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

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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?

WHAT DO WE WANT? SILENCE!
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!

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.

Determinants of Independence Demographics

This is essential reading for any supporter of independence. Let’s not kid ourselves about what’s happening and where the current SNP policy of gradualism verging towards neverism is taking us. I and others have warned about the dangers of delay, but here is a clear description of why it will be even more difficult to win a second IndyRef. The SNP leadership must be as aware of this as Prof. Alf Baird, so why are they not reacting to the danger. I just hope that this is not the reason for their absolute determination to stick to the 2014 franchise. We really need to start thinking of other ways of gaining our independence.

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND

This is the third paper in the excellent series by Professor Alf Baird. This week the topic is demographics and as you read this paper you will come to realise what a huge and important issue it is…if we ever want to deliver Independence. I believe it makes the need for a fairer and less biased franchise an absolute necessity and priority. Please read and share this article. It is crucial people understand how important this is if we are ever to be successful.

3. Demographics

‘The colonizer is a privileged being and an illegitimately privileged one; that is,anusurper’

(Albert Memmi)

Over the last two centuries some 3-4 million Scots,mostlyworking class, were displaced from Scotland due tothechronic lack of economic opportunitiesprovided for themin their own land,andoftenhelpedto exittheir country of birthbyUKstate‘incentives’(e.g.Empire Settlement Acts).Duringthis periodScotland proportionately ‘lost’ more of its people than any other north-western European country, which suggests the…

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Will our prisons be big enough?

A look into a future Scotland?

ScotDate: 1st July, YOON 20 (Year of our Nicola):

Government Statement begins!

Today the Scottish Government pledges to jail anyone who supports an early independence referendum, anyone who thinks human biology is real, anyone who doesn’t think Nicola Sturgeon is the greatest leader Scotland has ever had and anyone who hasn’t yet contributed to the compulsory all person levy to raise at least £10m for the New Referendum Fighting Fund.

President Nicola Sturgeon stated. “The New Referendum Fighting Fund (NRFF) is to replace and augment the Old Referendum Fighting Fund which is currently showing a balance of £135k, though for some reason the figures are printed in red in my copy. NRFF money will be ring-fenced for independence related activity and will only be spent on activities which, in the opinion of your Government, will further the cause of Scottish independence. I know the rest of you can’t see the numbers for yourselves, but let me assure you that this is a necessary restriction to keep you all safe during this 20th year of the ongoing Covid crisis. The success of your Government’s Covid strategy is shown that there have been no cases for the last 6 years, but for your continued protection, be assured your Government will remain vigilant at all times.”

President Nicola continued. “Our efforts to identify anti-Government subversives continue to bear fruit. Our domestic spy cam initiative has restricted subversive discussions and meetings to toilets in homes and we continue to encourage neighbours to report any suspicious activity to VerySAD, ScotGov (Very Suspicious Activity Department). The success of these initiatives is shown by the identification of 1,642 alleged subversives in the last month alone. These people have been brought before our new Subversive Processing Court, where the changes we have introduced have reduced the time taken to get a guilty verdict. These changes include dispensing with the jury, having Government ministers act as judges, removing the right for subversives to have legal representation and restricting defence statements to 30 seconds. These changes have been so successful that we have a 100% record of gaining guilty verdicts, showing any remaining subversives that their chances of escaping justice are slim. Those found guilty can be sentenced to up to 10 years in a correction unit, but no release will be possible until it is judged that they have abandoned their previous beliefs and can become a useful member of society.”

President Nicola continued. “The ever increasing number of subversives being identified means our prison building program, already at record highs, is to be further expanded by the allocation of an additional £10bn from our generous Westminster budget, bringing the total to £30bn. Our eventual aim is to increase prison capacity to around 2 million. This will unfortunately have an impact on the Government’s other programs, such as Education, Children’s Services and Health, but we judge that the additional prison capacity is necessary to keep our law-abiding population safe, and this must be our priority.”

President Nicola concluded. “To minimise the impact that the large increase in the prison population has on the economy, we will be introducing a number of emergency measures. The first, starting next week, means all road building and maintenance work will be carried out by prison gangs. Prisoners will be paid for their efforts on a piecework basis up to a maximum of £5 per day. Prisoners will be able to spend this money on additional luxuries, such as food and water. Those unable to work through reason of age, infirmity or illness will, unfortunately, just have to suffer the consequences. Other measures will be announced in due course”

Government statement ends

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 haven’t 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.

And then they came for the dissenters

Recent events reminded me of a blog piece I wrote just over two years ago, where I documented some of the evils visited on us by the then May Tory government (you can read it here) and pleaded for the Scottish Government to do something, anything, to get us out of this useless union before it was too late.  Naturally, my pleas, and those of many others, went completely unheeded by Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government.

Since then, things have only got worse, Johnson’s government making May’s look like a model of political integrity, but what hasn’t changed is the lack of any action by the Scottish Government in response to what the UK government are doing.  However, there has been one change in their reaction to the UK Government’s insults.  Not only do the Scottish Government do nothing, they now even say nothing.  Take Johnson’s latest pronouncement that the word ‘Scotland’ be added to the UK civil service list of words never to be used in government documents or correspondence and no mention ever to be made of phrases like ‘the four countries of the union’.  Not a tweet (deliberate pun) from Nicola Sturgeon or any of her ministers at this further attempt by Johnson and the UK government to reduce Scotland to be simply a part of North Britain.

Though I highlighted in my earlier posting what I saw as the danger to the Scottish nation, what I didn’t foresee was the danger to individual Scots who disagreed with the Scottish government or who were simply seen as being a risk to the government’s total control of the message. It now appears that the ruling party will stop at nothing to silence anyone who is the least critical of their actions.

Here are some names you may have heard of.  Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Dave Llewellyn, Mark Hirst, Marion Millar, Manny Singh and Gary Kelly.  All of them were perceived as a threat to Nicola Sturgeon, the New SNP and the Scottish Government, all of them against whom action was taken by Police Scotland, COPFS (the Scottish prosecutions body) and the SNP led Scottish Government, mainly using made up or grossly exaggerated charges.  All these people found out the hard way that supporting Alex Salmond, supporting Scottish independence or supporting women’s rights was the quick route to the full force of the law being applied against them.

Let’s look at what happened to them.

Alex Salmond trial

You must know about the Alex Salmond case.  Following a failed internal attempt to label him as a sex pest, the Scottish Government (in particular, Leslie Evans and Nicola Sturgeon) referred the case to the COPFS.  Following an exhaustive police investigation interviewing more than 400 women (and costing millions of pounds), no one could be found to make complaints against Salmond except 10 women, all connected to the SNP and/or the Scottish Government.  COPFS eventually proceeded with 13 charges.  Most were so flimsy they wouldn’t have seen the light of day if they hadn’t been against Alex Salmond. Nevertheless the trial went ahead, but to the chagrin of the authorities, Salmond was cleared on all counts.

I’ll mention only one charge, that of attempted rape.  The woman who made the complaint was shown in court not to have been present at the dinner where the alleged incident took place. Despite that, no investigation into possible perjury by this witness was made by Police Scotland or COPFS and no charges have been brought against her.  Is it possible that the exhaustive police investigation could have discovered this flaw in advance of the trial? Perhaps it would have done if the investigation hadn’t just concentrated on trying to strengthen the case against Salmond. Does this seem like a slightly one-sided view of what merits prosecution?

Reporting the defence

Craig Murray’s case is ongoing.  Craig took it upon himself to report on the Alex Salmond criminal trial, but unlike the mainstream press and television, Craig reported the defence case as well as the prosecution.  Those who depended only on the mainstream media for their view of the case were shocked when Salmond was acquitted as they had only heard the prosecution evidence. I say evidence, but most of what the prosecution said was closer to fairytale than evidence. When the defence case was presented, that’s when you were able to see how flimsy the prosecution case was. It’s amazing how you can get a one-sided view of a case when you only hear the one side.

Something had to be done to punish Murray for his temerity in showing up the COPFS for bringing such a flimsy case to court. Bring on jigsaw identification. Jigsaw identification is pretty much the perfect crime.to charge an opponent with. It alleges that something you publish, when taken with any other information already in the public domain, allows a member of the public to identify someone who has been granted anonymity by the court.

But several questions remain. How can anyone know everything that’s already in the public domain about the trial? How can it be certain that it was this specific piece of information that allowed identification of an anonymous person? If several pieces of information have to be taken together to allow identification, how can only one person be charged? And finally, is it simply coincidence that the only person charged is the one who reported all the facts and not one whose reporting was biased and one-sided?

Murray’s trial was held in January, but it took 4 months before the judge, the now infamous Lady Dorian, was able to give a decision. Murray was sentenced to 8 months, a draconian sentence for a crime that had never before attracted anything other than a small fine. She later tried to justify her decision by saying that bloggers should be held to stricter rules than mainstream journalists because they weren’t subject to the same regulation. She then refused Murray leave to appeal, perhaps fearing censure from the Appeal Court for her very biased behaviour during Murray’s trial. Will Murray be jailed?

Reaping the whirlwind

Following complaints from two anonymous people who were also complainants in the Alex Salmond trial (wow! what a coincidence), Mark Hirst was raided by the police at 5am, had all his computer and communication equipment seized and was charged with acting in a “threatening and abusive manner” for using the phrase “reap the whirlwind” in a vlog about the trial of Alex Salmond.  This is a commonly used phrase in journalism meaning serious consequences could follow from something said or done.

No one in the history of journalism has ever been charged, or even warned, for using that phrase.  When the case finally came to court, following a submission from the defence, the Sheriff dismissed the charge as ‘no case to answer’. Does this seem like a slightly one-sided view of what merits prosecution?

I could murder a pint

Dave Llewellyn’s case is very similar to Mark Hirst’s above. A known Alex Salmond supporter, he expressed a critical opinion on his Facebook page about a senior SNP candidate and his wife. Apparently, I’m not allowed to tell you what he said because it might embarrass the police and COPFS. However, the SNP pair chose to interpret his comment as a threat to their safety and contacted the police, who conducted one of their now famous 5am raids, seized all Llewellyn’s computer equipment, handcuffed him and questioned him on a charge of conspiracy to murder. He has now been charged with a lesser offence which is still liable to see him imprisoned if found guilty. Llewellyn’s case comes up in December. Why Police Scotland and the COPFS chose to treat a critical, though commonplace remark as a threat to safety is a bit of a mystery, but when compared with the Mark Hirst case above, seems to follow a pattern. Is this another example of selective prosecution?

Women Won’t Wheesht

Unlike the others, Marion Millar fell foul of the desire, apparently shared by many in the SNP leadership, to modify our understanding of the meaning of the word ‘woman’ to include men wearing a dress.  An organiser of the #WomenWon’tWheesht campaign, she has been subject to huge amounts of abuse on social media, mainly organised by the SNP wokerati.  It is ironic that one of her main abusers (insert your chosen name here) was so upset by one of Marion’s tweets that they (note clever use of non-specific pronoun) felt obliged to report it to the police, describing a photo of a Suffragette ribbon attached to a fence as a noose and the tweet as a threat to their personal safety.

Despite the obviously flimsy accusation, Marion has now been charged under the Malicious Communications Act (MCA), a UK wide law, as the Scottish Government’s own, home-grown Hate Crimes Act is not quite ready for its first public outing.  She faces two charges, but the police have apparently refused to tell her what the second charge is. Marion’s case will be heard in July. None of those who have abused her on social media have been charged with any offence. Does this seem like a slightly one-sided view of what merits prosecution?

Independence Marches

Manni Singh and Gary Kelly were respectively organisers of independence marches in Glasgow and Aberdeen. Both had submitted and had agreed all necessary applications to their local council. The route and the timing of each march was widely publicised in advance and in both cases independence supporters from all over Scotland were expected to attend. Both marches were the subject of last minute changes by the local authority, but both went ahead peacefully.

In the Glasgow case, the local SNP run council insisted on a last minute change of start time from 1330 to 1100, knowing that such an early start time would disrupt existing travel arrangements and would make it impossible for many supporters coming from the North of Scotland to attend. With police co-operation, the march went ahead as originally planned, with no problems reported, but subsequently, the SNP council pushed the police into charging Singh with holding a march which didn’t adhere to the conditions imposed by the local authority. At his trial, he was sentenced to 72 days in jail.

Why would the Glasgow SNP council want to limit the numbers on an independence march? Well, I suppose that’s a question for them, but I wonder if the council’s close relationship to Nicola Sturgeon gives any clue to the answer.

In the Aberdeen case, a last minute change of route was imposed by the council. The march went ahead using the new route, with no problems reported, but subsequently, Kelly was charged with not having a Temporary Traffic Management order in place and not having proper public liability insurance. Whether these issues are connected to the change of route is not known. Kelly’s case comes up in November, more than two years after the march.

The comparison between the treatment of the independence marches and the treatment of Rangers FC fans marching to George Square from Ibrox, complete with a police escort, just so they could ‘celebrate’ by trashing the place and fighting with each other is bizarre. Does this seem like a slightly one-sided view of what merits prosecution?

What links them all?

The relationship between all of these people is they were a threat to the SNP. They all disagreed with some aspect of SNP policy and it seems that the reaction of the party was to eliminate them as opponents. As the SNP were unable to win the arguments through force of logic, they attempted to win through force of law.

Of course, being the state, the authorities have an enormous financial advantage. They have virtually unlimited resources at their disposal. None of the complainants and none of the police or legal personnel are at any risk financially, but those they take action against face jail if they lose and bankruptcy even if they win. The whole cost of defence falls on the defendant, which is why many have resorted to crowdfunding to support their case.

However, there are questions that need to be answered about how SNP annoyance gets translated into action taken by the Scottish Government, by Police Scotland and by the COPFS? What precisely is the relationship between the party, the government, the police and the prosecuting authority? How come, when the party is threatened with embarrassment, the state authorities ride to the rescue and how come it doesn’t seem to happen the other way round? Is there not supposed to be a rule that prevents state authorities working on behalf of one political party? Are state authorities not supposed to be independent and unbiased?

Whether we’re talking about women’s rights or independence, the Scottish Government have found it increasingly difficult to kill the counter message coming from those opposed to SNP policy and so, because they can’t kill the message, they have resorted to trying to kill the messenger. (Note that no physical violence is implied by this statement). Be careful what you say or it may be you that the authorities are coming for next.

Beat the censorship
Continue reading “And then they came for the dissenters”

We’re no awa tae bide awa

This has been a bad week.  My birthday was last Saturday and, with the improvement in the Covid rules, there was the promise of some contact with my elder son, daughter in law and their children for the first time in months.  But then it all went wrong.  That was they day when all hopes of independence seemed to die.  The election results were announced and the new parliament was just like the old parliament, an SNP/Green combination which, since 2016, has done so much to prevent independence ever having a chance.  Was it the day for your life’s dream to go up in smoke, or down the plughole, or get kicked so far into the future that you can’t see it any more?  And maybe never to see it again?

I suppose I’ve really known for some time, at least since 2015, that the chances of independence happening in my lifetime were becoming slimmer, but I clung on to my few remaining hopes, hoping against hope that things would change, that suddenly I would wake up and realise that it was the last 6 years that were all just a bad dream, that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP weren’t going to kick independence into the long grass, that a date would be fixed for IndyRef2.

But that’s not the way it was.  The dream was independence, but the reality was Nicola Sturgeon.

Isn’t it always the same when you wake up from a dream.  For a few seconds, you may think it’s all real, but then you realise you’re not in Freedom Square waving your saltire and hugging everyone in hugging distance, you’re still in bed and the depression you went to bed with the previous night has not gone away.

It’s amazing how dreams can let you down, because dreams are rarely anything like reality, and this dream is just about as far from reality as it could go.

I remember the excitement of 18th September, 2014.  Canvassing had gone really well.  I was certain we were in the lead and I went to the count full of optimism.  Everything changed as the results started to come in.  The outcome was made even worse by the decision of Alex Salmond to step down.  The one positive was the election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and party leader.  She had taken a major part in the campaign and we all expected her to carry on from where Alex Salmond left off.  Surely we could build on the result and next time there would be no mistake.  Next time we would win.

Unfortunately, 2015 was not the start of something good: it was end of something good, because it’s all gone downhill from there.  I won’t bore you with all that’s happened since then, except to remind you of two things: Thatcher’s comment “All the SNP need to do to achieve independence is to deliver a majority of MPs to Westminster” and the 2015 UK general election result: SNP 56 MPs, Labour 1 MP, LibDem 1 MP, Tory 1 MP.  The first of many mandates ignored.

I used to think Sturgeon’s refusal to call a referendum was down to fear of losing, but now I’m not so sure.  Perhaps she doesn’t believe in herself.  Perhaps it’s fear of being found out.  They say a great leader surrounds him or herself with the best people and develops their own successor.  Look at Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.  Sturgeon’s idea of the best people is those who will never disagree with her.  Her idea of developing a successor is picking someone who has no ideas other than those she tells them to have.  Perhaps that’s why Angus Robertson seems to be the favourite.  A man who can be certain to do what he’s told. 

Perhaps Nicola Sturgeon’s knowledge that she would never have gained her current position without Salmond is partly responsible for her hatred of him today.  Her success is not of her own making.  She didn’t become First Minister because of her own abilities, but because of his.  But maybe even Sturgeon herself doesn’t realise the truth.

So, what should happen after the election?  Is it time for me and others to give up on all this independence lark, declare Nicola Sturgeon and the current SNP the winners, knowing that it probably means independence delayed for at least a decade, maybe longer, maybe for ever, retire to spend my remaining years watching TV with my cosy slippers and cup of cocoa?  Just do a Pete Wishart?

Hell no, as the Americans would say.  What was the quote from the Declaration of Arbroath?

“As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself”.

It still applies today, except you might want to replace “brought under English rule” with “kept under British State rule” to bring it right up to date.

Well, there are more than 100 of us remaining.  More than 100 who still want to fight to see Scotland as it always should have been, a free and independent country, even if the SNP, or more specifically, the leadership of the SNP, seem to have lost their taste for the fight.  More than 100 who know Scotland can only be a better place when not controlled by an increasingly corrupt, right wing, fascist British State, determined to take without giving and determined to cut Scotland off from the rest of the world.

We are not going away.  We will never give up.

POLITICAL TRIALS DISGRACE SCOTLAND

Are we now in the position that any independence supporter is now fair game for politically motivated prosecution. Do we now depend on people from other parts of the world to highlight the disgusting state of justice in Scotland.

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND

For Immediate Release – Tuesday 11th May, 2021 – 10am, Edinburgh.
Attn: News Desks, international

GLOBAL FIGURES RALLY IN SUPPORT OF JAILED FORMER UK AMBASSADOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST

Professor Noam Chomsky and award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger have spoken out (Tuesday) against a prison sentence imposed on the human rights activist and former UK diplomat Craig Murray.

Mr Murray was sentenced to eight months imprisonment at the High Court in Edinburgh (Scotland) today after being convicted of Contempt of Court over his reporting of the previous trial of the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, in 2020.

The High Court ruled that Mr Murray’s coverage of the Salmond trial led to so-called “jigsaw identification” of complainers who made allegations against the former First Minister. A jury acquitted Mr Salmond on all charges on 23rd March 2020.

It is believed to be the first instance in Scottish…

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And then there were none

The results are in and the big hope for Scottish Independence, the Alba Party, got no seats.

Before the election, there was much optimism, but if the result went to prove anything, it showed that a six week old party, with no exposure to anyone not on social media, constantly being smeared by members of the ruling party in the press and on television, while hardly being given the opportunity to state their case was really struggling to achieve anything.

You couldn’t say it was a surprise that the SNP was really pissed off with the appearance of another independence party, especially one led by someone Nicola Sturgeon is absolutely terrified of, someone whom she’s been trying to discredit for several years. I would like to say unsuccessfully, but I think the result shows the opposite to be true. We’ve been denied the excitement of FM questions with Nicola Sturgeon vs Alex Salmond. However, I suspect Nicola may have been less excited by the prospect than we were.

But why? Why does she hate Alex Salmond? Did it all start when Alex told her to get a move on with independence preparations and that her husband shouldn’t be CEO of the party. Or was it when she thought he might try to re-enter politics and the support he would certainly get might impact on her own popularity. Or was it because he might disagree with some of her policies and, as we all know, Nicola doesn’t handle disagreement very well, as the number of ex-members of the party will demonstrate.

Was Alex Salmond the sole reason she hated the Alba Party? Or was it because so many of its members were ex-SNP and that so many of them had left the SNP of their own accord. Perhaps Nicola can’t take people making their own decisions? Nobody should be able to leave the party without being sacked by Nicola as it reflects badly on her if members are seen to leave because they disagree with her policies.

Whatever the reason, every interview Nicola Sturgeon gave contained at least one smear of Alex Salmond and describing Alba as “gaming the system” As if using the rules to stand candidates only on the list, just as several other parties were doing and have done ever since the start of the Scottish Parliament. All the Nicola fanboys and fangirls also pitched in, happy to describe members of the Alba Party as transphobes, misogynists, racists, misandrists, and any other big words they could think of. SNP members who were accepted while in the party instantly became the embodiment of evil after they left.

So what comes now. Will everyone become besties after the election. Certainly doesn’t look likely. The initial reaction of many SNP members was to rejoice at Alba’s lack of success. Ignoring the fact that over a million SNP list votes achieved only 2 MSPs and once again, in 6 of the 8 regions, more than three quarters of a million votes achieved absolutely nothing. Well, absolutely nothing but shutting out Alba and leaving the SNP as the only allegedly independence supporting party.

Another reaction by several SNP members was much more interesting. The famously looney Kirsty Blackman tweeted

Kirsty Blackman
@KirstySNP
Alba and their policies have been emphatically rejected. They stood on a transphobic platform and hardly anyone voted for them. Scotland wants GRA reform. We must deliver.

To translate, ‘they stood on a transphobic platform’ means they stood for women’s rights. But she was not alone. For many SNP members, people voting for the SNP were not voting for independence, but were voting for GRA reform. Who knew? Well, I did and I wasn’t going to have anything to do with what the SNP will do now to reduce women to a sub-class.

Certainly, if there were voters who wanted GRA reform, they are much more likely to be pleased than those voting for independence, as GRA reform is pretty certain to be enacted before the SNP ever get around to thinking about independence. I hope those who voted for the SNP to get independence are not too upset that their vote is taken as support for GRA reform. You may have voted for the biggest change in social engineering in any country in the world (maybe except Canada). Nearly another world first for the Scottish Government?

What could change things? Well, the SNP could drop this GRA reform nonsense, but I don’t see that happening. But even better would be some action being taken on independence. By action, I mean actually doing stuff, not just talking about doing stuff.

Stuff like having a clear plan on what their negotiating position with London is going to be.
Stuff like having a constitution for an independent Scotland.
Stuff like developing the infrastructure to allow Scotland to operate as an independent country, not dependent (eg) on English port facilities for Scottish exports.
Stuff like developing a Scottish central bank.
Stuff like a plan to develop and introduce Scotland’s own currency.

The problem is that, with practically the same SNP/Green majority in the last Scottish Parliament, absolutely nothing was done to advance the cause of independence, so what hopes can we have for this parliament. We can’t wait until IndyRef2 before thinking about this. We need to have our plans in place before it happens.

If the Scottish Government were seen to be making moves to address these and other issues, the mood in the country would change. But only action will drive the change.

Up to you SNP. Are you willing to try?