 2016

    He said if there was no statute, examples of similar convention was such that consent would have to be sought.

    If the Supreme Court agrees with him, and the N.Ireland submission, there will be a constitutional crisis since there is a majority of MSPs will not grant it.

    Does anyone think there is now a possibility this could happen?

    If it does, then it raises the possibility of a constitutional convention on a UK Bill of Rights.

    It could even begin at the same time as Article 50 is triggered.

  127. Davosa says:

    The Sunday Post ffs ! Does anyone under the age of 90 actually buy that pish ?

  128. One_Scot says:

    So according to the BBC, even if the Scottish Government gets a vote and votes against Article 50, they can’t stop Westminster going ahead anyway.

    Genuinely have no idea how this is going to pan out, other than Scotland is F’ked any which way.

  129. liz says:

    I agree it’s what he is saying.not how he says it.

    This is before judges not a jury.

    Also Andrew Tickle mentioned the LA before he started and said; don’t get too excited this will be as good as he gets; or words to that effect

  130. HandandShrimp says:

    I was never a fan of Alex Johnstone but in death we put aside such things. RIP and condolences to his family. 55 is no age at all.

  131. mike d says:

    One-scot. The only reason Scotland is fcked,is because of the parasitic hosts who dwell amongst us.

  132. Robert Kerr says:

    I posted some years ago on this very forum that we must never forget….

    “power devolved is power retained”

    Enjoy the popcorn.

    I’m off out for a pint and a dram

  133. Gary45% says:

    All we need is FUD FundilyMundily to bring some semblance back to Slab, then they will be taken really seriously!!
    It doesn’t matter how many times you polish a turd, at the end of the day it’s still a turd.

  134. Meg merrilees says:

    Don’t forget, the final piece in the jigsaw will come tomorrow when the reference to the Treaty of Union will be made by IWGB’s QC.

    The use of the Royal Prerogative is untenable; the Constitution of the UK changed when the Scotland Act 1998 and 2016 were put in place, all four nations of the UK should give consent and finally, he mentions the fact that the Queen has to renew her accession oath each year as proof that the Claim of Right is expressly preserved by and reaffirmed by the Queen in every year of her reign.

    Could be an epic day!

  135. Stoker says:

    UK’s lower house would back triggering EU divorce talks

  136. Brian Powell says:

    A few folk having a go at Wolfe, do we have a lot of court experts here or ‘concerned Yessers’?

  137. Maria F says:

    Well, well, well. So the UK government representatives at the supreme court have basically indicated in posh words that the Sewel convention and the devolution Scotland enjoys is just a pretend one.

    So all those weasel words by Mr Cameron that Scotland would be ‘the most devolved country of the world’ if it voted no in 2014 are now officially a fat Tory porky.

    And of course all those words from Gordon Brown, saying that we would get devo max to the max if voting no in 2014, are now officially a big fat Labour baked lie

    The truth is that a lie is a lie no matter what mouth it comes from, and there is no way out of it.

    So, taking note of the words of the government representatives in the Supreme Court, from now on, we can officially reject as untrustworthy and dismiss as a cheat any future speech or suggestion of devolution or federalism coming from any representative of a unionist party. That is the conclusion from the words of the government representatives in the supreme court.

    If it is true that Scottish devolution and the infamous ‘vow’ counts for nothing then this fact surely presents any unionist politician under the worst possible light because they are now officially a bunch of liars and cheaters, that went to incredible lengths to stab Scotland in the back and to con its citizens so they could get their way. They are now officially THE threshold point for dishonesty in Scottish politics.

    We have listened to enough crap coming from those now officially dishonest unionist parties.

    So now this is not longer the time for the Scottish people to waste their precious time listening to any more insincere and deceiving crap that those cheaters may have in store for us. Their time to spout lies and crap is over.

    Now it is the time for those selfish con artists to shut up, listen to what Scotland has to say and take it on the chin.

    We all know that the only thing these spineless careerists have ears for is a decimation of their parties at the polls.

    So if indiref2 is not soon enough, come the 2016 elections, lets tell them. No. Lets yell at them how Scotland treats political cheaters and ("Tractor" - Ed)s.

  138. Robert Peffers says:

    @R-type Grunt says: 7 December, 2016 at 3:20 pm:

    ” … but who knew that Labours sole purpose is to maintain the Union?”

    Let me put it this way –

    Kier Hardie was originally a member of the Crofter’s Party. He was a Scottish Home Rule advocate. He got into trade union activity and then was backed by the Liberals.

    He stood as a Labour Candidate in Scotland but failed to get elected. Here is a potted biography :-

    Keir Hardie was born in Lanarkshire, (on 15 August 1856), an illegitimate son of Mary Keir, who later married carpenter David Hardie.

    Keir Hardie began work as a baker’s delivery boy aged 8 and had never attended school. He was the sole wage-earner of the Hardie family and at 11 became a coal miner. At 17 his mother taught him to read and write, (in shorthand).

    His political career began when a Trade union began at the colliery in 1881 and he led the first ever Lanarkshire miners strike. In 1892, he was invited to stand as an Independent Labour candidate for West Ham in east London, (after he had stood in a Scottish election and lost).

    He won his seat in parliament and marked himself out as a radical both in dress and the subjects he advocated. These included women’s rights, free schooling and pensions and Indian self-rule. He attacked the monarchy in parliament which may have led to his defeated in the 1895 election. However, he continued rising in the ranks of Scottish union officials and in 1893 he helped to form the Independent Labour Party and was elected its chairman and leader.

    In 1899, the Labour Representation Committee formed and that became the Labour Party. Hardie had a long battle to win another seat but eventually he got elected MP for Merthyr Tydfil in 1900. He was one of only two Labour MPs in that parliament.

    By 1906 Labour at Westminster had grown to 26 in number and Hardie was elected leader of the parliamentary Labour party. He was not too good at dealing with internal rivalries and he resigned as parliamentary leader in 1908 and devoted his time and energy to promoting the Labour Party and his own pet causes, equality for women and women’s suffrage. In 1910, 40 Labour MPs got elected to parliament and Hardie gave up the party leadership to George Barnes.

    Now ask yourself this, just how many of the things the father of the labour Party stood for have Labour actually achieved and just how long did it take to even achieve them?

    His first failure being Home Rule for Scotland and his last, equality for women is far from being met. Has the labour party aims change much since Hardie lost a Scottish election and realised his path led to London, West Ham and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales?

  139. Meg merrilees says:

    Anyone add more to this…

    According to the Times, the Gov is seeking to do a deal with Nicola giving her the power to hold Indy ref2 AFTER Brexit!!! That way the Scottish people will know what they are voting on??? However, Scotland would not be able to continue membership of the EU.

    Do they think she’s daft?

  140. Bob Mack says:

    @Meg Merrilees.

    After Joanna Cherry spoke ,the camera went to David Davis who gave her the “sit down and shut up look”.

  141. Stakhanovite says:

    Wolffe was fine, it’s not some court room drama, that’s how complicated cases are argued, he made his points, responded to questions as required, got it all on record. Summing up is the important bit tomorrow

  142. Davy says:

    Why the fuck would we end up wanting another fucking new “Act of Union”, surely 300 plus years of this one is enough.

  143. Jacob1972 says:

    You’re not the only one who spotted that Labour is floundering over home rule. One David Torrance wrote an article for The Guardian way back in March 2014 on the subject.


    There’s an interesting quote that DT managed to get out of a senior labour official:

    “How can we strengthen the present constitutional arrangements to serve Scotland better … and at the same time strengthen the United Kingdom?”

    Notice the priority in thinking: Scottish interests are subservient to the strengthening of the United Kingdom.

    A truly Scottish Labour Party that was not subservient to London would be asking:

    “How can we change the present constitutional arrangements to strengthen Scotland’s economy whilst still maintaining the United Kingdom?”

    While I understand the dislike of the term, I view the un-named person who made this quote to be a Quisling, in that they see their own national interests as subordinate to that of a less than benign ‘higher’ power.

  144. Ruby says:

    Meg merrilees says:
    7 December, 2016 at 7:02 pm
    Anyone add more to this…

    Ruby replies

  145. Marcia says:

    I heard about Labour’s plans in the ’60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and I don’t believe them, never have. If they did not have the SNP attracting votes rather than them they would not be offering anything.

  146. Ruby says:

    UK ministers would argue that the Brexit deal has to be secured first so that Scots know what they are deciding on in an independence referendum. They will need to know what voting to stay in the UK means in terms of deals with Europe. However, it puts Ms Sturgeon in the unwelcome position of having to fight for independence after the UK has left the EU and therefore potentially without being able to play the card of continuing membership for Scotland.
    continued from preview

    The first minister said the morning after the EU vote that a second referendum on the break-up of Britain was “highly likely”. Her party in its manifesto reserved the right to go to the people again if there was a “significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will”.

    The SNP is building a war chest to fight the next campaign. The party issued a St Andrew’s Day appeal to supporters to help ensure “next time we won’t be outspent”. A leaflet asked for a one-off donation or monthly contribution to a “referendum campaign fund”. The Scottish government has published draft legislation for a second independence referendum. The draft bill acknowledges that a so-called section 30 order — which is voted on by Westminster and Holyrood — would be required to make the vote legal.

    Last time, the section 30 order was part of the Edinburgh Agreement between the two governments. The agreement was for “a single question referendum on Scottish independence to be held before the end of 2014”. Ministers are considering a similar clause again.

    continued in part 3

  147. brewsed says:

    I am not a legal expert. But I won’t let that stop me having an opinion – probably somewhat ill informed…

    There may be some criticism of Wolfe’s presentation style, not helped by incorrectly positioned microphones and a nearby phlegm fatale clearly requiring an e-flat spittoon. However, Wolfe is only talking through the paperwork previously submitted so, to the judges anyway, this may not be much of an issue. It was interesting to see how quickly the judges homed in on the issue of the Sewel convention, the meaning of ‘normally’ and whether a convention has a legal status. Wolfe’s paper submission has a preamble suggesting before there were laws there were traditions and conventions which then became laws, perhaps hinting that the Sewel convention might, therefore, become legally binding and thus a law.

    To certain extent the mere presence of James Wolfe at the Supreme Court puts Scotland in a, mostly, win-win situation. Well, perhaps more of a win-neutral-win situation as below – other permutations may apply.

    Assuming the Supreme Court rules that the UK Parliment, not royal perogative, is required to trigger Article 50, the Supreme Court may also…

    1. Supreme Court rules that the Sewel Convention should be observed, the Scottish Government should be consulted by the UK Government seeking acquiescence to proceed with Article 50. Brexiteers go ape shit. Roll on Indyref2

    2. Supreme Court rules that the Sewel Convention should be observed, the Scottish Government should be consulted by the UK Government which is not bound by the response – should it be forthcoming. Scottish Government is not amused.

    3. Supreme Court rules that this is not a ‘normal’ situation, the Sewel Convention need not be observed and the Scottish Government need not then be consulted. Scottish Government is of the opinion that Scotland is being treated like a colony. Roll on Indyref2

    More coffee and popcorn at 10.15 on Thursday

  148. Ruby says:

    Part 3

    A Scottish government source said: “The people of Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, yet we face being dragged out of Europe against our will by the hard right of the Tory party — that is a democratic outrage. The very fact that people within the UK government are already seemingly dreaming up ways to thwart a bid for Scottish independence … suggests that they are losing confidence in whatever Brexit deal that their own government will come up with.”

    It comes after a YouGov poll for The Times revealed little appetite for a second referendum among Scots and that they would be unlikely to vote “yes” if there was one. It put support for separation at 44 per cent, the first time it has slipped below the 45 per cent secured in September 2014.

    ? Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, will today call on the prime minister to set up a UK-wide constitutional convention to keep the Union together and address the “erratic” model of devolution.

  149. Stoker says:

    WOS archive links for June 2012 now over in O/T.

  150. Iain More says:

    Well I am not an SNP member and it isn’t just scorn I would pour on the Dugs or BLiS Federalist Bullshit but a whole gallon of petrol pretty on it and quickly followed up with a lighted match. Only the obsequious Yoon Press and Media would give them the time of day.

    Stick any new Act Of Union where the sun doesn’t shine! The Dug still thinks we are buttoned up the back!

  151. Ruby says:

    The very fact that people within the UK government are already seemingly dreaming up ways to thwart a bid for Scottish independence … suggests that they are losing confidence in whatever Brexit deal that their own government will come up with.”

    I think the SG have got their measure!

  152. Robert Peffers says:

    @schrodingers cat says: 7 December, 2016 at 3:32 pm:

    “1619 act by monarch, gives monarch the power to decide in scotland and england, that power was subsequently given to westminster, so suck it up holyrood
    scotland act issues which refer to devolved issues regarding the eu are now redundant.”

    Now what is it I’ve been harping on about for what seems like forever?

    Oh! Aye! Now I remember.

    1619 – now correct me if I’m wrong but were not the Kingdom of Scotland and the three country Kingdom of England still independent Kingdoms at that time in history?

    Furthermore was not the rule of law in the Kingdom of England still, “The Divine Right of Kings” and thus the King of England was still fully sovereign under that legal system but only in the Kingdom of England?

    Was not the rule of law in Scotland internationally recognised as the People of Scotland being Sovereign and the Scottish Monarch designated, “King of Scots” because the Scottish Monarch’s designation was, “Defender if the People’s sovereignty”, between 1320 and the present day?

    Therefore there was no legal union of the crowns in 1619 that thus could only be a personal union for the joint monarch who wore both but not a legal Union of the Kingdoms or the crowns.

    Thus an act in the still independent Kingdom of England by their sovereign monarch could not overrule the sovereign people of Scotland’s sovereignty. If it legally had been the case why would they have needed a “Treaty of Union” and two respective, “Acts of Union”, in 1706/7, to united the two Kingdoms?

    There is documentary evidence to back all that up. The Declaration of Arbroath is well documented and Scottish law is still based upon the People’s Sovereignty.

    The English, “Glorious Revolution”, is also well documented and it was only then that the Rule of Law of the Kingdom of England changed and the Kingdom became a, “Constitutional Monarchy”. With the English Monarch remaining legally sovereign and, while retaining the sovereignty, legally, (that is important), delegated their sovereign powers to the Parliament of ONLY the Kingdom of England.

    The fact the Glorious Revolution saw the monarchy of the English Kingdom deposed could thus have no legal affect upon the monarchy of Scotland which was then still independent. Even if it had done so the Monarch of Scotland is not sovereign no matter how many crowns sit upon that monarch’s head.

    Neither could the importation of foreign monarchs to the independent Kingdom of England install those foreign monarchs as monarchs of a still independent Kingdom of Scotland.

    So just why is this point NOT being hammered home in the English Supreme court and it is the English Kingdom’s Supreme court as the Treaty that formed the Union states that Scottish and English law remain independent in perpetuity.

    Am I alone in smelling a very large rat? Or even a paircel o very large rats?

  153. Ruby says:

    Re Kezia Dugdale ……. quite frankly my dear…..

    I noticed at the end of the Times article about Westminsters deal re IndyRef it states

    ‘Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, will today call on the prime minister to set up a UK-wide constitutional convention to keep the Union together and address the “erratic” model of devolution.’

    I think Theresa May might be a bit busy at the moment what with trying to find the answer to the meaning of Brexit and thinking up ways of blackmailing Scotland into voting to remain in her Union.

  154. Fireproofjim says:

    Meg merrilees @7.02
    The Times usually has good contacts, but it seems unlikely that Theresa May would approve of Inderef2 under any circumstances. If it was triggered after Brexit then we would be out of the EU. However that might not be too bad because I am sure that Nicola and all her merry band will have spent two years developing contacts and friendships so that, by then, the door may already be open for Scotland.
    The most difficult decision anyone has to make is getting the date of inderef2 right, but it does seem that the ducks are aligning themselves bit by bit.

  155. heedtracker says:

    Poor Dunc. Its funny when it’s happening to someone else.

    Duncan Hothersall Retweeted BBC Question Time
    I mean for god’s sake.Duncan Hothersall added,

    BBC Question Time @bbcquestiontime
    Here’s Thursday’s complete #bbcqt panel – 10.45pm on BBC One: @sarahwollaston @RichardBurgon @Nigel_Farage @wself @LouiseMensch

    NEWS Huggpost
    BBC Question Time Staff Reminded Of Impartiality Rules After Producer’s Britain First Posts Revealed
    The corporation told HuffPost UK staff have been reminded of impartiality rules.
    06/12/2016 17:50 | Updated 8 hours ago

  156. galamcennalath says:

    Ruby says:

    it puts Ms Sturgeon in the unwelcome position of having to fight for independence after the UK has left the EU

    Not necessarily. We heard the other day that the Eu’s timetable might be 18months for negotiations and 6months for members to ratify. That would rather nicely leave a 6 months window of still bring it but knowing the details of the Brexit deal to hold IndyRef2.

  157. Capella says:

    Theresa May’s in the Middle East selling weapons of mass destruction to tyrannical dictators with appalling human rights records.

  158. Ruby says:

    How difficult is it to know what the Brexit deal will be. How many different options are there?

    Are we going to have to wait for a period of two years to find out what the deals are? Will there be a total news blackout re EU negotiations for a period of two years and at the end we will find out whats on offer?

    If the negotiations are completed in 18 months will the UK still be in EU until the end of 2 years?

  159. louis.b.argyll says:

    Hah, yes indeed fireproof Jim..
    But two years could also give English /UK negotiators time to fake ammunition/fear.

    If we don’t have a referendum PENDING, we haven’t a leg to stand on.

  160. Ruby says:

    alamcennalath says:
    7 December, 2016 at 8:07 pm
    Ruby says:

    it puts Ms Sturgeon in the unwelcome position of having to fight for independence after the UK has left the EU

    Not necessarily. We heard the other day that the Eu’s timetable might be 18months for negotiations and 6months for members to ratify. That would rather nicely leave a 6 months window of still bring it but knowing the details of the Brexit deal to hold IndyRef2.

    Ruby replies

    Cheers I asked my question re this timetable before reading your post.

    That sounds perfect.

  161. Robert Peffers says:

    If you guys and Gals have not yet figured out that this matter was well an truly decided long before the proceeding began then you should have had it figured out.

    What you are watching now is the showboating for the public’s benefit.

  162. Capella says:

    Final final link to SC – the pdf of today’s sessions is now available. The Lord Advocate’s presentation starts at page 143:

  163. Ruby says:

    18th months after article 50 is triggered sounds like the perfect time for IndyRef2

    That will make it Tuesday 18th September 2018

    Tuesday! That’s my special day!

  164. Liz g says:

    Well putting all today’s Union shit together.

    It is possible that an appeal to reasonable Scot’s will be made.
    Wait for a bit and after Brexit you can all have a vote.
    But the choice is either Independence all on your own outside Europe or Our brand new shiny Treaty of the Union.
    We even just happened to have one we made earlier.
    Remember a no vote is not a vote for no change…..bla de blah.
    This new one will even end all that nasty uncertainty,thats why those divisive,refferendum loving Nats are telling you it’s a trap!

    Only way I can see them getting a new Treaty through.

    Oh and on today’s Supreme Court case…if we learned anything!
    Make the result of the referendum legally enforceable.
    I can remember discussing on Wing’s that Indy Ref 1 was only advisory and what would happen if Westminster refused to honour the result.
    I think we have our answer…..if parliament had wanted to make it enforceable they would have done so at the time.
    We are to note what parliament doesn’t do just as much as what it does do… apparently.

    And not one of them is saying parliament didn’t bother because it thought it would win,even though everyone knows it.
    In our case I think parliament will no bother incase it will lose.
    Kept thinking that could have been us trying to argue about the result of our referendum.

  165. louis.b.argyll says:

    Nick Robinson standing in for Andrew Marr this Sunday? I hear..

    Since Brexit is clearly ‘Foreign affairs’..

    Will Salmond be on? I bet he’d love that.

  166. heedtracker says:

    Ruby says:
    7 December, 2016 at 8:16 pm
    How difficult is it to know what the Brexit deal will be. How many different options are there?

    How long have you got? Depends on what you do for a living really. First thing we’ll all find out is we cant come and go in and out of any European country, like we currently do now.

    Then almost everything is going to cost more, much more. Britnats like Ligger Neil say no no, its great look at UK industry pumping away. But this is all down to the junked pound and Xmas.

    Food is already more expensive. Electronics much more. We’re just at the start of an inflation hike that’s being buried by our relentlessly ghastly media but its coming down the line hard and fast.

    Rule Britannia types Bojo, Farge, Gove style Cons, bullshitted us that if we voted Leave, we’d get control of our not Scottish seas, for the fash. But its only been EU law and restrictions that’s saved whatever the UK fish industry has not yet succeeded in making extinct. Without the EU, localised fishing industry will be able to force localised politicos into all kinds of a ecosystem catastrophe, just like they do everywhere else. Then they’ll be demanding and getting, compensation.

    That’s one of the great drivers behind UKOK Leave campers, the mega rich UK elite can only control UK politics, via BBC creep show mainly, but the EU was ofcourse way out of their league. So now we’re all out of it.

    If we didn’t have one of the most corrupt right wing press and broadcasters in the world, they’d all be going apeshit at Leave and the Tory party now.

    But losing freedom to go anywhere we like in Europe’s just the start.

  167. stewartb says:

    From the draft transcript of today’s Supreme Court proceedings (at pages 147/8), the Lord Advocate states: “Can I make clear that I do contend that there is any speciality of Scots law as regards the prerogative that affects this case.”

    From a layman’s perspective, this seems to indicate that we should not rely too much on differentiation between Scots and English jurisdictions in terms of the nature and limits of the Royal Prerogative.

    Interested to know how this plays, if at all, into the frequent contributions here on a differentiation between the nature of sovereignty in the two jurisdictions.

  168. How come Ruth wi the big mooth is not complaining about Theresa disappearing all the time to foreign places and `not getting on with the day job` of governing UK.

  169. galamcennalath says:

    Ruby says:

    How difficult is it to know what the Brexit deal will be. How many different options are there?

    I reckon there are two Brexit deals. The one the EU will have in mind with only minor details up for negotiation. And Dirty Brexit if the UK walk away from that with nothing in place, just a one way ticket to the middle of the Atlantic.

    The UK has to be seen worse off outside the EU.

    What the Tories would like is just chaff in the wind. No one across Europe will be interested.

    That may well be why the Tories won’t say what deal they will be looking for. They won’t want to hear the thunderous outbreak of laughter from across the Channel.

    Will the EU offer full access to the single market? Possibly, with the inseparable four components plus a nice big annual financial contribution. That means free trade, free movement, and no say whatsoever on how the EU evolves.

    The above might not be punishment enough, though.

    I do keep wondering if seeing the UK simply disappear off the map might meet their punishment criteria. Give the North of Ireland a financial offer for reunitification they will find very difficult to refuse. Smooth the path for an iScotland.

    I’m not saying the EU will actively encourage the demise of the UK, but if it becomes clear that the peoples of Scotland and Northern Ireland want out, the EU may make it attractive.

    After all, it’s all about EU citizens who want to remain EU citizens. The EU should look after ‘its own’.

  170. Meg merrilees says:

    Finally managed to listen to Lord Wolfe put the Scottish Government case before the SC.

    Sorry to disagree but I think he did really well. After all most of the judges don’t know the intricacies of our system.

    Good that he mentioned the Claim of Right – more about that tomorrow from the IWGB QC.

    Wolfe stated at the beginning of his presentation that he would adhere to his written case as presented.
    Bearing in mind that he only had 45 minutes to make his case, he had to be very focussed on a few specific points of divergence between Scots and English law. If you follow his argument with the written script beside it, you begin to understand better where he is coming from as he clearly lays out the legal precedents supporting his argument. Without the script, he does come across as presenting a very sparse case.

    At times it seemed that he was a little hesitant , but I think he was trying to answer in such a way that the majority of the judges – who are not conversant with Scots Law, would comprehend his point. There were a couple of useful clarifying interjections from the judges but for me the tell tale sign was the look on James Eadie’s face throughout.

    Still a bit concerned that ‘they’ may not uphold the Sewel Convention as being statutory and there is still this discussion about ‘the UK government will not ‘NORMALLY’ legislate for Scotland without the Scottish Parliament’s permission’ i.e. what does ‘NORMALLY’ mean?

    Hopefully it will be firmly settled tomorrow.

  171. Tam Jardine says:

    Robert Peffers

    If that is them showboating I wouldna like to see an ordinary, everyday common or garden session of the supreme court Robert!

    I watched the Lord Advocate a bit this afternoon and thought his delivery was terrible and he was wasting the precious time he had. His mannerisms are pretty annoying and at times he seemed to lose the audience (the justices) and they had to struggle to understand where he was going.

    Watched it again tonight and I think I have misjudged him- he kind of pressed inexorably home the point that on this matter above all which affects so many areas of devolved policy legislative consent should be sought and indeed it would be unconstitutional not to seek it. He has built his case on incontestable points and that is how you win.

    I think we have to remember in all this that there are plans within plans and what we all think of a win is not necessarily the win the leadership of the SNP are looking for. We have to never lose sight that brexit is a gift sent down from heaven for the independence movement.

  172. paul gerard mccormack says:

    Alex Johnstone msp died of cancer aged 55

  173. stewartb says:

    Apologies,but in my post at 8.58pm the quote should have read: “… make clear that I do NOT contend …”!!!!

  174. Robert Peffers says:

    @Stoker says: 7 December, 2016 at 6:55 pm:

    “UK’s lower house would back triggering EU divorce talks

    When are you going to learn, Stoker, that when a report starts by writing about, “The British Government”, and mentions that, “The Country”, it means some idiot reporter, or would be journalist, thinks a place called, “The United Kingdom”, is not a kingdom at all but is instead a country as in that report you quote :-

    LONDON – While the British government tries to prevent parliament voting on its plan to trigger the country’s exit from the European Union. Reuters research indicates the lower house would in fact support its move, based on lawmakers’ recent statements.”

    The author doesn’t know what they are writing about because there is more than one British Government. There is a United Kingdom Government at Westminster and that is in Britain. There is one in Dublin in The Irish Republic and that is in Britain. There is one each in Jersey and Guernsey and both are in the British Isles.

    The Isle of Man has a government as does Scotland, Wales and N.I and they are all in Britain.

    They are British Governments but none of them are the Government of Britain.

  175. Meg merrilees says:


    look at page 148 lines 15-18

    ‘Scots law, like English law, contains the same limiting rule… which precludes the Executive.. from changing the law of the land by an act of the prerogative’.

    Don’t worry!

  176. Rock says:

    Tractors, the whole lot of them.

  177. Liz g says:

    Stewartb @ 8.58
    I’m like you Stewart … it’s dead hard to work out what they mean by what they say.
    What I thought he was saying is that When the Royal Prerogative is engaged (triggered) it works in the same way in Scotland…or as near as makes no difference.
    And certainly not for the issue they are deciding on this time.

  178. Rock says:


    “Is anybody else watching Wolff’s performance in the Supreme court today?
    Its absolutely abysmal.”

    The Scottish justice system is rotten to the core and the vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

    Anyone expecting something for Scotland out of this farce must be extremely naive.

  179. Rock says:


    “Strange. The 11 judges seem to be desperate to make Wolffe’s case for him.”

    The UK establishment does not want Brexit.

    What better way than to fudge it and blame the Scots for it?

    Wolff’s loyalty is to the UK establishment, not to Scotland.

  180. heedtracker says:


    Press GazetteVerified account
    BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg named Journalist of the Year: Full list of 2016 British Journalism Awards winners #BJA2016

    Not as planet toryboy mental as,

    TIMEVerified account
    Donald Trump is TIME’s Person of the Year 2016 #TIMEPOY

  181. schrodingers cat says:

    Robert Peffers says:
    7 December, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    If you guys and Gals have not yet figured out that this matter was well an truly decided long before the proceeding began then you should have had it figured out.

    What you are watching now is the showboating for the public’s benefit.

    i agree with this, unfortunate as it is true.

  182. Phronesis says:

    From today’s proceedings,

    LORD ADVOCATE But I do say that on the essential point raised in Miller, that we now are looking to the constitution as it currently exists, we not only have the basic rule which I outlined at the outset, that it is for the Queen in Parliament to change the law of the land; but in a context where we have four legislatures which can change the law of the land, we have a structure of constitutional convention which engages the — entitles those legislatures to have a voice in the decision P157

    LORD KERR: What if Westminster Parliament could be shown to flagrantly be in breach of the provision, that it legislated continuously on matters of the Scottish Parliament, so that the norm became that they did legislate rather than that they refrained from legislating? P163

    LORD MANCE: But it doesn’t have any effect, you say? If the UK Parliament does breach this convention, and breach this convention as recognised in this section, you say it doesn’t have any effect. So what is the argument that we would be entitled nonetheless to stop the UK Parliament doing it, if it was proposing to, and — I suppose the further question is what is the relevance of this? We are not talking about the UK Parliament legislating, we are talking about a case where it is proposing to use its executive powers

    THE LORD ADVOCATE: I say two things, my Lord, in response to that. I say first of all that it is — perhaps on the second point, I have already made the submission, that part of the current constitutional context in which the court should consider..

    LORD MANCE: If you cannot legislate, you cannot do other things, is your basic point, is it?

    THE LORD ADVOCATE: The basic point is that, when one is testing whether the Crown can by the prerogative change the law of the land, one has to keep in mind that in the current constitutional arrangements, there are several legislatures that have an interest in that question. P164

    LORD KERR: I think what you can say is that Parliament at the very least commits itself to the question whether it should legislate within — on a matter which is within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, it would be incongruous with that situation that the Government would in effect change the law of Scotland.

    THE LORD ADVOCATE: Absolutely. Absolutely, my Lord. P165

    LORD MANCE: I am sure the convention — conventions are incredibly important, but they are not legally binding. That is their nature.

    THE LORD ADVOCATE: Indeed, and what I can also say is that the United Kingdom Parliament decided that this convention should be enacted into statute and I might put my Lord’s question — perhaps answer it with what it would be impertinent to suggest is anything other than a rhetorical question, which is, what was the point in enshrining this in law if it doesn’t become a provision that the courts can address P166

    LORD HODGE: But you can give legal content to it, that it is more than a douceur, if you say that, as I said at the outset of my engagement with you, it was preventing the convention from slipping away by disveritude or a change of practice, it is a recognition that this a convention that is to apply. That doesn’t make the convention a rule of law. It is merely recognising it as something that is fixed, as a convention.

    THE LORD ADVOCATE: I would put it this way, my Lord, that, as a provision and an Act of Parliament, it is part of the law of the land. What its effect and interpretation are are matters upon which the court may properly adjudicate.

    We are at a point in the process where this court is seized of the question of what the constitutional requirements of the United Kingdom are to make the decision, the important decision, to withdraw from the European Union and what I am inviting the court to do is to acknowledge in the Miller case, for the reasons I have outlined, and in the Northern Irish case in response to the Attorney General’s second question, that one of those requirements is the convention… ( to be continued)

    ‘The Sewel Convention is simply a procedural means of preventing Westminster legislating on a devolved matter without the express consent of the Scottish Parliament. If for whatever reason the Parliament does not wish Westminster to legislate for Scotland on the matter in question, it can simply withhold its consent’

    Legitimate laws elicit voluntary rational compliance from citizens which is rooted in the principle of democracy. Scotland (conventionally understood as a country, not a region) exercised its democratic right at the ballot box to stay in the EU. Indeed what was the point of Scotland voting if that expression of human reasoning, a national consensus that embodies a country’s right to determine its own relationship with the EU is not upheld and translated into administrative power.

  183. Rock says:

    Robert Peffers,

    “If you guys and Gals have not yet figured out that this matter was well an truly decided long before the proceeding began then you should have had it figured out.”

    For once, you are talking sense.

    Unlike your usual pedantry.

  184. Rock says:

    Meg merrilees,

    “After all most of the judges don’t know the intricacies of our system.”

    Why are the twats sitting in the UK Supreme Court then?

  185. Dr Jim says:

    We should have been outraged after the Myth commission but we weren’t, We should have been outraged after the Brexit vote but we weren’t, Scotland that is

    There are endless reasons why we should be outraged but we’re not because we’re too used to it
    They could send up Redcoats to rape our chip shops and bayonet oor dugs in front of us and we’d still cringe and say we shouldnae have stirred things up by complaining
    They let us have some jobs in return for making us a target by having their nuclear crap in oor gardens and they only sanction some of us, at least that’s something

    Unfortunately Scotland is full of plantation slaves too frightened to fight back and too frightened to run and they’ve gotten so frightened they look the other way as if nothing’s happening and some have joined them like vampire familiars in the hope of being favoured

    It’s no wonder all interests and forces Union are aimed at the destruction of the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon except she hasn’t got an Obi Wan Knobi to send for to help or a magnificent 7, we’re on oor todd…..the now?

    It’s a big job this turning slaves into people gig

  186. Fireproofjim says:

    For any Aberdeen supporters who may be editing/supervising these posts, ALBA TV have Gothenburg ’83 at 11.00.
    I hear the Dons won that one.

  187. liz says:

    @Robert Peffers – do you mean that the LA is correct in his importance of the Claim of Right?

    Do you think both the SG & NI do have a right to vote in our respective parliaments?

  188. Brian Powell says:


    ‘Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, will today call on the prime minister to set up a UK-wide constitutional convention to keep the Union together and address the “erratic” model of devolution.’

    Kezia and Labour in Scotland are a complete irrelevance as far as T May and Westminster are concerned, and the Tories don’t need or want Federalism. They want to be able to hand out funds to areas that support them.

  189. Robert Peffers says:

    @Maria F says: 7 December, 2016 at 6:58 pm:

    “Well, well, well. So the UK government representatives at the supreme court have basically indicated in posh words that the Sewel convention and the devolution Scotland enjoys is just a pretend one.”

    Well Maria F, You are both right and wrong in your post.

    You are right that the whole thing is a pack of lies but it is far, far simpler than you may think.

    The whole truth is contained in the actual birth certificate of that always controversial thing called, “The United Kingdom”. Now the Birthday is 100% correct and, “The United Kingdom”, was most certainly born at a moment just after Midnight of on the last day of April 1707.

    The birthday of the United Kingdom is, without doubt, 1 May 1707 and the new born was neither male of female but properly described on that Birth Certificate as, “A Kingdom”. A United one it is true, but still it was, without doubt, a kingdom. Not a country, not a continent but definitely a Kingdom. It could, of course be described as a political state as it certainly was that as well as a kingdom.

    What gave birth to it were also the two very ancient kingdoms of Scotland & England so we know it was not a mule or other hybrid. The parents were both very well known kingdoms and only one of them was also a country and that one was the three country Kingdom of England, but no matter, the parents were equally sovereign Kingdoms.

    So that being so what followed has to be a pack of lies and there is no actual documentary evidence to prove otherwise.

    The former Kingdom of England parliament sat and declared itself permanently ended. However, the parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland did not in fact wind itself up. Its last sitting put the parliament into recess but due to the people of Scotland, and in particular in the capital city, were rioting in the streets and stoning and parliamentarians daft enough to show face.

    However, the reason they never wound up the parliament was because the parliamentarians had not signed the Act of Union and now would have been lynched if the people, who were by law, Sovereign, got there hands on the Members of parliament.

    Thus the Act of Union was proclaimed around the streets of Old Edinburgh by town criers and that meant the parliament was, “Prorogued”, and never ended.

    When Winnie Ewing opened the new Scottish parliament, it was actually sitting in the Church of Scotland Assembly Building, She did not open it as a new parliament.

    Winnie reconvened the old Scottish Parliament and that has never been challenged.

    However, the pion is that the actual Union is a partnership of two equally sovereign Kingdoms and Westminster is not, and never has been again legally the parliament of either the Kingdom or Country of England.

    In fact the original Palace of Westminster burned to the ground and was rebuilt as the purpose built parliament of the United Kingdom and was financed by the United Kingdom.

    Yet now the Westminster Weasels are not only running Westminster as the Parliament of England but have divided the United Kingdom up as four unequal countries with Westminster, while still calling itself the United Kingdom Parliament, operating as the parliament of England and has passed legislation called, “EVEL”, (English Votes for

    You are also correct to use the term Weasel as the dictionary definition is :=


    noun: weasel; plural noun: weasels

    1. a small, slender, carnivorous mammal related to, but generally smaller than, the stoat.

    2. informal =- a deceitful or treacherous person.

    synonyms: scoundrel, wretch, rogue;

    More informal swine, bastard, creep, louse, rat, ratfink, toad, snake, snake in the grass, serpent, viper, skunk, dog, cur, scumbag, scumbucket, scuzzball, sleazeball, sleazebag, slimeball, sneak, backstabber, heel, nogoodnik, nasty piece of work;

    archaic – blackguard, knave, varlet

    I kid you not the above dictionary quote is a cut and paste right out of a dictionary and it includes some North American terms.

  190. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Robert Peffers No Robert you are not alone Wolffe started his submission in acknowledging The Crown Prerogative ( in parliament ) but didn’t expand his statement to include the Sovereignty of the Scottish People, its a can of worms they dont want to know about.

    They’re not called ( Wolffe & those of that ilk ) Queens Councils for nothing .

  191. Neil Cook says:

    Maybe the Dug saw Aberdeens Labour Councils master plan for the City !!

    Yes let’s have a permanent Circus at the beach for the next 4 years?

    Roll up Roll up we have the biggest clowns You have ever seen has to be the headline !
    Politics is certainly a Circus when Labour is involved .

  192. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    I assume by “erratic” model of devolution.’ Kez and the rest of BLiS mean a devolved Parliamne that we won’t put them (or the other Yoons) in charge of??

  193. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    I’m a bit wary of Wolfes omission of Scots Sovereignty as will guys and girls but reading the post from Phronesis says at 9:51 pm
    “From today’s proceedings” I think I reserve judgement until tomorrow to see if we are proved right in our cynicism.

  194. Stoker says:

    Robert Peffers wrote:
    “When are you going to learn, Stoker,…”

    Oh ah ken fine Bob! I’ve attended more Peffer lectures than i care to remember. No problem with you using me though to educate the wider lurking audience. Jist be careful wae yer opening gambits, am a delicate flower ye ken.

    Rock (9:25pm – 9:37pm)
    You already know i share several opinions of yours and i can find little to disagree with in your 3 posts in the timeframe i’ve stated above.

    However, your constant identical comments on the Scottish legal system is beginning to come across as someone who has a very unhealthy dislike for that system. Jeez, i thought i was sceptical with a strong distrust of that system.

    My distrust stems from experience, lots of it, but where does yours stem from? If you don’t want to elaborate then i understand. If you don’t respond then no probs, understandable.

    From WOS Twitter – Fib Dems fined

  195. galamcennalath says:

    Don’t know why, but I suddenly remembered all this stuff…

    Could Scotland get its own time zone? Campaign to move UK to Central European time could see clocks tick an hour behind north of the border under devolved powers

    All this Brexit carry on presumably means the South British no longer want to be on CET!

    The funny thing is, iScotland might end up on CET while iEngland doesn’t. 😉

  196. heedtracker says:

    Saw this and thought of you, Rock.

    On Next
    BBC 4
    The Highest Court in the Land: Justice Makers
    Four of the Justices of the Supreme Court talk about the nature of justice and how they make their decisions, in a film that offers a revealing glimpse of the human characters behind the judgments and explores why the Supreme Court and its members are fundamental to our democracy. In the first 14 months of the court they have ruled on MPs’ expenses which led to David Chaytor’s prosecution, changed the status of pre-nuptial agreements and battled with the government over control orders and the Human Rights Act.

  197. Big Phil says:

    Mr Peffers,
    So The birthday of the United Kingdom is, without doubt, 1 May 1707.Quite poetic that it’ll end with May.

  198. heedtracker says:

    The funny thing is, iScotland might end up on CET while iEngland doesn’t.

    Some American states, Arizona, Indiana, do not have or observe daily saving time.

  199. Meg merrilees says:


    Apologies, I should have written ‘intricacies of the Scottish ( our) legal system’

    The Supreme Court consists of 11 judges of which two are Scottish judges and the remainder are not – The Lord Advocate Wolfe is attending to explain where Scots law differs from English law, to put the case for the devolved Scottish Parliament and to explain any queries that the non-Scots judges have, hence the intricacies of ‘our’ system.

  200. Rock says:

    Meg merrilees,

    “Apologies, I should have written ‘intricacies of the Scottish ( our) legal system’”

    That went without saying, no need for apologies.

    But the eleven twats presiding the UK Supreme Court, the lowest of the low in my view, must be expected to know the Scottish legal system, rotten to the core in my view, in full.

    If not, only the two Scottish twats should have been responding to Wolff.

  201. K1 says:

    Aye Stoker there’s nuthin’ like a guid skelp fae Mr Peffers fur the greater edumacashon of us aw! I’ve hud ma petals blown aff on occasion by himsel’…fair ruddy’s the complexion, love it!

  202. Nana says:

    For anyone who missed the Alex Salmond phone in on LBC this afternoon

    He talks about article 50, job centre closures and labour.

  203. schrodingers cat says:

    it is maybe a lesson for those who quote law and declare that something is lawful or illegal. it isnt the law which decides this, it a jury and judge, or in this case 10 judges.

    If it was as simple as pointing to a law book, we wouldnt need judges or courts, your laptop would be more than powerful enough to run the country.

    upshot, whether the people of scotland are sovereign isnt a question of whether it is written in the declaration of arbroath, it will be decided by the supreme court in the next few days.

    whether you like it or not.

  204. Rock says:


    “My distrust stems from experience, lots of it, but where does yours stem from? If you don’t want to elaborate then i understand. If you don’t respond then no probs, understandable.”

    I can only say that the “plebs” of Scotland are not stupid.

    You will not be the only one to have experienced it. Scotland has a big downtrodden population who have no rights whatsoever.

    The rotten to the core justice system is squarely to blame for Scotland remaining a colony of England for more than 300 years.

    And for keeping the “plebs” in their place.

    It is made up of the most selfish persons in the country, the lowest of the low. No morals whatsoever.

    This includes so called “human rights” lawyers (like Cherie Blair in England) who trouser tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money. They are all part of the system.

    Add to that every single ombudsman and the information commissioner.

    Despite Robert Peffers’ pedantry about “sovereignty”, we have never been “sovereign” and never will be unless the justice system is completely overhauled and judges subjected to jail if they don’t apply the law fairly to the “plebs”.

  205. Liz g says:

    Shrodingers cat @ 11.13
    They canny jist make it up though.
    The have to work their answer from the stuff that has been written down.
    Don’t think may would argue that the Court’s do anything other than interpret what the documents mean.

  206. K1 says:

    Are you a lawyer Rock? Cause that wisnae an answer tae the question ye pasted from Stoker that wis a swerve worthy of a member of that ill esteemed profession ye profess hatred of. Just sayin’…

  207. yesindyref2 says:

    I was that bitterly disappointed, savage even, about Wolffe’s oral submission I went to my bed instead of going off to off-topic for a long post with every single swear in every single language I know swear words from, and missed my tea 🙁

    But as I posted in reply to ScottieDog a couple of days ago, I avoid speeches, I prefer to read, not listen, and on refereshed thoughts, the guy did the job. I’d missed the first 10 minutes as I had to fumble around trying to get to see the thing, then finding I had to download Flash.

    But reading the written submission, Lavery had already covered some vital points, meaning Wolffe didn’t need to make them. And Wolffe started with some of the most constitutionally deadly stuff in the whole 4 days, such as the Claim of Right etc. and e.g.

    “I say that the only body which has the legal power to authorise and effect such changes to the constitutional law of the United Kingdom, indeed to the constitution of the United Kingdom, is the Queen in Parliament, and I invite the court to take the view that the claim by the executive in this case to effect such changes to the law of the land by an act of the prerogative is inconsistent with the principles, the constitutional principles, articulated in the Claim of Right Act 1689 for Scotland and the Bill of Rights for England and Wales.”

    After that and similar, he could have sat down but had another half-hour to fluff his way through. Basocally all he needed was 15 minutes and his written submissions, and the work of other advocates, he had 45 minutes. The transcript for him is quite short and to the point – and the judges were well involved, as they were in fact with Eadie. Arguably from that point of view, Eadie and Wolffe were the best so far.

    Basically, Wolffe has managed to cover the Appeal whether it’s upheld, or dismissed, he’s given Scotland the chance both ways. An each-way bet on both horses in a two horse race!

  208. Robert Louis says:

    So, for clarity, Scotland is a member of the EU union (or European union if you prefer), and the UK union.

    Why is it that a country can exit the EU union, but for some bizarre reason Scotland needs to jump through hoops and ask permission from another country to leave the UK union.

    As Robert Peffers keeps pointing out, the UK union is not a single country, despite how many times London likes to pretend it is.

  209. Paula Rose says:

    So – if Brexit happens even though it was an advisory referendum doesn’t that mean that a referendum on independence does not need the Westminster wotsit?

  210. Capella says:

    LA p 147 on the power to change law in Scotland NOT given to the Crown:

    5 is perhaps not an entirely incidental point that when
    6 the United Kingdom was founded in 1707, it was to
    7 Parliament and not to the Crown that the power to change
    8 the laws in use in Scotland was given. That is Article
    9 18 of the Act of —
    10 LORD HODGE: Exclusively given?
    11 THE LORD ADVOCATE: Well, the power was given in terms of
    12 the Acts of Union.
    LORD HODGE: I thought you said only by the British
    14 Parliament.
    15 THE LORD ADVOCATE: It certainly was not given to the Crown.

  211. yesindyref2 says:

    Thanks, yes, eye-opening. Alone of the advocates, Wolffe actually got the judges discussing the points themselves, rather than just clarifying them. He got them to engage. A very clever man – two brains as is apparently his nickname.

    For the benefit of the “Queen’s” advocate posters, Wolffe is the Lord Advocate, which is an appoinment of the SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT.

    And for the benefit of those who think this case is “fixed” or already “pre-judged”, it most certainly is not. It’s been blown wide open, and it is indeed as we hoped the “UK” Constitution that is “on trial”. As I posted this morning on the other thread:

    “Ah well, time to ponder on Article 50 awhile which starts:

    “1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

    “its own constitutional requirements””

  212. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Paula Rose The Judges have to deliberate of the word (normally) , god knows what they would make of your wotsit Smilies .

  213. Liz g says:

    Capella @ 11.52
    What did you make of that statement…It certainly was not given to the Crown….?
    I thought that was him claiming Scotland’s Soverenty right there.
    As we have all discussed before,our Soverenty is with the Westminster MP’S.
    Even Thatcher has said as much.

  214. yesindyref2 says:

    Yeah, brilliant. Not one word about Keen in Wolffe’s submission yesterday, I wonder if he’s just relegated him to the dusty bin, or whether he’ll tackle him this morning in his remaining half hour? He might just stick to the issues, on the basis that Keen’s submission was basically worthless.

    Then there’s 1.5 hours for Eadie in the afternoon to rebut any points from all respondents and interventions – will he want to share it with Keen? I doubt it. Perhaps Keen is our man in Westminster.

  215. yesindyref2 says:

    @Liz g
    One step at a time …

  216. ronnie anderson says:

    @ liz g Unless Wolffe make a statement on Scottish Sovereignty the court cant entertain that which isn’t said .

  217. K1 says:

    And if it was not given to the crown, the prerogative doesn’t/cannot apply to Scotland? As we are sovereign?

  218. yesindyref2 says:

    Anyways, I’m off this subject for now, just made a comment on the Herald I had to quickly edit. Loose lips sink ships. Some of it can wait till some time in January!

  219. K1 says:

    Thanks for that link Nana, he’s on form, relaxed and insightful, ah could honestly listen tae him aw day/night 🙂

  220. louis.b.argyll says:

    What – Capella says:
    7 December, 2016 at 11:52 pm..above.

    LOCHSIDE, if your lurking, or waiting to pounce on RP. Read Capella’s cut n paste above..

    Royal prerogative COULD NEVER CHANGE A SCOTTISH LAW, as the ‘united’ monarch is not sovereign here in Scotland.

    ONLY a parliament can change or supercede an existing law/statute. Otherwise Kings and Queens or dictators could rewrite constitutions themselves. See Hitlers shenanigans c1930.

    Leaving the EU, CHANGES responsibilities (and therefore required competencies) of the Scottish democratically elected legislature.

    Differentials in shared sovereignties HAS FINALLY COUGHT OUT THE WESTMINSTER ESTABLISHMENT.

    Why, Lochside, do you curse at Robert and me, when we previously used layman’s terms to describe historical sovereignty…?

    Wingers, look at Lochside recent highly abusive comments under ‘theres no other way’

    It’s OK by me to be pedantic, it’s actually essential in legal matters, it’s not OK to swing for folk who you disagree with.

  221. mr thms says:

    From The Queen’s Speech earlier in the year..

    “My government will hold a referendum on membership of the European Union. Proposals will be brought forward for a British Bill of Rights.”

    Just noticed they are both together!

  222. Capella says:

    @ Liz g – IMO the LA was emphasising that the executive could not use the Royal Prerogative as the Crown has no right to make law in Scotland. Only Parliament can make and unmake law.

    Nowadays, many decisions are devolved to Scotland. So Scottish Parliament must agree.
    Will watch again tomorrow for his follow up statements.

  223. Chic McGregor says:

    “Aye but, naw but, aye but…”. Kezia, Scotland’s answer to Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard.

  224. Paula Rose says:

    @Ronnie Anderson – I think wotsit is a damned sight easier to understand than normally judging by these clever wordy folk.

  225. louis.b.argyll says:

    Folks, it’s NOT ACTUALLY about sovereignty, that’s not in question…

    (although some laughable recent statements of UK sovereignty have come from Tory Ministers)..’s about ABUSE OF THE ROYAL PREROGATIVE and it being mis-used for domestic purposes.

    Sovereignty WAS RIGHTLY USED to differentiate Scots and English law, especially at the time of Union.

    The SC judges are well aware of UK constitutional inadequacies, they CANNOT BRUSH THEM ASIDE.

    They cannot, and wouldn’t attempt to argue sovereignty away. It’s not even in their remit anyway.

  226. Robert J. Sutherland says:

    yesindyref2 @ 23:31:

    Basically, Wolffe has managed to cover the Appeal whether it’s upheld, or dismissed, he’s given Scotland the chance both ways. An each-way bet on both horses in a two horse race!

    That’s it in a nutshell. Someone else upthread got it as well. (But still not our poor old resident nihilist, alas.)

    Two possible outcomes:

    1) SC agrees with Wolfe, Holyrood gets a consultative vote, which respecting the EURef result in Scotland is a vote “agin” (with, as side benefit, all the Unionists in there are exposed for the pathetic cringers they are), whereupon WM breaks the Sewell Convention, completely ignores the Scottish result and England imposes its will on Scotland regardless.
    Result: existential & constitutional crisis.


    2) SC denies Wolfe, and thereby the whole current devo settlement is shown to be totally meaningless, and England imposes its will on Scotland regardless.
    Result: existential & constitutional crisis.

    Either result is inherently negative, but (NB! Rock) it’s to the advantage of indy, because it demonstrates to everyone in Scotland that we are powerless as matters stand, a mere colony of England, subject to its every whim.

    From that small seed of understanding among PSB’s, great things can grow.

  227. K1 says:

    Yes Louis, it entirely rests upon the ‘revelation’ of the ‘significance’ of the people of Scotland being sovereign. It’s significant ‘because’ the RP has no ‘jurisdiction’ in Scotland. This ‘is’ the lion in the room (the elephant’s exhausted from tryin’ tae get noticed, passed oot in the corner) 🙂

  228. yesindyref2 says:

    Great touch by Wolffe linking the Claim of Right 1689 with the England Bill of Rights 1688 (passed 1689).

  229. Capella says:

    I haven’t commented on Kezia’s State of the Union speech as SLab are so far behind the curve they’re irrelevant. What’s the point?

    Meanwhile, in Westminster, MPs, Labour and Tory, voted today to endorse the BREXIT timetable. Consulting parliament, despot style.

    Executive, “Here’s what we’re going to do.”
    Parliament, “OK”.

    23 Labour MPs voted against and 1 Tory (Ken Clarke). SNP, PC and Lib Dems voted against.

    Maybe they are trying to upstage the Supreme Court. It’s on all the front pages.

  230. yesindyref2 says:

    @Robert J. Sutherland
    Pretty much, but of course this isn’t neccessarily the last time Wolffe will be in the UKSC. As they’d put it on Dragon’s Den “Drilling down into the detail”.

  231. schrodingers cat says:

    Liz g says:
    7 December, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Shrodingers cat @ 11.13
    They canny jist make it up though.

    my heart is bleeding
    yes they can
    as mr peffers pointed out, the decision has already been made, all that remains is for 11 judges to cherry picking the laws they think are relevant to justify the decision they made weeks ago
    an abject lesson in law for all and a clear indication of what we are fighting for.

    we win or scotland dies

    this isnt a game, history will judge our efforts, in the face of what now confronts us, either hang the gither or we hang alone.
    to my old economics teacher at perth high….Mr fairlie, are you listening?

  232. Chic McGregor says:

    I stand by my prediction 10+ years ago.

    There will be a Supreme Court created.

    It will rule that unilateral secession by Scotland would be illegal.

  233. Still Positive. says:

    Just to get away from the SC judgements,important that they are, Nicola has unveiled her Christmas card: Oor Wullie on his bucket with mischief in his eyes.

    I still have to send my sons (aged 35-44) the Oor Wullie books every Christmas. My grandson, born in, and living in England loves the books.

    If that that doesn’t bind the nation I don’t know what will.

    Nicola has played a blinder on this.

  234. Brussels MacGallah says:

    Now that Alex “hammer of the Nats” Johnstone has passed, do the SNP have an effective majority till his list replacement (if there is one)is sworn in?

  235. Tackety Beets says:

    Thank you all for your posts ref SC , the knowledge , detail & understanding is really helpful for folk like me who are unable to find to follow the SC debate etc .

    Thank you all.

    Ref RJS @ 1.12 am

    That seams like a good summation to me & if it transpires …..KD will be in an even bigger tizzy !

    Pleased to catch a squint o NS Xmas caird, aye that’s a grand pair o “Tackety Beets” Wullie got on!

  236. carjamtic says:

    Yesindyref2 @ 11:30

    Agreed,it certainly reads better,than it sounded (at the time),in this age of instant communication/messaging,everybody it seems has to ‘on the ball’, and ‘in your face’.

    The LA it appears is ‘on it’ but not ‘in your face’….not obvious at first,but with benefit of a ‘slow motion action replay’,having read the transcript and the informed BTL comments on here,my optimism knows no bounds.


  237. Smallaxe says:

    Nana:Good morning,

    Still very dark here,it’s like the middle of the night!Kettle’s on

    Peace Always

  238. Alba46 says:

    Donalda MacKinnon has been appointed the new director of BBC Scotland taking over from Ken McQuarrie.

    Anybody know what her political connections are?

    Is this another Labour Unionist clone?

  239. Nana says:

    Good morning Smallaxe. Same here, feel like going back under the covers but I can not keep the dog waiting for his constitutional. Keep the coffee hot!

    Spotted this last night

    Respect for Scotland, Better together style

    also a wee heads up from G A Ponsonby re London’s calling

  240. ScottieDog says:


    Here’s some text for you to read regarding the farce of govt deficit fetishism. Just published in Australia but 100 percent relevant to here…

  241. Robert Peffers says:

    @Meg merrilees says: 7 December, 2016 at 7:02 pm:

    ” … However, Scotland would not be able to continue membership of the EU.
    Do they think she’s daft?”

    The Westminster Establishment have always believed the entire Universe is daft, except, of course, Westminster Establishment members with the exceptions there the SNP, Plaid Cymru and their own Westminster Establishment lobby fodder of low flying, Jimmies and Jimenas).

  242. louis.b.argyll says:

    If it’s still dark, then it’s still night, we should all put our clocks forward and only work a four three hour day.

  243. Smallaxe says:


    Be better if we could turn our clocks back 310yrs.

    Peace Always

  244. Macart says:


    Mornin’ Nana. Another good haul. 🙂

  245. orri says:

    I think the problem I would have had with this case had I the time to watch it is in assuming that those making submissions have to read them out loud. I think that what might be happening though is the equivalent of a Viva where only those parts where the judges aren’t clear on or want more detail on are covered.

    As to the whole it’s only a convention attempt by the Government, so is the . Thankfully Wolfe was given the opportunity to clarify that it’s not the convention that’s actually being put forward but the clause in the Scotland Act based on it. Otherwise the Government could choose to ignore any other act that referenced in any way a convention it made into law.

    It all hinges on what constitutes “normal”. Given the injuction against creating law contrary to the EU treaties it follows that Holyrood must be competent in the case of domestic law in that field. So withdrawal from the EU does not of necessity constitute an abnormality. If this were only concerning the use of Royal Prerogative then the Government would have to show this was an abnormal situation. Simple political expediency doesn’t qualify.

    Also the essential point that Royal Prerogative works in a similar fasion in Scots Law illustrates that the Queen has multiple personas. The use of Royal Prerogative is devolved, or rather control of some of the Royal Prerogatives of the Queen of Scots is in the hands of the First Minister according to both Scots Law and English.

  246. Nana says:

    @Macart one day I will figure out the smiley thingies!
    Still say you should have your own blog!

    here’s Joanna Cherry writing in the national

  247. Alba 46 says:

    @ Nana
    You can bet your bottom dollar that there will be no change to the Unionist output of the BBC after her appointment.

    If she has been appointed as the director of BBC Scotland its a fair assumption that she ticks all the unionist boxes and is part of the incestuous relationship that infects the BBC.

    Sometime ago someone listed the various people in BBC Scotland and their affiliations with labour/ unionism. I was wondering where MacKinnon fits in.

  248. Stoker says:

    London banks in advanced talks about moving to Paris, apparently.

    I smell shite! Very funny though!

  249. jdman says:

    Alex Johnstone has died aged 55!

  250. Capella says:

    OT RT are broadcasting John Pilger’s film about the US encirclement of China on the 9th, 10th and 11th December.

    Maybe Mr Ponsonby should ask RT to show “London Calling”.

    US provoking China into nuclear war? RT to air new Pilger documentary

  251. Marconatrix says:

    A Welsh blogger here thanks and lists the 89 WM MPs who voted against May´s Brexit timetable on Tues night …

    (Llafur = Labour
    Annibynnol = Independent
    The rest are obvious I think)

  252. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Timing might be everything, but, IF the Scottish Government loses its cse in the Supreme Court, might it be time to put a motion to the Scottish Parliament, to the effect that, England has renaged on the terms of the Act of Union and we scrap the Union between Scotland and England, and revert to being an independent nation.

    At the same time, the 56 SNP members at Westminster tells that body the same thing, and says that, with the backing of the sovereign people of Scotland, as enacted in Holyrood, they are withdrawing from the Union, which is no more.

    Simultaneously, the First Minister advises the Queen of Scots to use her powers to dissolve the Union.

    Now, that would get English knickers in a twist.

  253. Alba 46 says:

    @ Stoker

    Thanks for that. She is not on the list

    A tory??

  254. louis.b.argyll says:

    Aye, Scottish Government ministers should use OUR (Scotland’s) Royal soon as possible.

    Even the Queen would have to think carefully about that one..

    IF the Union’s effect is exposed as legalised bullying..

    ..then International AND EU law would recognise OUR RIGHTS and deny Westminster interference relating to a UDI..OOOOH

  255. yesindyref2 says:

    Thanks for that, bookmarked and on my reading list. A quick skim and it looks interesting.

  256. Robert Peffers says:

    @liz says: 7 December, 2016 at 10:12 pm:

    ” … do you mean that the LA is correct in his importance of the Claim of Right?”

    A claim of right by the people of Scotland is that the people of Scotland are sovereign by the laws of Scotland.

    “Do you think both the SG & NI do have a right to vote in our respective parliaments?”


    All claim of right campaigns by the sovereign people of Scotland have been very pointedly ignored by the Westminster Parliament who quite illegally have ignored the Scottish peoples claims of legal sovereignty, only when it suits England. They cannot have it both ways.

    Westminster claims a legal union of the crowns took place in 1603. Yet the truth is there was no legal union of the crowns in 1603. If there had been then the 3 country Kingdom of England in 1603, that was then still under the rule of law of Divine Right of Kings, under which rule of law King James I of Scots would have been legally King James I of Scotland, but he wasn’t.

    As King of Scotland, under divine right, he would have legally annexed the Kingdom of England, (which Kingdom of England then contained both Wales and Ireland), which the English Kingdom had itself annexed under the laws of divine right.

    So how could Divine right allow England to annex Wales and Ireland but NOT allow Scotland to annex England under that same rule of law in 1603?

    In other words one Divine Right law for England’s king but no Divine right for Scotland’s King. Thing is they were correct in 1603 as the King of Scots could not claim divine right because he was not legally sovereign in Scotland but was legally sovereign as King of England.

    Hence he is historically recorded as King James I of England & VI of Scotland.

    So Westminster’s claims of no Union of the crowns in 1603 is chosen to justify NO Annexation of England in 1603 but is then used to claim there was a Union of the Crowns in 1603 to suit England in 1688 when England claimed their deposing of the English monarchy also applied to Scotland and that caused the Jacobite uprisings as, still independent, Scots claimed they had not deposed theit king.

    Yet if the first English claim was true the second could not be true and vise versa.
    They are attempting to have it both ways but both ways cannot be true.

    The central point is that England was under the law of divine right until after they held their Glorious Revolution in 1688.

    Yet they are claiming Divine Right prevented the Scottish Monarchy annexing England, Wales and Ireland in 1603 but then claiming that Devine Right did apply in 1688 when England deposed their monarchy and replaced him with imported royals but claimed the had legal sovereignty over Scotland and their change of monarchy applied to the still independent Kingdom of Scotland.

    Since then, and from Treaty of Union, Westminster has claimed that England had been renamed as the United Kingdom and Westminster is still running today as the parliament of England and even worse it is now excluding Scots, Welsh and N.I members of the United Kingdom parliament from what Westminster says is English only matters.

    There is absolutely nothing to back those claims except, “We, the Westminster Establishment, say so and we are sovereign – because we say so”.

  257. orri says:

    A “fun” possibility might be for Holyrood to hold a referendum to delegate themselves and/or the MPs representing Scotland the role of signatory to the 1707 Act of Union. Not actually committing any one to independence but rather clarifying that whilst Westminster is the successor to the former signatory bodies it is neither one nor the other. Whilst some may claim that that alters the constitution others would argue that it doesn’t and that precedent shows where the right to representation Scotland inside the UK must lie.

  258. orri says:

    We can’t declare UDI simply because we are not an integral part of a unified body. Our independence comes from recanting or withdrawing from the Treaty of Union as is our right. Our problem is a lack of definition of whether the successor of the treaty partners is Westminster as a whole or the rUK and Scottish MPs as separate bodies or does Holyrood get a say?

    Technically we could withdraw the territory of Scotland from the UK but that’d leave the rUK in the strange position of having claim to history of the pre-union Scotland.

  259. yesindyref2 says:

    I wonder if we’re going to see a different Wolffe this morning? Can’t wait!

  260. Macart says:


    I don’t mind helping out, but the proper joined up writing is in good hands already Nana. 🙂

  261. Capella says:

    It is notable that England has not made any submission to the Supreme Court. Only Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  262. louis.b.argyll says:

    Socrates McSporran, agreed.

    Scotland needs to be IMAGINATIVE.

    Scotland should LEAD by example and withdraw from the Union.

  263. manandboy says:

    The EU could recognise the sovereignty of the Scottish people in a way that is, obviously, unclouded by Westminster’s prejudices, and thereby, after Brexit is triggered, and given Scotland’s 62% vote in favour of remaining in the EU, may very well find a way under European law, to retain Scotland in the EU.

    Keep in mind that England’s unsolicited and dubious involvement in IndyRef14, may have broken European law on human rights, as well as being at odds with the UN declaration on self-determination and Independence.

  264. Stoker says:

    @ Alba 46 (9:21am)

    No idea what her politics are, can’t find much about her.

    Donalda Mackinnon

  265. louis.b.argyll says:

    Orri, you (somewhat rightly) say we can’t be independent by merely withdrawing from the 1707 act..

    ..We’d only be removing our pre-nuptials?

    Divorce would be required before we can be restored to maiden status.

    Our partner (ENGLAND) WOULD USE THE KIDS (N.I. Wales) as proof of even older alliances?

    What a bloody mess. A restraining order, keeping out all (now exposed as suppression) Westminster influence, Royal prerogative included, would give de-facto independence. Messy, but righteous.


  266. Euan Whazermy says:

    If there was a unionist majority in Holyrood, the UK gov. would have no problem in saying that the Brexit circumstances were “normal” and would have no problem about going through the formality of asking for Scotland’s “permission”, which would be cravenly given, despite the people having voted overwhelming against it.

  267. orri says:

    The only argument would be who exercises the sovereignty of the people of Scotland. Logically we’d also have to address the 1801 treaty with Ireland. We’d also have to vote to remove all legislative authority from Westminster as a whole.

  268. yesindyref2 says:

    So yes, Keen just got a couple of small extra submissions from Wolffe, one dismissing Keen’s points about the EU legislation not previously covered by LCMs – and I forget the other.

    Strangely enough Wolffe wasn’t so hmmm, and haar this time, and finished early. Less is more.

  269. louis.b.argyll says:

    Orri, that’s easy, a bit like the Crown Estate being laughably medieval in its application.

    Or breaches of human rights by landlordism by Dukes or Princes, it’s written in the statutes, but can be challenged even by a Scottish -using modern law as LAPSED reasoning.

  270. louis.b.argyll says:

    Oops.. Scottish court..typo

  271. yesindyref2 says:

    What I liked was when Wolffe mentioned Gibraltar and somewhere else, and Hale was in there saying “yes and Trinidad too, I have experience with Trinidad”.

  272. liz says:

    @Robert Peffers – thanks for that

  273. One_Scot says:

    Boy this Welsh guy is good.

  274. Nana says:

    Extremely well set out submissions by Mr Gordon.

  275. call me dave says:

    Missed everything this morning in court 🙁

    But caught the start of the woman’s presentation now on. She seems very clear in her points. (Don’t have her name)

    Has it gone well?

  276. Flower of Scotland says:

    Watching SC on line with Sky news in background.

    They are showing everything on Sky except Mr Wolffe,s little time that he had yesterday or today!

    Wonder why? It couldn’t be that they didn’t want viewers to see Scotland,s case, could it

  277. One_Scot says:

    ‘Has it gone well?’

    I’ll say.

  278. One_Scot says:

    Mr Gordon put such a strong case for Wales that he actually strengthened Scotland’s case.

  279. call me dave says:

    This lady is certainly putting up a strong argument with lots of nuts and bolts stuff.

    Even got in a good reference about the ‘Act of Union’

    Lots of history too, is she a distant relation of Mr Peffers.

  280. Fred says:

    Well, it doesn’t look as if we will be getting a Prestonpans type result from this court, & a Culloden might encourage widespread rebellion so a, mebbes aye/mebbes naw, Sheriffmuir verdict looks likely!

  281. One_Scot says:

    If someone had told me that the Loch Ness Monster would be brought up in this case, I would not have believed them.

  282. Vestas says:

    I’m not convinced there’s going to be a decision on whether consent from devolved legislatures is required.

    I rather suspect that no opinion will be offered on that matter & the SC will simply rule on the simple concept that you cannot abolish primary legislation via prerogative unless the legislation in question permits it.

    This is, after all, an appeal against a decision made in an English court & I suspect that’ll give the judges enough “wiggle room” to ignore other matters – in terms of offering an opinion anyway.

    I think we’ll be back in the SC again before May but it’ll require a case brought in Scotland to get a “yes/no/fuck off and eat your cereal” answer.

  283. Thepnr says:


    I also think that’s exactly what we will get from the ruling.

  284. Vestas says:

    @ Thepnr

    Frankly I can’t blame them – they have a nice simple case on the “can’t use prerogative to remove primary legislation” argument.

    The rest of it is a mess (from their perspective) which they’ll probably conclude they’re not competent to decide on as its an appeal against a specific judgement in an English High Court.

    Oh & I meant March rather than May 🙂

  285. orri says:

    I suspect that the original finding will be upheld on the basis of individual rights outwith the UK that would not otherwise be afforded it’s citizens. Avoiding what might be changed within UK laws at least limits the scope. In theory if they wished Holyrood might implement much the same legal protections within Scotland as are currently secured via EU membership. If the the Government reps had gone down that route that’d have strengthened the case. However by insisting the exact opposite he’s demonstrated that should he be right being in the EU does ensure rights agreed upon by our elected representitaves in Holyrood, the EU Parliament elected via a PR system are protected from a FPTP elected Westminster.

  286. yesindyref2 says:

    I’m not so sure. They held the hearing quickly, have kept it to 4 days, and will rule in January – uncommonly hasty. It’s because they know the UK Gov wants to do the A50 before end of March.

    By the same token, if they uphold the DC ruling – that it needs Parliament – but don’t rule on the Sewel, then it’s likely the SG, WG and NIG will take this to court which will take more time, so it’s very possible they’ll decide to get it all out of the way in a oner.


  287. Vestas says:

    I don’t see how they can do it in a oner.

    The question in front of them (ie the appeal) refers specifically to whether the (Westminster) parliament is required to consent to the triggering of A50.

    The questions raised by the Scotland Act 2016 – ie is consent required – aren’t relevant to the current appeal.

    FWIW I think (IANAL) that because the power to change Scottish laws was originally given to the (Westminster) parliament means using the royal prerogative is impossible. It doesn’t prevent the (Westminster) parliament changing Scottish laws, it just prevents the Crown doing so via prerogative.

    As has been argued extensively the court may not determine what “normally” means (thats a political determination) & that seems to be accepted.

    However this isn’t an appeal relating to the Scotland 2016 act so whatever they say is unlikely to set precedent on that.

  288. orri says:

    I may be wrong but I think the interventions actually do ask the SC to make a judgement on not only the first case, which the Government lost, but on cases that were not already made but are now being made.

    That’s why the Government’s Advocaat went so hard ball. It’s a kind of whilst we’re here thing. Otherwise Holyrood would bring it’s own case after this one is complete.

  289. Rock says:

    Robert Louis,

    “Why is it that a country can exit the EU union, but for some bizarre reason Scotland needs to jump through hoops and ask permission from another country to leave the UK union.

    As Robert Peffers keeps pointing out, the UK union is not a single country, despite how many times London likes to pretend it is.”

    The UK union IS a single political country which signed the treaty taking the UK into the EU, UN, NATO.

    Pedantry hasn’t got us anywhere and won’t get us anywhere.

  290. Rock says:

    Robert J. Sutherland,

    “Either result is inherently negative, but (NB! Rock) it’s to the advantage of indy, because it demonstrates to everyone in Scotland that we are powerless as matters stand, a mere colony of England, subject to its every whim.”

    So much for Robert Peffers’ pretendy “sovereignty”.

  291. yesindyref2 says:

    Haven’t you been following the UKSC appeal, and the submissions by Wolffe (Scotland’s man), and Keen (Westminster’s man)?

  292. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi yesindyref2.

    Rock has a tendency to enter a WOS page when it is well developed and then fire off his ping-pong gun of “all lawyers are weasels”, “Scots are not sovereign”, “Robert Peffers doesn’t know what he’s typing about” and so on.

    It does get a bit “Rock again; let’s skip this” after a while.

  293. Robert Peffers says:

    Let’s face it – Devolution means only one thing.

    “Factually there is no actual United Kingdom and there hasn’t been a United Kingdom throughout my entire life time

    Facts, so they say, are chiels whit will nae ding.

    So let us state the actual facts to see if they do, or do not, ding.

    The Treaty of Union is a legally binding agreement between only the two KINGDOMS of Scotland and England.

    As it is an agreement between two sovereign Kingdoms to unite the resultant thing that is formed is factually and legally, a two partner, “United Kingdom”.

    It is not a united country: Nor is it a united state: It is exactly what it claims itself to be by the title, “United Kingdom”, that joining only two kingdoms together.

    As it happens there were only two British kingdoms in 1706 when the Treaty was being negotiated, (For negotiated read forced upon Scotland).

    The Kingdom of England having annexed and absorbed the Principality of Wales by,“The Statute of Rhuddlan”. in 1284 :-

    The Norman Conquest of Ireland saw the Papacy install the King of England as, “Lord of Ireland”.

    The old Gaelic kingdom of Ireland was ended by the Norman Conquest of Ireland and the Irish kingdom became a fief of the Holy See in Rome. The Pope then made the King of England, “Lord of Ireland”.

    This began, “The Plantaions of Ireland”. By which English Nobles were implanted in Ireland and Irish lands were taken over by the English. It remained under English domination until the Parliament of Ireland was forced to conferred the crown of Ireland upon King Henry VIII of England in 1542.

    The monarch of England thus held the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union until, “The Union of the Crowns in 1603”, expanded the personal union to also include Scotland under James VI of Scotland & I of England.

    The crowns of Great Britain and Ireland remained in, personal union until the Acts of Union 1800/i. These Acts united Ireland and Great Britain into the Political Union of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1801 until December 1922 and the partition of the country of Ireland and the creation of the Republic of Ireland.

    Note:- A personal union only placed the crows all upon the same person’s head but did not legally unite the kingdoms.

    So the Treaty of Union was legally between the three country Kingdom of England and the single country, Kingdom of Scotland, and that treaty itself is the proof that there are only two equally sovereign partners in the United Kingdom and only the signatures of those two Kingdoms representatives are upon the documents.

    Thus the entire modern set-up of, the now so called, United Kingdom proves it is nothing of the sort.

    Westminster has effectively changed it from being an actual united Kingdom by treating the actual United Kingdom as if it were a single, unified, country instead of a bipartite union of kingdoms and worse it claims it is the renamed Kingdom of England.

    If more proof of this is needed then the unequally devolved power’s to three of the four countries granted by a Westminster that is factually the Parliament of England, (there is no other parliament of England) – as it funds itself as the United Kingdom and legislates for England under English Law. It has also imposed EVEL, (English Votes For English Laws), and excludes, at their discretion, all non-English constituency MPs from interfering in what Westminster English Members decide is England only matters.

    The final clincher was summed up and quoted on national TV as being, (based upon a Westminster commissioned paper), by The Secretary of State for Scotland as, “The Treaty of Union extinguished the Kingdom of Scotland and renamed the Kingdom Of England as The United Kingdom”.

    This setup is, of course, complete and utter lies and is thus totally illegal under both Scottish and English law.

    The United Kingdom is run as the country of England imposing English law upon what they consider to be English dominions.

  294. Iain says:

    First sentence, Stu: can’t let it pass
    ‘Disinterest’ means impartiality, not lack of interest.

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