Nicola and IndyRef2 360


Whether Nicola’s speech today postpones Indyref2, and by how much, is the cause of much fevered speculation tonight across both social and mainstream media.

Ultimately, I do not think it is important provided that she genuinely meant what she said in this section of the speech, which is by far the most important section:

Over the past few months, the focus on the when and how of a referendum has, perhaps inevitably, been at the expense of setting out the many reasons why Scotland should be independent. 
The fact is we are only talking of another referendum so soon after the last one because of Brexit. And it is certainly the case that independence may well be the only way to protect Scotland from the impact of Brexit. 
But the case for an independent Scotland is not just about Brexit – it goes far beyond that. 
Many of us believe that independence is the right and best answer to the many, complex challenges we face as a country – and also the best way to seize and fully realise our many opportunities as a country. 
So the challenge for all of us who do believe that Scotland should be independent is to get on with the hard work of making and winning that case – on all of its merits – and in a way that is relevant to the changes, challenges and opportunities we face now and in the years ahead. That is what my party will do.
We won’t do it on our own – because the independence case is bigger than us too.
My party will engage openly and inclusively with, and work as part of, the wider independence movement.
And, together, we will build and win the case that governing ourselves is the best way to tackle the challenges we face as country – from building a better balanced and more sustainable economy, to growing our population, strengthening our democracy, and tackling deep seated problems of poverty and inequality.

This acknowledges a very important truth. The SNP has not campaigned for Independence since September 2014. I have never heard a senior member of the SNP attempt to argue coherently and at any length why Scotland should be independent, since the 2014 referendum campaign. The SNP has lost its focus on Independence, and become obsessed with gaining political position within the UK devolution settlement.

If Nicola really means it, the refocusing of the SNP on Independence would be the most important thing in today’s speech. But does she mean it? How is the SNP going to connect with the “Wider yes movement?” What is the mechanism by which this will operate?

Brexit is a disaster. Just two weeks ago, the EU Commission brought new rules into force ending telephone roaming charges within the EU. From now on you will pay anywhere within the EU just the price you pay for using your phone at home. Until of course the UK “takes back control” of the right for you to pay £1.50 a minute instead.

Today the EU Commission took on Google with a massive 2.4 billion Euro fine and an order to change the abusive practices by which it prioritises answers to search results to its own commercial advantage. Once the UK “takes back control”, we can be sure that will be the end of major US corporations being challenged on our behalf. You will be able in the UK to enjoy Google manipulating search results however it may wish. Those are just two of thousands of examples, and which happen to have arisen this last couple of weeks, which show how stupid Brexit is. Not to mention the petty bureaucratic attack impositions on EU residents here.

As it becomes more and more obvious how stupid Brexit is, as the UK economy heads towards a Brexit induced depression, and as Tory cuts bite harder and harder into communities, the case for Scottish Independence will become stronger, and eventually irresistible.

We have seen how very fast political sentiment changes in the modern age. Provided there is wholehearted and unequivocal Independence campaigning, the political mood will swing strongly behind Independence at some point in the next two years, and Sturgeon’s speech today leaves room to bring Indyref2 forward when that happens.

The ground may be fertile, but if you don’t sow the seed you will not reap. To win Independence all we have to do is campaign for it. Some of us have never stopped doing that, and the groundswell of support is growing across Scotland. The SNP leadership need to get on board now or they will be running to catch up.


360 thoughts on “Nicola and IndyRef2

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  • Matt

    Oh dear, £1.50 a minute to phone home from France, and Google using their own technology to promote their own services and goods.

    Quick, give the Dutch back our North Sea fishing grounds.

    • Laguerre

      Obviously someone who never goes to that far distant land called the Continent. I was just in Germany for a month, came back and found nothing extra on my monthly bill (I have a mobile deal which includes local calls and texts). That’s a definite advantage.

  • Geoffrey

    “Brexit is disaster” How do you know it has not happened yet !
    Or did you mean to say something like “all my mates say Brexit will be a disaster “.

    • Republicofscotland

      No he got it right, Brexit will be a disaster.

      For no exiting country can receive a good as deal, as a full member.

      Throw in the Fraser of Allander Institute’s report that Brexit could cost the loss of 80,000 jobs in Scotland alone, then there’s the warning from the governor of the BoE Mark Carney who said Brexit will, make us poorer, see prices rises occur, and a prolonging of a low wage economy.

      However I’m sure you have confidence in Theresa May, who can’t even meet and greet people in the streets of London, let alone negotiate with the EU 27.

    • Ishmael

      To be fair many indications are it could be very bad in many aspects. But maybe it can be made not a total disaster.

      • Republicofscotland

        If access to the Single Market isn’t forthcoming it will be a disaster, Britain exports a fair amount of goods to the EU.

        I’ve read articles that claim the smaller nations of EFTA, aren’t too keen on admitting Britain as it would become a big fish in a small pond, trade wise.

        • Ishmael

          But also, trade is trade. I imagine standards could be aligned, agreements made. Also depends what we do, or can do.

          I find these simplifications a bit hard to engage with most things being malleable, and within a changing situation. In the EU particularly. Im interested in these questions/issues, but I don’t know how helpful it is seeing things so fixed, ‘this is this and thats that’ etc .The issue of autonomy/action…

          I think you have a jaded pre-despoded position on the “way things are” for a reason. And you don’t seem to care about looking at solutions or improvements. Other than I assume Scottish “independence”. So there seems little point in focusing on these issues with you?

        • Laguerre

          As far as I understand it, access to the single market is not available in the first place, on leaving. That would be having your cake and eating it. That’s why most of what the Tory Brexiters tell you is pie in the sky. A secondary process may be negotiated, but it may or may not happen in the two year time limit.

          I would think that in fact the EU pols would not be against a deal, as disruption is bad for everybody. But I think that Varoufakis may be right that you can’t bargain with the EU. They hold all the cards, but not as much as in the case of Greece.

  • Tom

    I think you’re correct, Craig. A year on, there still seems to be nothing positive resulting from Brexit, even on the horizon. The UK is in an ever-deepening economic, political and constitutional mess. If this was deliberate sabotage by Britain’s enemies, they could hardly have done a better job – and that’s what I’ve always suspected Brexit is.

  • reel guid

    Colonel Davidson has reshuffled the Tory Shadow Cabinet.

    Nine out of the ten people she’s appointed are men.

    In contrast to Nicola Sturgeon’s gender balanced cabinet for the last two and a half years.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Did you notice David (I’m useless) Mundell, hiding in plain sight today at PMQ’s.

      I had to look twice, as Mundell has shaved off his beard and moustache, he must be incognito. ?

      • reel guid

        Aye Ros

        Maybe he’s going to keep changing his appearance so he can’t be stopped for interviews.

      • reel guid

        Jo

        Yes. It was the same with their council candidates in Scotland. Only about 17% or so were women.

  • BrianPowell

    Agree with this. I did say on other forums that the MPs should have been putting together a plan, along with MSPs, for Independence, using the information gathered at Westminster to feed the plan. For example what goes into the GERS figures, what is real what is Treasury mis-information. They were on many Committees which was not accessible before when there was only 6 of them and they must have gained a lot of inside understanding.
    I also thought they could have been coming to their constituencies,as they were in practically every one, to explain what devolved powers and received powers meant.
    They needed time to learn the ropes and the GE cut time short. I wondered if they had been guided too much by the careful, steady as you go, six who were there before.

  • Velofello

    And then another comes along – Dave, “British fair play rules”. Reassure me, I’ve misunderstood, tell me that you are being ironic.

    • Dave

      No if you hold an election, then you need to wait a respectful period before holding another one on the same issue. And even then seek a mandate to do so, either in an Holyrood or General Election. To argue the Remain vote in the EU referendum is a mandate to hold another IndyRef is illogical and as far as voters are concerned, bogus, particularly as more people voted to Remain in UK than EU.

      • kathy

        The SNP manifesto stated that a change of circumstances such as leaving the EU would warrent another independence referendum if it was against Scotland’s wishes. That is entirely reasonable. Besides, the vote to remain in the UK was heavily predicated on the fact that the UK was in the EU as we were reminded again and again during project fear in the run-up to the referendum. So that vote no longer is valid.

        • Dave

          Maybe it would, but only after a respectful period and after securing a mandate to do so.

          • morag

            They have won every election since 2014…Tell me what other mandate do you require?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            One which clearly separates a very justifiable wish for general political change from the specific issue of constitutional independence. And preferably one in which both sides break completely new ground by setting out their costed and detailed propositions. Yes, Project Fear could only offer prophesies of utter doom. But it’s equally the case that the independence movement was offering only promises of heaven on earth. These are not the actual options.

          • Dave

            The SNP promote themselves on a range of issues, which is why they get votes from people who don’t agree with independence. That means a SNP victory is not a mandate for IndyRef2 unless it was a manifesto promise, which it wasn’t.

  • reel guid

    Red Tory timeserving numptie James Kelly MSP has brought forward his private members bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act.

    For those not in the know, the Act was a piece of legislation brought in by the SNP a few years back to outlaw sectarian singing at the football. Supported by the majority of the public and by Police Scotland it was an important step in the forging of an inclusive, progressive Scotland.

    Now the unionist MSPs are keen to back the repeal bill. Clearly the Tories don’t want a progressive Scotland and neither do Labour or the Lib Dems if it means forgoing the chance to put one over on the SNP.

    Wings Over Scotland commissioned a new opinion poll from Panelbase just to see if the public still supports the ban. 60% of the Scottish public are against the repeal of the Act while 25% are in favour. Clearly the SNP brought in a popular and progressive piece of legislation but the unionists want to drag Scotland back to darker times.

    Any MSP who votes for the repeal will be a traitor to modern forward looking Scotland and will be complicit in fascist Ruth Davidson’s attempt to re-sectarianise our country.

    If they like singing here’s the start of one. Supply the rest of the lyrics if you like.

    Hello hello they are the silly boys
    Hello hello you can tell them by their ploys

    • Jo

      I couldn’t understand the opposition to this Act. I still don’t. It is utterly bizarre that all Parties didn’t support it, some, in the name of free speech! I believe in free speech but I don’t think bigots have the right to spout sectarian bile at each other at matches or on the street. It is shocking that some political Parties seek to defend the “right” of bigots to behave like this.

      • fred

        Well no, bigots shouldn’t be allowed to spout sectarian bile at each other, there should be a law against it and the law should apply to everyone, not just football fans. That law against drinking alcohol at a football match should apply to those in the executive box as well too.

        The problem is if you start having laws which apply to just one section of society they start to feel oppressed and victimised, it generates mistrust between them and the police.

        • reel guid

          I don’t know of any pop groups whose lyrics incite sectarian hatred.

          There was no Offensive Behaviour (Rugby) Act because there’s no sectarian singing at rugby matches.

          Jeez.

        • fred

          So you think things should only be illegal in places where the offence has already been committed?

          “Nobody has ever been murdered on this street so no need for murder to be illegal here.”

          Just make offensive behaviour illegal everywhere and if someone does it at a football match arrest them. As it is people can be as offensive as they like at a pop concert or rugby match with no fear of arrest.

        • reel guid

          Dave

          Songs about referees. Deplorable but inevitable.

          Mind you I wouldn’t mind songs questioning the time management claims of a certain politician/whistler. But that’s unlikely.

        • reel guid

          Just to add that, when reporting on the lodging of James Kelly’s bill on their web pages last week, the BBC described the OBFA as “controversial”. But Kelly’s repeal bill was not given that description.

          So even though the OBFA has always been supported by a substantial majority of the people of Scotland – including a majority of football fans – the BBC dubs it “controversial” and allows the controversial proposed repeal to get away without any such negative tag.

        • Jo

          Fred
          Problem is that this section of society had been bringing Scotland into disrepute through their attachment to sectarian behaviour and obsession with Irish/Northern Irish politics. It’s gone on for decades on both sides and, let’s be honest, is mainly associated with the Old Firm and football which is why this Act specifically targeted behaviour at football matches. It made sense to me to attempt to address a serious problem. That anyone saw it as a restriction to personal “freedom” shows what a very unhealthy approach some have to what “freedom” means.

          • fred

            It’s education not legislation that is the key to eradicating sectarianism, laws like this will only make things worse.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Is it the singing that causes the sectarianism, or the sectarianism that causes the singing? Has the singing ban stopped the sectarianism? And, hey, shouldn’t football clubs actively promoting sectarianism be legislated against, rather than their idiot fans?

      • JOML

        I agree, Jo – it would be understandable if opposition parties were proposing improvements to the law or a replacement. However, in the meantime, the law acts as a torch on a problem we have here in society. I also find it ironic that some on this thread find it okay to use abusive language on this blog – then talk about others being bigots. Abuse on the street is the same as abuse online and there should be equal treatment of the abusers – but I suspect people are braver behind a keyboard than they would be in the street…. or in a crowd rather than being alone. Cowards, basically.

  • K Crosby

    The SNP is being corrupted by the fruits of office, same as Syriza, same as every European bourgeois partei in the last 130-odd years (except for one).

          • K Crosby

            “Don’t be dumb, be a smarty, of course it was the nazi partei!”

            The partei managed partially to break away from the bourgeois state in 1937 because it had support from heavy industry and east Elbian landlords and after the failure of Barbarossa around August 1941 even those lobbies were subordinated to military force, which culminated in inflicting from 1944 the same sort of promiscuous terror on Germans, that they had inflicted on their victims since 1933.

    • Ishmael

      Morality and money. Separate spheres. Nobody is uninfected by this and the attempts at making one equal the other.

      Why id guess we don’t see homeless people in office. Or people with chronic disabilitys who can’t perform to the exacting business standards of office. The exclusion list is endless, but it all has links to money.

      People like JC slip though the net, much to the chagrin of most who despite there sincere mask are simply business men taking care of their own.

  • philip maughan

    Great stuff Craig. As you say, some of us have never stopped campaigning and the Scottish Government has a wealth of good data to call on to illustrate it’s case. I particularly like Robin McAlpine’s (Common Weal) simple, understandable example of how much poorer the Netherlands would immediately be if it were to become part of the UK. Craig Dalziel’s (also Common Weal) papers on currency and the creation of a Scottish Central Bank also make a lot of sense and are easy to understand. Then there is Prof. Richard Murphy’s destruction of GERS. So in summary, the key information is all out there, all it requires is a megaphone to broadcast it..

    • Ishmael

      It’s exactly this sort of contrived idiotic comparisons that illustate why it’s failed.

      “Separated” from the UK you are not the Netherlands, totally different situation. The inaptitude of considering the reality for those up north is huge. Totally head in the clouds, grasping at straws without one coherent actual plan shown to work for Scotland.

      It’s much the same as brexit. Though there are surly aspects of other societies that could be adopted (if ones head was actully considering reality of here) we can simply “BE” other countries.

      I find it all quite astounding the levels of desambodied reality. But while on 100k a year who cares. Anyone can be the queen, vote for me.

    • Ishmael

      On a sadistic note (though I believe brexit could be made to work, with a lot of actual work) I do feel sometimes like I wish you had “it”. So you would see the realities of what you let yourself in for. But so would the poor of Scotland as you announce your advanced currency devaluation.

      I think it would just compound brexit issue. Across the country.

      like Farage you are idelogical nationalists milking the discontent. And I’m not joking. That IS really whats happening, facts on the ground. Politicians earn small fortunes compered to most while saying lots of vague nice ideas that keeps people on the hook. Maybe they have “best intentions” but that doesn’t stop what’s happening in a material sense.

      How people manage to convince themselves they are servants to people who have nothing while they are rich. It’s something to behold.

      • morag

        Sadly, you have grasped the hot end of the poker and are currently screaming incoherently about what, no-one can understand.

        Please respect the knowledge of many in Scotland and listen to them, because much of what you say is uninformative nonsense.

  • reel guid

    Tory Belinda Don has told the BBC that she will fight on over the undemocratic decision to pass her over for the vacant Tory Euro seat. She described the Scottish Conservatives as being run by a Ruth Davidson clique. As we always suspected.

    • jake

      If you cast your mind back there was some controversy about the appointment of Ruth Davidson as leader of the Scotories in the first place.

      • reel guid

        During the 2011 leadership contest the then Scottish Tory chief spin doctor Ramsay Jones was suspended after a newspaper reported him meeting with Davidson and her campaign team in Davidson’s flat. Jones was reinstated after Davidson won the contest.

        • reel guid

          In January of 2012 Jones was appointed a special advisor on Scotland to Prime Minister David Cameron. A post he held for four years, during which time of course the independence referendum was held.

  • Ishmael

    Whats clear to me is those about indyref don’t have a clue. Arn’t considering any reality but Braveheart.

    Like what was said about JC, “not strong enough” like it’s the muscles of a single person who runs the country. Though you’d have to say as far as physical effort goes he’s wiped the floor compared to anything anyone in the SNP has done.

    It’s a fictional wonderland where nobody dare say anything about whats on the cards because …Why?

    Nothing on currency, nothing on what relationships will look like. It’s clear they don’t have a real position. How convenient. “Fill details in yourself” is so popular isn’t it. Wouldn’t what to disturb the visions with actuality.

    • Jo

      I find your post above to be a series of sweeping generalisations, Ishmael, and, potentially, quite offensive. The “Braveheart” reference almost always signals that little of substance will follow and so it was with your post.

      Your allegation that no one from the SNP has ever contributed much to the UK parliament while JC “wiped the floor” with people there is completely untrue.

      I am happy to debate politics and, yes, to criticise the SNP when appropriate but I do try to access facts first rather than merely commit rants to various blogs.

      • Ishmael

        Yet you haven’t addressed one of the points, just accuse me of “ranting”

        Potentially quite offensive? Like I said B4, clutching at straws.

        It’s not untrue, the “independence” campaign did not lose on the front foot. Gaining, And your now voting Tory. Fact. Yet you have not mentioned one aside from vague “potential” ones.

        Who’s being insulted here?

        • JOML

          Ishmael, I suspect Jo hasn’t addressed your points because:
          a) it’s unclear what points you’re trying to make; and/or
          b) what you are saying is inaccurate.
          From your posts I have read over the past month, I suspect you know very little of politics in Scotland and that’s why others can perceive your posts as “ranting”.

          • Ishmael

            “it’s unclear what points you’re trying to make”

            lol, exactly. Back at ya.

            Iv very little time left of the patronising ideological narrow nationalist attitudes here I think. After the time I spent considering and working on these questions, I best leave before I consider to much how you…. Do act offensively and my posts contain things that get removed.

            I pay attention like I bet many Scottish voters do. Hence your “result” ….

  • reel guid

    Mundell still hasn’t tweeted anything about the non-linkage of the Cash For Sash deal and the Barnett Formula.

    Maybe he’s busy behind the scenes acting tough and telling May what’s what.

    Maybe Laura Robson will win Wimbledon.

  • Peter Beswick

    Stopped off at Guido’s gaff this morning to have a cup of tea and found a post regarding a website W4MP (Work for an MP) “The site for everyone working for an MP.

    Guido’s dig was that GCHQ are hiring for Campaign Managers for the Conservative party

    https://order-order.com/2017/06/29/cchq-hiring-campaign-managers/

    I enjoy satire as much as the next man (sorry man, woman, transgender, non-gender, or inbetweeny reversals)

    So I checked out W4MP

    http://www.w4mpjobs.org/

    And Googled “GCHQ W4MP”

    And was surprised to learn they actually do handle GCHQ jobs along with constituency paper clip counters.

    I had never heard of W4MP before so I dug a little deeper and discovered their client list covers substantially more than GCHQ and Conservative Party workers.

    Anybody working in politics in Scotland (or anywhere else for that matter), should check out if your staff have previously been vetted by GCHQ / W4MP/ whoever

  • Sharp Ears

    Sir Mick Davis is the new ‘chief executive’ of the Tory Partei.

    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/sir-mick-davis-named-by-theresa-may-as-conservative-party-chief-executive-1.440595

    He gave £500k to the Partei in 2013. More since??
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10059773/Xstratas-Mick-Davis-gives-500000-to-Conservatives.hmtl

    He bankrolled Werritty in the Liam Fox Atlantic Bridge scandal along with two other pro Israel ‘tycoons’, Pabludowicz and Lewis.

    Adam Werritty bankrolled by three pro-Israel business tycoons
    Mick Davis, Michael Lewis and Poju Zabludowicz named in Cabinet report, with over £140,000 channelled through Pargav
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/oct/18/adam-werritty-pro-israel-funders

  • reel guid

    Tory carpetbagger Luke Graham made his maiden speech in the Commons today. Presumably he pronounced his constituency as Okil & South Perthshire.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      No outcry from the Tory thirteen sent down from Scotland over Mundell’s failure to hold Theresa May to account. Those thirteen Tory MP’s are there not to represent the interests of the Scottish public, but to represent the Tory branch office in Scotland and to help Theresa May thwart any SNP activity in the HoL if they can.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the DUP ten are now worth £20 million quid more, each, than footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. However they’re still missing an eleventh player to make a full football team.

    Maybe HRH Queen Lizzie could join this overpriced mob, afterall she’s just had a £6 million pounds pay rise from the public purse, yet millions are struggling due to Tory austerity.

  • ANDREW SANDERS

    Craig – I agree and I write as one of the thousands who joined after indyref1. That broad and optimistic campaign enthused me so much that I felt I had to do something, even at an advanced age (almost 79) to try to make Scotland a better, more humane, country. The broad Yes movement, which should include the SNP, has to be revived.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile as the Red Cross declared that the English NHS was in a humanitarian crisis. This is the new plan, though doctors fear it will be a disaster, as the axe falls to cut services further.

    “Nearly 23 million people in England – more than 40% of the population – could be affected by proposed cuts to A&E departments, doctors are warning.”

    “The analysis of NHS plans by the British Medical Association also warned the changes were being rushed through without the evidence they will work.”

    https://archive.is/vXJes

  • Republicofscotland

    Wel, the Tory, DUP sleazy deal, shows once and for all that there is a magic money tree at Westminster, and what a tree it is, on top of the billion quid, NI will also see no pensioner mean testing on winter fuel payments, and no state pension revisions either.

    NI already receives 21% more in state spending than any other region of the UK.

    Well good luck to NI, if they can get it fair enough, their ten votes, has seen NI take a branch from the Westminster magic money tree.

    The DUP’s ten and their canny acumen, puts the Scottish Tory thirteen to shame, the useless treacherous b*stards didn’t make a sound over the deal, nor threaten to hold back their votes for a good deal for Scotland.

  • A Truly Concerned Troll

    The idea that support for independence will rise as the Brexit tsunami strikes presupposes that A) the SNP will be in a position to capitalise on it, and B) the Unionist Parties and Media will somehow stand back and allow us to see things for what they and to act freely.

    The big problem since 2014, as I see it, along with the SNP’s lack of enthusiasm for independence, derives from the SNP’s proclamation that the referendum result was fair and to be accepted without question. There’s a spectrum of possible standpoints between that position and outright denial of the referendum’s legitimacy.

    Regardless of what you think on that score, the SNP stance has put those who support another referendum in a weakened position, exposed to neverendum and “once in a generation” taunts — “we had a referendum and the people said no”.

    When people say that to me in real life my response is simple; there are question marks over the legitimacy of the 2014 result, they changed what was on offer with the Vow (after postal voting had commenced), media bias was off the hinges, and the general population were subject to unacceptable levels of lies, spin, and threats.

    So, yes, question marks. I don’t get any kick out of saying any of that, it’s simply the truth. Speaking of truth, has anyone established how Ruth seemed to know the result before the votes had been counted?

    All that aside, I agree that the SNP has not only done nothing in terms of arguing for independence since 2014, they have cowered and sought to avoid any discussion of it. The General Election campaign was beyond farcical.

    My position on the SNP, Independence, and politics is this. I’d rather lose every election fighting for the thing I believe in than win fighting for something that I don’t care about.

    • JOML

      Spot on – if you want self determination, you will always want self determination. You can’t wait a generation or a lifetime. If people don’t want self determination, they should vote for a unionist party – and state the positives of the union, if they want to debate, rather than constantly whine.

  • Sharp Ears

    Reprieve and Privacy International are taking legal action jointly against the government over the Prime Minister’s secret order to British spies.

    http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/legal-action-prime-ministers-secret-order-british-spies/

    There is a request to sign this petition –

    Call on the UK Government to publish ‘The Third Direction’
    https://reprieve.bsd.net/page/s/third-direction

    ‘Working with Privacy International, Reprieve has discovered the existence of a secret policy, or ‘direction’, from Downing Street. We know it concerns covert activities being conducted right now by Britain’s intelligence agencies, but that’s all we know – for now.

    It is called ‘The Third Direction’.

    The first two directions concern torture and cyber surveillance – issues which clearly have huge implications for human rights. The Third Direction is entirely shrouded in secrecy.

    We’re worried that The Third Direction may give our Government license to violate fundamental human rights. We don’t yet know what it relates to, but it could be one of several things – including the UK’s use of lethal force, incommunicado detention, or extreme interrogation techniques overseas.’

    cont’d on link

    • John Goss

      Thank you Sharp Ears. I’ve signed and shared. The UK’s reputation for fairness has eroded every year. Until this century, to my knowledge, there were no allegations of our government condoning, let alone encouraging torture. Sign the above petition and let us find out what plans they have for those of us they clearly do not represent.

      • Seydlitz

        The British government did not condone torture in the last century?Was it not chastised for torturing IRA suspects,EOKA fighters,Malay insurgents, Kenya kikuyu fighters and farmers, the list is very long.The sun never set on the empire and the blood never dried.

    • Republicofscotland

      Sharp Ears good links, I’d never heard of any of the “Directions”

      I tell a lie, I’ve heard of “One Direction” the band, maybe that’s where they got there name from, a GCHQ spy band. ?

  • Michael McNulty

    The votes in the Commons show how reactionary the Tories are going to be, cheering down the vote for first responders to get a pay raise while sharing the fruits of the magic money tree to ensure their cruel agenda continues. And it looks like the choice to head the inquiry into the Grenfell fire means the fix is in. No Tory did it. A contractor who had no say and fitted what he was given, he might have done it.

    • Xavi

      Yes, and Gavin Barwell, the housing minister who sat on recommended new fire-safety regs for tower blocks (following 2009 fire in Southwark), continues unquestioned as the PM’s chief advisor.

      • Michael McNulty

        I forgot about him and his sitting on recommendations for four years, but it shows how quickly we do forget and that always works in authority’s favour, especially as the judge’s first remit will be to, “Take five years, old boy. We’ll be gone by then.” It proves lessons are not for learning but ignoring and hiding. Imprisonment, uprisings, beatings, lynchings–those are the only lessons power learns.

  • Ishmael

    Sure my posts contain generalities, even (I’m sure to some) seeming contradictions.

    Though I also try to find out the plan, And there is none. Im specifically considering questions of what it’s going to look like in material terms. It’s never presented in any depth by anyone supporting independence. Nobody.

    This more than anything (though not the only thing) is what’s informed my opinion on “it” now I’m less ideologically inclined. And I think the analogies I made perfectly reasonable and UNDISPUTED. It’s all every well to ignore me as you might. DO. And then some imply I’m the one acting offensive ? As if I just don’t understand “Scottish Politics” because your all so “advanced” vs the rest of the uk?

    I don’t take offence actually ….From people while they maintain this disrespect. I think it’s a sad personalised meme politicians and others use to deflect genuine arguments now that violence is less acceptable. But that does not mean your whole gang is right. And if your doing that it probably means you’ve something to defend that speaks to the interest of the gang over pertinent facts. …But I bet a lot of people do take offence and can’t say I blame them.

    Me, iv just go a much thinker skin now, And let’s hope we never have the misfortune to meet as I’m only human and contempt will surely arise.

    • JOML

      Ishmael, here’s a link to the Scottish Government’s white paper, perhaps giving you the greater level of detail you seek. It’s not perfect, with greater detail required, but it is much greater detail than what the opposition provided for their vision for the future of the UK (i.e. there was no equivalent from the unionists). You’ll also note that this attempt far exceeded anything produced by anyone during the EU referendum. The challenge for those seeking independence is to improve on that white paper and provide clearer visions for key issues, even if it is to clarify that it is impossible to see into the future – but emphasise it is better to make our own decisions than allow a larger neighbouring country make decisions on our behalf.
      Hope this is of some interest to you.
      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/9348/0

    • Jo

      Ishmael
      The “disrespect” starts when you throw words like “Braveheart” around. It gets hackles up and it’s not a good starting point for a debate.

      You also wrote off the entire SNP contingent at Westminster as if they’ve never contributed meaningfully there when that just isn’t true. Salmond was widely respected in the Commons as an excellent speaker. Young Mhairi Black, only in her early 20s, put in a power of work on the impact for women of my age of new pension legislation which means that instead of being two years away from my pension I’m now NINE after working for forty years. The work she did was recognised across the Parties.

      To return to Salmond, both he and Charlie Kennedy stood up to Blair over the perils of invading Iraq. During his time in the Commons Salmond showed a genuine interest in the plight of people across the UK. He is about a lot more than Braveheart.

      I am not suggesting that we know more than you do but I do think it’s possible that you’re not familiar with the way things are in Scotland. That’s why it’s not sensible to generalise.

  • Jo

    I see the payments to farmers issue is making more bad headlines again today. Don’t know much about the problems behind this other than it’s to do with a dodgy computer that cost a lot of bucks. Why did this happen? Is it another example of public sector using amateurs to design systems as happened elsewhere like at HMRC?

    It’s irritating that Ruth the Mooth is getting so much mileage out of it while those responsible for a bad system remain anonymous. It’s also infuriating that while payments were delayed the BBC keeps forgetting to say that loan payments were made to farmers instead.

    I’d like to see the SG providing more background to what went wrong and why rather than having to take the entire blame for something that was presumably outwith its control.

    Does anyone have any more background regarding the problem? It looks like the media aren’t interested in knowing who caused it.

      • Jo

        JOML
        I’ve worked in two CS departments and could write a book about the fallout from using numpties to install new computer systems. I’m really keen to know who is responsible for the farming payments debacle.

        • fred

          CGI.

          The government commissioned Fujitsu to do an investigation and assessment but they are keeping their report secret.

          The loans to farmers are for 60% up to £20,000 only if the farmer has been refused a loan from their bank so most farmers will be paying interest.

  • Michael McNulty

    Somebody on Sky News just said, “So we’ve gone from a hung parliament to a bung parliament?” I like it.

  • mike

    Contract between Russia and Turkey for sale of S400 air defence system is in the final stages of negotiation; Turkish forces begin attacking US allies, the Kurds, in northern Syria.

    Methinks there is a connection.

  • Peter Beswick

    Trump heading for a Lions Den in Hamburg next week.

    I’m not surprised that he is unraveling.

  • Becky Cohen

    So Theresa May bribes the DUP with £1 billion pounds to vote for her to keep the 1 per cent pay cap on poor public sector workers whom, at the same time she requires to pay the £1 billion pounds to the DUP? Funny old world, eh?

  • fred

    The British Transport Police Federation response to the passing of the Railway Policing Bill.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DDa7FDIW0AAai24.jpg

    With all the important matters desperately needing attention all the SNP can focus on is getting the word “British” off Transport Police badges regardless of what effects it will have on policing.

    • Node

      Fred

      Can you supply another link for this document, please. It seems unlikely that someone went to the bother of forging such an innocuous document, but nonetheless, it has a fishy wiff about it.

      A search for words and phrases within it produces nothing.
      A search for “DDa7FDIW0AAai24.jpg” produces nothing.
      Its heading “Our response to the Railway Policing Bill (Scotland) Bill” is an unlikely typo for an official document.
      It’s strange that the document is only available as a jpg.

  • J

    Kensington & Chelsea Tory leader walks out of council meeting:

    https://twitter.com/ConnorGillies/status/880485304410546181

    I’ve stepped in few tweets and comments which attempt to sympathise with this fellow, Nicholas Paget-Brown, and I’m still trying to wipe the hypocrisy off my shoe. They don’t exactly ring with sincerity. People are angry at what they’ve suffered this last ten years and for no good reason. We’ve all suffered. So what’s really fascinating isn’t the arrogance, nor the outright refusal to take some responsibility before or after the fact, it’s the clear vibe of guilt and fear running through all the communications handed down to us from on high. they know we know some of what they’re hiding from us. They know we’re watching them and yet they still don’t seem capable of recognising their tenants as human beings, in dire need and distress. They clearly don’t feel any kind of obligation, they might ask “why should we?”

    It could be that Mr Paget-Brown is telling us very clearly they’ve been caught with blood all over their hands, but we just aren’t listening hard enough.

    Get the Tories out.

    https://twitter.com/Thomashornall/status/880515506423255040

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