China Doll

Well it shook me, I have to say. When I heard there was to be a re-launch, I groaned. What that usually means is we would be the ‘best ever’, we would have the ‘boldest’ ideas and be ‘really radical – honest’. Every re-launch I can remember was 90 per cent marketing, nine per cent desperation and one per cent content. It’s what you do when your tea’s oot and nobody can think what else to do. (Labour’s annual leadership contest is always a re-launch in which everything bad is going to stop – until it doesn’t.)

But, contrary Nat that she is, La Sturgeon surprised me and just about everyone else by flourishing a dazzling Chinese fan of proposals and fluttering her eyes at us all. How we gasped as each exotic delight was unveiled. OK, I’m exaggerating, but when the UN head honcho on the environment, Erik Solheim, tweets his approval, you know you’ve hit the mark. At least, you’ve got the nod from the kind of people who matter rather than the kind of support Ruth Davidson attracts from, say, the leader of the Orange Order.

To be fair to the *Unionist opposition for a change (these are turbulent times), it does raise the question of where has all this come from and why have we waited til now to see it? Have eyes been off the ball too long? Was too much time spent in the war room not the work room?

I suppose the truth is that it’s always possible to invent new ideas when necessity is playing mother. And it’s not a moment too soon. They have grasped the initiative at the start of the political year, going a significant way to meeting Green demands and at the same time leaving in their vapour trail the policy-free Tories and the internally-riven Labour Party.

I like the mix of big vision and small-scale – moving to electric cars and pollution-free zones while giving discounts on returned bottles. Lifting the 1 per cent pay cap will give hope to those struggling with two jobs and on benefits while free care for the vulnerable is another of the many humane steps the SNP have taken to improve living conditions.

There was even the lollipop for the Daily Mail of implied tax rises – horror – which lets them avoid writing up the positive measures and just insert last year’s budget article with a new headline. Over at the Times, they missed the tax rise gift and instead wondered allowed how it will all be paid for. As you can see, there is no way the SNP can win.

I don’t think they will be dismayed by the Herald front page majoring on the tax hike because that really punches home the message that this is truly bold and is taking no prisoners. One suspects this is the real spikey wee Sturgeon getting serious about what she believes Scotland should be, like giving up on K.T.Tunstall and going back to Guns ‘n Roses. If there’s a consistent riff driving this programme along, it is progressive rock – her own Glastonbury debut but with left-leaning ideas she can actually implement, not Corbyn’s wishful thinking. It is, when you think about it, the one thing Sturgeon has over Corbyn, the ultimate ability to implement policy from a position of power. She is in government. He is not.

I don’t know about outflanking Labour, but the breadth of measures here allied to intent –as underlined by tax rises – poses a problem for the party and those sometime Nationalist voters tempted by Corbyn’s rhetoric. What more do you want, we may ask. This is a devolved administration checked by an overbearing state apparatus and yet it produces eye-catching policies both macro and micro. Indeed the flip side is that Sturgeon may have weighed in the balance the aspirations of middle class Scots and come down against their interests, potentially risking cementing the desertion of one-time voters in the North east and the Borders.

I’ve always supported the concept of the left-right balancing act because it’s important to create the idea of governing for all. The well-off and the wealthy have a stake in society too and their votes have been necessary to achieving the ultimate objective. I thought the decision not to raise their taxes but instead not to pass on the personal allowance increase was just such a balanced option. But it looks like the last election has added some crucial ounces to the scales and tipped them in favour of higher taxes. Bear in mind that this is exactly what the Tories planned when they drew up the last Scotland Act – virtually the only power Edinburgh has is in personal taxation. Mundell wants Scottish taxpayers to feel the pinch and punish the Nationalists at the ballot box. It isn’t about good governance, it’s about rigging the system.

Yet the mood surely is turning away from the budget-slashing Thatcherite horror show we have endured for 30 years – it gives us third world infrastructure outside London, underpaid and deserting nurses, family breakdowns, benefit sanctions, loss of personal dignity, wealth accumulated with the already wealthy and it gives us Grenfell. That is the heart of Corbyn’s appeal – the simple message that this has to stop and society gets rebalanced. Perhaps the realisation is dawning that for all the sacrifices, the national debt climbs, the deficit grows, the currency bombs and economic disaster beckons via Brexit. But Jeremy can’t rescue Scotland from this Armageddon and indeed has shown no interest in doing so. The effect of Brexit will be to make uniform the internal organisation of the UK to make a single harmonised trading bloc, ironing out differences not acknowledging them.

The coming weeks will, if a real debate is allowed, bring much of this to the fore as the Labour leadership contest unfolds. But I suspect neither candidate will seek to emphasise Brexit as it will merely underline how powerless and exposed Scotland now is.

The questions now are:For Labour voters – Is this good enough? How much more do you want and do you really think Scottish Labour would do better? For Tory voters – do you still believe the mess Britain is in and the disaster it’s heading for can be sorted by Ruth Davidson’s bluster and without tax rises? For Nationalists – Is this the flame that lights the fire and rekindles the belief?

*(And if you’re still backing Brexit, the leaked Home Office immigration paper demonstrates how, with your support, apartheid is planned for Britain with different categories of citizen based on country of origin and professional qualification. A whole new bureaucracy is needed to police the foreign population. Gastarbeiter will be categorised as acceptable and not acceptable with preference given to native workers. It will mean the state saying British Workers Preferred. For the low skilled – an absolutely essential part of the workforce – it means banishment. No Low Skilled Foreigners Wanted Here. Highly skilled staff will need to show their passport to get access to work – perhaps a sign could be painted on their coat. And don’t think about making your life here because the family who can join you will be severely restricted. Maybe reconsider coming to the UK at all. This of course will have no knock-on effect at all on British staff going to other European countries where they will be welcomed with open arms…

If Britain thinks it can make second class citizens out of European allies, it will come up against the full weight of the EU’s defences. This document will already have damaged the UK’s chances of a good hearing and an early trade deal. It is the clearest sign that Britain is turning into a racist state – Britain First – which every other nation will shun. The UK under the Tories is an international embarrassment and Theresa May revealed as a sinister right wing schemer with a hatred of foreigners which transcends the national interest. She means to stop fellow Europeans at any cost to the country.

Is this the Brexit that some independence supporting Scots voted for? Is this why they turned against the SNP in the election? Because I’d like to hear what they thought they were getting instead. If this apartheid state is the kind of Scotland you want, you can count me out. We are either internationalist and pro-European or we are nothing.)

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50 thoughts on “China Doll

  1. It was, I wearily suppose, inevitable that someone would ask “the question of where has all this come from and why have we waited til now to see it?” At least Derek Bateman does so with a generosity of spirit which will not be found in any similar enquiry from British nationalists.

    The answer is quite simple and fairly obvious when one reads the First Minister’s statement with an open mind. Doing so, it quickly becomes apparent that there is as much of continuity as innovation in Nicola Sturgeon’s programme for government. Little of what is planned could be feasible if it were not for what has gone before. For the most part, these proposals follow on from what has already been done. In many respects, they represent the natural next step.

    Perhaps the most obvious example is the proposal to extend personal care to those under 65 suffering from terminal medical conditions. This would not be possible if free personal care for over-65s hadn’t already been established. Even the presumption against short prison sentences going from 3 months to 12 months is very evidently dependent on the earlier policy having been proved.

    In general, much of the new programme can be seen as building on the principle of universality that the SNP administration has resolutely maintained and defended since coming to power in 2007. It’s a process rather than a collection of disconnected headline-grabbing policy statements.

    Some will undoubtedly complain that the process is too slow. A few will childishly demand that the Scottish Government go straight to the end point somehow skipping all the stages along the way. But what we are seeing here is principled pragmatism in action. This is true progressive politics.

    • Pragmatism is often mistaken for timidity. The SNP’s dominance of Scottish government will come to a natural end, when voters weary of their dominance. It’s a fact of political life. No party stays in power for ever. The 2017 GE result should have set alarm bells ringing at SNP HQ, but it has not.

      In my life time, I never thought I’d see Labour’s dominance of Scotland end, but it did. The SNP should heed the lessons. It’s all very well pledging free care this, and free care that, but not at the expense of the end goal.

      Labour are on the run in Scotland, Brexit could destroy the Tory party. Not only have the SNP the best opportunity they’ll ever have to win independence, they have a second chance from 2014. These are political events that happen once every 100 years.

      If not now, when?

  2. I’m still on a small Greek island for a few more days. I meet a lot of English people here and many voted Brexit. My neighbour, who departed this morning for Liverpool, told me, as many of them do, that he was not interested in politics. This disinterest included some admiration for N Farage who makes some good points, a need to protect his pension and protect the NHS resources for the British people in his area, and a need to keep the Bulgarian and Romanian gypsies out of the U.K.

    My wife just told me that number of EU qualified medical professionals applying to work for the NHS is 96% down on last year. I expect Dick Branson and the NHS in Liverpool will have some tough decisions to make in the near future.

    I love this island but if some of the visitors stopped coming here and were replaced by Bulgarians and Romanians I’m not sure I’d be that disappointed.

  3. It’s still feeble, wishy-washy stuff, no matter how you try and dress it up. Once again, the SNP are putting the cart before the horse.

    As I’ve said before, building bus stops in Kirkcaldy, and pledging to recycle rubber ducks (or whatever the hell it is this month) is not going to win independence for Scotland.

    The SNP have been in power for 10 years, and the plan to demonstrate good governance was a good plan at the start, but it’s wearing thin. No matter how much maths and English is improved in Scottish schools, the Unionists will still bash the SNP, the narrative will still be negative.

    The SNP are acting as though they have all the time in the world, as though it’s a good idea to bet the house winning another election with the D’hondt system and another majority is there for the taking.

    2017’s lacklustre GE campaign shows how risky that strategy is. We got away with it then, despite the SNP’s Basil Fawlty impersonation (don’t mention the referendum)

    Independence should be front and centre of anything the SNP does, but it’s not. I don’t always agree with craig Murray, but when he talks of the SNP becoming too cosy in government, I think he’s nearer the truth than we suspect.

    Where is the fire and brimstone to boost the independence supporters?

    • We don’t need fire and brimstone to boost our supporters, we need to give reasons to the c 25% of people in the middle to ome over to us.

      • Yeah, but London might get there first. If Edinburgh gets thrown a few new powers after Brexit, that might be enough to buy off ‘soft’ Yes supporters. That’s the danger.

    • Aye we heard you the first time repeating it won’t make it sound any better.

      Aye we heard you the first time repeating it won’t make it sound any better.

      Get it , repetition doesn’t really help try changing the message.

      • And what’s your solution Mr Graham? More drift and inertia? The energy has been well and truly sucked out of the pro-indy camp since 2014.

        Back in the 1980s, we used to rail against the feeble 50 of the Scottish Labour MPs who could do the square root of bugger all in the grand scheme of things. And what did the 56 SNP MPs do apart from de-railing Cameron’s attempts to re-introduce fox hunting in England?

        I have no doubt those English foxes are grateful, but what those foxes will do for Scottish independence is beyond me. Care to explain?

        And now we’re reduced to 35 SNP MPs, and still playing by London’s rules.

        • A solution _ Aye stop doing the unionists work for them and support the only party that can actually deliver Independence

          you related to Colin Alexander who seems to have taken up residence on Wings and posts incessantly all day every day attacking the SNP

          • I come on here too, as I happen to be pro-independence and take an interest in what Derek Bateman and other pro-independence supporters have to say.

            I don’t appreciate it when you come on here to slag me off behind my back.

            Save your childish and petulant insults for your WoS
            clique of “SNP can do no wrong” pals.

            And please don’t ruin this website with your ad hominem abuse of anyone who does not see things the same as you.

    • I think you’re being a bit hard on the SNP there. OK, they’ve been in power for 10 years but break that down a bit. The first Alec Salmond administration (2007 – 11) was a minority Government, so needed support from opposition parties to get anything passed (as is currently also the case, though fortunately it only requires support from the Greens), then the 2011 – 15 majority SNP Government was all about IndyRef1. Nicola has now been First Minister for just over 2.5 years during which time the SNP have fought 2 x General Elections, a Scottish Election, Scottish Local Elections and of course the EU Referendum, the fallout from which is ever present. Given also that, until they came into power in 2007, the SNP had zero experience of Government, I think a ‘steady as she goes’ strategy was more than justified. Finally as Peter Bell points out above, many of today’s proposals are based on previous work carried out quietly over the last few years.

  4. See Richard Murphy on why taxing is the only option, since we don’t have any of the normal powers that independent countries have: Central Bank, own currency, borrowing facility. His message needs to be out there:

    • It would seem, then, that the trick is to get people clamouring for a Scottish Central Bank by telling them it’s the way to protect services without vastly increased tactics. Then they have to be made to understand that they can only have the Central Bank if…..

  5. I fin it difficult to comprehend how apparently pro-independence supporters can be critical of NS’ speech yesterday. It rather suggests that they are more concerned with their own self-importance than they are about the condition of our people and our country?

    • People like me are critical of it, because it’s wishy-washy, ca canny cobblers!

      Labour on the run in Scotland, Tories on the ropes with Brexit. God almighty, I wish Alex Salmond was still leader, somebody who could stir the pot, cause divisions in the unionist ranks, and chance their arm with something bold to seize the agenda. Because make no mistake, this is a once in a 100 year opportunity, and the stars will never again align so favourably for the SNP.

      Sadly, the SNP have retreated into their shells, and are trying to be all things to all men.

      Nobody would argue against better schools and hospitals, but the SNP are getting bogged down in detail, playing by London’s rules, and losing sight of their ultimate prize.

      The new Queensferry crossing, great as it is, should have been shouted from the rooftops as only a starting point to what could be done in indy Scotland. I never saw that connection. We got guff about Scottish engineering.

      • Good comments, “My cocaine”. Don’t let the pro-SNP devolutionists put you off speaking the truth.

        The SNP have become the Raj. Colonial administrators for the UK Govt.

        The UK brought bridges and railways to India. The Indians weren’t bought off with that.

        The people of India wanted to exercise their sovereignty. They wanted to exercise that sovereignty as a free country, not pretendy sovereignty under devolution.

        Devolution is WM power. The Supreme Court confirmed that when it announced the Sewel Convention as worthless.

  6. I will be on duty for the SNP at a polling place tomorrow in a council by-election. For the past few elections I have been on duty with the same Labour people. We have avoided (mostly) getting into arguments, but this time I intend to take a digest of what the SNP proposals are and ask them what their objections to any of the measures are. I am sick not asking them to justify their position and I am looking forward to discussing it with them.

    The SNP have managed to produce a well-balanced, progressive plan and I am proud of it. They have done more than Labour ever did even with the incomplete powers they have to work with. Labour did not do as much even when they were in government with all the tools at their disposal.

    I think we can go further, e.g. land reform, but I will take what was put forward and use it to argue for Independence.

  7. The Scottish Government has a way of raising revenue to fund the latest spending plans; land reform and particularly LVT. I suspect some slight gouging of those absentee landlords, who probably pay zero income tax with a S on their PAYE slip, (probably zero income tax in truth), second property owners from outwith the reach of Revenue Scotland, all can afford to pay more. Those land banks that keep land prices high would also offer a suitable revenue stream to Revenue Scotland.

  8. “Pragmatism is often mistaken for timidity”.

    Well I don’t know about that. I do believe that improving the infrastructure, and thus the population’s quality of life. And taking steps to ease the financial hardships being imposed upon some of the population by Westminster, are pragmatic political actions. Persons of all political persuasions, and none, cannot fail – some may deny – to recognise these improvements, and then, assess an alternative government led by Davidson,or Sarwar(?) – if they are inclined to be pragmatic.

    And that is our job, the Yes campaigners, to encourage that pragmatic assessment with the electorate. No lies, no fear mongering like the Better Together campaign, just discuss the comparison. And then there is Brexit, crumbling like a sandcastle. No need to rush, May and Davis are labouring towards a disaster, or a climbdown.

    The Better Together campaigners, I wonder how they feel. They’ve been handed a raw deal surely. Their campaign slogans EU membership; the currency; shipbuilding in the Clyde.All turned to dust.

  9. Who could argue against better schools and hospitals? Not I. The strategy just seems flawed to me. For its 10 years in power, the SNP have pursued the mantra of competent government will convince the Scottish people to back indy. Well, it never worked in 2014.

    Not matter what the SNP does, its hands will always be tied by the constraints of devolution, its achievements belittled at every turn by the unionist press. If the SNP had the cure for cancer, it still wouldn’t be enough.

    And worse still, they get bogged down in firefighting – trying to fix problems that are caused by London policy. This is sapping energy, killing momentum, when the logical answer would be to present this as a cast iron case for indy.

    The SNP should be looking to de-legitimise the British state in Scotland by every peaceful means at its disposal.

    Don’t take your seats in Westminster – they’d get cirticised for it, but they get criticised anyway.

    Serious about getting nukes off Scottish soil? A mass peaceful blockade of Faslane.

    Scotland not getting enough TV licence money spent in Scotland? Encourage people to boycott the TV licence.

    Refugees and Australians getting removed from Scotland, despite living here for years? Put them at at Bute House and shame Westminster.

    Some action and making hay, instead of waiting for the Unionists to make mistakes.

  10. @ Cocaine: After 7 years in government the SNP ran close to independence in 2014, against the combined forces of the BBC, the press, and the Scots Tories and Labour. We stumbled over the currency issue. Alec Salmond should have been much more assertive – and for the record, I admire him greatly – it is a difficult task if you are truthful, to have to deal with sneering liars and biased programme hosts.

    When out campaigning for Indy my stance was that what currency we adopted didn’t matter a damn. What does it say on your tenner?… so and so bank promises to Pay the Bearer. Promise to pay supported by what assets? Scotland is a trading, and exporting nation, rich in resources, and so, given that a Scottish government would act as prudently as say the Norwegian, then other countries would have no qualms in accepting our currency.

    The problem we face is that population dominant England needs Scotland so much more than we need the UK. And we have many of our nation “not interested in politics”. If they don’t start to pay attention to Brexit, …well.

    And yes, I think the SNP missed an opportunity with 56 MPs. Conforming to the nonsense of procedure of Westminster was a mistake, they should have been rattling the cage.

    Get in touch with your local Yes group, if there isn’t one, form one. Yes Registry now has some 130 groups signed up, we need to start coordinating our efforts.

    • I agree – the 56 MPs ahould have been rattling cages and making a nuisance of themselves. Sadly, they repeated the mistakes of the Red Clydeside MPs who thought they could change the system just by turning up. 56 is less than 600, and that’s a hard fact of life.

      When we had to sit through that nauseating spectacle of the Smith commision, when every SNP amendment was shot down in flames by Tory MPs from the shires, the SNP should have pulled the plug on the whole damn thing and recalled its MPs.

  11. It’s not so long ago that we were considered the lunatic fringe for expressing any desire at all for independence. Remember that political progress is usually a long process and those drawing pensions are mainly very averse to change. We have come a long way already but most of those who can be persuaded to change their position with reason and logic, already have. The rest are thrawn, feart or a combination of both. The cringe is still real for them and they wont break with a lifetime of negative programing, especially when it’s still being reinforced every day by most of the media. One day they will take it to the grave with them and leave it there, maybe then we will finally be able to stand proud as a people and demand and actually get a better Scotland.

  12. Well thanks for these endearing words Albanach. I draw a pension and I’m not averse to change. To be a wee bit poetic, change is the elixir of life.

    What we are faced with? I believe we have selfish Unionist people who have no interest in social cohesion, concerned solely on their comforts. Why unionist? Well it is a comfort zone for them as their ambition extends no further than their golf club, or football team, or whatever.

    Man’s inhumanity to man.

    • I hear you Gavin, i did say mainly change averse though, there are exceptions like your good self. I guess i am still angry about the whole mess. My old man once accused me of being un Scottish because i didn’t much like ceilidh music. He went on to vote no to our independence and yes to brexit. He got his way on both and as long as his pension can still buy cheap whisky his comfort zone remains intact. I would tell him that he got his opinions from the media. He would say things like “i hate that Alec Salmond” i’d reply, really? i didn’t know that you knew him. Same thing again with Nichola, i said have you met her then? Of course not was the reply. Well how do you know if you like someone or not when you don’t know them and have never even met or spoken to them. All you know of them comes from the media, the same media who lie their faces off every day to us all. It’s no use, i might as well talk to the wall. It’s a part of who he is, a rangers supporting unionist till the end.

  13. By October 2018 no one will opt for Brexit.
    It is a disaster waiting to happen.
    We have an escape pod: indyref 2, probably in the autumn of 2018.

    • This is the problem though – the question that dare not be asked: what if Brexit actually works?
      Nobody can see into the future, and by all accounts, the Tories would struggle to organise a funeral in a graveyard, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they pull something out of the fire.

      The Shires are appeased, and ‘soft’ indy supporters are bought of with some new magic beans for Holyrood.

      We’re drifting along under the very dangerous assumption that Brexit will fail, with the SNP and the Indy camp ready to cash in.

      What’s our plan B if Brexit works? Because I don’t see one. Our whole strategy seems to be based around Brexit failing…

      • It must be a great view from the Land That Time Forgot , My Cocaine.
        We are still 18 months away from Brexit yet the UK is crumbling before our very eyes.
        No freedom of movement or goods, WM ‘taking back control’ of even devolved legislation, chronic shortages in personnel in vital services, price hikes on everything, and so on.
        If you think that ‘Brexit will work’, upon what evidence do you base this quite frankly remarkable conclusion, or even outside possibility.
        Brexit is not working. It is destroying the UK.
        To argue otherwise is Chemical Ali optimism.

        • If a week is a long time in politics, then 18 months is an eternity. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Westminster buys itself a few more years, say 2022, and a transition arrangement until then.

          In the mean time, the SNP needs a cast iron plan on currency, rather than the 2014, it’ll be alright on the night approach.

      • What’s Westminsters plan B if Brexit doesn’t work, actually could you tell us what their plan A is.

      • I think you need to be more detailed. You need to tell us clearly what your definition of a working Brexit is. You then need to be able to claim that said definition is the one that all those who voted out will be satisfied with and many of those who voted in will come round to accepting.

        In a more simplistic focused way tell me why my much devalued euros are a good thing when I already, right now, pay an extra twenty per cent more than last year for my dinner and my retsina. I don’t read the daily Mail but perhaps they have already explained it away to their sponges as jam tomorrow without giving tomorrow a date.

        Otherwise you might as well shout, “Working means working!”

  14. A totally different direction that has been essence of the proposed bills put forward by Nicola Sturgeon , a clear indication of clear water between Westminster and Holyrood , the proposed legislation that invites all the unionist parties to oppose them thus showing the general public where their allegiance lies , the trick will be hiding this allegiance because they will be assisted by the scottish media in this deception .

  15. My Cocaine,
    ‘WM buys itself s few more years.’
    You have seriously lost the plot, ‘My Cocaine’. May I suggest that you stop snorting the white powder.
    You sound like a British Nationalist Exceptionalist.
    The EU 27 are in no mood to do England and Wales any favours.
    March 2019 EngWaland is out of the EU, ceases to exist, extant, will have joined the Choir Celestial..deid.
    Are you Blair Mac Dougall?

    • There is no point in spitting the dummy at each other over speculation. I’m more inclined to think it will be a massive international market crash that could possibly head off independence. Brexit and the recent dire warnings from the likes of goldman sachs (among others) seem to suggest that the bubble is about to burst, but i’m not going to fall out over it.

  16. That’s not the only thing achieved by the FM’s speech Derek. The usual suspects and their media moved into full spin cycle almost immediately and they have reason to. The poor dears appear awfy nervous. Maybe just me, but that programme for government seemed to propose just that… a programme for government. A statement of intent. Worth thinking about that, then ask yourself the obvious question. In fact maybe more than one..

    How do you put clear water between two parliaments and two systems of government? How do you underline the case for independence without campaigning for it? How do you make clear the priorities and duties for a Scottish government?

    The body of the programme is impressive. It sets a clear water precedence in difference of priorities for the Scottish population. They’re about building the confidence of an electorate. Providing a platform and mindset. We can be different, aspire to better, organize and achieve. How and ever, there were other aspects of the statement worth noting and I’m pretty sure the meaning and intent won’t have been missed by the SG’s opposition.

    From the First Minister’s programme for government: “However, we are equally determined to protect Scotland’s interests.

    The UK government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill represents a power grab. It seeks to replace EU law in devolved areas with unilateral Westminster decision making. That is simply unacceptable.

    As it stands, the Scottish Government will not recommend to this Parliament that we approve the Bill. We will continue to seek the agreement of the UK government to amendments that will address our concerns. However, in case that proves impossible, we are also considering the option of legislation in this Parliament to secure the necessary continuity of laws in Scotland.

    We will also continue to argue the case for continued UK membership of the single market and customs union. Leaving either will have deeply damaging consequences for our economy and wider society. As I said in June, we will consider again the issue of a referendum on independence when the terms of Brexit are clear.” (ends)

    It’s not how much of a speech you devote to a subject, it’s what you say that’s important.

  17. In reply to the question in the final paragraph, I’d say it is so far a poorer performing exit than I’d imagined when I voted Leave, but it also has useful lessons: if you have the institutions in place, people will take a chance, and that even if the margin of victory is narrow, the centrifugal force of break-up negotiations will solidify views.

    In terms of independence, voters can only vote on what is in front of them, but the sequence is not helpful for an indy2 pre-Brexit. Inside the EU, border issues between Scotland and rUK were irrelevant, now with Brexit we will have to see what UK and rEU decide on Ireland, before we can plan for Scotland.

    • Crubag, just read your comment today.
      Why must Scotland wait outside in the ante room while England decides what it wants to do with Norn Irn?
      I can see why you voted Leave.
      Scotland waits for no man or woman.
      There will be Indyref 2 within the Article 50 2 year window. We shall prevail. Scotland will be independent by March 2019.
      Live with it, or head back to the Mother Ship.
      ‘… with Brexit we will have to see what UK and rEU decide on Ireland, before we can plan for Scotland.’
      I don’t think so.
      Get up off your knees, man..

      • Well said, Jack! From now on … no more Mr & Mrs Nice Guy … no more “waiting and seeing” … no more ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ or ‘maybes’! Repeal the Treaty of Union forthwith and let us have a sane, forward-and-outward-looking Government of Scots, by Scots and for Scots!

  18. Folks taking a dilettante approach to voting, especially if they are playing with voting Labour, are in for some very nasty surprises if the SNP lose power.
    Labour in Holyrood have never had to face a hostile Tory Westminster and there is now no question that Westminster is going to take away power from Holyrood. Labour gave great support to that with the Smith Commission and subsequent voting against every SNP amendment that would have truly increased Holyrood’s ability to protect Scots.

  19. A bit o/t and i know forbidden territory ” the bbc in scotland “.

    Today’s national news highlighted the disparity between whats been reported by the bbc nationally and outside news agencies , and the bbc in scotland , namely provision for mental health in our health service , it was stated on the BBC national news the scottish health service has the best provision outside London for this important service ,
    yet BBC Scotland are at odds with their bosses down south , a bit like the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing , the recent dismal catastrophic failure of this service as ad nauseam was being reported by bbc scotland in concert with the unionist parties to as usual damage the SNP .

    BBC Scotlands lunchtime news managed to avoid any mention of the national report , and deemed Nicola Sturgeon’s plea to other parties to help protect our parliament from interference from westminster this is imminent due to events at westminster , this important announcement was relegated to third place behind a unexploded mine discovered three weeks ago and a piece on the SFA .

    It is comforting the BBC in scotland have their priorities right , Protect the union at all costs this seems to be the one and only reason for their existence , protect the union .

  20. You’re wondering why SNP bad, Scottish parly bad on steroids over the past couple of days? It appears ‘Better Together’ really does mean ‘dae as yer telt’. Democracy really is what they say it is and you’ll have had your ‘partnership’ reassessed then.


    That’s pretty much the vote where the idea of the UK died and it wasn’t an indyref or an EU ref. It wasn’t a ballot of or for the people. It was held in a chamber with 616 votes counted. No Tories rebelled (including our own). The Tories who would stand for the union and Scotland’s place in the ‘union’. Scotland’s place being…. inconsequential to Conservative needs and wants.

    Our devolution is twenty years old. Yep. Twenty years. Twenty years of ‘power retained, not ceded’. Twenty years of not having control over our resources and energy policy, our economy, our foreign affairs, our benefits and social security, our pensions, our broadcasting, our immigration policy, our trade and industry, our defence or our constitution. They’re reserved matters for proper parliaments and proper government apparently and absolutely cannot be trusted in the hands of the weans.

    According to those who lack aspiration, imagination, independent thought and some would unkindly say… a spine, Scotland will never be worthy of grown up, full self government. So far as anyone can make out, it’s mainly because we’re Scottish and reasons. I think they’re wrong. Most creatures on getting older tend to take on responsibility for themselves. They also have aspirations, dreams they want to achieve and require the freedom to choose their own path. Pretty natural state of affairs so far as I’m aware.

    Personally, I’d say twenty is a good age to really set about building a life of your own.

    • Well said Macart. My MP voted with his party despite knowing the Bill is fatally flawed, his party is seeking to skew the Committee stage and representing a constituency 76% of which voted to remain. This isn’t democracy; this is a virtual dictatorship. Time to fly the nest.

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