Balanced Budget – who wins?

One of the constant refrains from the Westminster government is the need to balance the budget, i.e. restrict spending to the level of income. This is constantly used as the excuse to impose austerity on the general population, although, of course, austerity applies only to us plebs, not to MPs, who can vote themselves larger increases in salaries than the rest of us can ever hope to get and can claim expenses of the sort most of us can only dream of.

But that is is a mere pittance to what government friends and the top 1% make (and what MPs can make after they retire from their lifetime of serving the public – 🤣)

For example, there’s the £37bn allocated to the UK Test and Trace system. No one really seems to know how the money is being spent and, in any case, it has produced no discernible improvement in pandemic outcomes (see this from the Commons Public Accounts Committee). Most of that money seems to have gone to private companies and individuals and there’s more billions given to friends and colleagues of MPs to supply PPE, without using sensible (or even any) purchasing rules. Much of it turned out to be useless and is now costing more millions to store before costing even more millions to be destroyed (and we’re not just talking about Michelle Mone here, that’s the tip of the iceberg).

Then there’s the generally accepted statistic that billionaires worldwide (that’s people worth more than $1,000,000,000) increased their wealth by 54% (that’s more than $540,000,000) during the pandemic, sparking renewed calls for a wealth tax. See this report from CBS News. How did your finances do in the pandemic? In the UK, Westminster would only introduce a wealth tax if there were enough loopholes in it to allow all the really rich to avoid it. Their money is all hidden away in tax havens anyway.

For those of you who haven’t yet seen what $540 million looks like, it would create a column almost 37 miles high. When added to the existing billion, that would total 105 miles. Of course, that’s just the minimum entry qualification to the billionaires club. If you were Bernard Arnault, currently the world’s richest man, you would have to contend with a stack 11,130 miles high. That’s almost 25 times as high as Ben Nevis. Billionaires must be really grateful for electronic money.

Recent events are highlighting just the difference between Westminster’s treatment of their mates and the plebs. With government-created inflation running at over 10%, Westminster are refusing to even discuss sensible pay rises for workers who only a year or so ago were being applauded (some with weekly government sponsored gratitude sessions) for risking their lives keeping the country running. You would have thought the government would have been only too happy to reward these important workers with a decent pay rise. Perhaps, having given so much to all their mates, they’ve got nothing left? Aye, right!

Anyway, back to balancing the budget. I was pointed recently to a list of all the countries arranged by income (thanks Macalba). What I noticed from the list was that I had to go down to the 53rd biggest country in the world (Qatar) before I found one who had a budget surplus. (Qatar, of course, has all that oil income, no doubt making it easy to run a surplus. If only Scotland was in the same position.) That’s the 52 biggest countries in the world, all running a budget deficit (and that includes the UK). In fact, top of the list, the USA, the country our government is always seeking to emulate, had, in round figures, a deficit of $4trn on an income of $6trn. To paraphrase Mr Micawber, annual income 6trn dollars, expenditure 10trn dollars, result happiness. I think that’s roughly what he said. By the way, Scotland is not included in the list, not even as a dependent territory, though, if included, Scotland (around $75bn income) would rank above New Zealand (40th – $72bn) and very close to South Africa (39th – $76bn).

So why Westminster’s fixation on a balanced budget? We all know Westminster does nothing that doesn’t benefit Westminster, so what’s the point? Well, as I’ve said, a balanced budget is the excuse for austerity, so perhaps the question ought to be – what’s the point of austerity?

Handing out less money to the plebs must mean there’s more left for the really deserving rich. So, is this the reason? Is it just, as the Four Preps almost said in a song I liked as a teenager:

Musical Interlude

♫ Eliminate the proletariat
More money for you and me ♫

(What do you mean, you’ve never heard of the Four Preps. You obviously need educating on the finer aspects of pre-Beatles American popular music. Listen to a song from them that also references other famous groups such as the Fleetwoods, the Hollywood Argyles, the Platters, the Four Freshmen, the Kingston Trio and Dion and the Belmonts. You can listen to it here on YouTube. For best experience, imagine each group as your favourite bunch of MPs/MSPs. “Gosh, Angry, how old are you?“)

Back to the serious stuff.

Or could there be a more sinister reason? Are the Tories really intent on taking us back to the early twentieth century or even the late nineteenth when workers had no employment rights, when your job and your income were dependent on doing exactly what your boss told you and when you could be sacked on a whim if you showed the faintest sign of being a nuisance or if you wanted a living wage?

Other legislation planned by the current Tory government includes banning strikes in certain industries by imposing legal minimum service levels (how long before it becomes everybody) and removing or revising EU based benefits like holiday pay, maternity/paternity leave and maximum working hours. Another Brexit benefit?

Is the attempted imposition of below inflation wage increases, the cuts in real-terms benefit levels and the relatively relaxed approach to huge increases in energy and food prices just part of a softening-up process to make us plebs even more grateful for the pittance in wages or benefits we’re getting than we already are? Remember that the UK is already a low wage economy, with the lowest levels of benefits and pensions in Europe and many families in the UK dependent on foodbanks to survive.

Foodbanks are a fairly recent phenomenon in the UK. First opened in 2000, the numbers have grown to over 2,600. How long will it take before we’re all dependent on food banks, except, by then, they will be funded through charitable donations from the rich, because none of the rest of us will be able to afford it. Makes you think of Victorian times. I hear that Tories are even considering reintroducing workhouses. I wouldn’t put it past them.

With almost two years to go before the next election, there’s loads of time left for the Tories to do untold damage. Even if we get a Labour government at the next election, who would put money on them reversing the worst of the Tories’ excesses. After all, they’ve been promising to abolish (or reform) the House of Lords for more than a hundred years. Anybody notice a change? Oh yes, there are even more Labour peers. By the way, does everybody know that the Lords is the second biggest legislative chamber in the world, second only to Chinese National People’s Congress.

In any case, if the Tories throw a few goodies to the electorate before the election, who’s to say they won’t get back in. But, no matter who gets in, the balance in a balanced budget is always against you.

And by the way, with so much to look forward to, I hope you all have a great New Year. 😉

And if you want a song from the same era, why not try this, Tommy Steele’s Independence Movement anthem to Nicola Sturgeon.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be 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.

The progress of Salvo has been the most encouraging development of 2022. It is doing sterling work educating Scots about the Claim of Right and spelling out what it means that the Scottish people are sovereign, not any Parliament.

Please register at and join the mass membership organisation that will be the signatories to our application to the UN, debate and organise a new Scottish Constitution. The membership of Liberation is also where the first members of Scotland’s National Congress will be balloted for selection.

English Supreme Court Rules – OK

In the blink of an eye, in court judgement terms, the Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland is not a country, or at least, not a country that can make its own decisions without help from Mother England. They’ve ruled that Scotland is a colony controlled by the English parliament, who are the ultimate authority and have the power to deny Scots the ability to even think about the form of government they want.

Unionists will be pleased. Yet another blow to Scot’s belief in themselves. Yet another victory for those who want us all to think Scots are the lowest of the low. And yet another excuse for delay that was surely the only reason why Sturgeon sent a unionist Lord Advocate to the Supreme Court to destroy the Scottish case.

This was a case that was supposed to take months to come to a decision on, because of the volume and the complexity of the written evidence before the judges. No decision before next year was the expectation. The early date for the announcement leant credence to the view that there would be no decision, that they would say that a decision couldn’t be made because the Scottish Parliament hadn’t yet approved a referendum bill. That was my belief and that of many others.

Instead, what we got was a decision based solely on the judges’ understanding that Westminster is boss, that whatever Westminster says, goes.

There was no time to look at the evidence before them, so the evidence was ignored. The judges simply said that we aren’t going to waste our time thinking about what Scots want to do. We’ll just tell them to get back their box, learn their place and stop pretending they can think for themselves. We’ll just tell them that they can only make decisions that are permitted to them by English parliamentarians.

A judgement that was supposed to be made under Scot’s law said that Scot’s law is merely a subset of English law and when push comes to shove, English law is all that counts. A panel of five, including one Scottish judge, effectively ruled that Scot’s law doesn’t exist.

So where does that leave us now? What legal means exist for Scots to decide on the form of government we want? Now that a referendum has been ruled out (giving Nicola Sturgeon’s government another year to think about what they’ll do), what’s next? Is it the plebiscite in 2024? Or will Sturgeon ask the Supreme Court to rule on whether a plebiscite is within the competence of the Scottish Government? I wouldn’t rule that out.

If we don’t take Scot’s law into our own hands, nothing will ever happen. Let’s remember the Declaration of Arbroath. Let’s use the Claim of Right. Let’s do something before being Scottish becomes nothing but a folk memory.

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The trust has gone

Open letter to Nicola Sturgeon MSP FM

Dear Nicola,

Earlier I saw a tweet highlighting the lack of excitement that your referendum announcement has created in the wider YES movement.  Despite the promise of a referendum in about 15 months time, there’s nothing like the activity and the passion that was on display about 15 months before the first referendum.

But why is that?  Have folk in Scotland gone off the whole idea of independence?  Is it a foregone conclusion the the No side will win?  Or have folk noticed that, despite all that’s being said by the SNP and, in particular, by yourself, history has shown that words mean nothing unless followed by actions and, unfortunately, in recent years, SNP words are rarely, if ever, followed by actions.

Following the loss of the 2014 referendum vote, Alex Salmond resigned, and was replaced by you, his deputy, as First Minister and party leader, amid a huge increase in membership and support for the SNP, prompted, in part, by the actions of the English government in Westminster voting down all the benefits Scotland had been promised following a No vote.

So you were leading a buoyant SNP, with many No voters in the referendum regretting their vote, disgusted by the actions of Westminster.  A perfect pro-independence storm, you might think.

In the run-up to the following year’s UK general election, with a huge SNP majority of Scottish seats a certainty, you unexpectedly stated that a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence.  Why would the leader of the alleged ‘party of independence’ not make the most of this opportunity?  Was this the first sign of a change in emphasis on independence?

Despite gaining 56 out of 59 seats in Westminster, a mandate for independence, nothing was done to further the cause in the months that followed.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2015.

Then came the Brexit referendum.  The SNP campaigned against Brexit , but, unsurprisingly, you could not persuade the UK government to treat each part of the UK separately, so the decision in favour of Brexit was an English decision, completely ignoring the Scottish and Northern Irish decisions against.  We will not be dragged out of the EU against our will was your slogan, but, in the event, most of your post-referendum campaigning was in England, trying to overturn the English decision.  Finally, faced with the intransigence of the English government, independence was the only way to keep Scotland in the EU and, with that certainty, you took no action. You simply dropped the slogan and allowed the English government to overrule Scotland’s wishes.

Once again, we see you allowing Scottish opinions to be overruled by the English government without taking action to prevent it.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2016.

In the snap 2017 UK general election, despite the pleas to ‘give us a mandate’, the word independence was banned from SNP election materials and, with no promise of independence, many former SNP voters simply didn’t turn out. That resulted in a big drop in SNP support and a big reduction in the number of SNP MPs elected. However, the election still resulted in a majority of SNP MPs, but, once again, no action followed the mandate. Nothing was done to bring independence closer.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2017.

As the mandates piled up with still no action to bring independence closer, the number of unhappy SNP members voting with their feet and leaving the party was increasing, but this didn’t seem to overly worry you or the rest of the SNP leadership. You just refused to publish membership figures and pretended it wasn’t happening.

A further UK general election followed in 2019 as Boris Johnson sought to confirm his premiership. Once again, the SNP asked for a mandate, once again they got one and once again, no action on independence followed.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2019.

Now let’s consider the latest national election, for the Scottish Parliament in 2021 and another mandate demanded by the SNP. A referendum by the middle of the parliament, or a referendum by the end of 2023, was your cry, a tight timescale, a year less than the time it took in 2014. The justification offered for the feasibility of the shorter timescale was that, coming only nine years after the first referendum, many aspects of the preparation would take less time or even wouldn’t have to be done at all.

Despite all the aforementioned justification, you would have thought that you would have been anxious to get started on the preparatory work, but that didn’t seem to be the case. In the event, it wasn’t until the following year, this year, that any progress was made.

You announced that a further request for a Section 30 would be made and, if that was rejected by Boris Johnson, the next UK General Election, likely to be in 2024, would be treated as a plebiscite on Scottish independence. This latter point was surprising as up until that very day, you had been solidly against a plebiscite, describing it as a hindrance to the independence cause and describing those making the suggestion as idiots, or worse. We now know that, as most people expected, Johnson rejected the Section 30 request, not giving it more than a moment’s thought.

The next action was to submit a request to the English Supreme Court for a decision on whether a referendum was within the competence of the Scottish Government. As with the plebiscite, this was a surprising move, as the Scottish Government had gone to great lengths to destroy Martin Keatings attempt to establish the same thing just a year earlier. I suppose some might also think it strange that the Scottish Government should be asking an English court (I know it’s called the UK Supreme Court, but as there’s no such thing as UK law, it isn’t really) to establish whether they can hold a referendum when you and the rest of the SNP leadership appear to accept that the Scottish people are sovereign, not an English court.

Now we have the release of the first two of the promised series of papers on (and here I quote) “Building a new Scotland”. Unfortunately, here I have to confess a certain amount of disappointment.

The first paper, a comparison with other similar sized European countries, shows clearly that they are better off than Scotland in so many ways, implies that Scotland, with independence, can be the same, but gives no indication of the steps that would be taken to achieve this goal.

The second paper, which focuses on democracy, highlights Scotland’s current democratic deficit and the problems a government focused on the South of England creates in Scotland, but again, beyond the aspiration of independence, no positive steps are laid out to make this a reality.

More papers are to come and we can only hope that they will concentrate more on the actions you and the Scottish Government plan to take to achieve the goals set out in each paper. Without that, you could well be accused of following the same failed path of words not leading to actions.

After such a series of missed opportunities, is it surprising that many Scots are reluctant to place much trust in your current statements?

One last point, an action you seem determined to take is to try to prevent people who don’t agree with every SNP policy from being part of independence campaigning. These policies include the decision to reform the Gender Recognition Act in ways many Scots disagree with, thus seeking to limit the numbers campaigning for independence. Placing the highly controversial GRA reform above the need for maximum unity in the independence movement seems, at least, counterproductive and, at worst, an action likely to limit the chances of success.

Nicola, we are trusting you to deliver independence. Let’s hope you won’t let us down again in 2024.

Yours in independence

Angry Weegie

Is this the death of the SNP?

Or … They never saw it coming?

Last Wednesday, at the increasingly ludicrously named Prime Minister’s Question Time, the two Alba MPs, Neale Hanvey and Kenny Macaskill, were thrown out of the Westminster Commons chamber for protesting about temporary PM Boris Johnson’s immediate and unthinking rejection of the Scottish Government’s request for a Section 30 order.

Enough has already been said about the behaviour of the Speaker, who was so apoplectic about Scots asking questions about Scottish democracy that many members (not Tories, obviously) feared for his health. For those who want to see what democracy in Westminster is like, have a look at this.

You should remember that a Section 30 request is SNP policy, so you might expect that the considerably more numerous SNP MPs would have supported this attempt by fellow Scots to point out the democratic deficit in refusing the Scottish people the opportunity to decide the government of their choice, for which a majority of Scots had voted in the 2021 Holyrood election. Not only did the so-called party of independence not support the Alba MPs, but some actually joined in the abuse hurled at them from the unionist benches.

So we had the astonishing situation that an attempt to show the UK government the error of their ways in relation to SNP party policy was being opposed by the MPs representing that very party. Weird or what?

In the vote that followed, called by the Speaker, to confirm the expulsion of the Alba two, the SNP members sat on their hands. With one exception (Angus Brendan MacNeil), they abstained. They let their hatred of the Alba party get the better of their desire to support SNP party policy, assuming, of course, that they had any real desire to support this party policy in the first place.

Those two Indy stalwarts, John Nicholson and Pete Wishart, were only too anxious to be the first to mock the Alba Two for doing what they themselves should be doing. Here’s what Kevin McKenna had to say about them.

Two of the SNP group, John Nicholson and Pete Wishart – aka “bumptious” and “hopeless” – opted to mock the two suspended Alba MPs. It’s more or less the sum total of their contributions at Westminster since they began living the good life in London. Indeed, so mesmerised is Mr Wishart by Westminster’s ancient accoutrements that he wanted to become Speaker of the House in 2019 to succeed John Bercow.

But perhaps hatred is the wrong word for the SNP’s attitude. Is it not likely that the real reason for the SNP MP’s behaviour is their fear that their failure to pursue independence will begin to hurt them in the ballot box if there is another party which is more aggressive in their pursuit of independence and ballot box hurt could mean the end of their cushy, well paid sinecures, and that would not do. Have the SNP been the only game in town for so long that they just don’t want competition emerging?

Many of you may remember the ‘good old days’ when Scottish voters elected large majorities of Labour MPs. This finished in 2015 when Scots finally realised that Labour were in it for themselves and had no interest whatsoever in doing anything to help the people of Scotland. During the time when Labour were in the majority, their treatment of the SNP was based on the Bain Principle, named after Willie Bain, a Scottish Labour MP who let the cat out of the bag that Labour would not support any SNP pro-Scottish efforts in Parliament, no matter how much harm would be done to people in Scotland as a consequence.

Are there any similarities between Labour’s attitude to the SNP pre-2015 and the SNP’s attitude to Alba today? Well, here’s a quote from an earlier blog post of mine, The SNP Walkouts.

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?).

And here’s a quote from a current SNP MP about what they’re not in Westminster to do. Does make you wonder why they are there, apart from the money, of course.

Kirsty Blackman: “I am not in Westminster to pressure the government for a referendum. Constitutional issues are not my biggest concern. In fact, I very rarely talk about Scottish independence in the commons.” Thanks to Calton Jock for letting us all know current SNP thinking.

So the SNP are not in Westminster to talk about a referendum or about independence. They’re certainly not there to support fellow Scots from another party who do want to talk about a referendum and independence.

Is this the SNP’s reinvention of the Bain Principle? We all know that nothing happens in the SNP without Nicola Sturgeon’s knowledge and approval, so should it be called the Sturgeon Principle?

We all know what happened to Labour in Scotland when folk realised the truth that they were not in Westminster to make life better for Scots, only to make life better for themselves. Will the SNP face the same fate when folk realise they’re not in Westminster to deliver independence to the Scots, only to deliver financial independence to themselves.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be 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.

The Gemme’s a bogey? Correction

The gemme’s a bogey if we don’t all make the effort to change the current situation.

No doubt, you may already have seen loads of analysis following the Scottish local elections, now just about three weeks ago as I write.

Well, here’s more.

I’ve looked at the voting figures for this month’s elections and compared them to the last local elections in 2017.

Most of you will have seen that the SNP proportion of first preference votes increased, from 32.3% in 2017 to 34.1% this year. The turnout was lower, 47% in 2017 and 44% this time, that in itself an indictment of our government’s efforts to keep the electorate enthused, but what about number of votes.

The number of SNP first preference votes increased from 620,820 to 636,950. That’s an extra 16,130 voters who, on a reduced turnout, decided that the SNP was the party they wanted to support. At a time when independence options not available in 2017, like Alba and ISP, were on (some of) the ballot papers, and when more and more adverse comments about the government’s current performance are appearing in both mainstream and social media, more people are voting for a party which almost certainly won’t bring independence. Won’t even try. They’re also voting for a party with an increasingly poor reputation for good governance. And don’t tell me that local elections are not about national issues, because we all know that most voters vote for the party, not the individual.

How can you explain that the more obvious it becomes that the SNP doesn’t see independence as a priority (some would go even further than that), the more people are voting for them. How can SNP support increase when so many have seen through their charade around the independence question and are providing the evidence for everyone to see.

I believe that there are two groups of people who now feel able to support the SNP.

Firstly, there may be lots of people in Scotland who are frightened of independence but are too embarrassed to admit it, even to themselves. Their concern about independence may be down to fear of the unknown, fear of losing what they have, be it little or not so little, or just fear of having to stand on their own two feet after years of leaving all the big decisions to their bigger neighbour. I suppose this is a change from several years ago when some independence supporters were too embarrassed to admit their support of what, at the time, seemed like a way out idea.

Secondly, there are those who see themselves as British and want to remain in the United Kingdom, but see the SNP as a better option for the government of Scotland than the English controlled parties, who admittedly, don’t present a very high bar. This is hardly a new group. In the pre-SNP days of Labour majorities, many would vote Labour for Westminster and SNP for Holyrood, thinking they were the best parties for each parliament.

What connects these two groups is that their vote for the SNP is because they know full well that independence will never happen with the current SNP in charge. These additional votes come from people who don’t favour independence, either because of the fear mentioned above or because they still want to remain part of the Union, but they all realise that there is now no danger that the SNP under Sturgeon will ever seek to promote independence. They vote for the SNP because they know in their heart of hearts that the SNP will never deliver independence.

Are there now tens of thousands of voters, maybe even hundreds of thousands if you include the apathetic who didn’t bother to vote this month, who would vote for the SNP because they don’t want change. Voters happy with the illusion that devolution suits Scotland very well. If this has always been the SNP’s plan under Nicola Sturgeon, it has worked out beautifully.

How long can this continue. There may be little we can do about the unionists, despite the SNP telling us to concentrate on convincing the ‘soft Unionist noes’, whoever they are, but is there anything we can do about scared voters? Can we get scared voters to love the idea of independence? The answer to that may be no as well, unless we change the SNP into a party that shows everyone where independence can take us. Impossible? Maybe not. Maybe there is a way.

Well, we’ve heard many independence supporters say that if there’s no referendum in 2023, they won’t support the SNP again. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re the SNP, many of these people said a similar thing in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021. Many may actually keep their word and stop supporting the party, but despite the thousands of members deserting the SNP, their votes keep rising, leading me to think that leaving the party and not voting for the party are two unconnected actions, the second not necessarily following from the first.

In 2007, Alex Salmond knew that demonstrating that the Scottish Government could govern competently would encourage more folk to believe that Scottish independence was worth pursuing. And who can say it didn’t work. The period from 2007 to 2014 has been called the Golden Age of SNP government, because most of the advances the SNP boast about today came from that period. The voters saw this as well and their reaction boosted the SNP from minority government in 2007 to a majority in 2011. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option open to us now, as Nicola Sturgeon has taken a diametrically opposite approach, governing so incompetently, encouraging more folk to dismiss the whole idea of independence.

To improve the chance of change, we can always try to replace Sturgeon, though that would be pretty difficult as too many modifications have been made to the party’s internal processes to prevent ordinary members having any say in the running of the party. It’s a more likely possibility that she’ll be nominated for the UN job of her dreams and she’ll just go anyway. Off to pastures new, leaving behind her shattered country as her legacy.

My suggestion is a mass campaign of contacting your local SNP MP/MSP/Councillor telling her/him that you will only be voting for the MP/MSP/Councillor concerned at the next Westminster/Holyrood/Local Authority election if, and only if, the SNP have begun to cooperate with all other pro-independence groups and parties to create an agreed plan to deliver independence and to answer the questions unanswered from 2014, such as borders and currency. Of course, this would only have an impact if they received a whole load of contacts and if the writers were those likely to vote SNP, those, for example, who had voted SNP at the last election. So not Alba members, I suppose.

Would they pay attention? They might if it was going to affect them financially. We must all know that the continuation of their income is probably the only real motivator of today’s elected SNP politicians. If there were enough letters/emails, and they believed their job and therefore their income were threatened, they would pay attention, but it would take action from a large number all over the country, every region, constituency and ward. Just convincing a few MPs/MSPs won’t be enough and they’d be too scared anyway to do anything for fear of getting into Sturgeon’s bad books. There’s safety in numbers.

How many of you really want independence? How many of you are up for telling it as it is? How many of you think the chance of independence is worth a letter/email? How many?

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be 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.

The Big Bang Theory

With apologies to Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros.

This started out as a suggestion that the Ukraine situation highlighted the need for Scotland to be free of the warmongering tossers in Westminster. But then we had this from the ‘supposedly’ independence supporting Ian Blackford.

Is there any event that the SNP won’t use as an excuse to delay progress towards independence?

Let’s get back to the original story.

There’s aiways lots of talk about the proximity of the UK nuclear bases to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, not to mention all the places in between such as Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Clydebank. Clydebank, of course, has already experienced the early 1940s equivalent of a nuclear attack with the Clydebank blitz extending over two nights in March 1941. Over 1000 bombs and over 2000 incendiaries were dropped, killing and seriously wounding over 1100 people out of a population of about 50,000 and virtually destroying the town, with only 8 of 12,000 houses remaining undamaged. 439 Luftwaffe bombers were involved in the raids.

However, with the advent of the real nuclear era in 1945, things changed. Only one US bomber was involved in the attack on Hiroshima and only one bomb was dropped. Out of a population of about 350,000, about 75,000 were killed immediately, but the effects of the radiation created by nuclear explosion meant that number doubled in the next 2-3 months and estimates over the longer term have put the number of deaths caused by the attack as high as 330,000.

Why am I telling you all this?

Firstly, to show the difference between conventional war and nuclear war. In conventional war, you could be unlucky and have a bomb drop close enough to cause considerable injury, or perhaps even death. In a nuclear war, you won’t escape. If you don’t get killed by the blast or the likely firestorm which follows, you’re likely to suffer a slower lingering death caused by exposure to the radiation.

The damage to Hiroshima was caused by a 16 kiloton (thousand tons of TNT) bomb. This is as nothing compared to the power of present-day weapons, which can range up to 50 megatons (million tons of TNT) and can have several independently targetted warheads, some as many as 10, allowing one missile to distribute destruction over an area several hundred miles across.

To put it in a Scottish context, one missile could carry warheads aimed at Faslane, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Dumfries, and still have a few left for other targets. Scotland would just cease to exist. To take just one example of possible contaminants, the half-life of Uranium-235 is 700 million years. To put it another way, it takes 700 million years before it becomes half as dangerous. Scotland could become just a bigger example of Gruinard, an entire Scottish island contaminated by UK biological weapons testing and uninhabitable for years.

Secondly, recent events in Ukraine have brought the possibility of nuclear war back into the media, though hopefully not really any more likely. Boris Johnson and other members of his cabinet have been warning of the threat Russia poses and the possibility of a nuclear attack. To make matters worse, members of the Scottish Government seem to be adopting a similar line to Westminster. Of course, we in Scotland are lucky enough to have a nuclear weapons base just 25 miles from the centre of Glasgow, a base which would be a prime target should a European war break out.

This is the risk politicians and the media are taking when they ramp up pro-war rhetoric. Of course, they are betting that it won’t come to that. They are betting your life on it. They are encouraging war on a more limited scale. Limited in scale and limited to someone else’s country. Limited so no one important dies, just a few hundred soldiers and a a few thousand (or tens of thousands) civilians (or foreigners as they are better known).

But why? The tiny amount of political influence gained for the cost of a war reminds me of many of the actions in the Great War of 1914-18, when Allied generals (those allegedly on our side) believed that a few dozen yards gained were worth the cost of hundreds, even thousands, of human lives, even when they knew that the ground would likely be lost again in the next Central Powers (the other side) attack, also at the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives.

So, if it’s not political influence, what’s to be gained? The obvious answer is of course money. War requires weapons and weapons require money and the money goes to those whose cash bankrolled the election of the politician. So a win-win situation for all the important people. And that’s all that counts, isn’t it?

Of course, war is not the only way to cause nuclear explosions. I’m sure everyone remembers Chernobyl and Fukushima, neither of which were caused by war. They were accidents. Accidents can happen at any time, Accidents can be small or large. Larger accidents tend to make news, but smaller ones don’t. No one hears about the smaller accidents until one causes a problem which escalates and suddenly becomes a bigger accident.

A report issued in 2018 told us that in the period from 2006, there had been over 500 recorded accidents at Faslane, half of them from 2015. So from 2015, 250 accidents. That’s about 7 accidents a month, or about one every four days, each with the potential to escalate to something more troubling.

I don’t know how many nuclear weapons are kept at Faslane, probably nothing like 50 megatons in total, but enough to make a pretty big explosion should someone press the wrong button – accidentally.

So let’s get moving on independence, which seems to be the only way we can tell Westminster to get their stuff out of (our) harms way. Obviously, it would be better if they were all gone, but moving them to Plymouth (or somewhere even further away) would be a good start.

Will the SNP use this threat of a nuclear attack to get moving on independence and the removal of all nuclear weapons from Scotland? Or will the SNP be using the Ian Blackford line of using the threat of nuclear attack as another excuse to delay idependence?

What do you think their priority is?

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be 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.

The Former National Party of Scotland

The SNP. The party of independence. The party that will lead us into the promised land of an independent future; independent from England; independent from what must be the most corrupt government ever in the history of the UK. Or, at least, the UK government least concerned about hiding their corruption.

Is that still the SNP? Does today’s SNP still have a laser-like focus on independence, where every action is judged on whether it takes Scotland closer to independence, or, at least, no further away. Or has today’s SNP simply settled for being the party of devolution, waiting to see how things work out, only doing what they have to do to keep enough independence supporters onside, happy to accept whatever crumbs are thrown at it by Westminster, even when the crumbs seem to get fewer and fewer every year.

Or is it even worse? Are the leadership of the SNP actively trying to prevent independence ever happening? Are they so comfortable with the situation as it is now that they have abandoned independence as it constitutes a threat to their current status and their current incomes? Is independence just a carrot to keep voters onside when elections loom?

Well, there must be an election coming because the SNP are talking about independence. Note the key word “talking”, because you can be sure, just like in the run-up to all elections since 2015, there may be talking, but there will be very little doing, and what little doing happens between now and May will be stopped immediately after the announcement of the results.

So what do their recent actions tell us about the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon?

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to accept the changes to the devolution settlement being made by Westminster without consultation or agreement, but with no more than a whimper of opposition from the Scottish Government. We can do no more they say, or at least, they would say if they didn’t just keep their collective mouths shut in the hope that no one will notice. But is there a way which allows them to do better? To have more control over all aspects of policy? I wonder if there is one.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to transfer our natural resources to England only to have them sold back to us at an exorbitant markup. We know it happened to the revenue from Scottish oil, which Thatcher, and those who came after, used to fund London improvements. We know it’s happening to low cost Scottish renewable energy, transferred via the National Grid to England, with Scottish consumers then facing huge increases in energy costs to pay for the increased cost of fossil fuel generation, increased cost meaning increased profits for the energy multi-nationals. We know that plans are in place for it to happen with water.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have millions of Scots living in poverty while Westminster arranges for the very rich to become very richer. Now, the top 1% of households own 23% of the UK’s wealth, a figure that has increased by around 20% during the pandemic, while the rest of us have suffered.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to sell off-shore wind resources on the cheap, doing a deal that means all future profits go to multi-nationals and none comes to the people of Scotland. A deal which impacts on the viability of an independent Scotland.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have our government concentrating on policies that very few like or want, policies that restrict freedom of speech, policies that benefit a tiny number of people while disadvantaging over 50% of the population.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have people who disagree with any of the government’s policies, many of them independence supporters, arrested, charged and sometimes jailed on spurious grounds.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland. But is it best for Scotland to have the SNP, the self-described party of independence, refuse to work with any other independence supporting parties (please don’t tell me the Greens are an independence supporting party), allow some of their members to conduct a campaign of abuse directed at other independence parties, but instead say openly that they want to ally themselves to The Labour Party, a Unionist party.

The SNP. The party who say they will always do the best for Scotland.

“By their deeds shall you know them”.

And by these deeds, can the SNP under Sturgeon’s leadership still be considered the party of independence?

Beat the Censors.

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be 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.

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.

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.