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Walking into traps

Posted on April 21, 2019 by

(This article was originally intended to go up on Wednesday, but it was somewhat overtaken by events before it was finished.)

This week has seen another of those strange coincidences by which a whole slew of Unionist pundits all randomly decide to start talking about the same subject. On this occasion it was the rape clause, and why it proved the SNP are bad.

As is increasingly often the case, the call was also taken up by Unionist politicians (who opposed both independence and giving Holyrood full control of welfare powers, the two things that would have enabled the rape clause to be abolished) and the more earnest left-wing elements of the Yes movement.

But in an all-too-depressingly familiar way, none of the latter appear to have stopped for a moment and thought about what they’re actually asking for.

Let’s take a look at what people might mean by “mitigate the rape clause”.


This one makes no sense. Women with more than two children as a result of rape are ALREADY entitled to receive child benefit for the “extra” ones. The issue is that they have to disclose that they’ve been raped, which obviously might be traumatic for them in a number of ways.

If you introduced a new Scottish child benefit for rape victims then by definition they’d still have to do that, so it wouldn’t solve the problem.

(You could in theory make the new benefit payable in a less intrusive manner, by having women simply tick a box on the form without having to have a third-party professional verify the claim, but that still requires the disclosure to be made and would obviously also be hugely open to abuse. It would effectively become Option 2 below.)


The only other option is to restore child benefit for ALL children, which effectively does abolish the rape clause in Scotland, or more accurately abolishes the Westminster welfare cut that it relates to.

But that’s rather like buying a solid-gold sledgehammer to crack a single peanut. It’d mean that the vast bulk (in fact around 99.99%) would be spent on families whose extra children AREN’T the result of rape, most of whom don’t need the money. It would be a reckless and irresponsible use of scarce cash which could be far better directed at those in the most need.

As a general rule, of course, universal benefits (which Scottish Labour used to oppose as an unaffordable and immoral subsidy of the middle class, and may well still do – we genuinely can’t find documentation anywhere detailing the branch office’s current policies on university tuition or prescription fees) are a good thing. But one where SO little of the money spent actually goes to the people supposedly being helped is extremely difficult to defend.

Scottish Labour currently want child benefit raised across the board by £5 per child (at an estimated cost of £256m) as well as paying it for all children. Figures suggest there are currently over 55,000 families with three children, and 16,000 with four or more. So making child benefit universal again would add at least another £94m per year – or £9.4m per rape victim – to that £256m, for a total cost of £350m.

That’s £350m that has to either be cut from other services (which nobody calling for the new benefit is prepared to identify), or raised from extra taxation. It’s roughly the estimated maximum figure that a 1p increase in basic income tax would deliver.

Now, we don’t have a clue about the demographic breakdown of the 10 women who have “extra” children as a result of rape. There are no obvious grounds to believe that those women are disproportionately poor. So they’d gain money from the new benefit only to lose it in extra tax.

As far as we’re aware it’s still also Scottish Labour policy to increase income tax by ANOTHER 1p to pay for the mitigation of other Tory policies, making 2p altogether.

(It probably goes without saying that the Labour administration in Wales has pledged not to increase income tax there.)

The Lib Dems also want it hiked by 1p to pay for extra education spending. So all of a sudden we’ve whacked basic-rate income tax in Scotland up by a thumping 3p, and hundreds of thousands of poor people for whom every last penny is vital are being clobbered to give money to just 10 women who’ve been raped, to whom we’d imagine an extra £25 a week wouldn’t be much of a consolation for what they’d suffered.

That, readers, is the future that Unionists want for Scotland – to have everyone taxed more and more and more to paper over cuts to reserved Westminster services, until the Scottish Government becomes so unpopular that a Unionist party (on current polling it’d be the Tories) wins again and normal subservience is resumed.

Self-styled radical leftists eagerly assisting them towards that goal might want to be careful what they wish for.

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    1. 21 04 19 12:56

      Walking into traps | speymouth

    179 to “Walking into traps”

    1. Dr Jim says:

      The policy is keep on mitigating Westminster bad policies until there’s no money left for anything else then those same folk can complain about SNP bad management of the economy because of all the *free giveaways*

      What will they call it I wonder? Oooh I know, the SNP are taking their eye off the ball, the Unionists do like saying that a lot

      Remember when Labour’s Ian Gray idiotically said *what will we do when the renewable energy runs out*

      Unlike that, mitigation money WOULD run out, because in Scotland we don’t have *the Westminster tree*

      Maybe if we didn’t have to pay for the Unionsts big Trident bombs the Labour party say they don’t want but keep voting in favour of because *jobs*???

    2. Fergus Green says:

      In an independent Scotland, no child should go hungry.

      By advocating continued dependence, Labour, the Lib Dems and the MSM are prolonging child poverty in a wealthy nation.

    3. handclapping says:

      Given the numbers of children in poverty child benefits for all children would be a good thing. However rather than make that case our “journalists” seek out a mote and ignore that beam just as they are doing with the destruction of hard won womens rights in the mote of “trans” privilege.

      The Brian Spanner pack are intellectual nitpickers. Such a waste of an education.

    4. mogabee says:

      A trap which any smart thinking person can see is no longer really a trap as it can be avoided!

      What the LabToryLibDem eejits want is folk knee-jerking on social media without talking about the reality as you have here.

      They don’t care who suffers. They don’t care one iota…

    5. Douglas says:

      Spot on.
      The only problem with your argument is that they are not interested in logic.
      Just sound bytes.
      They simply bypass reality

    6. Adrian B says:

      If you set up a new State you can completely bypass all mitigation and better target resources where they are needed.

    7. shug says:

      The SNP should set up an account and if you feel you want to pay for your prescription then you can pay it into this account and the money will be directed to the NHS.
      The same could be done for University fees and free transport etc.
      All payments in should be made public and any unionist that argues against free prescription or any similar SNP policy can then be challenges on whither that have paid for theirs if they are so convinced it is good.
      Wil Ruth pay for prescriptions once she has the facility to pay
      I think not!!

    8. manandboy says:

      “This week has seen another of those strange coincidences by which a whole slew of Unionist pundits all randomly decide to start talking about the same subject.”

      Alex Massie – The Times
      Kenny Farquarson – The Times
      David Clegg – The Daily Record
      Paul Hutcheon – The Herald

      Surprise, surprise, three Newspapers simultaneously publish one orchestrated and engineered story, attacking the SNP Government. I wonder what proportion of the salaries of the four men above are paid by the British State Propaganda Office based at No 10 Downing St.

      Because of the growing Independence Movement, Westminster has waged daily a continuous Propaganda War against Scotland since 2012.

      Our Colonial Masters, aka The British Establishment, have long experience of British Slave Colonies striving for Independence. The English Ruling Class know what’s coming.

      Unite & Fight – for Scottish Independence.

    9. Gary45% says:

      Report could be 5 pages or 5000 pages, it would still end in.
      SNP BAAAD. In the Union it will NEVER CHANGE.

    10. starlaw says:

      If any Scots MP or MSP were really interested in making poverty history, then they would be voting for Independence, there is no other way. Scotland must control its own purse strings, pocket money from
      Westminster not good enough.

    11. robertknight says:

      Never let truth or facts stand in the way of a good old Yoon meedja driven SNP-Bad feeding frenzy.

    12. Auld Rock says:

      Anytime yoons put such ideas forward then they must be challenged as to what services they’d cut or how much they’d increase basic taxation by, 1p, 2p 3p? Pin them down until you get an answer.

    13. galamcennalath says:

      “… another of those strange coincidences by which a whole slew of Unionist pundits all randomly decide to start talking about the same subject “

      Funny that. A conspiracy theorist would suspect planning and coordination!

      Pushing the idea that devolution should be used for mitigation is wrong on so many levels. However, from a humanitarian point of view needs must sometimes. That’s not what motivates BritNattery – they just use mitigation as a rock and a hard place to generate SNPBaaadness. The Scottish government is Baaad if it doesn’t mitigate, but also Baaad if raises taxes to pay for it. Or, takes money from other important budgets.

      The situation is made easier for the BritNats because many Scots really don’t understand what is devolved and what is reserved. This ignorance is fostered by BritNat politicians, pundits, and media because it suits them.

      All this could be resolved once and for all by independence. BritNats know that full well and it’s a big problem for them.

    14. Capella says:

      Alex Massie – The Times
      Kenny Farquarson – The Times
      David Clegg – The Daily Record
      Paul Hutcheon – The Herald

      These people aren’t actually journalists. They are “courtiers” who simply publish Westminster party press releases and regurgitate the prejudices and opinons of the 1% (who own them).

      I posted a link on the previous thread to a Jimmy Dore show on Youtube called “Assange Exposes Democrat Fascists, Torturers & Warmongers” His point is that Assange, who is a journalist, is smeared by those MSM courtiers who desperately do their masters bidding in removing this great threat to their power and privilege.

      Regulated courtiers in the MSM hate unregulated journalists using the online medium. This article demonstrates why. There would be nothing to stop the above listed from doing the sums and objectively telling their readers what the real issues are. Nothing, except their salary depends on not doing that.

      That’s why we are here and not out buying the Sunday papers.

    15. Scottish Steve says:

      If the SNP did raise taxes or cut money to other services in order to fund child benefits for the children of rape victims, the media and unionists would be screeching about how bad that would be too.

      I have seen unionists defend the rape clause as “compassionate.” Yeah, this is a Tory’s idea of compassion.

      Basically, unionists would rather spend already scarce resources on mitigating effects from Westminster because they cant countenance the alternative: independence.

      I guess those British broad shoulders aren’t so broad when the London government is cutting services to the bone. But Better Together eh?

    16. Capella says:

      Just noticed that Youtube now adds an “information” line below RT videos.
      RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government

      So I naturally ondered if the same applied to BBC videos. Well, partly.
      BBC is a British public broadcast service

      I wonder what the subtle difference is between being funded in whole or in part by the government and being a public broadcasting service? Youtube provides a handy link so that you can leap to wikipedia and read all about it.:

      RT has been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government[11] and its foreign policy.[12][13][14][15][16][17] RT has also been accused of spreading disinformation[17][18][19] by news reporters,[20][21] including some former RT reporters.[22][23][24] The United Kingdom media regulator, Ofcom, has repeatedly found RT to have breached its rules on impartiality and of broadcasting “materially misleading” content.[25][26][27][28] RT’s editor-in-chief compared it with the Russian Army and Defence Ministry, and talked about it “waging the information war against the entire Western world.”[29] September 2017, RT America was ordered to register as a “foreign agent” with the United States Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under the act, RT will be required to disclose financial information.

      There is no similar reference in the BBC puff piece which notes that is called “Auntie” and “Auntie Beeb”. Aw. Cute.

    17. Ken500 says:

      MSM low life liars. They are responsible for millions dying. Non Dom tax evaders. They should not even own the Press.

      Murdoch off with £30Billion. The illegal hacking, surveilling criminal. Bribing public officials and getting away with murder.

      The porno Desmond – Express. Now Trinity Press.

      The Barclay Brothers right wing non Dom tax evaders.

    18. Proud Cybernat says:

      NostraBissett saw it first:

    19. Peter says:

      We have to be careful not to call journalists or politicians “Tractors”.
      But I was struck by the words of the great Samuel Adams in Philadelphia 1776 in a speech rebuking those who opposed independence for the American Colonies:
      “If we love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace, we ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly on you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen”.
      Who does not think at once of Daisley, Torrance, Cochrane, Massie,or Mundell, Tompkins, Robertson etc?

    20. crazycat says:

      Isn’t the “r*pe clause” about child tax credit, rather than child benefit?

      SLab want to increase child benefit by £5 a week. When I was a child, CB was only payable for the second and subsequent children, to encourage larger families. Then it became a universal benefit, until a means test was introduced, recouping the money via taxation from higher earners.

      Tax credits have always been means tested (I think), in a typically clumsy and hard-to-implement way.

      (Whatever SLab policy is on these issues, it will no doubt be impractical, infused with SNPbad, and quite different from whatever they are actually doing in Wales.)

    21. mike cassidy says:

      If we cannot call them tractors

      Then lets call them bawbags.

      The OED definition will do for me.

      An ignorant, obnoxious, or otherwise detestable person

    22. CameronB Brodie says:

      Yoons do what yoons do, try to defend the indefensible (see OO). Subsequently, they should be viewed as a regressive force opposing Scotland’s social evolution. They’re objective is to maintain Scotland’s lack of political agency, and to thwart Scots from accessing inalienable human rights* we are excluded from by the Tory philosophy of ‘One Nation’ Britain.

      Reports on the Impact of Public Spending Cuts Across the UK

      * Lots but the “Right to Development” in particular.

    23. t42 says:

      Yes Ruth is tied to this damaging clause, they are clearly trying to shift the stink for her comeback.

    24. Sarah says:

      Superb quote in Peter’s post at 2.59. It hits the nail on the head to describe all those crawling “journalists”, politicians, “Proud Scots buts”.

    25. Artyhetty says:

      The people of Scotland, including children, are collateral to the Britnats in Scotland and in England. They do not care whether people go hungry, in fact as we all know they facilitate it when they vote with the Tories to cut state funding to the poor, vulnerable, disabled etc.

      These Britnats have the backing of the media, they control the narrative and they hate so called ‘social media’ because for all it’s faults, it’s shows them for what they are, lying, scheming troughers.

      These Britnats are only interested in their own jobs, the huge wage they take from the public purse, and expenses, and they are like rabid dogs with a rag in it’s jaws, not letting go if they can possibly help it.

      Devolution of some meagre powers to Scotland was NEVER meant to enable Scotland to grow, to thrive, or even survive. It was meant to appease a few independence minded folk and brought about by the insistence of the EU. It was brought about because people some people knew that the ‘UK’ was not working in Scotland’s best interests and never has done. Quite the opposite.

      Devolution is now used as a poison chalice because the SNP are the popular, democratically elected government in Scotland, who work FOR their actual country.

      It would be interesting to have some figures, I am sure that I read that the ‘block grant’ was more generous when Labour were at the helm at Holyrood.

      Still there are people in Scotland who have no idea how devolution works or doesn’t, and they certianly do not know what happens to their taxes, Scotland’s resources, and Scotland’s revenues. They do not know that Scotland is handed pocket money by Westminster, they hold the purse strings.

      Money is power, Scotland, ie the SNP needs to make sure everyone knows that they are working for them, with hands tied firmly behind their backs. They can’t mitigate the UKgov’s terrible cruel, austerity, forced on Scotland, forever.

      The SNP can keep on about what they are doing for Scotland until the cows come home, but they also need to make sure that people know how much Scotland is being robbed, I am sure they can find a way of doing that. It’s all there, in black and white is it not!

    26. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Artyhetty.

      I don’t think anyone replied to you re the grass in George Square.

      When we were there for the “Hope Over Fear” rally, some of the grass areas were sodden, creating puddles and mud. Looked like a possible drainage problem.

      Maybe repair work is under way…

    27. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says: 21 April, 2019 at 2:10 pm:

      ” … Under the act, RT will be required to disclose financial information.
      There is no similar reference in the BBC puff piece which notes that is called “Auntie” and “Auntie Beeb”. Aw. Cute.”

      As Wingers will find it exceedingly difficult to find the truth of how the BBC is actually funded and what exactly a TV, “Licence”, actually is I offer this:-

      A “Licence”, is officially permission to do something or other.

      You will find some information here:-

      It contains this:-

      “A TV Licence is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This could be on any device, including TVs, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes, DVD, Blu-ray and VHS recorders. This applies regardless of which television channels a person receives or how those channels are received. The licence fee is not a payment for BBC services (or any other television service), although licence fee revenue is used to fund the BBC.

      The requirement to hold a TV Licence and to pay a fee for it is mandated by law under the Communications Act 2003 and Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 (as amended). It is an offence to watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on any channel and on any broadcast platform (terrestrial, satellite, cable and the internet) or download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer without a valid TV Licence.

      Section 363 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to install or use a television receiver to watch or record any television programmes as they’re being shown on television without a TV Licence.

      Section 365 of that Act requires that a person to whom a TV Licence is issued must pay a fee to the BBC. The nature and amount of this fee is set out in the Communications (Television Licensing) Regulations 2004 (as amended).

      Since 1991, the BBC, in its role as the relevant licensing authority, has been responsible for collecting and enforcing the TV Licence fee. The BBC contracts companies to do this work under the BBC trade mark ‘TV Licensing’. The BBC (and contractors acting on its behalf) must comply with the law in collecting and enforcing the licence fee. The BBC Charter further requires that these arrangements be appropriate, proportionate and efficient.

      Legislation on television licensing is available from (opens in a new window).”

      The bolded bit is by me and the licence fee goes to the Treasury and Westminster makes an annual agreed grant to the BBC who then also fund MSM reporters throughout the UK.

      Now I’m away back to just lurking again. Have a good Easter Wingers.

    28. CameronB Brodie says:

      Either these yoons are ignorant of how public finance and public policy works, or perhaps they are simply making malicious mischief?. Whatever, they appear so far removed from competent understanding of reality, that their output should really be considered an insult to the intelligence of their readership.

      The Yoon world view lacks concordance!

      Policy capacity: A conceptual framework for understanding policy competences and capabilities


      Although policy capacity is among the most fundamental concepts in public policy, there is considerable disagreement over its definition and very few systematic efforts try to operationalize and measure it. This article presents a conceptual framework for analysing and measuring policy capacity under which policy capacity refers to the competencies and capabilities important to policy-making. Competences are categorized into three general types of skills essential for policy success—analytical, operational and political—while policy capabilities are assessed at the individual, organizational and system resource levels.

      Policy failures often result from imbalanced attention to these nine different components of policy capacity and the conceptual framework presented in the paper provides a diagnostic tool to identify such capacity gaps. It offers critical insights into strategies able to overcome such gaps in professional behaviour, organizational and managerial activities, and the policy systems involved in policy-making.

    29. CameronB Brodie says:

      Concordance? Coherence!

    30. Patrick Roden says:

      I’ve been having a thought for the past few weeks that goes like this:

      The success of the SNP has actually hindered independence as, it has protected the very demographic who votes against it.

      The over 60’s, The wealthy (who in my experience hold every penny to ransom)

      So, my thinking is why don’t the SNP just pull out of Holyrood and only stand in Westminster seats, with the one policy of offering Scots the vote for Independence or the continuing destruction of our economy by Westminster, aided ad abetted by whatever Branch office is in power at Holyrood.

      Let Labour/Tory/Lib Dems in Scotland show the voters just how incompetent both they and their Westminster masters are and give Scots the stark choice between Them and Independence.

      Our Independence would be 100% certain, within 18 months!

    31. Patrick Roden says:

      @ t42 says:

      Yes Ruth is tied to this damaging clause, they are clearly trying to shift the stink for her comeback.

      That’s a very good point t42, I also wonder if some internal polling done by the Tories is showing Ruth’s ‘media crafted reputation’ has been damaged by the ‘Rape Clause Ruth’ jibe.

      This would become very important if we could clearly show this has happened a few times, as it would prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that these so called journalists, are willing to take orders from the Tories/Unionists, and do their bidding.

    32. jfngw says:

      @Robert Peffers

      If the TV licence funded the BBC directly I suspect they would find themselves in court by those who do not watch the BBC, it would amount to basically extortion. The TV licence is the way to get people to fund the BBC by not funding the BBC.

      Auntie Beeb! more like Uncle Ernie as the fiddle about enablers.

    33. Colin Alexander says:

      Why shouldn’t the SNP also be blamed for UK Govt policies?

      Nobody forces the SNP to administer British Colonialism for the UK Govt a.k.a. the Scottish Government.

      The SNP used to be an independence party where a vote for the SNP was a vote to end the Union.

      Now they work as UK Union administrators and are richly rewarded for it.

    34. Colin Alexander says:

      Since the ruling on the Sewel Convention and the Continuity Bill was overruled by the unelected House of Lords this proved devolution is not democracy for Scotland

      So I agree with Patrick Roden at 4.05pm.

      The SNP should be offering an alternative to the UK Union and their devolution sham of democracy, not running the democracy scam for the UK Govt.

    35. CameronB Brodie says:

      Colin Alexander
      You still don’t appear to be getting this democracy thing. Despite Scotland’s constitutional and political identity being under threat of serious harm from British nationalism, the electorate voted to maintain the ‘status quo’ in 2014. We haven’t had a chance to re-visit that mistake yet.

    36. Jamie says:

      What I find most strange about all of this is why rape victims children are the only special children. All children are special and all the children who are suffering this cut come from low income families that is why tax credits were introduced, to help the poorest workers. I doubt any neutral will be swayed by any of this, everyone knows that the SNP would not introduce such an idiotic policy that punishes the poorest, that is the bread and butter of the Tories, everyone knows that. As for the herald, I thought that paper was dead already, does anyone actually read it anymore? No neutrals anyway.

    37. Legerwood says:

      The r*pe clause legislation went through Parliament and into law without a vote. The UK Government used a statutory instrument to get it through Parliament without a vote.

      See this article from the Guardian

      Alison Thewlis led the opposition to this legislation while Labour sat on its hands.

      Ruth Davidson claimed that all a woman had to do was sign the form. Well the ‘form’ is a booklet in which the first 4 pages are instructions about who the woman has to speak to etc. And of course if the woman is in NI then the booklet helpfully informs her that under the law if she tells someone about the rape then they must report it to the police!

      Maybe the DUP will use some of its £1 billion bung to mitigate the effects of this legislation.

      It is the most demeaning piece of legislation but perhaps one of the worst parts of it, and a part rarely mentioned, is that the woman must name the child who is the product of the rape. So much for the child’s right to privacy.

    38. Gary45% says:

      Better to simply refer to journalists as Churnalists.

    39. Bobp says:

      Patrick roden 4.05pm. Absolutely agree. If the Snp were not there to mitigate the tory austerity cuts . Wonder who the scummy msm would blame then? Let the red and blue tories pick up the mantle and take the blame.And once the people in Scotland felt the burn, an snp majority in Scotland elected to westminster with a mandate to dissolve the union, would ensure an independent Scotland pretty quickly.

    40. galamcennalath says:

      Sunday Mail tells us “BBC Scotland news show The Nine suffers ‘deeply troubling’ slump in viewers”

      Obviously! They put it an ‘fringe’ channel.

      What Scotland desperately needs is to REPLACE the London centric ‘main’ news broadcasts on BBC One with a Scottish perspective of world, European and Scottish news.

      But what about rUK news, a Britnat might ask? Well, I would say that currently resides among other European news, while in a few years it will be world news.

    41. Clootie says:

      Mitigate every Tory and Red Tory piece of legislation that comes our way and we will eventually be crippled as a nation.
      Give us all of the powers and we will build a better, fairer society.

    42. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      I thought socialism died out in the Labour party round about 1920. Granted their are Marxists at the top nowadays, but they are more interested in power rather than socialism

    43. John Walsh says:

      Since you (Stu) are constantly decried by MSM and these so called Yoon “journalists” for your forensic exposure of their agenda to keep the Scottish Electorate ignorant.
      Do you fancy running a summer camp to train the SNP Rebuttal Unit .( Under a nom de plume)
      Or at least send them a how-to booklet to get them started.

    44. Capella says:

      @ Robert Peffers – Happy Easter to you too. I knew you would be lurking about somewhere. Thx for the link.
      Westminster still pretending that the BBC isn’t a state funded broadcaster. Still not under OFCOM either. But at least they don’t have the CEO of BAe Systems and the head of HSBC money laundering department running it. At least, not officially.

    45. Robert Kerr says:

      come on peeps.

      TV licence is a licence to watch any channel.

      Why should anyone have to have a license to watch TV? I understand having a licence to drive or fly aircraft etc. Some competence required there but watching TV?

    46. CameronB Brodie says:

      The phrase “empty vesicles” springs to mind. These dolts undermine Scotland’s democracy and political economy.

      Complex Realism, Applied Social Science and Postdisciplinarity: A Critical Assessment of the Work of David Byrne?

      In this review essay I offer a critical assessment of the work of David Byrne, an applied social scientist who is one of the leading advocates of the use of complexity theory in the social sciences and who has drawn on the principles of critical realism in developing an ontological position of ‘complex realism’. The key arguments of his latest book, Applying Social Science: The Role of Social Research in Politics, Policy and Practice constitute the frame of the review; however, since these overlap with those of his previous books, Interpreting Quantitative Data and Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences, I consider all three books together.

      I identify aspects of Byrne’s ontological position that are in tune with the principles of original and dialectical critical realism and aspects that are not. I argue that these inconsistencies, which Byrne must resolve if he is to take his understanding of complexity further, stem from the residual influence of various forms of irrealism in his thinking.

      KEYWORDS social complexity, statistical modelling, transcendental realism, pure and applied science, irrealism, postdisciplinarity

    47. Ken500 says:

      Plenty to spend on illegal wars, Brexit, NI, HS2, Trident, Hickley Point, tax evasion, tax breaks for the wealthy etc, etc. Costs Scotland on average £20Billion a year. Then Scotland is expected to mitigate all the Westminster nonsense.

      The total mismanagement of Oil & Gas, fishing, farming by Westminster unionist imbeciles. Monies taken out of Scotland illegally and secretly for years to fund London S/E.

      Iraq War, Lockerbie and Dunblane kept secret for 100 years.

    48. Legerwood says:

      I got caught in moderation again – some r words slipped through
      Legerwood says:

      21 April, 2019 at 5:16 pm
      The r*pe clause legislation went through Parliament and into law without a vote. The UK Government used a statutory instrument to get it through Parliament without a vote.

      See this article from the Guardian

      Alison Thewlis led the opposition to this legislation while Labour sat on its hands.

      Ruth Davidson claimed that all a woman had to do was sign the form. Well the ‘form’ is a booklet in which the first 4 pages are instructions about who the woman has to speak to etc. And of course if the woman is in NI then the booklet helpfully informs her that under the law if she tells someone about the r*pe then they must report it to the police!

      Maybe the DUP will use some of its £1 billion bung to mitigate the effects of this legislation.

      It is the most demeaning piece of legislation but perhaps one of the worst parts of it, and a part rarely mentioned, is that the woman must name the child who is the product of the r*pe. So much for the child’s right to privacy.

    49. Colin Alexander says:

      CameronB Brodie

      Re Scottish democracy:

      The No voters did not vote to maintain the status quo. They voted No to the question:

      “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

      No voters made a negative vote. They did not vote FOR the status quo or FOR anything else.

      If people in Scotland want UK Govt rule, then the SNP should let the people of Scotland experience UK Govt rule with no attempts to water it down or ameliorate its effects.

      Instead of serving the UK state as administrators of colonial rule,the SNP could instead offer people a clear and better alternative: Scottish independence.

      The SNP could use the Euro elections to seek a mandate for independence or even an assertion of Scottish sovereignty as part of the UK Union so requiring Scottish agreement to any UK/EU proposed deals.

      Instead, it’s the same old platitudes from the SNP’s MEP candidates.

      I know this much, having read the same auld mince from the SNP candidates, I won’t be voting for any SNP MEP candidates at the Euro elections. That’s me doing the democratic thing.

    50. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      Scotland gets to ‘pool and share’ Westminster’s austerity.

      It is part of the Union Dividend.

      The Broad Shoulders of Neo-Fascist policies designed to target the weak, the old, the poor and the vulnerable.

      The British Nationalist Parties Politicians in Scotland suffer from a deficit of aspiration for anything but their own self aggrandization.

      Maybe the SNP should propose an additional tax for consideration (fully costed against ALL Mitigation Policies) and call it the “UK Union Tax” optional obviously for payment by those who are so keen on being Loyal BritNats.

    51. johnj says:

      It’s like the neds who attack Fire and Rescue services when they arrive at a fire. Westminster lights the fire, the SNP government tries to put it out with the limited resources available, and the Unionist Arse-licking Parties (take your pick) lob Rocks at the firefighters.

      Keep up the good work Rev. I’m in for the next fund-raiser.

    52. Effijy says:

      Yet again we can see an organised plot by all Westminster Media discredit the SNP government.

      There is no place for truth with them, no balanced stories, no investigative journalism, just a
      Tsunami of propaganda.

      So those mascarading as journalists think that all women bearing children from being raped should
      Be forced to relive the horror of rape, the time the date the manner, be questioned about what they were wearing, was it provocative, did they have any drinks before hand, how many, did they make any gestures that could have been misread?

      Rape is rape and if a woman was naked and drunk no one has the right to rape her. Full Stop.
      If her morals or religion dictate that she must have the child then mother and baby deserve support.

      These rag rats have no problem with the welfare of those affected.
      Barbaric actions like this lead to poverty, children being adopted rather than being with their Mothers, even suicide is a route for these demonised souls.

      It is a given they agree with these new laws as they don’t Condem
      Ruth or the Tories who introduced these laws.

      They also attacked the SNP government for minor tax increases for the wealthier tax payers
      Who have to find money after a decade of Rad and Blue Tory austerity cuts.

      Wonderful how SNP Negated the savage attacks on the disabled by the Red and Blue Tory Bedroom tax. This deserves to be a headline across the nation but unfortunately Scotland is void of impartial media coverage.

      With the Bedroom Tax 81% of those who faced dramatic cuts in their standard of living
      and quality of life were disabled.

      These savings allow for Tory shipping contracts for no ships
      It finds £Millions of tax payers money to give compensation
      To the Channel tunnel operators, to the demonised Wind Rush citizens,
      To give billions to the Tory supporting hedge fund mangers who picked up the electricity, Gas,
      Water, BP, Lloyds Bank shares the Royal Mail sell offs, etc.

      If the English would care to look it’s all obviously and blatantly corrupt in Westminster
      and the mafia families mascarading as Parties of the people must be deposed for ever.

    53. CameronB Brodie says:

      Colin Alexander
      “No voters made a negative vote. They did not vote FOR the status quo or FOR anything else.”

      Agreed, they voted largely in responce to FEARS about maintaining Scotland’s EU membership, the Scottish NHS, their pensions, the economy….the Vow, super devo-max on steroids and robust defense against aliens. None of which has been delivered, unless the aliens in question are immigrants, of course.

      Calm down Colin, you appear to be hyperventilating.

    54. Effijy says:

      I see that the Ukraine has followed England’s lead by electing a Comedian to lead their Country!

      He has 73% of the votes against May’s 37%.

      May has the UK economy laughing all the way
      To the Stank!

    55. cyril mitchell says:

      Their paymasters had them extolling Better Together now they are advocating Scot Gov should mitigate stuff!

    56. Republicofscotland says:

      These unionist hacks know fine well that the Scottish government has mitigated the worst of Westminsters austerity ideology, how much further do they think the shrinking Scottish bloc grant will stretch?

      They call for more and more to be done, well if they’re so concerned (which they’re not) they should vote for, and not against Scotland becoming independent and gaining control of all its powers.

      They’re charlatans every single one of them and they know we know it.

      Finally do these people not realise that we will remember them after Scotland becomes independent, their credibility shot to hell, and not to taken seriously ever again.

    57. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says: 21 April, 2019 at 6:01 pm:

      ” … Still not under OFCOM either. But at least they don’t have the CEO of BAe Systems and the head of HSBC money laundering department running it.”

      Just for the record, Capella:-

    58. Colin Alexander says:

      CameronB Brodie

      Aww Cameron, now you have me agreeing with you about voters voting negatively in response to Project Fear.

      I’m no hyperventilating, I was blawin on my mince round that was too hot.

    59. CameronB Brodie says:

      Colin Alexander 😉

    60. dakk says:

      @ peter said
      ‘Who does not think at once of Daisley, Torrance, Cochrane, Massie,or Mundell, Tompkins, Robertson etc?’

      And every single other piece of unionist human filth who pollutes the planet.

    61. gus1940 says:

      Those of us who peruse the on-line versions of the Metropolitan Blats have long been accustomed to the poison that fills these so-called Newspapers and have tended to laugh at their rantings.

      However, as the possibility of Brexit ever happening shrinks into the distance these vile organs have become more and more desperate and have now resorted to spewing out pure divisive hatred to go along with their usual lies and distortions.

      Am I alone in beginning to be afraid instead of just ridiculing their rantings?

      Apart from the daily deluge of SNPbad to which we are subjected on a daily basis from our own MSM this hateful hysteria south of the border must be a matter of deep concern – it’s not funny any more – these people are dangerous.

    62. galamcennalath says:

      “Unionists ‘running scared’ of independence, says Keith Brown “

      Fair comment, but what really caught my attention was the BritNat responses!

      Labour in Scotland … ” Labour has a plan … with more democratic control of our economy and improving public services. “

      One word to them …. SMITH

      Tories in Scotland … ” Most people want to move on from endless debates on the constitution “

      And one word to them …. BREXIT

      As Rev Stu pointed out in an article recently, the BritNats have all the pieces to the jigsaw before them, they just can’t see the wider picture! All their complaints could be resolved by independence.

    63. Mad Unionist says:

      Jock Windbag @ 6:40pm. The SNP are just Tories and will not tax the rich and middle classes to alleviate foodbanks and poverty. Just look at our privatised railways and bus industry. All done by the Tories and their back slapping SNP pals who carry on with Tory policies pretending the EU will not allow nationalisation.

    64. Mad Unionist says:

      Effijy, we used to play stankie in the old days using marbles.

    65. CameronB Brodie says:

      Want a peek into yoon mentality? That’s the 20% of Scottish voters who would never consider Scottish independence. Fill your boots.

      Explaining Delusions: Reducing Uncertainty Through Basic and Computational Neuroscience

    66. Essexexile says:

      dakk @7.36pm
      That comment is too much imo.
      One thing we’ve learned (or at least, had confirmed) this week is that many in the indy cause regard WoS as at best a necessary evil and at worst repugnant hate filled bile.
      We’d do well to take that on board before posting comments that may help to drive a wedge further between WoS and the more ‘mainstream’ nationalist movement.

    67. galamcennalath says:

      Chris McEleny: ” …. if you deny the people of Scotland the right to exercise our mandate to hold a referendum then …. we will fight the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections not for a mandate to hold a referendum but to secure a mandate from the people of Scotland to begin independence negotiations. “

    68. Mad Unionist says:

      CameronB Brodie. I would not consider Independence in Europe under any circumstances because Scotland would be a dominion of the EU. I see no point in leaving the UK Union only to be subservient to the German and French Anglo Alliance. Why change the August Grouse shooters!

    69. Alasdair Galloway says:

      Sorry, but genuine question asked for reasons of curiosity. You wrote “Now, we don’t have a clue about the demographic breakdown of the 10 women who have “extra” children as a result of rape”. Where does the number “10” come from. I cannot see any reference to this elsewhere. Are there figures somewhere that would support the description of the Unionist politicians as clowns for raising an issue which affects 10 women in Scotland?

    70. CameronB Brodie says:

      Mad Unionist
      You appear to believe Scotland’s democratic wishes are respected by Westminster, and to harbour the tabloid-strength Euroscepticism that has brought us the full-English Brexit. Subsequently, you appear to be a bit irrational in your thinking.

      Delusions and Belief Formation: A Cognitive Neuropsychiatric Approach

    71. Robert Kerr says:

      I find it strange that Unionists, mad or not so mad, cannot conceive of the possibility that Scotland would prefer dominion by Europe rather than by London.

      I shan’t bother explaining how things work in EU. Pearls cast before swine.

    72. Mad Unionist says:

      CameronB Brodie. I am not irrational and I accept the result of the ballot box whether in agreement or not. I am not a Eurosceptic just totally anti EU.

    73. Essexexile says:

      Although an indy Scotland has a GDP comparable with Romania or Portugal, based on 2018 estimates, putting it somewhere in the high teens on the list, we would have a veto on every trade decision made by the EU, as do the other 27 nations.

    74. CameronB Brodie says:

      Mad Unionist
      OK, I accept you are rational and that your reason is derived from your perception and comprehension of reality. Do you think your reason is accurate and complete? How have you gained your understanding of the EU and why are you against it?

    75. Lenny Hartley says:

      Ah well as an aging Nationalist Zombie thats me decided not to be delivering any leaflets for Allyn Smith if the Euro Elections go ahead. Will sit this one out.

    76. dakk says:

      Essexexile says:
      21 April, 2019 at 8:32 pm
      dakk @7.36pm
      That comment is too much imo.

      Perhaps.Perhaps not.

      What would you call people who back a warmongering,theiving,lying state ahead of their own country’s freedom to govern our ourselves in an honest decent way?

    77. Iain 2 says:

      When will we be free of these mad bastards.
      Our freedom is coming, and I can’t wait.
      We need to get away from the anarchy coming to the uk.
      The European Union elections will show the madness of our southern partners in our unfortunate union.

    78. Iain 2 says:

      Essexexile you have obviously not read the Mc Crone report.

    79. CameronB Brodie says:

      I appear to have come on too heavy with MU, just as we were getting to the nub of the issue. The issue being Scotland’s future and how British nationalism represents a barrier to Scotland’s inclusive and sustainable progress. Not to mention Brexit violating the legal EU personality of Scottish residents.

      Britain and the British constitution offers no hope or security for Scots.

      I’ve suggested that British nationalism should be regarded as a harmful social pathology. Well I’m not making this stuff up.

      Society and Social Pathology
      A Framework for Progress

      This book offers one of the most comprehensive studies of social pathology to date, following a cross-disciplinary and methodologically innovative approach. It is written for anyone concerned with understanding current social conditions, individual health, and how we might begin to collectively conceive of a more reconciled postcapitalist world.

      Drawing reference from the most up-to-date studies, Smith crosses disciplinary boundaries from cognitive science and anthropology to critical theory, systems theory and psychology. Opening with an empirical account of numerous interlinked carises from mental health to the physiological effects of environmental pollution, Smith argues that mainstream sociological theories of pathology are deeply inadequate. Smith introduces an alternative critical conception of pathology that drills to the core of how and why society is deeply ailing.

      The book concludes with a detailed account of why a progressive and critical vision of social change requires a “holistic view” of individual and societal transformation. Such a view is grounded in the awareness that a sustainable transition to postcapitalism is ultimately a many-sided (social, individual, and structural) healing process.

    80. Essexexile says:

      I’d describe them exactly as you’ve just done.
      If you really want to get to them, just call them a Tory.
      There is no more offensive word.

    81. CameronB Brodie says:

      Britain and the British constitution offers no hope or security for Scots, unless they adopt BritNat cultural practice. That is not nationalism, that’s totalitarian authoritarianism.

    82. Robert Louis says:

      Peter at 259pm,

      What an excellent posting and an excellent quote, regarding those who would rather be servile than have independence. Tjheior are way too many just like that in Scotland. Happy to scurry off to old London town, to lick their masters boots.

      Anyway, hope peter doesn’t mind, but I’ve re-quoted part of his comment, with the quote, since it is so, very, very good,


      But I was struck by the words of the great Samuel Adams in Philadelphia 1776 in a speech rebuking those who opposed independence for the American Colonies:
      “If we love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace, we ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly on you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen”.

    83. Cubby says:


      I am not your friend. As that statement is crystal clear do not refer to me as a friend. As far as I am concerned you are no friend of Scottish independence either. You continue to post sneaky anti independence comments. Eg

      9.28pm. Comparing Scotland to Romania and Portugal

      8.32pm the whole post reeks of anti independence crap. You are the one trying to drive in wedges.

      At least the mad unionists states what he is. You are a sneaky Britnat posing as an independence supporter. Keep posting your crap and I will keep calling it out whenever I want to. Forget your phoney requests for us to be friends – straight out of the Britnat playbook when all the other approaches have failed.

    84. boris says:

      In 1998/99, not long after taking up the reins of government Tony Blair decided the Welfare State needed to be reformed bringing down the increasing cost to the Nation of maintaining in a life of luxury workshy shirkers and teenage single mothers who got pregnant deliberately so that they would be given a free of rent house for life and financial support so they wouldn’t need to work.

    85. dakk says:

      @ Essexexile 9.59

      Glad to hear that : )

      Bear in mind some Conservatives (around 10% I believe) voted Yes,and circa 30% of SNP voters voted No and are therefore Unionist.

      Tory doesn’t cut it for me.

      Some home truths must sometimes be told to help their self awareness,but yes there is a balance to strike.

      I may consider that my quota of home truths for the night : )

    86. Essexexile says:

      …and I really, really hoped we’d put this to bed…
      Your ‘offence’ at my two posts you mentioned is not rational at all. I’m commenting on two other poster’s comments in good faith which, it seems, they have no massive problem with and yet again, you choose to pile in from nowhere and start doing your paranoid witch finder thing.
      I am happy, as I stated, to respect you from a distance (ie stay out of your way). I only ask that you stop bothering me in return.
      I’m inclined to ask the Rev to make a judgement on this as you’re clearly not going to let it lie.
      The term ‘friend’ which I used in a previous post to you (several days ago actually, but it’s clear you’ve been brooding about it) was a simple throwaway greeting to commence the post. It was meant simply as recognising you as a fellow indy supporter.
      Anyway, I’d rather not bother the site’s owner with this over Easter when he’s had a somewhat less than brilliant week, but I do feel you are persistently breaking the site rule about playing the ball, not the man. Even after I’ve politely done my best to call a truce.
      (Unless, of course you actually are the Rev incognito and this Cubby is your troll hunting profile. In which case, nothing to see here and lovin’ your work!)

    87. boris says:

      The Smith proposals could also contain a benefits “elephant trap” for the Scottish Government if it continues to pursue divergent policies on welfare from the UK Government, Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone warned. He said the UK Government is trying to reduce dependency on benefits, cut demand and limit cost, and accused the Scottish Government of doing the opposite. If the UK benefit bill goes down there will be less money for Scotland through the Barnett formula, but if Scotland increases benefit demand it could leave Holyrood underfunded, he said. Mr Carmichael said the Scottish Government would ultimately be held to account if such a situation emerged.

    88. Mad Unionist says:

      CameronB Brodie. What do you mean by COMPLETE?

    89. CameronB Brodie says:

      Jacob Rees-Mogg is a Tory who’s social perception is grounded in a very privileged ‘reality’. It would appear his colleagues think it reasonable to kill-off the poor. Does JRM have a problem with that? Social Darwin-ists, are strangers to natural justice and God.

      Conceptions of ‘Civil Society’

    90. Capella says:

      @ Robert Peffers 7.25 – thx for link. Your previous linked article said that the BBC was not yet governed by OFCOM. It must have been written pre 2017.

      But I now recall looking into the complaints procedure last year. You have to first contact the BBC and then, when they fob off your complaint, you can contact them again. Any reply could take months. After that, you can escalate to the higher strata in the BBC management (way above the cleaner probably). More months pass by.
      If you live long enough, you can then contact OFCOM who will start way back at the beginning.

      The final finding will be published on an obscure page in the BBC website where nobody will ever find it.

      Still, at least you have the satisfaction of having wasted so much of your precious time.

      Incidentally, the procedure with RT is quite different. OFCOM does not have to wait even for one complaint. OFCOM will initiate an investigation even if nobody has complained. How’s that for efficiency?

    91. yesindyref2 says:

      A better comparison in terms of economy GDP and population would be Finland. Romania is eastern European and for some people has some connotations, and Portugal was cried with great glee by the Brexiteers and rather nasty xenophobic patronising people, as one of the PIGS.

      Portugal has twice the population but similar GDP to Scotland so roughly half the GDP per capita Scotland has. It’s also a southern european country, one that suffers from the one speed euro – as does Greece of course, and Spain, And as used to be one of the PIGS, Ireland, which with less population has a higher GDP than Scotland – and is doing very well for itself.

      Associations are important, perhaps you used that one without thinking it through.

    92. CameronB Brodie says:

      Mad Unionist

      My bad, “sufficient” would have been better. Do you think your understanding of the EU is sufficient for you to base “reasonable” decisions on?

    93. yesindyref2 says:

      @Mad Unionist
      Who is what it says on the tin.

      I did a bit on the EU, to highlight its democratic nature. I think Independent Scotland would do way better in the EU than the UK ever did, precisely because of our small size, and that our vote is still needed for unanimous decisions, and count exactly the same as Germany, France of the UK does in the first part of QMV where population is NOT taken into account at all.

    94. Effijy says:

      Mad Unionist

      Without equivocation, I was the best Stankie player ever in my area.
      I won so many marbles my Mum demanded I gave them away as she
      Couldn’t lift the box I kept them in.

      Wish I could play you with Scottish Independace the prize.
      We would be free tomorrow.

      It’s a game that required a deft touch and regrettably
      The game has gone forever I fear.
      They don’t make that kind of stank, kids don’t want marbles and
      Parents wouldn’t let their kids play on a stank above a sewer.

    95. CameronB Brodie says:

      To a large extent, the quality of a democracy is shaped by the media. Does anyone reasonable in character still think our media is balanced and healthy? Does anyone reasonable in character still think Westminster and the British constitution are respectful and protective of Scotland and Scottish culture?

      The Strains of Commitment:
      The Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies
      Chapter 8
      The political sources of social solidarity

      This essay explores the roots of redistributive social solidarity in the developed democracies. Banting and Kymlicka (this volume) define social solidarity as a worldview widespread among the populace, with civic, democratic and redistributive dimensions, whereby individuals tolerate views and practices they dislike, accept democratic decisions even if those run counter to their beliefs or interests, and support relatively generous provisions to help the disadvantaged.

      Although solidarity can also be judged by the policies of a community, in this formulation, solidarity refers to a set of attitudes widely shared within the community or nation. My focus is on the redistributive dimension of social solidarity, namely the willingness of people to see governments redistribute resources to the less advantaged, and my interest is in understanding how such attitudes come to be widely shared and sustained within a society. Although the sources of support for social rights are not identical to those for civil and political rights, this account can inform our more general understanding of the roots of social solidarity (Marshall 1950).

    96. Essexexile says:

      Yep, it’s an interesting one isn’t it, particularly in relation to Robert Kerr’s original post which I was commenting on.
      If a nation is trying to sell itself as punching above its weight then GDP per capita (certainly in Scotland’s case) is the figure to use.
      But, as Robert was suggesting, the significance of equal power of all member states on decision making within the EU is best indicated by the relatively lowly GDP of many members.
      Far better surely for Scotland to be able to say it would have genuine clout within the largest trading bloc in the world from a lowly position than sod all influence (as an equal partner) within the 7th largest national economy in the world.

    97. jfngw says:

      Imagine if there was a newspaper equivalent of the TV licence. You could be given a free newspaper (Metro perhaps), but you need a licence to read it. If you are caught with a metro you would be liable to a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record.

      This in effect is what the TV licence is for free to air commercial channels. Paying the government to watch stuff that is already in the atmosphere so they can finance their own broadcaster.

    98. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Have alook on the BBC’s online Scottish news. Obviously Scotland has had a disastrous weekenf (just like every day and week on BBC Scotland online news)
      Item 1 Four dead in road accidents
      Item 2 Man abducted into van
      Item 4 Two in hospital after attack
      Item 5 Man stabbed in murder bid
      Item 6 Three in hospital after Ibrox brawl
      item 7 Biker dies in crash
      Item 8 Woman dies in crash
      Item10 Murdered man died in front of mother

      Obviously nothing good happened not even the First Minster’s wonderful Easter message. Not a lot bad happened in England however according to the BBCs online UK news.

      BBC thinks we are all daft.

    99. Essexexile says:

      Well, to be frank we’ve got to get over this Brexiteer style obsession that certain countries within the EU are ‘a bit dodgy’ even by inference (ie taking offence when Scotland is associated in any way with them).
      If indy Scotland is to join / rejoin the EU it’s a pretty safe bet that not being able to ‘get over itself’ UK style won’t be looked on favourably by partner states and if we start denigrating other members (again, by inference) before we’ve even been accepted, we shouldn’t expect to be let in.
      Just underlining the point you were making indyref2.

    100. jfngw says:

      I see Jacob Rees-Mogg was extolling his Christianity today, the bad Samaritan as I see him. He was probably equating in his mind the feeding the 5,000 with the Tories killing the 120,000.

    101. Terry callachan says:

      Hello essexexile..
      I see the cubbyhole is still calling everyone who has the temerity to have a different point of view to his own, a britnat,
      Don’t call me friend he says haha , says it all
      He called me a britnat over and over too because I disagreed with something he said

    102. Essexexile says:

      Dave McEwan Hill @11.32pm
      The abducted bloke got it easy by comparison. Sheesh though, that is a list of shit news items.
      Surely, record breaking Easter temperature would get a mention. (Although the BBC would likely trot out some terrible statistics on skin cancer in Scotland).

    103. CameronB Brodie says:

      Here’s some Philosophy of Culture and Axiology and stuff that might be of interest to folks.

      Considering a Theory of Autopoietic Culture


      This article questions the predominance of pragmatism and fixed points of reference in academic paradigms regarding culture and proposes a theory of autopoietic culture based on a theory of living forms developed by the biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. The central part of the theory of autopoietic culture is that culture, something originating with humanity and reflected upon by the same, is an autonomous and autonomic unity that is a network of processes and production of components that are continuously generated and “recursively participate through their interactions in the generation and realization of the network of process of production of components which produced them” (Maturana, 1999: 149, 153).

      This article briefly refers to the theories of Thomas Sebeok, Juri Lotman, Niklas Luhmann and Pierre Bourdieu, which have similar components to the theory of autopoietic culture. The article concludes that within autopoietic culture whatever we would consider describing as a cultural element is not as significant as the processes within which it is part in the construction of its own boundary of discernment; our description of the process is always conducted with other observers in a linguistic domain; our existence carries its own ontogeny and creates perturbations in the structure (elements) which we distinguish; and there are an unknown number of elements and processes continuing in time within the unity that define the unity and are beyond our ability to distinguish.

      Keywords: definition of culture, theory of culture, autopoiesis, autopoietic, paradigm, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Niklas Luhmann

    104. CameronB Brodie says:

      Seeing as how “frames” coercively shape our perception.

      The Theory of Autopoietic Culture: Processes and
      Inquiries beyond the Frame

    105. yesindyref2 says:

      @Essexexile “Well, to be frank we’ve got to get over this Brexiteer style obsession that certain countries within the EU are ‘a bit dodgy’ . . .

      Not really, it’s a case of fighting the battles that are needed, not irrelevances. If the target punter doesn’t like Romania for some reason, why try to change his / her view on that? It has nothing to do with the prize, which is Independence. If Greece is mentioned, all we need is “Scotland is not like Greece”, why bother with “it’s the way they done things, pensions, whatever”?

      So use Malta, population less than half a million, GDP if anyone wants to know of £10 billion compared to our £160 billion and Germany’s £3 trillion – £3,000 billion.

      One veto, one vote for the double majority rule of QMV.

    106. Essexexile says:

      Again, it’s complicated though.
      For many, the current push for independence is based on Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU. In which case, we bloody well need to get over any prejudices about other member states because they sure as hell won’t have us if they reckon a proportion of Scotland’s population sees them as inferior.
      But of course, if eg 1/3 of the SNP membership voted to leave (and we should assume wouldn’t be seeking to join / rejoin the EU) then I guess it doesn’t matter.
      Hint: it matters.

    107. CameronB Brodie says:

      So what does social solidarity in Europe mean, and where does it draw its’ resources from?

      The idea of solidarity in Europe

      In France at the end of the 18th century, the concept of solidarity was transformed from being a legal concept, referring to a common responsibility for debts incurred by one of the members of a group, into a sociological and political concept. During the French revolution, revolutionaries occasionally used solidarity instead of fraternity to denote a feeling of political community.1

      In the early 19th century, French utopians and social philosophers such as Charles Fourier began to use solidarity as a concept denoting attitudes and relations characterised by the reciprocal sympathy among persons who were bound together in a community.2 Fourier was also the first to associate solidarity and social policy and argued that solidarity should include sharing resources with people in need, a guaranteed minimum income and public support for families….

    108. yesindyref2 says:

      because they sure as hell won’t have us if they reckon a proportion of Scotland’s population sees them as inferior

      I can’t think of any diplomatic way to put this but to say that that’s rubbish 🙂

      In so many ways.

    109. Cubby says:


      You accuse me of playing the man not the ball.

      You say:

      1. “…. is not rational at all.”

      2. “..start doing your paranoid witch finder.”

      3.” …it’s clear you have been brooding about it.”

      4. “…and this Cubby is your troll hunting profile.”

      Four examples of you playing the man not the ball in one post. Pretty good at playing the man yourself. In fact you have a long history of insults directed towards me that are playing the man not the ball. So what does that make you when complaining about someone else playing the man not the ball. I’ll give you a clue the word starts with the letter H.

    110. Essexexile says:

      Yep, it’s too complicated for me at ‘really! o’clock’. I know what I’m getting at but haven’t the energy to make the point. Anyway, it’s no biggy.
      Goodnight Yesindyref2. Happy Easter 🙂

    111. Cubby says:

      Terry Callachan@11.35pm

      Wrong – I am not and never have been calling everyone who disagreed with me a Britnat.

      ” because I disagreed with something he said”. A bit vague – want to clarify when this was and what it was I said that you disagreed with.

    112. Essexexile says:

      Oh, for the love of….

      Goodnight Cubby. Happy Easter 🙂

    113. CameronB Brodie says:

      Here’s one for those who feel a bond to Scotland but think it would be selfish to let England face the consequences of the full-English Brexit alone. Remember, England’s ambivalence towards the EU is stronger than their kinship loyalty to Scotland.

      Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity:
      Solidarities and Social Function

    114. Dr Jim says:

      Wallonia: population 3.624 million: Area 6.504 square miles
      not even a member state of the EU, just a region of Belgium yet has more say in the running of Europe than Scotland has in the UK

    115. Cubby says:


      “…..we bloody well need to get over any prejudices about other member states because they sure as well won’t have us if they reckon a proportion of Scotland’s population sees them as inferior”.

      The old Better Together project fear – Scotland won’t be admitted to the EU resurfaces again. How’s that for playing the ball and not the man.

    116. CameronB Brodie says:

      And here’s one for folk keen on drawing simple comparison between Britain and the EU.

      Legal Origin and Social Solidarity: The Continued Relevance of Durkheim to Comparative Institutional Analysis

    117. yesindyref2 says:

      Thing is there’s bugger all we can do about any of it as part of the UK, so first get Independence and THEN we can have some influence to try to change what we put our minds to.

      But without Indy it’s all just pie in the sky, albatrosses and distractions, with the occasional dodo flying by with all the pigs and wild geese. Watch out for the diplodocus!

      Yeah, Happy Easter!

    118. CameronB Brodie says:

      We are living through a time of enormous political significance, re. the threat posed to democratic open society by the New Right and the zombie ideology of neo-liberalism. Totalitarian and authoritarian political actors have never previously possessed the technological power to oppress on an almost hegemonic scale. Scotland must not allow itself to be treated as a possession of Westminster, as that won’t end well and would undermine the rule-of-law and universal human rights, globally.

      Education and Social Solidarity in times of Crisis: the case of voluntary shadow education in Greece


      This paper aims to understand an emergent social practice of solidarity, that of voluntary shadow education (‘social frontistiria’), in its socio-economic context. Perceiving the welfare state as the institutionalized form of solidarity, this paper attempts to analyze its specific nature and the process of political legitimisation stemming from enduring features of the Greek political culture. It is argued that the traditionally established practices are deconstructed in the face of the economic crisis. In the context of recession, new forms of solidarity emerge which transcend the enduring individualistic element of Greek society, based on social activism and volunteerism.

      While institutional solidarity is insufficient and traditional solidarity faints, civil society apparently emerges, introducing new social practices of solidarity. This paper shows, that the crisis, alongside its dismantling effects, may have some creative effect towards the development of new solidarities, new spaces of hybrid social practices.

      Keywords:Social solidarity, education welfare, social activism, volunteerism, shadow education

      The welfare state deficit and social solidarity

      Social solidarity is considered to be the highest form of social morality since it provides for the cohesive element that makes society possible. According to Durkheim’s classical analysis, social solidarity is:

      “The totality of bonds that bind us to one another and to society, which shape the mass of individuals into a cohesive aggregate” (Durkheim 1984: 331).

      Social solidarity, however, is a slippery concept. Its causes, contexts and consequences construct a field of contestation. Traditional bonding and enduring relationships developed within the gemeinschaft, perceived as the context of the family, the community or the ‘nation’, can be threatened in times of insecurity and unsettlement or in conditions of skepticism and post-emotional cosmopolitanism as described by Turner (2000).

      Moreover, it cannot be assumed that solidarity stems from any sort of ‘natural’ causes. The multiplicity of its initiation varies from mere coercion, to expectation for material reward, or loyalty and commitment to common ideals (Crow 202: 116). As Tsoukalas argues, in the contemporary context the challenge is not vaguely ethical, but merely political and as a matter of fact “it is not about a wider symbolic condition of solidarity, but it is rather about the institutional responsibility of the whole polity for a certain contribution to the corporeal needs of the individuals” (Tsoukalas 1998: 1).

      Inherent in the quest for solidarity is the presumption of unequal distribution of resources and wealth. Social inequality is the basis for the construction of rights in capitalist societies, a reasoning that has provided the ground for a political morality of redistributive justice, as for example in the Marshallian theorization of citizenship (Marshall 1950). The quintessential idea of the European welfare state has been the quest for moderation and elimination of the most repulsive forms of social inequality through policies of redistribution.

      In this sense, the welfare state represents the institutional form of social solidarity generated in constitutional principles and specified in codified entitlements to social policies. The content, quality and depth of these entitlements is a constant political arena of negotiation and its configurations integrate the history and political culture of the specific social context. It is through this spectrum that this paper attempts to understand the nature of the Greek welfare system.

    119. Molly says:

      I did wonder after the specific wording was printed then promoted on Twitter by K Farquarson, if he went home and felt good about his day or was it all about getting a headline for the scrapbook ?

      Then A Massie, D Clegg piled in and once more the ambitious in our mighty Scottish media made it all about them.

      These men don’t give a damn about whose effected by the rape clause, they don’t give a damn about trying to make life a little more tolerable for people, they don’t give a damn about whether the more vulnerable voices are drowned out by their relentless negative, spiteful point scoring.

      Shirley Anne Somerville’s a politician and regardless of the decisions both within and outwith her control, it doesn’t matter because she’s a politician and so she’s fair game isn’t she, they’re holding her/Scot Govt to account except ?

      David Clegg writes for a paper that promoted the Labour Party for decades as the safe pair of hands,Scotland needed. Trust Labour, they’ll look after you, trust Gordon Brown he knows what’s best, vote for the red rosette and all will be well in your little backward, blue or green , small parochial world .The party of welfare…

      Kenny Farquarson writes as a columnist for The Times. A paper who “changed their endorsement from Labour to the Conservatives in 2005 “according to Wiki.

      So what you might ask ?

      Well if the parties they support and who actually have been elected to Holyrood cannot hold the Scot Govt to account that they need the cheerleaders from the media to fight their battles, they need columnists to put their spin on it, they need the paid pack to get the message out there, that surely only leaves you’re average reader asking, just how useless are these parties?

      These measures were introduced in 2015. Four years ago. Did Farquarson, Clegg or did Alex Massie ever think to leave a dinner party to actually do an in depth report on the DWP or question how such a cruel policy could thrown in to a budget , along side a price rise for a packet of fags?

      Of course not, this is Scotland where somehow the people living here have managed to outgrow too many in our media, a media too feart to even question the posh boys from Eton, far less their policies.

      Yet another man deemed fit by the DWP died yesterday. A 16 year old can travel to take part in a climate demo, yet we can’t get paid ‘journalists ‘ living here to question a Scottish Tory or a member of the Scottish Labour Party ( Labour introduced ATOS ) to write an in depth piece worth reading about and explain why theses deaths and U.K. Govt policies are not being questioned ?

    120. CameronB Brodie says:

      And here’s one that gives an indication of the sort of breakdown in social solidarity that contemporary British nationalism produces.

      Racism and xenophobia experienced by Polish migrants in the UK before and after Brexit vote

    121. CameronB Brodie says:

      My parting shot for the night. Scotland needs to close its’ eyes and ears to the guff spouted by yoon hacks and the broadcast media, who appear to lack a sense of self-preservation, which is foundational of rational thought. Another foundation of rational thought is possessing a sufficient scope of reference on which to base reasoned judgement. These tubes appear to lack the capacity for rational self-determination, but posses a strong will to maintain the Tory “One Nation” ideology.

      The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and the Social Imagination

      Resistant Imaginations and Radical Solidarity

      This chapter examines the role of the imagination both in the production and in the prevention of social harms. Different ways of imagining can sensitize or desensitize people, creating or severing social bonds, affective ties, and relations of empathy and solidarity. Stigmatizing ways of imagining play a crucial role in facilitating injustices by distorting and excusing the suffering of some. But resistant ways of imagining can contest stigmatizations, and they can help us become sensitive to the suffering of stigmatized subjects.

      I argue that in order to develop pluralistic democratic sensibilities, we need to cultivate a resistant imagination that is polyphonic and experimentalist. I conclude by developing a conception of network solidarity grounded in a kaleidoscopic social imagination. The women’s movement is used as a model for the increasing pluralization of a public that has learned to develop a kaleidoscopic social sensibility.

      Keywords: imagination, imaginative resistance, pluralism, solidarity, genealogy, social imagination, Michel Foucault, William James, women’s movement, Iris Young

    122. Gary says:

      Labour are for/against whatever suits them, politically, at that particular moment in time.

      They DON’T WANT universal payouts as that benefits the middle classes unfairly. BUT, they ALSO don’t want MEANS TESTING. And they ARE in favour of universal access to the NHS (FATPU, Free at the point of use)

      Of course THEY know that is Scotland had gained independence then the rape clause could’ve been binned, likewise they know that if we’d gained FULL control of benefits (and perhaps more importantly taxation) that likewise it would’ve been binned.

      Of course they know that the Scottish Government, whoever runs it, CAN’T rid itsef of this abhorrent rule. Will it be in their Holyrood Manifesto?? No, of course it won’t!

      What they’re banking on is that those who read the headlines WON’T know al of this and will vote for them because they’ve lied.

      Labour are now in contradiction with EVERYTHING they have EVER stood for. They have UTTERLY betrayed the working class and their own membership. They should no longer be allowed to use the name ‘Labour’ What was once a proud and decent movement to protect and serve the most vulnerable in our society now serves only those who want power…

    123. Breeks says:

      Essexexile says:
      21 April, 2019 at 9:28 pm
      Although an indy Scotland has a GDP comparable with Romania or Portugal, based on 2018 estimates

      Not looking to inflame the debate, but I have a little alarm bell in my head that when Scotland’s GDP was comparable to Portugal, that notion was a GERS derived conclusion, and worse, it assessed Scotland as broadly 10% of the UK, and would thus only get 10% of “UK” oil.

      For as long as the Westminster Government obfuscates the truth about Scotland’s economy and produces second hand data to illustrate its own arguments, withholds the raw data necessary for accurate audit, then it’s very difficult to put too much store into any of these economic forecasts.

      We are 5.4 million people. We have oil, we have whisky, we have fish, we have tourism, we have food production, we have renewables, we have fine universities, we have minerals, we have talented industrious people, artists and authors, software developers, and a benign diaspora all over the world. I don’t care what our GDP is. If we can’t make a go of it with all of these assets, it isn’t our “massaged” GDP which stymies us but our collective IQ.

      There are many other countries who thrive in their independence who have but a fraction of the resources and potential we do.

    124. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      Ahh, lovely weather. Like waking up in the south of France.

    125. Looks like another `taps aff` day in our wonderful country,

      get to the beach,get to the park,get to the hills

      just get out and see why Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the world and why we are so lucky to be Scottish,

      it’s a parking holiday today so you can park for free in pay and display spaces across Edinburgh, .

    126. sassenach says:

      Breeks @ 8-17am

      Well said, and we need to keep repeating these things until our many ‘cautious Yes voters’ finally see it.

      There is nothing scary about Scotland being independent, we have resources and educated people in abundance – but too many folk are still wanting to be ‘tied to mummy’s apron strings’. Totally defeats any logical thought process, IMHO of course!!

    127. McBoxheid says:

      Attacking the SNP is far easier than reflecting on the cause of the problem. For the length of time they take to “research” the necessary “facts” to write their articles, these sycophantic servants of the Non Dom club of newspaper owners avoid having to do the more difficult and honest thing.

      A good German word “bequem” sums them up. “Bequem” adv. comfortable. It is the easy way out. They can finish their articles and go for a long drinking session to help them forget their laziness, or if they are honest with themselves, their deceitful hypocrisy.

      To criticise the source of the problem, when blaming the SNP if far easier to do in their bubble of hype, cliché and self-delusion where they try to convince their shrinking readership that desperately want to hear and believe anything at all that will confirm their illogical bias and reinforce their belief that blaming the SNP is the only way to save their precious union.

      Their dwindling readship is all that is left at the bottom of the barrel that need this renewed confirmation bias, any little lie to help them avoid facing the truth.

      The truth is what will hurt. The realisation of the opprobrium they have suffered at the hands of these charlatans.

      These so called journalists must be very thick skinned, or they must be like vegans that are desperare enough to work in a slaughterhosuse to make ends meet. I pity them. Their desperation must be terrible to live with. They must know that they are being used and heterodox to an increasingly ennlightened Scottish population.

      Of course, they may just be as aware and dishonest as Robert Burns’ parcel of rogues.

    128. McBoxheid says:

      To criticise the source of the problem, when blaming the SNP IS far easier to do.

    129. Ottomanboi says:

      Independence and only independence matters, all else is peripheral noise and distraction.
      There is no alternative.

    130. Cubby says:


      Exactly. Well said. The figures produced by the UK are nothing but propaganda that is prepared for the Britat politicians, media to use to put down Scotland.

    131. Labour politicians who attack the Scottish government for not mitigating the Westminster two child cap ie: the Rape clause.

      Need to be reminded that it was their party Labour, under the temporary Leadership of Harriet Harman in 2015 which abstained on the Tory welfare reform bill.

      Firstly, because it supported much of what was in the welfare reform bill and secondly it didn’t want to be seen as the party of welfare.

      They also need to be reminded that the only party which has spearheaded the opposition to this immoral Tory policy has been the SNP, its certainly not been Labour.

      And I am extremely proud of Alison Thewliss in her campaign to have this policy abolished

    132. Capella says:

      @ K1 – re the link to the Carole Cadwalladr TED talk on the previous thread. It’s the talk where she confronts the big shots of Silicon valley directly and accuses them of breaking democracy (they are in the audience and she names them).

      Sadly, I can’t get the talk to play. There is a clip on Youtube but Youtube hasn’t uploaded the whole talk. Wonder why – not.

      Anyway, here’s the 4 min clip. Worth hearing this small snippet.

      Carole’s point is that there can never be a safe election again, free from dark manipulation.

      I would be happier if Carole didn’t waste so much of her time on anti-Russian propaganda and attending Integrity Initiative training days (maybe she is just gathering material). Nevertheless she has done some great work on Cambridge Analytica.

      Wish some investigative journalist would research the influence these dark forces had on the Scottish referendum. But judging from the rogues gallery above, we don’t have any investigative journalists in Scotland.

    133. Legerwood says:

      Dave McEwan Hill
      21 April, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      The Scottish section of the BBC news website always has a majority of road crash/murder/mayhem stories on it especially at weekends. This weekend was no exception although they did come close to a ‘full house’ of bad news.

      It is also noticeable that these items tend to linger on the web site for quite some time only being replaced when some more bad news comes along.

      God forbid that anything good should happen in Scotland and actually be reported by BBC Scotland. No doubt heads would roll at Pacific Quay if any good news ended up being reported.

    134. Phronesis says:

      A vote for Farage and his ilk is a vote for the insular nationalism of Englishness . A vote for Scotland’s autonomy promotes civic nationalism , defends its institutions and citizens – it is a vote for a positive future.

      ‘Coming in the wake of a momentous working class defeat, Englishness has been reasserted through a racializing, insular nationalism, and it found its voice in the course of Brexit…

      However, Leave campaigners understood – in the way that much of the liberal media did not – that because this history of immigration to Britain had been so thoroughly racialized over time, a reservoir of latent racism could be activated through the production of appropriately coded language about immigration…

      This particular vision of Englishness, we suggest, is characterized by two inter-related phenomena. First, the ease with which it can sit within a deep-rooted nostalgia for the British imperial project, and second, its articulation of a new politics of resentment underscored by structural decline and class decomposition…
      Such racism gains traction not simply through the circulation of racist ideas within mainstream political discourse, but because such ideas have been part of the lived habitus of the English social formation for so long’

      ‘Farage is doubly blameworthy. Not only is he a disgusting racist but….he is also deemed responsible for inciting, spreading, peddling, stoking, and scaremongering racist propaganda’

      Durrheim, K et al . (2018). How racism discourse can mobilize right-wing populism: The construction of identity and alliance in reactions to UKIP’s Brexit “Breaking Point” campaign. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 28. 10.1002/casp.2347.

    135. Petra says:

      @ Breeks at 8:17am …”We are 5.4 million people. We have oil, we have whisky, we have fish, we have tourism, we have food production, we have renewables, we have fine universities, we have minerals, we have talented industrious people, artists and authors, software developers, and a benign diaspora all over the world. I don’t care what our GDP is. If we can’t make a go of it with all of these assets, it isn’t our “massaged” GDP which stymies us but our collective IQ.”…

      Spot on Breeks. Most people that I come across shut down the minute you mention terms like GDP and so on. It means nothing to them. You could add to your list too our most precious resource of all, our water, Scotland remaining at the forefront of Worldwide medical advances / innovation, a World leader on tackling climate change, producing some of the world’s biggest selling video games (Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, Lemmings, Crackdown, etc), Glasgow at the forefront of the European space / satellite industry and so on. And of course in conjunction with pointing out what we have we should remind everyone of what we’re at risk of losing, such as our SNHS.

    136. Petra says:

      @ Legerwood says at 9:44 am … ”The Scottish section of the BBC news website always has a majority of road crash/murder/mayhem stories on it especially at weekends. This weekend was no exception although they did come close to a ‘full house’ of bad news. It is also noticeable that these items tend to linger on the web site for quite some time only being replaced when some more bad news comes along. God forbid that anything good should happen in Scotland and actually be reported by BBC Scotland. No doubt heads would roll at Pacific Quay if any good news ended up being reported.”

      I’ve noticed too that if they, BBC / STV (in particular STV), don’t have a murder to report on they dredge one up from years ago, such as ”it’s forty years to the day since so and so was murdered”, which tells me that they must keep a ”bad news” list at hand.

      Someone should carry out some research to establish if the Scottish news programmes are having a negative impact on our mental health. Additionally find out why positive information on Prof John Robertson’s site (Talking up Scotland) never sees the light of day in the MSM.

    137. stewartb says:

      For info: here is a link to the full talk by Cadwalladr from TED Vancouver, 2019:

      Excellent stuff! Thanks for whoever first posted the alert.

    138. K1 says:

      Capella, the whole talk is embedded in the Guardian article too, don’t know if you tried that, no clue as to why the ‘Ted’ talk on viveo didn’t work, it did my end.

      Quite so wrt to investigative ‘journalists’ having look at Scotland’s ‘dark’ money and influence on our indyref too. Have the strongest feeling they are all linked…intrinsically to the same sources.

      I would imagine within the ‘targeted’ ads via Cambridge Analytica/Facebook EUref wise that many reached Scottish pages too, but it is still remarkable that Scotland’s divergence was so substantial compared to England/Wales.

      Makes me feel ‘all is not lost’…yet.

    139. Capella says:

      Archive version of Carole Cadwalladr article on her TED talk. If you can’t access the talk itself (and I haven’t been able to) the article will enlighten.

      Over on Craig’s site, people have been trying, and failing, to access a site called Wikispooks. Someone suggested using Yippy:

      Not advocating it as I have no idea as yet who developed it. Could be yet another spook! But it’s an indication of where the internet is heading. If Sergei Brin doesn’t like you saying his tech is breaking democracy then you won’t have access to his tech. Free Speech for the few not the many.

      Renationalise telecoms!

    140. Capella says:

      I would imagine within the ‘targeted’ ads via Cambridge Analytica/Facebook EUref wise that many reached Scottish pages too, but it is still remarkable that Scotland’s divergence was so substantial compared to England/Wales.

      That’s an excellent point. You would think that journalists would want to know why Scotland’s vote was and is still so divergent?

      I would like to know.

    141. Capella says:

      @ K1 – yes! The embedded talk will play on the Guardian site. I’d better restore the link to the unarchived page!

    142. K1 says:

      That is why Carole and the (some parts of the) UK parliament want the ‘evidence’ from Zuckerberg Capella, then we would have the true scale and could sift through ‘how’ they went about ‘specifically’ targeting sections of the electorate.

      The fact that he wouldn’t appear when requested multiple times and they refuse to hand over the evidence puts them at the criminal centre of the biggest scam in UK’s electoral history for a 100 years, not to mention Trump’s ‘win’ with the exact same players involved, she alludes to all of this in the full talk, it really is worth viewing the whole thing…

      Have you tried opening the link in Chrome or another browser, stewartb’s link above is the same one I posted yesterday, it’s worth it?

    143. Effijy says:

      BBC news yet again starts the SNP/ Scotland bad with
      More drivel from Labour’s Borth accounting unit, who can’t count.

      “Less money spent per head on Scotland’s school children that 10 years ago when
      SNP were elected.

      John Swinney replied with Labour has a brassneck a substantially more money spent on Scots pupils.

      If the Beebs weren’t the central hub of Westminster propaganda they might spent two minutes
      To research the matter and tell Labour they are wasting people’s time talking nonsense,but it’s another piece of propaganda for their composed compost heap.

      Over to their newspaper pals now for some more distortion on it.

    144. Capella says:

      @ K1 – yes it is a very powerful speech and well worth listening to.

    145. galamcennalath says:


      BBC Scotland news page headlines …

      Two road deaths
      Five murder or violence
      Four other stories

      BBc Yorkshire news page headlines …

      Two drowning deaths
      Ten other stories

      That’s just one snap survey. However, I’m pretty sure a long term survey would show the same …. death, murder, and violence. The focus is on negativity. Spread bad vibes. Instill feelings of insecurity and doubt.

      People who haven’t yet sussed exact what’s going on – how they are being manipulated – will be influenced by all this.

    146. Cubby says:

      I go up to Fife quite a lot to play the great golf courses and often pass through Anstruther on my way to St Andrews. It always brings a smile to my face when I see the large Wings flag (along with the Saltire ) on a flagpole in the front garden of the house on the main road through Anstruther.

      So a big thanks to the Winger responsible. Good on you.

    147. Breeks says:

      The BBC is not a news service.

      The BBC is a propaganda service delivering your daily dose of indoctrination.

      The “news” is it’s cover story, and wafer thin veneer of respectability aimed at the gullible.

    148. Welsh Sion says:

      Legerwood @ 9.44 a.m.
      Petra @ 10.02 a.m.

      Here’s a completely unscientific survey of the leading headlines on the BBC Scotland News web page for today:

      – Easter weekend tragedy as four die on Scotland’s roads

      – Detectives arrest man over assault on shop worker

      – Man abducted and bundled into van in East Kilbride

      – Coastguards rescue group stranded on Cramond island
      (Possibly a good news story, in that they were rescued. But still enough negativity to highlight the dangerous situation for both rescuers and rescuees. And it could so easily have turned into a tragedy for all concerned.)

      – Man chased and stabbed in Glasgow murder bid

      – Canadians in dream Scots wedding heartbreak

      – Two in hospital after Aberdeen city centre attack

      – Three in hospital after Ibrox brawl

      – Murdered man Anthony Ferns died in front of mother

      And I haven’t counted the Sri Lanka bombings story in this. Almost complete and utter woe from North of the border, obviously.

      Woe, woe and thrice time woe! Welcome to Scotland!

      (Hope you all have a good Easter, all the same!)

    149. Legerwood says:

      Effijy @ 10.43 am

      Schools. This article from the Guardian’s Opinion section is about the situation in schools in England.

      The situation in England is really bad but the appearance of this article, one of many on this subject to appear in the Guardian recently, possibly explains why Labour et al are trying to misinform people in Scotland about what is happening here.

      In the past week or so the Herald has twice given prominent coverage to the results of surveys carried out by teaching unions…in England although they claimed to cover the UK. They may, on paper have some members in Scotland but the results of the surveys were presented by the Herald in such a way as to leave the impression they applied here as well. But no Scottish sub-sample was mentioned.

    150. DerekM says:

      lot of yoons on this thread well yoons here is a little reality check for you something we nationalists figured out in 2014 and accepted.

      The people of Scotland are for unions of nations they are ironically unionists so when you try to take away their unionism they will vote against you.

      So lets see union with 1 country or union with 27 countries which one do you think the unionists will vote for because it is evident that not all are union jack waving yoons but people who identify with being European unionist citizens.

      When your unionism comes back to bite you on the backside because you back ending unionism.

      You know i am not really a nationalist (damn and i thought i was how silly of me)i am a European unionist lol

    151. Robert Peffers says:

      @Capella says:22 April, 2019 at 10:15 am:

      ” … Over on Craig’s site, people have been trying, and failing, to access a site called Wikispooks.”

      May I suggest:-

      Often when the bigger browsers are sterile you can get to lesser known sites using duckduckgo:-

      This browsers also has the advantage that it does not track your internet use like all other sites do and you get far fewer unwanted adverts.

    152. Fireproofjim says:

      I don’t worry about the gloomy headlines about murders and car crashes. It was ever thus. Bad news sells papers. However I have nothing but utter contempt for the way the BBC accept any “SNP bad” story from Slab or the Tories without ever checking with the SNP.
      It is difficult to rebut these stories as the BBC usually ignore any SNP good stories.
      I asked Mike Russell about this at an SNP meeting in Edinburgh a couple of years ago and he said it was best to continue with pushing positive stories, which is all very well but most of these good things are ignored. I don’t know the answer but the electorate seem to be slowly realising the SNP are the only credible party in Scotland.

    153. Robert Peffers says:

      Try this link Wingers:-

    154. Legerwood says:

      Petra @ 10.02 am
      Some good news stories that certain news outlets have missed over the past two years.

      Glasgow Royal Infirmary listed among the world’s top 100 hospitals April 2019 Strangely only the Evening Times and The National carried the story

      Abertay University video games degrees ranked best in Europe March 2019

      Orkney’s new hospital, The Balfour which is due to open this summer, won the silver medal in a world-wide international design contest. Again no mention of this but twice the Herald has carried articles that mention that 25% of Orkney’s hospital buildings are in a very poor state without mentioning the new hospital being built there

      Dundee University named as world leader in pharmaceutical innovation – Oct 2017

      And Dundee University again – the only UK university in the world’s top 50 – 2017

    155. Capella says:

      @ Robert Peffers – I think your Lenten abstention is coming to an end!

    156. bjsalba says:

      k1 @ 10:13

      I think there may be several reasons:

      In England the voters were primed by the MSM theme of EUBaaaaad for literally decades. Westminster Tory governments (and to a lesser extent previous Labour ones) blamed Brussels for their own failings.

      In Scotland the theme has been SNPBaaaad since 2007, and there has not really been much room for EUBaaad. Of course, during the 2014 Referendum the EU was portrayed as a good thing. ScotGov under SNP has made sure signs were there for folk to see and gave credit where it was due.

      That means there were fewer people who were vulnerable to the Facebook Ad campaign.

      The MSM pack was lead by Murdoch and I refer you to this from 2016.–WyMaFTE890x

      It has the quote about why Murdoch hates the EU.

      Do you need to ask why he loves Trump?

    157. K1 says:

      So…much like Trump’s ‘aides’ prevented him from actually ‘obstructing’ justice though he definitely attempted to time and again, Scottish msm prevented us leaving by focusing on SNPbad for nearly 10 years and therefore ‘mitigated’ Scotland’s departure from the EU.

      Hmmm…sounds about right.

    158. Legerwood says:

      My post at 11.43 am

      Should have read:And Dundee University again – the only UK university in the world’s top 50 FOR Providing Ideas Behind Inventions – 2017

    159. Republicofscotland says:

      STV luchtime news giving James Kelly a London Labour branch office lackey at Holyrood plenty of airtime on its anti-SNP/Scottish independence “news” programme to run down Scotrail.

      I loathe the “Scottish” media.

    160. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Legerwood.

      You didn’t comment at 11.43 am. Not on this page onnyhoo…

    161. David says:

      It was Shirley Anne Somerville who set the rape clause story off and running with her interview and I think it has got to have been deliberate .Don’t swallow the we don’t like the unionist press stuff the SNP give them stories constantly and an SNP insider has been leaking stories to the press

    162. Sarah says:

      @Robert Louis 10.01p.m. yesterday – I asked Peter – he would like everyone to quote Samuel Adams! It can’t be said too often:

      “If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude, than the animating contest of freedom – go from us in peace, we ask not your counsels or arms.

      Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly on you – and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

    163. Legerwood says:

      Brian Doonthetoon says:
      22 April, 2019 at 2:49 pm
      Hi Legerwood.

      You didn’t comment at 11.43 am. Not on this page onnyho””

      Read your post and thought I was losing it. My comment at 11.43 am is in moderation – contains several links to good news stories which may explain its delayed appearance.

      You know things like:
      Glasgow Royal Infirmary in list of the World’s top 100 hospitals
      Abertay University best in Europe for its video games degrees
      Orkney’s new hospital, the Balfour, winning a silver medal in a world-wide design competition.
      And a couple of stories about Dundee University and its excellence in Pharmaceutical innovation etc.

    164. Referendum1707 says:

      Republicofscotland says:
      22 April, 2019 at 2:01 pm

      “I loathe the “Scottish” media”.

      Well wtf were you doing sitting watching it?

    165. gus1940 says:

      I am surprised that nobody has as yet speculated at just what PQ have in mind for their resident alleged paragon of neutrality the Bird creature.

      We were supposed to believe that she packed in Misreporting Scotland off her own bat without consulting her bosses.

      Aye right.

      My reckoning is that she is in line to lead PQ’s no doubt hysterical assault on Indy once Indyref2 is called.

    166. Cod says:

      Couple of points to make here (someone may have made it already but there are too many comments to check through)>

      The only other option is to restore child benefit for ALL children, which effectively does abolish the rape clause in Scotland, or more accurately abolishes the Westminster welfare cut that it relates to.

      But that’s rather like buying a solid-gold sledgehammer to crack a single peanut. It’d mean that the vast bulk (in fact around 99.99%) would be spent on families whose extra children AREN’T the result of rape, most of whom don’t need the money. It would be a reckless and irresponsible use of scarce cash which could be far better directed at those in the most need.

      The mitigation of the rape clause in Scotland would not affect child benefit as families / single parents with more than two children already get child benefit. The benefit it affects is child tax credit, or the child element of Universal Credit. This is a far bigger amount than the £13.70 per week for Child Benefit.

      Furthermore, families affected by the rape clause (i.e. every family with more than two children where the extra children were born after 1 April 2017), are also most likely to be the families affected by the benefit cap, which results in them having any housing benefit (under the legacy benefits system) or housing costs element they might receive (under Universal Credit) capped, to as little as 50p per month. So it’s a double hit.

      Also, almost always, these families will be worse off under Universal Credit, and under new rule changes which came into effect on 2 Feb 2019 these families will be made to claim Universal Credit for new claims (prior to this families with more than 2 children were not able to be dealt with by UC), and those already making claims for legacy benefits will be moved to UC whenever they have a change of circumstances. Oh, and there’s no transitional protection for change of circumstances claims, so those families thus affected will see an instant drop in income.

      It should also be noted that a large number of the families affected are actually working, but on low pay.

      For the Scottish Government to mitigate the effects of this clause on all the families in Scotland with more than two children where the third child was born after 6 April 2017 would cost £231.67 per month (or £2780 per year) per extra child per family, assuming that the aim is to revoke the clause in it’s entirety (which would be the only sensible option, since,as pointed out by the Rev, allowing a tick box with no option for confirmation would be open to abuse).

      As of April 2018 there were 3780 households in Scotland affected by the two child limit, which means the minimum cost to the Scottish government of mitigating it would be just over £10.5 million, per year, every year. And they would have to find that money in addition to the £125 million per year spent mitigating Westminster imposed social security reform and bedroom tax. And this is all to be done from the existing budget, because no extra money has been allocated to the Scottish government to do so.

      So, the cries from Labour and other MPs for the Scottish government to “abolish the rape clause”, particularly when they either supported it or abstained on the vote, are not only hypocritical, they are disingenuous to boot.

      As for child benefit – it is already means tested, sort of, in the sense that there is the high income child benefit charge (HIBC) for households where one person earns over £50K, with a disregard taper for up to £60K. Of course, if there are two people earning £49,999 in the household then the HIBC does not apply!

    167. geeo says:

      @’referendum 1707′ 4.21pm

      If nobody watched the biased Unionist biased media or read the rags, how do we find out about what shite they are saying ?

      Shoving a finger in both ears and singing ‘la la lala la’ ain’t going to help us listen, rebuke and re educate with the ACTUAL truth, is it ?

      And remember, lots of people we need to convince, READ and WATCH said lying media.

      If we do not know what they are saying, how on earth do we tell those folk we need, the media are talking shite and why ?

    168. bjsalba says:

      @K1 1:03pm
      I would also point to this:

      But how did Liverpool compare with other major cities?

      Liverpool saw 58.2% of voters back Remain, with more than 118,000 people giving the EU a vote of confidence.

      That marks it out from areas including Birmingham, Warrington and Middlesbrough, where a majority of voters backed Brexit.

      After Hillsborough The Sun was boycotted in Liverpool.

      I rest my case.

    169. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      bjsalba @ 17:56,

      A curious and interesting insight. Thanks!

    170. Mad Unionist says:

      CameronB Brodie. The EEC was a trading agreement between nations but was insular. The EU Parliament was invented and not required. You do not need a big brother Parliament to make trading arrangements. I am not an expert on the EU as I had to go out and work for a living with a family to look after. Time is limited and you have to sleep!

    171. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      Mad Unionist @ 18:54,

      You seem to have enough time to keep spreading your slime trails on here, though. But we’re not buying. Don’t know why you bother, really. It must be very lonely in that empty room.

    172. Mad Unionist says:

      Robert J Sutherland. Are you speaking for others from your isolated cell?

    173. North chiel says:

      “ mad unionist@0654pm” , “ You do not need a big brother Parliament to make trading arrangements”. Precisely why Scotland does not require Westminster.

    174. CameronB Brodie says:

      Mad Unionist
      OK, let’s see if we can improve your understanding of national sovereignty in the EU. Btw, I built a business up from scratch, I know what it’s like to work.

      Part 1: Sovereignty, power, influence: what do these terms mean in the 21st century?

      The illusion of total national sovereignty in the 21st century

      Brexit, populism and euroscepticism have brought the theme of sovereignty back to the centre of debate. But what does the concept of sovereignty really mean in the 21st century? Indeed the term has to be defined and some theoretical ideas have to be introduced if we are to study and clarify the impact these ideas have on political decision makers, on their vision of the State and of the European Union. The variety of views about sovereignty in Europe is significant in terms of European policies, and the Union must take these into account so that it can move forward.

      Sovereignty: one term, several interpretations.

      Within Europe and the Union national and European political decision makers have several different views of sovereignty. Political science often defines it as the ability to achieve a goal or to assert one’s will. More commonly sovereignty can be defined as supreme authority, over which there is no other higher authority. This is often the sense given to the term and used by Europhobic populists when they call for a return to national sovereignty, of which the European Union is said to have deprived their State. In this sense sovereignty seems to be understood as a freedom, which means not being, or no longer being forced to do what others want us to do. However, in the Union approaches to sovereignty are complex, since positive and negative ideas of it coexist….

    175. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Where does the number “10” come from. I cannot see any reference to this elsewhere”

      DOESN’T ANYONE CLICK THE LINKS oh why do I bother?

    176. Cubby says:

      “Does anyone click the links”. Yes some of us do. It’s in the 99% link but a lot of people may have been put off by the fact that it is the Daily Record – the home of the infamous vow and that pratt Clegg.

    177. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Cubby.

      If you hover your cursor over the “99.99%” link, it shows as “” so readers would not be aware that it was an archived Daily Record story.

      You only find that out when you click on the link. Your opinion, “but a lot of people may have been put off by the fact that it is the Daily Record” does not really compute. Looking at a page at adds nothing to the DR’s revenue stream. It just allows you to read the stuff, without becoming a visitor to the DR’s web site.

    178. Cubby says:

      Brian Doonthetoon@7.22pm

      Hi Brian I understand what you are saying and was aware of the points you make. What I meant was that in finding it was the Daily Record some people may have decided not to read on. I always find it difficult to even read any of these papers – that’s how much I detest them – and I don’t care whether Nicola Sturgeon or anyone else might write a column now and again.

      Disgusting paper.

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