Scotland Must Defend Carla Ponsati; Sturgeon Cannot Play Pontius Pilate 1033

It is sickening that Spanish courts continue to jail, and remove from political life, Catalan politicians who are the victors in democratic elections. That the European political class and media is almost entirely complicit and supportive in this truly vicious repression of the Catalan people, has shocked many of us to our core, and made us realise how thin is the veneer of democracy and how fragile are the rights we believed we held.

If the UK were any kind of a democracy, opposition parties would have held firm against the rush to conflict with Russia, until serious and thorough investigation of the Skripal case had yielded real results. At the very least, you would expect to see a select committee of the House of Commons call the head of Porton Down to give evidence and quiz him about the level of certainty they have of the identity and the Russian manufacture of the substance which poisoned the Skripals.

Instead, we have seen all the establishment parties fall over themselves to appear as belligerent and faux-Churchillian as May and her pipsqueaks, in order to placate the tabloids. This is ludicrous. You cannot out-jingo the Tories, and the rush to increase international tension benefits nobody except the armaments and security industries.

I am obliged to say I was disgusted by Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP leadership and their premature condemnations of Russia. By coincidence I spent much of last week at pro-Indy events and I have to say I found this disgust almost universal.

The odd voice was prepared to offer the usual Nicola excuse of “She is trying not to alienate the Unionists”. But what is the point of not alienating the Unionists by, to all intents and purposes, becoming a Britnat yourself? The continued failure – for years now – of the SNP to argue to the public the case for Independence, the attempt to dodge Indyref2, all of it leaves me to feel that the SNP leadership have got their feet under the table within the UK, as a form of controlled opposition.

The SNP leadership are far happier talking about which powers devolve to Holyrood from Brussels, and which stay at Westminster, than they are talking about Independence. I don’t give a damn about the precise contours of the devolution settlement; I want my country to be free of Westminster entirely, and soon.

We are not yet subject to the extreme state repression afflicting our counterparts in Catalonia, but you can be certain the Tories have noted the template, and that other Western political leaders will support them if they start putting people like me in the pokey for thirty years for sedition. Sadly it has become abundantly clear that there is no danger of the highly paid SNP elected representatives, their SPADs, and party bureaucrats, ever putting themselves in that position.

They would be with those handing down the sentences, as their attitude to Carla Ponsati shows.

Just as MEPs lined up one after another in the European Parliament to defend Francoist thugs batoning grandmothers trying to vote as the “rule of law”, and use the same excuse for lengthy sentences for political prisoners, so there was an echo of this distancing in Nicola Sturgeon’s response to the extradition of Catalan campaigner Carla Ponsati through the Scottish courts, potentially to spend the rest of her life in a Spanish jail just for peacefully campaigning for freedom for her country.

Nicola referred to “the fact our justice system is legally obliged to follow due process in the determination of extradition requests”. She too is hiding behind “the rule of law” and thus turning a blind eye to the Francoist attack on fundamental rights.

Very few voters of the SNP put Nicola Sturgeon into parliament in order to warm her toes at the Robert Adam fireplaces at Bute House, while Catalan leaders are dragged from Scotland to a terrible repression. The SNP leadership have become far too adept at speaking with British Establishment voices and thinking with British Establishment minds.

At some stage they have to accept that achieving Scottish Independence is in itself a revolutionary act, and that it will never be achieved without real constitutional conflict with the UK, the sort of political conflict which has attended the birth of every independent state. If you are afraid to do something “unconstitutional” under the present repressive system, you have no right to pretend to be a part of the Independence movement.

For Sturgeon to hide behind the Edinburgh High Tory Scottish legal establishment and wash her hands, Pontius Pilate like, over the extradition of Carla Ponsati is simply unacceptable.

Saving this brave woman is as noble a cause to launch a constitutional crisis as one might wish for. The Holyrood parliament must pass a Bill forbidding the extradition of Ponsati and the Scottish government must order Police Scotland to enforce it. We need finally to show we are serious about challenging the UK. If Sturgeon declines, then the Scottish people must physically defend Ponsati. And the Independence movement must fundamentally reconsider its leadership and strategy.

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1,033 thoughts on “Scotland Must Defend Carla Ponsati; Sturgeon Cannot Play Pontius Pilate

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  • N_

    BBC radio today: Labour is “antisemitic”, and it’s good some Irish pubgoers can drink alcohol in a pub on Good Friday now, rather than in each others’ houses. Because they want to. So it must be.

    Got to wonder how long it will be until the dominant line tells us that Christianity itself is “antisemitic”.

  • Charles

    Russia demands access to Yulia Skripal after waking from nerve agent poisoning

    Good questions who has assumed responsibility of the Skripal’s privacy and other welfare, (not blood sample access) does their treatment in fact constitute unlawful imprisonment with demeaning and humiliating treatment?

    If I were in an accident and coma I wouldn’t want the State making public unsubstantiated announcements about who they thought was responsible, putting photos of me all over the media (I didn’t need identifying) and refusing access to my loved ones.

    • Charles

      The British government has shown zero compassion to the Skripals and turned them into a political freak show for propaganda purposes.

      An absolute and vile disgrace!

      • N_

        Russia has called for a meeting of the OPCW executive on Monday. The Guardian says that “(t)he British intelligence services will be debriefing (Yulia Skripal) as soon as her health permits.” Really? Without someone from her consulate present? Imagine if the FSB “debriefed” a British person who had been seriously injured in an assassination attempt in Russia, a person not suspected of having committed any kind of crime, without telling the British consulate or letting the person make a phone call to their family! She is being treated practically as if she is some kind of suspected terrorist. There must be a legal attempt now to break her isolation, before MI5 start questioning her. The MSM will be no help.

        The Guardian continues that “(i)t would clearly be a huge embarrassment for the UK government [*] if it emerged she believed the Russian state was not involved.” No shit!

        (*) “UK government” is what dickheads call the British government nowadays, to promote the “eternity” and “naturalness” of the monarchy. Don’t do it, kids.

        • giyane


          What’s the problem with UK government? The British government of yore was full of other ethnicities, but its comprehensive ruthlessness gained a bad reputation which it overcame by the slogan ‘UK’. There is something devious , duplicitous and damaging in every word the evil prime minister utters. When she uses the term ‘UK’ the devious, duplicitous and damaging slogan exudes her personal deceit, a deceit which has tarnished the entire West who have followed her into this waste disposal tip of toxic lies about Salisbury with its plume of methane gas.

          When we fill in forms we have to declare our nationality as UK. if the prime minister was a man of integrity like Jeremy Corbyn, rather than one that reeks of death and destruction, I see no objection to the term UK. One woman surely cannot poison a whole brand but here again if it turns out it wasn’t novichocs she might be the weakest link.

      • Goodwin

        Your Royal Highness,
        I think zero compassion would have been to leave them writhing on a park bench in their own vomit …

        • giyane


          No, since you ask. I am a Brit whom the British public School system succeeded in annoying, who eventually found Islam, and whom the Greater Stuffed Establishment of Islam has also succeeded in annoying by spying on my private life, and misquoting the Qur’an to justify colluding with USUKIS in the political destruction of the Middle East. Two wrongs obviously don’t make a right. But when the political arm of Kufr/ Disbelief , and the political arm of Islam/ Belief get together and continuously destroy the Muslims for 30 years as part of a political game against Russia (and China ) i.e. Socialism, then you realise that the aim of both is a high level of social stratification with them at the top. Equality is their mutual enemy. Politics, whether of the non-believing flavour or the believing flavour, is the art of self-interest, Nuff said.

  • N_

    Gaza: the I___elis have killed at least 16 Palestinians and injured 758 with live fire (so they are surely shooting many to wound) and more than 600 with rubber bullets and tear gas. (Source: Gaza health ministry, quoted in Daily Mail.) They have also attacked sites in Gaza using tank fire and aerial bombing, in response to what the IDF “said was an attempted shooting attack against soldiers along the border that caused no injuries”. The UN Security Council will meet later on Friday (New York time). This is Passover night. What name is the IDF giving this operation?

      • JOML

        I’m avoiding thinking about, N_, because it’s too awful to comprehend and I feel ashamed being a taxpayer in a country that supports and hides / ignores these atrocities.

      • Node

        so far this is smaller than other Gaza massacres ….

        The protest has only just begun. It continues till 15 May – Nakba Day.

        Isra*fuckingmurders*el began the day with a demonstration of its inhumanity when it fired a tank shell at a farmer tending his land near the border, signaling that it doesn’t need any other reason to massacre Palestinians than that they exist.

        The bulk of today’s ‘news’ output from Isra*genocidal*el was concerned with creating a narrative that armed Palestinians are attacking them and they are defending themselves. The UDF special forces will be on overtime, being filmed in infrared firing rifles in the dark and throwing Molotov cocktails. As the narrative is established, the death toll will mount. For every death, they will injure twenty, snipers aiming for the knees to cripple for life. A high proportion will be children, because that causes the most misery in families.

        And meanwhile the BBC and the rest of the conniving MSM accomplices to murder will be pointing the other way, saying “look at those evil Russians.”

    • Robyn

      But how reliable is that London Economic article when it states as fact that the Skripals were poisoned by ‘a deadly nerve agent developed by the Russian military’?

  • Robert Louis

    I share some of the concerns of Craig in his article. More and more, the SNP seem too be risk averse, happy to cling on to what they have, and ‘not rock the boat’. Heaven forbid we should have a ‘constitutional crisis’. As I have pointed out before, it is hardly surprising that Westminster now completely ignores the Scottish Government. Too many times, the FM has backtracked at the first hint of MSM criticism, to much appeasement and acquiescence.

    I do not doubt Nicola joined the SNP to gain independence, but I do question the fire she has for that now. How many times have you heard a senior SNP person making an impassioned case for independence over the last two years?? When you think about it, you realise the answer is never, and I include the FM in that. When Alex Salmond was FM, he rarely talked about anything else.

    Way too much timidity, too much ‘playing it safe’. You will NEVER convince the people of Scotland to vote for independence, if you do not regularly make the case for doing so. I cannot fathom why the FM is becoming so quiet on these things. I sadly, watched her interviewed on Channel 4 this week, and the way she talked, her whole phraseology was one of meek acceptance of brexit. Of course she stated that she was opposed to it, but then said (paraphrased) we need to make the best of a bad situation. Where was the fight? where was the assertion that Scotland did not vote to leave the EU and no SNP Government would sit back and let that be done?

    It is like the SNP have just decided not to bother with independence, and accept brexit- too much hassle, and besides they might all lose their cushy MSP/MP jobs. It just seems to ba a constant state of procrastination, ‘if we just wait another month, or if we just hold on until the Autumn, or if we just wait to see what the final brexit deal is, then we can go for independence’. This procrastination has been going on for wayyy too long.

    If an SNP government just let Westminster take Scotland out the EU against its clear wishes, then it is not fit to be in government. When brexit happens, will we all be able to say, the FM and SNP Govenrment fought hard and did everything to block it? Will we?? I doubt it.

    Talk is cheap. It is utterly pointless the FM and Scotgov moaning about brexit, when they refuse to assert THEIR alternative. Yes, it might get dragged through the courts, yes, their might be a ‘constitutional crisis’, but so what. Do something, FFS.

    If brexit does get imposed on Scotland, then just think, that will set a new, very clear, constitutional benchmark as to what London can do to Scotland against its wishes. That will be the legacy of inaction by the Scotgov. That might, just might be the SNP Government legacy- and they could never be taken seriously again. It is clear brexit will be a mess for Scotland. No more detail is needed. The Scots parliament has given a mandate, the people have twice given a mandate at the ballot box. It’s called democracy. Get on with it.

    • N_

      What mandate at what ballot box? I thought “democracy” meant one person one vote within a community, and then the community does what the majority decided. In this case the community was Britain – hence the word “Brexit”. In delegate assemblies it means whatever a majority of delegates ran for election on a platform for.

      Scotland isn’t independent. You want it to be independent? Fine. Then fight for a mandate for a second independence referendum. Who wants a bunch of politicians declaring UDI? Didn’t work in Dublin 1916 and doesn’t seem to have worked well in Veneto or Catalonia. Craig’s idea of banning an Orange Order march in Edinburgh on the eve of the referendum wouldn’t have worked either. What do you want – martyrs? To achieve a mandate you have to get off your butts, pull your leaders’ noses out of the trough (you won’t be successful at that one), and win people over. You’re a minority. You need to win people over who don’t support independence right now. Selling sunshine didn’t work. You need to have a plan that you present to people (currency, health service, constitution, relations with rump Britain, visa issues), treating them as something other than morons, not just irritating, infantile, chauvinist tropes such as saying “London” when you’re thinking “FEBs” and claiming that “London” are “imposing” such and such on Scotland. Many SNP types live in their own world and don’t realise just how much they turn other people off. I know of Scots living in England who say that if Scotland becomes independent they will never return to Scotland. I wouldn’t be surprised if you call me a liar for saying that, but it’s the truth.

  • knuckles

    Lets take a minute to celebrate and appreciate a safe and secure Easter with the Christian community of Syria. The first peaceful Easter celebrations in Damascus in many years, no thanks to the faux-Christian western leaders trying to wipe them out.

    Thanks to the sacrifices of the SAA, Russia, Iran and Lebanon, Sunni and Shia united, their Christian brothers and sisters can celebrate in peace, and without fear of the FSA/AQ/IS and their salafist backers arriving to chop minorities up. Every decent European supports you in your war of survival against these Saudi inspired barbarians.

    Lets also take a minute to appreciate the terror the minorities of Afrin are currently experiencing, being interrogated and humiliated by the western funded FSA (bin Laden lovers) as to how many times a day they pray to God. This method was used by IS and now the FSA (former IS fighters under another logo) to identify non Salafists. Men, women and children who appear in these interrogation tweets tend to never be seen again once the clip ends.

    Lets all wish the Syrian people the best in wiping the scum from this planet.

  • knuckles

    The people of Gaza are being maimed and murdered by the IDF for protesting about the humanitarian crisis and what is the lead story across the British MSM –

    ‘Lord’ Sugar tweeting about Hitler.

    Godwins Law has gone mainstream? Or an unfortunate coincidence? Some would be forgiven for being suspicious….

  • mike

    So…I’m wondering about this:

    First, Corbyn is subjected to another anti-semitism attack, which this time included a demo in London.

    We then have the IDF shooting protesters during the right to return march.

    I smell a teensy bit of co-ordination here. And it has worked. Ordinarily, Corbyn would have condemned what the IDF has done. But not this time. A major critic has been silenced by those who would have KNOWN FINE WELL that the Palestinian march would have resulted in unarmed civilians being shot.

    Corbyn was silenced before the march, and the inevitable shootings, took place.

    PS Alan Sugar is a prick.

    • N_

      During the 2008-09 massacre in Gaza, Mike Whine of the paramilitary “Community Security Trust” appeared on the BBC saying that in response to events in Gaza there had been an “upsurge” of “anti-Semitic incidents” in Britain, including one case where some one had scraled “Kill the J__s” on a wall. The BBC happily broadcast this crap as if it were anything other than war propaganda for a genocidal foreign power. Then the “Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism” was established in London, with British government help.

      There are British citizens serving in the IDF right now. The British authorities have no problem with those who encourage them to go and fight for their genocidal terrorist cause, nor with their return to Britain once they’ve shot a few Arab refugees. Do that for Daesh and you get your British citizenship removed. You may even get a visit from an RAF drone as Jihadi John did. Recruit for Daesh in Britain and they lock you up. Recruit for the IDF and that’s no problem at all, so long as you don’t carry rifles on Golders Green Road or into the Palace of Westminster. Go and kill for the IDF, no problem.

      Where is the left? Apologising.

      • Sharp Ears

        I heard Maajid Nawaz (Quilliam) on LBC earlier recounting how someone had placed acid into a baby’s pram and the baby was burnt. No other details. Where or when etc? He said that the baby belonged to a rabbi. His type just love stirring the pot.

        PS I expect you know that Quilliam attempted to shut Craig down way back.

        There are several other links if you put ‘Quilliam’ in thr search bpox on here.

      • Sharp Ears

        1.9m !results for that name including this one from Cameron’s

        Michael Whine appointed new UK expert against racism and intolerance
        K independent expert on problems of racism and intolerance to serve five-year term on Council of Europe’s racism monitoring body

        PS Did you know that the CST trustees are given anonymity on the Charity Commission website. Late chair Sir William Shawcross, a Zionist supporter. The CST are part funded by the government and are given training by the Met, Ronson is the main funder of it and of many other J charities.

  • N_

    From the BBC:

    A request by the Russian Embassy to visit Yulia Skripal in hospital is being considered by the UK government. The Russian Embassy in London says it “insists on the right to see” Ms Skripal, who is a Russian citizen. The rights and wishes of Ms Skripal, now thought to be conscious, will be taken into account, the UK said. The Foreign Office said it would consider Russia’s request in line with its obligations under international and domestic law.

    Great. Those obligations say that Russia must not be obstructed from fulfilling its consular functions. Ms Skripal was allowed into Britain on her Russian passport. She is entitled to communicate with her consulate. She is not suspected of committing or preparing acts of terrorism or indeed of any other crime. Britain maintains consular relations with Russia. The countries are not at war.

    The proper thing is that as soon as she is well enough, she should be

    * told her dad is in a coma
    * asked “Is there anyone you’d like us to contact?”
    * told “Your consulate has asked to visit you. Is that OK with you?”

    She should not be told “First of all you must be debriefed by MI5”.

    Public relations memo to the Russian consulate
    There will be press present when your person goes to the hospital. Consider sending a woman.

    • N_

      Send a woman, smiling (but not too much) and carrying some fruit and flowers, and who can speak English like a native.

      Give a press conference outside the hospital. Don’t take any shit from the kid from the Sun. (But best not to be flanked by shaven-headed ~KGB minders all the same. Play it feminine.) Conclude with the words

      Yulia asked me to contact her family in Russia which I have now done. My job as a consular official is to support our citizens who have met with unfortunate circumstances abroad. It is right that I have been allowed to do so. Responding to the disgraceful and false allegations made by the Foreign Office is the ambassador’s job. All I’m going to say is that we are delighted that Yulia is recovering, we thank all the health staff, and we hope she will continue her recovery to the best of health, supported by her family. Thank you for your interest.

      As for Sergei Skripal, it’s interesting that Britain claims the right to support dual Iranian-British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe even when she is in Iran but none of the British media remember her case when a dual Russian-British citizen is lying in a Salisbury hospital.

      • N_

        Yes, she can refuse a visit from the consulate and she can apply for asylum in Britain.

        I can envisage many scenarios in which I was in trouble abroad and wouldn’t want a visit from a Britty kingdom rep. In other scenarios I’d want one.

        In any case her passport is the property of the Russian government and must be returned if they ask for it.

  • Sharp Ears

    Any Questions. BBXC Radio 4 last night and repeated today.

    Tristram Hunt!! Mark Littlewood !!! Nimco Ali – Who? Lionel Shriver.

    Guess what the first question was? ‘Are Labour doing all they can to prevent anti-semitism in their party?’

    The mealy mouthed Hunt is repellent, ditto Littlewood who was a spin doctor for the LDs

    See Craig on Hunt..
    Well said.

    Any Answers coming up at 2pm.

    • SA

      Yes a very biased panel with no representation of the POV from Corbyn’s side. Ism afraid I didn’t listen to all of it but I believe that there were some defenders of Corbyn in ‘any answers’. Usual BBC Corbyn hit job. I agree TH was disgusting.

  • N_

    “Sniper” is the wrong term to use for the Z__nist shooters who are wounding Palestinians by the hundred on the other side of the fortified camp fence. There is no need for the shooters to conceal themselves – they are not at risk of being shot, since the civilian population they are firing at do not have any guns. It seems what we are talking about is young fascists standing on top of the earth bank counting how many hits they can get. Is there even a standard military word for that? It’s “stand in the guardtower, shoot concentration camp prisoners when they walk into the edge strip” stuff. How heroic. I wonder whether they wear camouflage face-paint?

    • Node

      Is there even a standard military word for that?

      They could call it “Paddocking” after Stephen Paddock who fired repeatedly into a crowd of civilians at a Las Vegas gathering.

      Or to call a spade a spade … “Massacre.”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    In searching Aeroflot plane were the British counterterrorists hoping to find more Russian nerve agents or were they just trying to plant some of their own?

    • Sharp Ears

      Ben Wallace, the minister concerned, ex Scots Guards and QinetiQ etc etc., confirmed that the plane was searched and then the plane went on its way. We were not told anything further as is per usual in this ‘democracy’.

      One can only boggle at his catch all title which is Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime. I am sure the Tory boys in the City are very worried about him, not.

      He is also a member of the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen’s Bodyguard. Let’s hope he creep’s quiver is in good order.

      A nasty piece of work. I see he retweeted this above a photo of Corbyn speaking with a Cuba Solidarity Campaign background.
      ‘Ben Wallace MP Retweeted
      David Jack‏Verified account @DJack_Journo · Mar 26
      Judge a man by his friends – in Corbyn’s case that’s Hamas, the IRA, Soviet Russia, Chavez, Castro’

  • Republicofscotland

    We’re not even out the EU yet, however the HO round ups are beginning. I imagine that after we’ve exited the EU these sort of travesties, will be common place. On this occasion they may backdown, probably due to the press intervention, using a dodgy passport excuse.

    “A man who has lived in Britain for almost 60 years has been told by the Home Office he is in the UK illegally.”

    “Elwaldo Romeo moved from Antigua to the UK when he was four, 59 years ago, and has lived and worked here continuously ever since.”

    “He was extremely distressed to receive a Home Office letter earlier this month informing him that he was “liable to be detained” because he was a “person without leave”.

    “The letter continued: “You have NOT been given leave to enter the United Kingdom within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971.”

    “He has been told to report fortnightly to Home Office premises. The letter also offered advice on “help and support on returning home voluntarily”.

    “Given that all his schooling was in London, he studied at college here, has worked here for more than 40 years, has held a British passport, owns his own home in London, and has two adult British children and five British grandchildren, he cannot understand why the Home Office has classified him as someone who is here illegally.”

    • reel guid


      It would be hard to believe Home Office functionaries would be behaving as badly as this without the malign influence of Amber Rudd driving it along.

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid, when you look at what the HO has done in Scotland trying to remove good people like the Brain family and the Feber family and others. I foresee even more injustice after we leave the EU.

        Meanwhile Colonel Rape Clause Ruth Davidson and her flunkies have threatened to walk out of Holyrood if Sturgeon calls a indyref without Theresa May’s permission.

          • Republicofscotland

            Apologies it’s a old link, though Sturgeon will need to get her skates on and announce a second indyref soon before we leave the EU, because it will be more than likelythe PM will block EU citizens from voting in it after we leave.

            Still I expect Ruth to rail rather loudly when she does announce the date.

          • reel guid


            The Tories think only they have the right to walk out. Scotland shouldn’t be given the right any longer to walk out of the union according to them. Oh yes we do.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            I’m hoping the day is soon when SNP MP’s can walk out of Westminster for good, for independence will have been achieved and MP’s from Scotland will no longer be required.

        • N_

          Re. Ruth Davidson, what do you expect? Don’t you want a referendum that everyone agrees is legitimate? Say you’re on 45% at the moment. All you’ve got to do is persuade 1 in 11 among the 55%, not just for five minutes but until the next Holyrood election, and you will get one 🙂

          An independence plan on offer in a referendum could include something like this list:

          1) neutrality – no military alliances of any kind with any other country
          2) commitment to strive for a single market, customs union, and “health service union” with England and the rest of Britain
          3) a republic
          4) a written constitution
          5) clarity on currency
          6) no fear of the Scottish state being dominated post-independence by a rabid party whose main ideology is nationalism

          A problem for the SNP is if it were to promise 2), people would realise that it takes two to tango and that if we want these things – actually to have them, not just a commitment to try to get them – then the best way to ensure we keep them is to vote against independence.

          And what the SNP does want to keep is all the crap: NATO and the monarchy.

          Unable to address real problems, the SNP blames the FEBs “London” for everything and shouts about “fearmongering”. It’s as if a lady in Edinburgh who might go and live with her son in Leeds and wants to be sure she’ll still get treatment on the NHS is a “moaning minny”.

          And we get all this total garbage about “Scotland staying in the EU after Brexit”, which is just the political equivalent of supporting whoever plays against England. If Scotland were to join the EU when the rest of Britain leaves the single market and customs union, Scotland would not be allowed to be in a single market and customs union with the rest of Britain, by far its most important trading partner. The SNP answer is?

          Independent countries negotiate treaties with other independent countries, and negotiation means you don’t get everything you want. It is no wonder that support for independence is skewed towards the young and the not-so-successful among the middle-aged.

          Once intellect is applied, the case for independence is weakened by Brexit, not strengthened.

          • Republicofscotland


            Im not sure that Scots do want to keep the monarchy, a vote would be required on that. If I recall correctly the SNP narrowly voted to remain in Nato, that was several years ago, attitude may have changed, and we might not want to continue down that path.

            As for say the EU, remaining in the Single Market is the goal, I’m not so sure that remaining in the Customs union is prefereable, again a vote after independence would need to be taken.

            As for the referrendum itself, it must be held before we leave the EU, for as I’ve stated the PM, would probably not want EU citizens voting in it. Ergo, we’ll need to defy Westminster if it continues to put out the line, now is not the time.

            Ive no idea of what you mean by “getting what you want” On the result of independence being attained, god willing, a two year negotiation period will kick in where everthing will be decided from national debts to trade deals.

          • JOML

            N_, “once intellect is applied”, it makes sense to look after your own affairs, rather than hand over responsibility to a larger neighbour to do as they wish.
            Disappointed that you bring FEB into the debate – never heard this being used by the SNP, particularly their English members and supporters.
            As for your opinion of the young voters, I disagree with you. The older voter is often blinded by the prejudices they pick up over the years, whereas the young bring a freshness and new ideas. It is the older generations that have brought us to this bloody mess.

          • Node

            For what it’s worth, I’m Scottish and I’ve never heard the term “FEB” till now. I had to Google it.

  • N_

    Toxic Dagger, the British chemical warfare exercise that ran shortly before the Salisbury attack, is known to have involved the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down.

    The three-week programme included Company-level attacks and scenarios concerning CBRN vignettes, concluding with a full-scale exercise involving government and industry scientists and more than 300 military personnel.

    1) Did any hospitals take part?

    2) “CBRN” means chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear. What kind of “vignettes” were carried out? A vignette is a brief, structured, task-based training exercise for a small team. For example, “find out who attacked this retired double agent with CW” would be a vignette.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Russia will begin searching British aeroplane that land in the country, in a tit-for-tat exercise.

    “If the UK provides no explanation for the search of an Aeroflot plane in London, Moscow will consider the action to have been illegal and will take reciprocal measures against British aircraft, the Russian Transport Ministry said.”

    Things are beginning to get out of hand.

    • MJ

      “will take reciprocal measures against British aircraft”

      Russia is a vast country. If it withdrew from the Open Skies treaty it could ban aircraft from named countries from overflying its territory. That would impact journey times and ticket prices on many key routes.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes it’s all starting to escalate, London could stop the escalation by giving a explanation as to why the Russian plane was searched.

        Of course London probably couldn’t say it was an intelligence tip off or words to that effect. However a more run of the mill excuse could be used to halt rising tensions.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I don’t care who if anyone Julian Assange is working for. His treatment is completely outrageous. If he is a spy, fine. I don’t mind. Maybe he really is Independent and really is effectively locked up in the Ecudaorian Embassy, and now isolated and silenced too. He has already served the jail term, for a crime he hasn’t committed. It seems by isolation, the Ecuadorian Goverment are torturing him in an attempt to drive him mad.

    “The Isolation Of Julian Assange Must Stop by John Pilger.”


    “If it was ever clear that the case of Julian Assange was never just a legal case, but a struggle for the protection of basic human rights, it is now.

    Citing his critical tweets about the recent detention of Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in Germany, and following pressure from the US, Spanish and UK governments, the Ecuadorian government has installed an electronic jammer to stop Assange communicating with the outside world via the internet and phone. As if ensuring his total isolation, the Ecuadorian government is also refusing to allow him to receive visitors. Despite two UN rulings describing his detention as unlawful and mandating his immediate release, Assange has been effectively imprisoned since he was first placed in isolation in Wandsworth prison in London in December 2010. He has never been charged with a crime. The Swedish case against him collapsed and was withdrawn, while the United States has stepped up efforts to prosecute him. His only “crime” is that of a true journalist — telling the world the truths that people have a right to know.

    Under its previous president, the Ecuadorian government bravely stood against the bullying might of the United States and granted Assange political asylum as a political refugee. International law and the morality of human rights was on its side.

    Today, under extreme pressure from Washington and its collaborators, another government in Ecuador justifies its gagging of Assange by stating that “Assange’s behaviour, through his messages on social media, put at risk good relations which this country has with the UK, the rest of the EU and other nations.”

    This censorious attack on free speech is not happening in Turkey, Saudi Arabia or China; it is right in the heart of London. If the Ecuadorian government does not cease its unworthy action, it, too, will become an agent of persecution rather than the valiant nation that stood up for freedom and for free speech. If the EU and the UK continue to participate in the scandalous silencing of a true dissident in their midst, it will mean that free speech is indeed dying in Europe.

    This is not just a matter of showing support and solidarity. We are appealing to all who care about basic human rights to call on the government of Ecuador to continue defending the rights of a courageous free speech activist, journalist and whistleblower.

    We ask that his basic human rights be respected as an Ecuadorian citizen and internationally protected person and that he not be silenced or expelled.

    If there is no freedom of speech for Julian Assange, there is no freedom of speech for any of us — regardless of the disparate opinions we hold.

    We call on President Moreno to end the isolation of Julian Assange now.

    List of signatories (in alphabetic order):

  • Jeremn

    Important info coming to light on UK and US efforts to suppress mention of Novichoks. Someone has been combing through Wikileaks:

    Note especially

    “7. (C) If AG participants raise the issue of Vils Mirazayonov’s book “State Secrets: An Insider’s View of the Russian Chemical Weapons Program,” the Del should:

    — Report any instances in which the book is raised.

    — Not/not start or provoke conversations about the book or engage substantively if it comes up in conversation.

    — Express a lack of familiarity with the issue.

    — Quietly discourage substantive discussions by suggesting that the issue is ‘best left to experts in capitals.’

    See more at

  • Republicofscotland

    For those of you interested in Blair, and the untimely demise of Dr Kelly.

    “A new book investigating the death of Dr David Kelly – the Iraq weapons inspector who let slip that Tony Blair’s claim in the lead-up to the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction in just 45 minutes was at best ‘dubious’, and that Blair’s ‘dodgy dossier’ had been ‘sexed up’ – has claimed that the former Prime Minister Blair blocked a coroner’s inquest into Mr Kelly’s death ‘within minutes’ of his body being found.”

  • reel guid

    Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall tweets that Theresa May should use the Russian expulsion of 50 British diplomats as an excuse to ban RT in the UK.

    It couldn’t possibly be The Alex Salmond Show being on RT that is Duncan’s main motive, could it?

    Hothersall’s twitter is hilarious. He can never decide who he hates more, the SNP or Labour left wingers.

  • Blissex

    «You cannot out-jingo the Tories,»

    If by “the Tories” you mean members of the Conservative party, instead of people of a right-wing disposition, someone managed that: super-blairite/neocon Chris Leslie in a question to the prime minister in the Commons requested expelling or suspending Russia from the UN security council:

    “Mr Chris Leslie (Nottingham East) (Lab/Co-op)

    I add my support to the measures that the Prime Minister has announced and the condemnation of what is increasingly looking like a rogue state. On the question of the integrity of the United Nations Security Council, we must now begin to talk about reform. Russia cannot be allowed to simply sit pretty, thumbing its nose at the rest of the world community and feeling that it is immune from the rule of law internationally. Will she initiate that sort of reform discussion with the Secretary-General?

    The Prime Minister

    Once again, I thank the hon. Gentleman for the remarks he has made today and the support that he has given to the Government, as he did on Monday. We talk to the United Nations about reform of the United Nations in a whole variety of ways. The Catch-22 is that any decision that might be taken in the Security Council to reform it could be ​subject to a veto by Russia, who are sitting there, but the point has been raised not just by the hon. Gentleman but by others, and this is something that we will look at.”

    • lysias

      Subject to veto not just by Russia but also by China. And, once the precedent is set, is Britain’s permanent seat with a veto still justified?

  • Sharp Ears

    Sir Tony Brenton, erstwhile colleague of Craig’s at the FCO and ex Ambassador to Russia, was on Sky News earlier, speaking from Carcassonne. Imagine all the logistics in arranging that short interview. The PTB were at work.

    He was applauding the actions being taking against Russia and the way in which the UK has garnered support from other countries. Total belief in the Salisbury ‘story’ of course but said that evidence must be found.

    I am sure that will not be a problem!

    He is referred to within this piece.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Sharp Ears,

      Having read Craig’s books, I’m amazed he managed to put up with these creeps for so long. The only thing he had on his side, was that he was a lot brighter than them, much better looking, and full of charm, integrity, courage and basic diplomatic skills.

      I hope, they both paid him a lot of money to go away, and also gave him an index linked pension from the age of 50.

      He bloody well deserves it. He is coming close to my Man of The Year, and its still March (just)

      I understand, that he was the youngest , and fastest promoted in the Foreign Office of his Generation, so the Foreign Office Bosses at the time must have really liked him too. I think they may all have to back to work.

      What a shower we have got now.


  • N_

    These are some questions that the Russian embassy in London has asked of the British Foreign Office. Some of have been poorly quality-controlled, e.g. no.25. No.26 relates to how the British authorities have been speaking to the press, and I think the embassy could have made the point explicitly that the poshboys chose to spread poop in the media rather than convey information to the injured people’s families.

    Any visit by a consular official will be a big photo opportunity for both sides.

    1) What is Mr and Ms Skripal’s exact diagnosis and condition?
    2) What treatment are they receiving?
    3) Is that treatment the same as that provided to Sgt Nick Bailey?
    4) Is it true that Yulia Skripal has regained consciousness and can communicate, eat and drink?
    5) Mr Bailey has been discharged, Yulia Skripal is getting better, but why is Sergei Skripal still in a critical condition?
    6) Did Mr Bailey, Mr Skripal and Ms Skripal receive antidotes?
    7) Which antidotes?
    8) How were the right antidotes identified?
    9) Did they actually help or harm?
    10) The Embassy immediately informed the FCO that Mr Skripal’s niece has been enquiring of her uncle’s and cousin’s health. Why have the authorities ignored her?
    11) Why are there no photos/videos confirming that the Skripals are alive and at hospital?
    12) Did the Skripals agree on Salisbury CCTV footage to be shown on TV?
    13) If not, who agreed on their behalf?
    14) Can that person also agree on hospital photos/videos to be published?
    15) Why are consuls not allowed to see the Skripals?
    16) How are doctors protected against chemical exposure?
    17) Can consuls use the same protection?
    18) Where, how and by whom were blood samples collected from the Skripals?
    19) How was it documented?
    20) Who can certify that the data is credible?
    21) How can we be sure that the chain of custody was up to international standards?
    22) Through what methods did experts identify the substance so quickly?
    23) Had they possessed a sample against which to test the substance?
    24) Where had that sample come from?
    25) Nerve agents act immediately. Why was it not the case with the Skripals?
    26) Leaks suggest the Skripals were poisoned at a pub, at a restaurant, in their car, at the airport, at home… Which version is the official one?
    27) How to reconcile quick political moves with Scotland Yard’s statement that the investigation will take “months”?

    • Tony_0pmoc


      It’s Easter. All The Senior Management, and 95% of The Staff, are away for the Easter Holidays. There are only a couple bright sparks left, getting paid double time, and a day off in-lieu for each shift. They would probably, give a sensible reply to the 27 questions, except they have to be child minder’s too for The Senior Staff’s 15 year old kids, doing work experience (unpaid), before they finish their GCSE’s.

      i think the Russians will have to wait.


  • BrianFujisan

    The Photo in this Article screams out for Explination.. Unprotected Soldiers mere feet away from the people in white gear/ masks…

    Russia’s Embassy in London has sent a list of 14 questions to the UK Foreign Ministry, demanding that it reveals details of the investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. –

    The List –

  • N_

    Here are three reasons why it seems to me that the Russian state did not order this attack.

    1) The hypothesis that they thought they could carry out a nerve gas attack in Britain on a former double agent and nobody would notice is ridiculous.

    2) If they did it and knew they’d get rumbled, you’d expect a far more organised info response because they would have planned it. Admittedly the main market from a public relations point of view wouldn’t be media consumers, but I would still expect the campaign to be slicker.

    3) Operation Toxic Dagger involved Porton Down and CBRN “vignettes”.

    • Crackerjack

      One more reason why it would have been absurd for the Russian state to be involved is that late last year, and to much fanfare, the Russians and the OPCW announced that Russia had destroyed its entire Chemical and Biological weapons stocks. 5 months later they try a hit on a 3rd rate no mark they could have killed in Russia by using these weapons? Of course they did, that’s exactly what happened. FFS!

      • N_

        @Crackerjack – Agreed, the idea that Skripal was a threat or an important target doesn’t get off the ground. Ditto the idea that the Russian government was acting for reasons of reckless revenge.

        A major part of the background is that Britgov was supposed to be about to cut its defence spending drastically. Then the cuts got “shelved” two months ago, and a new review was ordered. The military brass and their corporate puppeteers are pushing for an increase of 50%, to 3% of national output.

        You need an enemy to do that.

        The push was evident even in the middle of 2016 when Richard Shirreff, a recent former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, a NATO position always or almost always occupied by a Brit, wrote the book 2017: War with Russia.

        I don’t fully understand the connection between the Sochi Olympics and the deterioration of the position in the Ukraine, but there was one. The 2018 World Cup may play a similar role. Note that some of the World Cup events are in Kaliningrad. During Sochi, there was talk of a US warship entering the Black Sea, in violation of the Montreux Convention, to “protect” US atheletes and be able to evacuate them. As we know, the US navy didn’t get to Sevastopol in the Crimea.

        This time, what if there is similar talk about Kaliningrad and the Baltic? This has already been foreshadowed not just in Shirreff’s book but also in articles by e.g. Keir Giles of Chatham House.

  • Clive Scott

    Whilst Carla’s troubles get indy ultras exercised, the travails of Catalonia do not appear to register with the mass of the electorate. I turned up for a demo at Holyrood recently in support of Catalonia (pre Carla arrest warrant) and it was very poorly attended – maybe 50, certainly less than 100. Nicola has spent her life since teenage years campaigning for independence, doggedly carrying on despite umpteen defeats at the ballot box until the successes of more recent years. Whilst I share the frustration of others on this site of Nicola’s muted public utterances, I am prepared to give her and her colleagues the benefit of the doubt on when and what battles to engage in to win the war. Yes, she is cautious, careful and considered. Qualities for the long game. If she were to make a big gesture and offer Carla sanctuary at Bute House and dare the British state to take her into custody by force, it would all fall embarrassingly apart if just a handful turned up to prevent HMG’s finest from making the arrest. If Nicola believed she could get 200,000+ for mass civil disobediaence on the streets of Edinburgh, it might be a different story.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        That’s a bit arrogant isn’t it. I would think, he will be in big trouble now, except Moosad will look at The IRA, and think nah – we won’t bother..too much trouble, and the old sod will be dead soon anyway.

        I am just trying to see it from an Isreali point of view


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