The Return of the Slave Trade – Part 2

I wrote the following blog just after the 2016 Scottish election, though now, five and a half years later, almost nothing has changed. Everything I wrote then still applies, but it has become apparent that I missed out one aspect of modern slavery that has particular relevance in the independence debate.

The Return of the Slave Trade

Now the election’s over, we can get back to business as usual on social media, with most postings slagging off the Tories for the latest round of austerity cuts (or proposed cuts), cutting the incomes of the poor and disadvantaged, while, at the same time, boosting the incomes of the deserving plutocrats.

But how can they do that?  How can they sleep at night?  Have they no conscience?  These and other similar questions are often asked, but what surprises me is that the obvious answer to all of these questions is being ignored.

But first, a history lesson.  Let’s go back a few hundred years to a time when the European nobles got a bit fed up fighting amongst themselves.  Problem was, wars too often resulted in an effective score draw and many of the peasants who formed the bulk of the armies got killed.  This meant that there weren’t enough left to tend the animals and grow the crops used to feed the plutocrats of the day.  Jolly inconvenient, eh, what!  To solve the problem, they started looking  further afield for people to fight and that’s when they discovered Africa.

In Africa, they found a land populated by strange animals you didn’t see in Europe, lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes and many more.  But best of all was an animal that looked almost like a human.  It stood on two legs, just like a human.  It had opposable thumbs, just like a human.  It could use simple tools, just like a human.  But best of all, they discovered it was able to look after crops and animals and could be used to replace the peasants with no need to pay them beyond a few drinks of water and the odd bowl of gruel.  But they weren’t really human.  I mean, they didn’t wear proper clothes and they couldn’t speak even one European language.

That was the viewpoint of the early European invaders.  The slave trade developed partly because they thought they were dealing with some sort of sub-human species, so treating them like animals was quite acceptable, because they were animals.  Europeans considered Africans were put on the world to provide a means of generating money and food for real (i.e. rich) people.  This was an attitude that persisted right up to the middle of the last century and, in some places, still exists today.  Even many of those who campaigned to end the slave trade did so on the same basis as we would today campaign to improve the conditions of pigs or chickens.

Now, of course, in most developed countries, people views have changed and such thinking is not considered appropriate.  People are no longer identified by their race or colour.  But it is in human nature to seek to differentiate.  There has to be an us and a them.  So how are people differentiated today?  The answer is, of course, money.  There are those who have lots and those who don’t.

So what’s this got to do with the slave trade, I hear you say.  Well, while 15th century Europeans thought Africans were inferior because of their colour, 21st century rich toffs think poor people are inferior because of their poverty.  They believe superior people will find a way to become rich and only inferior people will remain poor because they’ve not got the capability to become rich.

Do rich people think poor people are some sort of sub-human species?  A step up from cattle, pigs and sheep, perhaps, but still only fit for tending crops and looking after animals (or whatever the 21st century equivalents are).  Might that explain why Tories don’t seem to be overly concerned about the impact of the cuts on poor people?  After all, if you decided to (e.g.) reduce the amount of grazing your cattle have, you might be worried if it impacted the profit to be made, but you wouldn’t be overly worried about the impact on the cattle’s quality of life.

There are still a few quite significant differences between poor people and animals.  Two of the more significant are poor people can vote, animals can’t and poor people have human rights, animals don’t.  Until this changes, there is always the danger that some poor people might get really annoyed about something and prevent the plans of rich people going ahead.  However, alive to the danger, we’ve seen the Tory government take the first steps to resolve these two problems by firstly changing the voter registration system, resulting in large numbers of poor people losing the right to vote; and secondly, proposing to replace European Human Rights with a British version, which will undoubtedly provide fewer rights than the European one.  And who will bet against this being only the start of a significant program to remove even more rights from poor people.

But surely that can’t be right, I hear you say.  Surely our government doesn’t really think of the bulk of the population as some lower form of being.  Well, just think of what has happened since the Tories (effectively) took power in 2010.   Their rhetoric has been to demonise the unemployed (shirkers don’t contribute to the wealth of rich people) and to describe the disabled as a drain on society (many of them don’t contribute to the wealth of rich people).  Their actions have added to the misery of the poor and disabled by cutting ESA, introducing the bedroom tax (though the fact that this was first introduced by Labour is a timely reminder that not all rich people are in the Tory party) and Work Capability Assessments, and freezing other benefits or making them much more difficult to claim.  All actions which further disadvantage the already disadvantaged.  Would normal human beings do that to fellow humans; to people they considered as their equals?  I think not.

All the actions of the government point to the inescapable conclusion that rich people (remember the government are nearly all rich people) consider themselves a higher class of being and, by inference, consider the poor as a lower class who don’t deserve the same level of consideration.  Who then can argue that poor people are not the slaves of the 21st century?

In the earlier posting, I said that, generally, people are no longer differentiated by their race or colour, but in this modern United Kingdom, there is still one active differentiator – nationality.

The view of the rich English, and some of the not so rich, is that those UK citizens who hail from one of the other three countries, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are a lesser class of human, fit only for doing the jobs beneath your true (i.e. rich) English person, working to provide them with the money that keeps them in the style they’ve become accustomed to, and taking part in their wars of personal enrichment (as cannon-fodder, of course), only able to survive due to the largesse of their English masters.

Of the problems (as the English see it) caused by lesser humans being allowed to take part in normal society, solutions needed to be found, and were found.

They have solved the voting problem, not by preventing the Scots, Welsh ans Northern Irish from voting, but by putting those whom they vote for into a parliament where they are collectively outnumbered, so the English always get their own way.

They have solved the human rights problem, as I mentioned in 2016, by replacing EU human rights legislation by a UK version which can be summarised as:

You can have any rights you like as long as they don’t interfere with the right of the true Englishman to make as much money as possible by making sure the rest of humanity works only for them.

Already the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will place restrictions on gatherings and protest marches, unfortunately an idea enthusiastically taken up by the Scottish Government. The Internal Market Act gives Westminster the power to decide what food you will be allowed to eat and what you will pay for it. If that means some Scottish producers (and the jobs they support) are priced out of the market, then so be it. Do you think Westminster will care?

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill (informally known as the Licence to Kill Bill) makes it legal for any member of the security services to execute, without trial, anyone they suspect of acting against the best interests of the state, and that includes the state’s political and financial interests. Arguably, anyone supporting Scottish Independence is advocating an action that will damage the UK both politically and financially. Just think about it.

If you think that is too extreme an interpretation, remember Willie McRae, a senior SNP politician who was alleged in 1975 to have committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head and then throwing the gun away, just when he was about to expose a bunch of rich, politically-connected child abusers. He was being followed at the time by members of the security services, but, allegedly, they had nothing to do with his death.

Even if not formally ackowleged, few would argue against the relationship between England and Scotland being that of coloniser and colonised. The dictionary definition of colonialism is:

The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.

Is that not exactly what has happened to Scotland over the last 314 years.

England has full political control through a parliament in which they have a large majority over all other countries combined. Most major decisions are made for Scotland by an English dominated parliament, made by English MPs who know very little about Scotland. Even the decisions the Scottish Government is allowed to make are subject to scrutiny by Westminster, so any they don’t like may be struck down.

The last census held in Scotland was in 2011 as the 2021 census was postponed by the Scottish Government, allegedly because of the pandemic, though the census was held in the remainder of the UK. I wonder why Sturgeon didn’t want the answer to be known? In 2011, approximately 15% of those resident in Scotland were settlers, i.e. they originated from another part of the world. By far, the largest number of these, about 10% of the population, were from England. With an estimated 50,000 new immigrants moving to Scotland every year, over half from England, the proportion of English ‘settlers’ is set to increase.

Of course, the number of settlers is in itself not significant. More significant is the number of settlers who occupy senior positions in government and government sponsored and cultural organisations. Look and see how many public bodies in Scotland are led by someone who’s experience is in a different country and in a different area of business, with little knowledge of Scottish environment, culture and history. Ask yourself whether the decisions these people make are likely to be influenced by their largely non-Scottish background and ask yourself why there’s rarely a Scottish candidate considered for the position.

The ways in which Scottish resources are exploited by Westminster are almost without number.

The revenue from Scottish oil was used by Thatcher to enhance the attractiveness of London as a business centre and to destroy the Scottish manufacturing base, effectively paying for the Scottish unemployed with money stolen from Scotland. An act of deliberate economic vandalism.

Now the same thing is happening with the energy produced from Scottish wind and water, transferred to the National Grid at a cost to the producers, then sold back to Scots consumers at a much higher price. Scotland get very little benefit from their own energy.

Water will be next as plans are in place to build pipelines to transfer Scottish water to England. Just like oil and wind, there will be no benefit to Scotland.

The biggest irony in the scandal of the exploitation of Scottish resources for English benefit is the annual production of the GERS figures, supposingly describing the Scottish economy, produced by the Scottish Government but based largely on estimates supplied by Westminster. If you think there’s any chance of these numbers representing an accurate statement of the Scottish economy, bear in mind that the report was first produced by Tory Scottish Secretary Ian Lang as a way of preventing devolution. It was, and still is, a way of making the Scottish economy look bad.

So we can see that Scotland’s relationship with England fits the definition of colonialism exactly. England has total political control. English setttlers occupy many senior positions in Scottish organisations and their numbers are sufficient to sway the results of elections and referenda. Scottish resources are removed from the Scottish economy for the benefit of England, with little or no benefit accruing to the Scottish people.

We’ve seen that the relationship between Scotland and England fits the definition of colonialism. So what’s the connection between colonialism and slavery. One definition of slavery is:

A civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty and fortune.

Just change the wording slightly andyou get a perfect description of Scotland’s current position:

A civil relationship whereby one group of people has absolute power over another and controls their life, liberty and fortune.

And then, from a paper on Afican slavery by Songhikenjou Bama at Penn State University:

Colonization is like enslaving an entire area.

Can anyone deny that Scotland, despite its long history as a free nation, has been colonised by England and that England’s control over Scotland is effectively slavery?

For Scotland’s future, will you choose freedom or slavery?

For a much better explanation of the effect of colonialism on Scotland, why not read the excellent series of papers by Professor Alf Baird available on the Yours for Scotland website. This is a link to the synopsis. The whole series is also available in paperback or kindle form from Amazon (and no doubt from other booksellers) as Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Devomax – it’s the final betrayal

In Wednesday’s National, we saw this.

Indyref2: Ex SNP policy chief backs three-option ballot paper to break ‘logjam’

Former SNP policy chief backs three-option referendum to break indyref ‘logjam’.
THE SNP‘s former policy chief has called for three options – including “devo-max” – to be put to voters in a second independence referendum. Chris Hanlon, who is a member of the party’s policy development committee, said the move could help break the current constitutional logjam with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wanting a new vote and Boris Johnson repeatedly failing to agree.

It’s been talked about for some time, but now the SNP have come out of the closet. They have finally admitted they are considering a third way. Well, they call it a third way, but is it? Is it in reality just a different description of what the modern Nicola Sturgeon led SNP have always wanted, but knew they could never go for? They don’t want independence, but they couldn’t say so outright. They could never campaign for a no vote, no matter what the terms were, because it would destroy their carefully constructed carrot plan, where they say they want independence, but never do anything to achieve it. But now, here’s a supposed ‘half-way house’, not quite what anyone wanted, but just about acceptable to both sides. It can be passed off to the independence supporters as a stepping stone on the way to full independence, but the unionists will know what it really is, a more acceptable description of the status quo.

Chris Hanlon SNP
It’s a think-piece intended to stimulate debate. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read it in full but I don’t think re-entering the EU or single market would be impossible with the same powers the Faroes have…

Already, we’re seeing the SNP plan. Get a nonentity who can be described as important to float the idea. If it sticks, it will become a party suggestion. If it doesn’t, it will be a “silly” suggestion by an individual that the leadership can disown. If it doesn’t go down well, how long will it take for Nicola Sturgeon to disown it?

Surely most of you remember 2014 and the last minute Vow, signed by the leaders of the three main unionist parties. It did its job. It persuaded enough voters to change from YES to NO in return for a set of promises that the unionists never intended to keep. It was a sham, a fraud, a lie. They knew in advance that Westminster would never pass laws to match the promises, and they didn’t. Every single proposal put forward by the SNP at Westminster was voted down by English MPs. The SNP, and Scotland, got nothing.

So why is that relevant today? Because Devomax is just the Vow in different clothing. It’s a con. It will be a set of proposals that needs Westminster approval to become law and Westminster will not approve. We’ll be in the same position as we were in 2014. Nothing of substance will come from a vote for Devomax.

However, there is one significant difference between 2014 and now. Then it was the unionists, the parties of NO making the suggestion, knowing it would never happen. This time, it’s coming from the SNP, the so-called party of independence. The party of independence are floating a proposal, hoping to get the Scottish people to agree to it, but knowing full well it will be rejected by Westminster, knowing full well that it will result in the status quo, or worse.

What has become of the party of independence under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon when they are floating proposals which require the Scottish people to give up on independence for generations, perhaps for ever.

Devomax is a con. Devomax will never be delivered. Devomax is the 2022 version of the Vow and should be rejected by anyone who has an interest in independence.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Will it be a Guid New Year?

This is the last blog of 2021 and my last chance to give my opinion on whether the SNP can still be considered a party of independence.

2021 was a year, like many others, that started with so much hope and enthusiasm. We had the Scottish Parliament election to look forward to, with the promise of progress on independence. There was the promise of an update of the independence prospectus. There was the promise of an independence bill being brought to parliament. There were so many, many promises. “Vote for me”, said Nicola and no one will be able to stop us: no one will presume to interfere with Scotland’s right to become independent. Of course, no one heard her mutter under her breath, “except me”.

So 2021 is coming to a close and we are no further forward in our struggle for independence. “Blame Covid”, said Nicola. “We can’t do any work on independence when we are in the midst of a pandemic. We can have an election to give us five more years leaching of the public purse; we can work on defining Hate Crimes; we can threaten to charge people for what they say in their own homes; we can turn men into women in the blink of an eye; but what we can’t do, what we can never do, we can’t do any work on independence in the midst of a pandemic.

The New Year is just around the corner. Will 2022 start with hope and enthusiasm? Will there be an independence bill? Will the independence prospectus be updated in preparation for the latest promise, a referendum in 2023. If it arrives, will the referendum be a simple yes/no to independence, or will Devo Max, or Home Rule be included on the ballot paper, virtually assuring that it will win.

If it is included, no one, least of all Nicola Sturgeon, will tell you that, like the infamous vow in 2014, the implementation will depend on the Westminster government agreeing to it and the chances of that happening, like 2014, are nil. In fact, the best we could hope for is the status quo, but the more likely outcome would be a continuation of the current Westminster plan to further reduce the powers of the Holyrood government, a plan that the current Scottish government seem to be reasonably happy to accept.

So does that mean 2022 will be another black year for independence supporters? Is there no way out? Can nothing be done to improve the prospects for independence?

Given that we have established that the biggest blockage on the road to independence is Nicola Sturgeon, then her removal would clear the road, but only if she was not replaced by one of her close associates, such as the odious and ineffectual Angus Robertson. No sense in getting rid of Satan, only to replace her with Beelzebub.

How do we do that? Is there a best way to convince Nicola Sturgeon that her time is up?

Can it be done from inside the party? What the last several years have shown us is that the SNP leadership have given up paying attention to the membership. If you’re an ordinary member, you play a disappearingly small part in the party’s plans or political strategy. Your part in this charade is to provide money, deliver leaflets and sing the praises of Nicola to anyone who’ll listen, to yourself, but mainly, on every opportunity you get, to Nicola herself. And remember, she’s always right.

So does it have to be done from outside the party? Fortunately, the SNP themselves have made plans to increase the numbers outside the party. They’ve made the Hate Crimes plan: they’ve made the Self-Id plan: they’ve made the Let’s jail everyone who doesn’t agree with us plan: they’ve made lots of plans, none of which involve independence, and as a result of their plans, thousands of previously active independence supporting members left the party.

There are just about four months left before the next test of people’s belief in the SNP’s capabilities and particularly their independence plans, the Local Elections. Of course, voting for Local Government has not the same impact on independence as voting for National Government. However, parties tend to campaign using party labels and voters tend to base their voting on their opinion of the parties, so it will still be a valid test.

So what can we do? In the four months we have to persuade the SNP that their election chances are under threat if they do not change their priorities and start making moves to bring independence closer. But it has to be actions. Talk of independence and promises of future action is no longer enough. Failing the success of that, and unfortunately I think it will fail, we need to encourage Alba and ISP and other truly independence supporting parties to stand candidates to allow as many of us from outside the SNP to show their displeasure by voting against them. If the SNP won’t listen to advice, perhaps they’ll pay attention to the electoral impact.

As a brief aside, I see that some remaining SNP supporters are starting to use the old Scottish Labour argument, which was if you don’t vote Labour, you’ll let the Tories in. That used to work in Scotland until Labour fell from 41 Westminster seats in 2010 to 1 (yes one) in 2015. Now we’re hearing if you don’t vote SNP, you’ll let the unionists in. Is this the SNP’s final conversion into a Scottish Labour lookalike? Of course, in the Holyrood election, votes for SNP meant the Unionists got in. Funny that!

I hope everyone has as good and as safe a time as possible over the New Year and comes back refreshed and ready to restart the battle for independence.

Saor Alba!

The SNP Walkouts

Remember the time (over 3 years ago now) when the SNP Parliamentary group walked out of the English Parliament (colloquially known as the UK Parliament) when they were effectively refused any time to discuss devolution, as a Tory member spoke for the entire 15 minutes allocated by the speaker? This is a BBC report at the time. Was that the last time when an action showed even the smallest sign of any interest in Scottish affairs?

Certainly, at the moment, the only event that causes SNP members walk out of the chamber is one of the Alba MPs standing to speak. Obviously, the last thing you would expect SNP MPs to be interested in would be the opinion of a fellow independence supporting MP. (Did I just accuse SNP MPs of supporting Scottish independence? Will washing out my mouth with soap and water absolve me of this heinous crime?).

It appears that the SNP have reinvented their own version of the Bain Principal. For those who don’t remember, this was the notion, named after a Labour MP at the time, Willie Bain, that the Labour party in Westminster would automatically ignore any proposal made by the SNP, no matter whether they actually agreed with it or not. Now the SNP in Westminster (with a couple of exceptions) are ignoring anything brought up by the Alba party no matter whether they agree with it or not. Just like the Labour party of 10 years ago, the SNP are allowing their hatred of Alba to define their policy decisions, rather than whether the policy would benefit the people of Scotland. Would that attitude be described as childish, counter-productive or just plain stupid.

But why the hatred? What is there about Alba that means that hatred is almost a condition of SNP membership. Is it (as many in the SNP will say) because of Alex Salmond’s connection with Alba? Alex Salmond, a man the SNP leadership tried so very hard to get found guilty on flimsy and invented charges. Or is it because so many Alba members were once SNP members? Perhaps the SNP should be more concerned about why they left rather than trying to smear them after the fact. Or is it because any success that Alba has will impact on the SNP’s strategy for electoral success, which is being unique, being the only credible allegedly independence supporting party. I say allegedly because, despite all the talk over the last seven years, nothing concrete has been achieved to advance the cause of independence since the coronation of Nicola Sturgeon as leader of the party. NOTHING!!!

Recently, Nicola Sturgeon told us that the only way to gain independence was for all parties to work together. Not surprisingly, few would disagree. One aspect of the first referendum was how all the independence supporting parties and groups worked together. However, the only problem with Nicola Sturgeon’s statement is, though she may have said all parties, it appears she meant only unionist parties, particularly the Labour party.

Why would the independence supporting head of an independence supporting party be so reluctant to talk to other independence supporting parties if a referendum (or other independence action) was on the horizon?

I’ll leave that for readers to decide.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

SNP – The Scottish Near-fascist Party

Disagree with the headline? Then please read the following post by Grouse Beater and George Monbiot. via @wordpressdotcom. It should make you think. It might make you change your mind.

I humbly offer a few further words of advice to the Scottish electorate which, I believe, they should ignore at their peril. Continuing to ignore this message will just provide the opportunity for the combined governments of Westminster and Holyrood to complete their work to turn the UK, including Scotland, into a police state where virually any action by an individual citizen can be considered, if the government so chooses, as a danger to the state and subject to draconian punishment, punishment which will be the law of the land, so you won’t be able to use the courts to defend yourself. Remember, just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.

We have two measures we have to take if we want to retain our freedoms and to continue to live in a democracy.

First, we need to get as far away as possible, as fast as possible, from this evil, fascist Westminster government. That means independence. That also means ignoring the SNP’s constant stalling tactics and getting on with it, because we really don’t have much time left.

Second, following independence, we need to elect a Scottish government that isn’t simply going to copy the worst of Westminster policy and wrap a tartan ribbon round it. There’s no point losing one fascist government just to replace it with another. The government we elect shouldn’t include any of the current SNP dictators and devolutionists who mustn’t be given a further opportunity to recreate Westminster in Edinburgh, which is exactly what they are doing now.

I know many of you will consider this scaremongering with little basis in reality, but it really is impossible to exaggerate the urgency of our situation, Grouse Beater’s posting linked to at the beginning of this post lays out some of what’s going on and, as further evidence, I would also add a couple of my own posts, and

Protest now, because there likely won’t be another chance later.

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Does the SNP think Scots Law exists?

Or are they trying to make sure it doesn’t?

The basis of this blog is a comment made by Gayle, a reader of the site, in response to my blog “What authority does the Scottish Government have”. You can read my blog here. I think Gayle’s reply is worthy of a wider audience.

With the Scottish Government meekly accepting English Supreme Court rejection of two Holyrood bills, they are doing exactly what they should categorically be refusing to do; recognising its legitimacy. This is especially relevant as it refers to UK law. UK law is non-existent, there being only Scots and English law within the Treaty of Union.

What is worse though is their absolute silence on the fundamental breaches to the treaty which not only violate the treaty but change the very nature of it.

Take a look at the English Act of Union Bill (2017-2019) being discussed in the Lords and what it says in Part 1 Section 1 concerning the very name of the treaty. UK not GB. Now you may think but this is what the treaty is commonly referred to but legally the treaty should be in the name of Great Britain. Then read further on how they make themselves the sole continuator state and authority and give themselves the power to define which areas of life they will control and the power to change these at will without consulting the devolved parliaments, thereby granting themselves a veto over Scotland and the Scots. You can read the full act here.

Next, look at Clause 38 of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, where they have written English parliamentary sovereignty into law for the first time. Carwyn Jones puts the point across very well in this video. though he incorrectly states that the Scottish Parliament was dissolved in 1707.

Then, look at Westminster’s Internal Market Act, paying close attention to the wording – again under UK not GB. And recently the motorist identification legislation which states that all Scots must cover up and/or replace GB identifiers with UK. You can read the full act here.

It won’t be lost on you why this fundamental change. Add to that to the paper commissioned by the English government and penned by Crawford and Boyle, particularly Part IV, which claims that Scotland was extinguished and subsumed into a Greater England albeit under the new name of UK and the significance of renaming the state UK becomes clear. As does the reason they enacted EVEL.

And what has the Scottish government done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They have capitulated to the English government every single step of the way. Did you know that they are actively writing into law all the aspects which have been mere conventions within the treaty of 1707? Such as the convention on ratifying treaties. Now ask yourself why the English government are writing this convention into English law. And to top it off they even have English government offices in the Scottish capital and in Glasgow. This and so much more has been happening right under their and our noses and there is silence. There is the constant “permission must be sought from England” from them not an assertion of Scots sovereign authority. And let’s not forget that they actively removed the Scottish nationality and replaced it with British which is against the law to do. As I have pointed out elsewhere, this is death by a thousand cuts and hardly anyone seems to notice.

What is also worrying is that any time Scots start to question why Scots authority is not asserted and seek to do so, as if on cue out come the “Scotland is a colony” chanters. Almost as if deliberately trying to undermine Scotland and its true status as a sovereign nation state and partner to the treaty.

My comment

I think Gayle is quite right when she suggests that the Tory government are trying to establish in law a unitary state called the United Kingdom, of which Scotland will be just a small part. It cannot have escaped the SNP’s attention that this is happening, so the question to be asked of and answered by the SNP and the Scottish Government is why are you doing nothing about it.

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites who profess to be Yes supporting are actually SNP supporting and are blocking bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. Sharing is important. It helps the independence message reach a much wider audience.

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What authority does the Scottish Government have?

And what are they doing to change it?

There have been several people commenting on the recent decision by the English Supreme Court, following action by Westminster, to strike down two Holyrood acts and the muted reaction by the Scottish Government to the decision.  Here’s mine.

Last week saw what could be the beginning of the end for the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and Devolution.  I say the beginning of the end, but there have already been a number of ‘hints’, strong hints, that this was coming.  Many of us warned that the Scottish Government’s inaction on the independence question could only end in tears, though I have the sneaking suspicion that only a few members of the current Scottish Government will be doing much crying. Perhaps the others will be too busy checking their bank balances and licking their lips thinking about the pensions still to come, or perhaps they just don’t care.

What the Scottish Government is unlikely to be doing is working out the best way to achieve independence.  They are more likely to be doing exactly what they have been doing for the last 7 years – nothing, nada, zippo, sfa.  No time spent by the civil service, no discussions or proposals from the NEC, no ideas from the ‘party of independence’, no action from our government.

Is that what it has come to?  Is the dream of Scottish independence that many of us have worked for and longed for for years and years going to fall because of the self-indulgence of a few individuals at the top of the SNP whose only interest seems to be remaining in power for as long as Westminster allows the Scottish Parliament to exist?  Perhaps after 14 years in power, they feel untouchable.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But why the inaction?  The leadership of the SNP must know that the supply of electoral carrots is reducing and those still available are becoming a bit mouldy.  The number of unhappy Scots is growing day by day as more people become frustrated by the lack of progress and more people lose faith in the SNP as the vehicle to deliver independence.  So, with these obvious signs, what could be the reason for the delay.

Could it be what the SNP would like you to believe, that “now is not the time”, to quote a phrase the SNP seem to have borrowed from that well known supporter of Scottish independence, Theresa May; that we must wait until the polls consistently show Yes support at 60% plus; that we must wait until Boris Johnson finally and graciously agrees to grant a Section 30 order to allow the so-called “gold standard” referendum (© Nicola Sturgeon).  In that, the SNP seem to be in full agreement with the Tories, who also tell us we have to wait at least 40 years before the next referendum (© Boris Johnson) or, most recently, 25 years (© Union Jack, Scottish Secretary/Colonial Governor).  But is that option just an excuse for SNP inaction?  And as half a million (mainly) English people are encouraged to move to Scotland every year, will the additional millions of non-Scots voting in any referendum conducted using the same franchise as 2014 improve the chances of a successful outcome?

Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon is too scared of losing (again) and following the precedent set by Alex Salmond in 2014, she would be expected to resign if No triumphed, thus depriving herself of her 6-figure salary and expenses, something she has become used to since 2014 and no doubt wants to continue to enjoy for several more years.  In any case, failure and resignation wouldn’t look good on her résumé.  Would she still get a top UN post with that background?

Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon is just a Unionist plant; that she was taken as a teenager to a secret location and brainwashed to believe that the Union is best and independence is just a silly pipe dream?  Given her background, it seems unlikely, but there has to be some explanation for the change from the independence loving firebrand of 2014 to the do-nothing lover of the female penis of 2021.

Could it be that there is a skeleton or two in the Sturgeon closet or in the Murrell closet and that this has been discovered by someone with an association with Westminster and this is being used to encourage her to adopt a negative approach to independence?  There are certainly rumours going round about the relationship with her husband and talk of a super-injunction, but in these more liberal days, that hardly seems enough to be able to force such a reverse on the independence question.  Though it might explain the love of the female penis.

Or could it be that she always saw her step up to First Minister as the first step to world domination as World Organiser for Legalising the Female Penis (or Chief Walloper).  Could it be that she saw the female penis as the climax of her career?  The tool which allows her to thrust her name into the history books?  The opportunity to harden her reputation as Cock of the North?  Was it that which made her stiffen her resolve to push herself forward to snatch the chance? 

But will she go down in history as the dog’s bollocks or just a twat?

We may never find out the real reason for what is increasingly looking like a deliberate attempt to delay, or even prevent, Scottish independence. What seems more likely is that, unless there’s a sudden change of heart, Scottish history will not be kind to Nicola Sturgeon.

Beat the Censors

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Where are we going to now?

Or actions speak louder than words, Nicola Sturgeon.

On this day (as I write), the 7th anniversary of the day when Scotland was prevented from gaining its independence, I remember the days in the run up to the 2014 referendum, when the hope of many, including myself, was the creation of an independent Scotland which would become a model of democracy and citizen participation: a country which would provide an example to the rest of the world: a country Scots would be proud to call home. We had a government focussed on independence, led by a First Minister who was driving Scotland in the direction most Scots wanted to go, towards an independent future where we would be in control of our own destiny, not depending on our neighbour to make almost all the decisions about how our country is run.

I remember those days and I remember how wonderful it felt believing I was part of the generation that would finally bring us independence after over 300 years of colonial status, subject to the whims of an English parliament more concerned about the prosperity of Southern England and about making the well-off even better off. I remember those days and I also remember the following day when everything took on the dull, grey hue of disappointment.

Of course, in just a few weeks, despite the disappointment of Alex Salmond’s resignation, most independence supporters thought the appointment (or should I say coronation) of Alex Salmond’s deputy and arguably the voice of independence throughout the referendum campaign, Nicola Sturgeon, as First Minister and leader of the SNP would only continue the drive towards independence. What could go wrong?

Well, let’s look at what happened, or what didn’t happen, to take the independence project forward, during Nicola Sturgeon’s seven year tenure.

During the referendum campaign and in its aftermath, several issues arose which would have to be addressed prior to a second referendum or (preferably) another, better process to deliver independence. They included:

  • What currency would Scotland use?
  • How to set up a Scottish Central Bank, essential for a fully functioning economy?
  • The status of the border(s) between Scotland and the rest of the UK?
  • The volume of Scottish exports being shipped via the rest of the UK?
  • The development of port facilities to allow a greater proportion of Scottish exports to be shipped directly from Scotland
  • The development of road and rail infrastructure to support the enhanced port facilities
  • How to introduce a Scottish retirement pension and what level will it be set at?
  • The size and scope of Scottish armed forces?
  • Scottish shipbuilding without orders from the Royal Navy?
  • Scottish Energy Company, announced amid great fanfare at the 2017 SNP conference and promised for the last parliament?

How much time has Nicola Sturgeon’s government spent on addressing, never mind resolving these issues? If your answer is none, then you’ll be pretty close to being correct. Perhaps the biggest fiasco is the Scottish Energy Company, promising cheap energy for all, not delivered in the last parliament as promised, and now not even included in the latest Government plans. Was it always just a wee sop to the masses and never a real intention?

If not the above issues, what have the SNP and the Scottish Government been spending their time on. Well, not surprisingly, I have a list of some of these as well. They include:

  • Brexit. How much time did Nicola Sturgeon spend trying to prevent the English voters getting what the voted for? Imagine the reaction if the English Government spent as much time trying to prevent something the Scots wanted. Oh, of course, they did, didn’t they, in 2014. Who remembers Nicola Sturgeon saying “Scotland will not be dragged out of the EU against our will”. Who remembers “Scotland could hold another independence referendum if forced to leave the EU”. Note the difference in emphasis between the two sentences, “will not” and “could“. As it happens, both promises were ignored,
  • GRA reform, or as it is more commonly known, The Exclusion of Women bill or The Disapperance of the Two Sexes bill, is the Scottish Government plan to invent women with willies,
  • the Hate Crime Act, introduced to prevent any opposition to GRA reform, by making opposition illegal, subject to jail time,
  • the Alex Salmond trials, the SNP’s attempt to exclude any competition for the independence vote by smearing Salmond to prevent him from re-entering politics,
  • the jailing of Craig Murray for having the cheek to report both the prosecution case and the defence case in the Alex Salmond criminal trial, making clear that the prosecution case was so flimsy, you could look through it to see what the Government’s real intention was,
  • the so-called 4 Nations plans, a 4 Nations Covid response which resulted in Scotland having one of the worst records in the world, a 4 Nations Oil plan which would give Westminster even more control over Scottish resources, were Nicola Sturgeon’s ideas for developing the Scottish nation by asking Westminster to make even more decisions for us
  • and the latest fiasco, restrictions on protesting against Government policies close to Holyrood, making use of a Westminster law, presumably to mop up any not caught by the Hate Crime Act.

So, in summary, no time has been spent on updating the indy prospectus, that’s no Scottish Government time in 5 years, no time spent by the NEC, the supposed controlling body of the SNP, though I think everyone knows that the real controlling body of the SNP is the one inhabited by Nicola Stiugeon.

Instead, the majority of Government and Party time was spent doing stuff which brought independence no closer. Just look at the list above. Nothing on that list will help bring about Scottish independence. In fact, arguably, the opposite is true, as all the actions are so devisive, they’re likely the have set independence back for years, perhaps even for generations.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about why independence is important and what independence really means. For me, independence means the confidence to make your own choices, both as an individual and collectively, as a country, knowing what you do matters, knowing that it won’t simply be overturned or ignored by those in another country who really call the shots. I personally think that, in just a few years, Scotland would be unrecognisably better compared to the country it is now. The difference between today’s colonialisation and tomorrow’s independence is vast and is something worth fighting for.

I hope you agree.

Now’s the day an now’s the hour…

Once upon a time (in May of the year of our lord 2021), there was an election in the realm of Scotland. Many candidates fought (though no physical violence was involved) to be elected. Some apparently campaigned on a platform of independence for the realm, revoking a treaty signed some hundreds of years ago, which obliged the realm of Scotland’s to pay all their wealth as a tribute to another country. Others campaigned on a platform of retaining the status quo, which meant having to do what the other country told Scotland to do and to remain beholden to the other country for whatever pocket money they deigned to give Scotland from the tribute the realm was obliged to pay for having signed that treaty hundreds of years ago.

Lo and behold, it came to pass that those apparently favouring independence gained a majority of seats in the parliament. There was much (muted) celebrating, especially among the downtrodden masses, who were most affected by the realm’s lack of wealth. Now, they thought, at this 7th time of asking for and receiving a mandate to take Scotland out of this dreadful treaty that obliged the realm to pay all of its wealth in tribute; now we will escape.

As the dust settled (no actual dust was obliged to settle) at the conclusion of the election, it became obvious that the leaders of those candidates who had apparently campaigned on a platform of independence seemed to think that, although they still said they favoured independence, now was not the time to move forward.

This caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth among many of those supporters who had voted for the candidates who had apparently campaigned for independence. Many supporters were so put out by this apparent back sliding by the candidates who had campaigned on a platform of independence that they vowed never to vote for them again. Instead, they pledged allegiance to another group of independence candidates who had been prevented from being successful in the election by the chicanery and bad faith of the winning candidates.

Now, to bring us up to date, we are in a position where it is obvious that the SNP, or the SNP/Green combination (apparently we can call it a coalition) are not going to prioritise independence, but are likely to concentrate on passing laws to allow men wearing dresses to call themselves women and usurp all real women’s places and other laws to prevent anyone objecting to this, on pain of imprisonment.

Now, you would think (or do I mean hope) that, among the 64 SNP MSPs elected in May, there must be some who really want independence and are unhappy with their leaders’ decision to delay any progress. In the expectation (hope) that this is true, here is a suggestion for action they could take.

Should even a small group decide that they see more urgent action on independence as a priority, they could rescind their SNP membership and instead join the Alba party which does see independence as a priority. Remember, even with Green support, it only needs 8 or more MSPs to convert from SNP to Alba to put the SNP/Green combination into a minority position and provide the opportunity to bring pressure to bear to stress the importance of more speedy action.

So, what’s it to be, MSPs? If you’re actually the independence supporters you said you were during the election campaign, have you got the guts to do something to move independence forward, or are you too frightened of big, bad Nicola or too worried about losing you lucrative sinecure? After all, you were elected on a platform of independence. Is it too much to expect you to do something about it now?

With sincerest apologies to Rabbie

Now’s the day and now’s the hour
See the front o’ battle lour
See approach proud Johnson’s power
Chains and slaverie.

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha will fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn an flee.

By Oppression’s woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free.

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

Will 2026 be soon enough?

Or What can We do to Stop the Holyrood Takeover?

The current SNP leadership and many of the current (much reduced) membership seem to be happy to adopt a gradualist policy when it comes to progressing independence. Gradualist may be a fairly optimistic description. Neverist might be closer.

Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly stated that the Scottish Government cannot make any effort to advance the cause of independence until Covid has been beaten and until the impact of Covid is over. Earlier, it seemed from a statement made just before the election that she had no faith in Westminster acting in Scotland’s best interests in directing the recovery from the effects of Covid, but now we must wait until the recovery is over before even thinking about independence. Am I the only one that sees the inconsistency between these two viewpoints?

As the Scottish Government sits on its collective backside, too feart to act or too disinterested in independence to be bothered, what about the organisation that they repeatedly tell us is our biggest opponent, the UK/English government. Have Westminster decided to set everything else aside until the Covid crisis is over? The answer, of course, is no. Unlike the Scottish Government, the UK/English Government seem to be able the think about more than one think at a time. I always thought that, as women claim to be able to multitask, and with more women in the Scottish Cabinet, working on several projects at the same time would have been easy. Apparently not.

So what have the UK/English Government been doing at the same time as threatening us with herd immunity and untold Brexit disasters? Have they been ignoring Scottish independence, just like the Scottish Government? Have they f**k. Here is some information about four acts/bills currently being considered by Westminster. and what they might mean for Scotland.

The Covert Human Intelligence Act

makes it legal for huge numbers of state “actors” like the police, army, intelligence services and many others to commit crimes in the execution of their duties, if authorised to do so. As it’s an act, it’s already been passed into law. You can read full details of the Act here.

Who can authorise the “legal” commission of crimes, I hear you ask. Well, here’s the list taken directly from the Act.

Any police force.
The National Crime Agency.
The Serious Fraud Office.
Any of the intelligence services.
Any of Her Majesty’s forces.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
The Department of Health and Social Care.
The Home Office.
The Ministry of Justice.
The Competition and Markets Authority.
The Environment Agency.
The Financial Conduct Authority.
The Food Standards Agency.
The Gambling Commission.

On examination, I thought, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought, who have they missed out? Which organisation is NOT able to authorise people working for them to commit criminal acts to further the interests of the state?

They tell us that criminal conduct authorisation will be required if it is necessary to commit a crime which is:

(a) in the interests of national security;
(b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or
(c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

Note particularly the third area. There are innumerable actions you could take that would impact the economic well-being of the United Kingdom. You could, for instance, call a strike or suggest an increase in tax for the well off. You could support a wages increase for NHS workers or suggest a pay freeze for MPs. Or worst of all, you could support the separation of one part of the United Kingdom from the rest, or independence as it is otherwise known. Allegedly, Scottish independence would have a huge impact on the UK’s economy. Does that mean that anyone who does or says anything to further the cause of Scottish independence is likely to be targeted? Is this just legalising what they would have done anyway?

So the Act tells you who can authorise the commission of criminal acts. The Act outlines the justification required to justify such authorisation. Note I said outlines, as the Act is not really specific about why a criminal act should be committed. But there is one thing missing in the Act. It doesn’t tell you what types of crimes can be authorised. By expressing no limits in the documentation, it means there are no limits. Breaking and entering, theft, fraud, blackmail, or even acts of violence, up to and including murder. Before you reject this as fanciful, consider why acts of violence are not excluded in the Act. What is not prohibited will be justified, especially if other means have failed.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

which, among many other provisions, extends the rights of authorised persons (there’s this authorisation again) to extract (is that the same as steal?) data from private electronic devices. It also gives the police the power to restrict public protest on the basis that it might inconvenience or upset anyone in the vicinity of the protest. It could (I think they mean will) be used by the state to prevent effective demonstrations and other expressions of dissent. You can read more details about the bill here.

  • The bill will enable the police to impose conditions such as start and finish times and maximum noise levels on static protests similar to those already available for marches.
  • The bill will broaden the range of circumstances in which the police can impose conditions on protests, including a single person protest, to include where noise may cause a significant impact on those in the vicinity or serious disruption to the running of an organisation.
  • The bill will make it easier to prosecute organisers and participants for breaking conditions imposed on a protest.

Of course, these conditions are (deliberately?) left vague, so what exactly constitutes “significant impact” or “serious disruption” will be left for later definition. But who will be responsible for clarifying the conditions? Will it be the courts or the police? Will it be some independent body? No. It will be the responsibility of the Home Secretary, who is currently Priti Patel, if you needed reminding. What are the chances of Priti Patel, or any of her successors, favouring the protesters?

So demonstrations will only be permitted if they don’t inconvenience anyone or if they don’t make too much noise. Remind me what the point of a demonstration is?


I wonder how easy it will be to find someone who will be happy to say they are inconvenienced or upset by a demonstration. Any Tory party member, perhaps?

The Draft Online Safety Bill

which is supposedly intended to thwart Terrorism and Child Sex Abuse (for which plenty of legislation has already been passed), but is more likely to be used to shut down any website or platform whose opinions the government doesn’t like, like those operated by independence bloggers, such as the one you are currently reading, for example. You can read more about the bill (if very keen) here.

You would think no one would disagree with the introduction of further measures against Terrorism or Child Sex Abuse, though earlier attempts to identify and prosecute a ring of important people connected to Westminster and Whitehall who were allegedly involved in child sex abuse were hindered by a lack of cooperation from the government, prosecutors and police. I wonder why.

However, buried in the bill addressing areas which the public would find acceptable, the government are sneaking in measures to silence opposition by making it effectively a criminal offence to disagree with government policy or object to government actions.

The government has been trying for years to limit the effectiveness of on-line sites, such as independent bloggers, to identify flaws in government legislation and point out the dangers inherent in government actions and make the public aware of them. And now they’re having another go. This time the plan is to place a set of rules on all organisations who provide services to allow users to post information that other users can read and all organisations who provide search facilities. Twitter and Facebook and Google come to mind as organisations who fit one of these categories.

There seems to be two possibilities. both equally awful. First, the government may implement a set of rules so onerous that the companies may decide it’s easier just to remove users who post about particular topics. Or second, the government may implement a set of rules specifically barring the companies from accepting posts on particular topics. Or, of course, it may do both. No prizes for guessing Scottish independence might be on the banned list. Remember the rule about the economic well-being of the United Kingdom in the Covert Human Intelligence Act? Would Westminster need another excuse?

The Counter State Threats Bill

seeks to “improve” earlier versions of the Official Secrets Act originally passed in 1911 and amended several times, the latest in 1989. The bill focusses on the alleged improvements to national security, but sneaked into the bill, in the small print, if you will, are some changes that seem more designed to prevent government embarrassment rather than dangers to national security.

The government are unhappy that there have been instances that civil servants, or others with access to embarrassing government restricted information, have sought to release the information to the general public, believing that the public had a right to be aware of certain government actions or proposed actions. Let’s suppose the release of this information will never compromise national security, but will certainly shed light on actions by senior members of the government that these senior members would rather remained secret. This bill seeks to treat anyone who releases such government information, (commonly called a whistle-blower) as well as anyone who distributes the information (commonly called a journalist), as a spy, resulting in the criminalisation of both whistle-blower and journalist, so bringing into the UK laws that are more often associated with Fascist regimes.

Is this bill is designed to make the UK more secure or is designed to reduce government accountability and embarrassment? I don’t think there can be any doubt that it’s the latter.

Scottish Government (In)action

Of course, these pieces of legislation are not the only ones recently passed by Westminster designed to reduce the power of the Scottish Government. The most obvious of these is the Internal Market Act which provides the opportunity for Westminster to override or ignore Holyrood in every aspect of their business. In other words, Westminster can effectively prevent Holyrood from doing anything while allowing it to remain open. Open, but completely impotent. Why have the Scottish Government done nothing about it, except having a few bleating interviews and, of course, sending Ian Blackford to Westminster to say he’s not at all happy. Don’t the SNP leadership care?

So the Scottish Government say they have no time to think about independence because of Covid, though they seem to have loads of time to introduce laws that redefine men as women and laws that seek to destroy freedom of speech in Scotland. Priorities, dear reader, priorities? Their only action to protect Scotland from the effects of these, and other, UK/English government legislation seems to be sending Ian Blackford to Westminster to say he is not happy. Of course, he’s had such stunning success with his previous efforts. Who will ever forget his pièce de résistance “Scotland will not be taken out of the EU against it’s will”. Now, how did that work out?

All of these limitations to our freedom are of course being carried out under the cover of the Covid crisis, with the UK/English government, the Scottish government and the media all conspiring (not another conspiracy?) to keep quiet about the impact of the changes in Scotland, while our First Minister says she can do nothing about any part of it until Covid and its consequences are sorted out completely. To be clear, that’s sorted out completely by Boris Johnson according to the priorities assigned by the UK/English government. Will Scottish requirements be a priority? I don’t think so. Do you?

I’d like to finish with two quotes which I think are relevant.

“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels.” Laura Vanderkam

“Action expresses priorities.” Mahatma Gandhi

Do you think Nicola Sturgeon would agree with them?

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.