Know Your Limits 479

The English and Welsh voted to leave the EU. They are entitled to leave the EU, and it is not the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to frustrate their intention, or even try to influence the terms on which the English and Welsh leave the EU. Just as it is not the job of the Scottish National Party to stop Westminster having the Tory governments the English people inexplicably keep voting for.

It is the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to secure Independence for Scotland, and to ensure that the vote of the Scottish people, to remain within the EU, is respected. I am therefore entirely unconvinced that for Nicola Sturgeon to try to play a role as the darling of the Remainer population of England is of any use to the people of Scotland. And the truth is that knowing the very last detail of the eventual Brexit outcome, of which we know the essential outlines, will have virtually no effect on the prospects of an Independent Scotland.

Now is the moment of maximum chaos; whatever eventually emerges between London and Brussels will work without immediate catastrophic effects. People will not starve and run out of medicine, in the real world. The UK will continue to be a Tory hell with some changes of arrangements. Scotland should not be in Tory Hell, whatever Tory Hell’s relationship with the EU.

I am here considering Brexit only as it affects Independence.

If Independence is actually Sturgeon’s overriding aim, the only logical analysis on her part which I can see, that explains her constant haver on Indy, is that Brexit will be so immediately catastrophic as to have Scots clamouring for Independence as an alternative.

But that is a miscalculation. I am confident the dislocation effects of Brexit will not be as immediately harsh as doom-mongers predict. Plus if the outcome were immediately harsh, Scottish Unionists are far more likely to don tin helmets and rally round the Union Jack while blaming Johnny Foreigner, than they are to convert to Independence on the grounds the UK is having a hard time.

There are of course other options. The UK may not leave the EU at all – which would do nothing to advance the cause of Scottish Independence. There may be a general election which could bring Labour into power – that would on balance reduce the desire for Independence in Scotland.

The truth is, that the delay in pushing for Scottish Independence is not predicated on increasing the chances of attaining Independence. It is based on attempting to secure for the United Kingdom what is best for the people of the United Kingdom. It is an essentially unionist position.

This is Sturgeon’s dilemma. She sees a UK in which the tragedy of the Remain camp is that its leadership is utterly discredited. Blair, Campbell, Umunna, Clegg, Mandelson, Straw; the only people articulating a Remain position have no credibility. They are all people who turn the nation’s stomach when they show up on Marr. That leaves a huge leadership vacuum which Sturgeon is filling in Remainer eyes, and in Guardian/BBC eyes. A Remain minded leader who is not personally hated. A very rare thing indeed.

Who else do the Remain camp have as a leading politician who is not discredited and deeply unpopular? Serious question, please do attempt an answer.

That is a massive temptation to a politician to step forward and take the glory. If Sturgeon appears far more interested in Brexit and in Remain than in Scottish Independence that is, on a human level, very understandable. If it leads to the great opportunity for Scottish Independence being passed over while in pursuit of UK/EU relations and fawning headlines in the Guardian, that would be nonetheless unforgivable.

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479 thoughts on “Know Your Limits

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  • sapo

    “… or even try to influence the terms on which the English and Welsh leave the EU.”

    The sensible one-line riposte to that statement is, “If those terms will have an impact on the Scottish people, then it is one’s duty to seek to influence them.” Though ‘influence’ could be replaced with ‘defend our interests/offer our own counsel/not stand by and watch…’ etc.

    The argumentation is similarly garbled, for the most part, in this post.

    • Ian

      Indeed. Nicola Sturgeon is doing her job – to defend Scotland and its interests as much as possible while still a part of the UK. Craig is ridiculous in stating that Scotland shouldn’t be involved in lobbying for those interests, as if it was nothing to do with us, or won’t affect us. Craig is living in fantasy land.

  • BrianFujisan

    Spectral Spirits Weep

    Crowded Clouds of murdered Souls

    Raining Children’s Tears


    ” And amid all the fist-shaking and rending of garments about the killing of one man by the Saudi government, a far less magnetic story has been published saying that about 84,701 Yemeni children under the age of five were starved to death between April 2015 and October 2018. And I say “were starved to death” instead of “have starved to death” because their starvation is the direct result of a blockade and relentless violence by Saudi Arabia.”…

    ” Mass media outlets make no attempt to hide who owns them or to mask their virulently pro-establishment bias as they manipulate our minds day in and day out, medicine money is spent on bombs and war ships, civilians are starved to death with sanctions, wars are waged on lies and when those lies are uncovered we get nothing but a “Fuck you we do what we want,” billionaires influence the legislative branch with corporate lobbying and campaign donations right out in the open to tilt the scales in favor of the plutocratic class, money is hemorrhaging upward to the richest of the rich while Americans die of lack of healthcare, we inch closer to extinction by either ecocidal end-stage capitalism or nuclear holocaust, and lucrative arms deals are cut with an unfathomably wealthy royal family that is causing the worst humanitarian crisis on earth in Yemen.

    Caity Johnson –

  • Radar O’Reilly

    A US based intelligence source said: ‘I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don’t want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA.’


    the US President’s allies are fighting back, demanding transparency and asking why Britain would oppose the move unless it has something to hide.

    It puts the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in an FBI inquiry launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin

    Five-eyes naturally oppose the declassification of evidence that show that they are partial and corrupt

        • Tom

          I think it’s unlikely – too much risk of LBJ blabbing later. But somehow or other he was ‘persuaded’ to hugely ramp up the Vietnam War to greatly profit the military machine. Then LBJ suddenly refused to accept the nomination in 1968 – an attack of conscience or was he being blackmailed?
          There is, perhaps, an interesting parallel situation in how ‘Remainer’ May was installed as PM unopposed, presumably in exchange for delivering Brexit.

        • J Galt

          Hitting the floor of the limo following the President’s car, slightly before the shooting started, might show a modicum of foreknowledge…..

          • Tony

            Yes, it could be a faked picture. But it is quite possibly genuine.

            Channel 5’s programme about this claimed that he was accidentally shot in the head by Secret Serviceman George Hickey. Nonsense!
            The programme shows the Zapruder footage which clearly shows the president reacting to a shot from the front. He ended up tilting his head forward and you then see the back of his head being struck by a bullet fired from the front.

            The CIA was very much out of control at the time and the head of the organisation, John McCone, is not thought to have known much about what was going on.

    • Adrian Parsons

      The disingenuousness/stupidity (take your pick) of the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”-style zombies/useful idiots on the “Left” who have spent the last 2 years denying the legitimacy of DT’s election in terms of “corruption”/”foreign interference” is revealed by asking 2 simple questions:

      Question 1: If everything except DT’s shoe size has been leaked over the past 2 years, why is there still no evidence of “Trump-Russia collusion”?.

      Question 2: If DT had something to hide, why would he launch several very public attacks on the probity of both the CIA and the FBI over the past 2+ years, equivalent to poking a stick into a hornets nest?

      The proof that he is a real threat to the neo-liberal establishment/elite is contained in the answers.

      The UK security services almost certainly do have things to fear from the full release of all the material relating to the FISA warrants – Go Donald!

    • Nick

      We all know that Five Eyes is one of the ways governments can spy on their own people, while claiming to be democratic, privacy loving protectors against evil. There’s nothing partial about it. It’s total – like the corruption.

      It’s also obvious to anyone who looks beyond the pushed out narratives that the UK, and Oz were involved, along with Obama administration, Hillary C and many others. There is hard evidence of serious crimes. They seriously didn’t want Trump.

      But they’re globalist shills and lackeys.

      Unlike the EU of course

      • Paul Greenwood

        Margaret Thatcher used the Canadians to spy on her Cabinet because GCHQ was not allowed to. At least Chamberlain was honest when he had phones tapped of his political rivals…….he did not stray outside MI5

  • IMcK

    At sapo
    November 22, 2018 at 01:24

    Yes I agree with your view. Craig’s post projects as if Scotland were not a part of the UK, as if Scotland did not have a stake in the present and future of the UK. Indeed, some of the commentary on this site projects as if the democracy of the UK should be subservient to that of Scotland.

    Whilst having no particular relevant expertise, I would suggest that the UK Treaty of Union is irrevocable unless otherwise agreed by UK wide democratic means or unless UK subjects (or groups of) can show their disadvantage resulting from breach by the UK of the Articles of Union.

    It follows that unless breach can be shown, the question of Scottish independence could be subjected to UK wide agreement. Any Scottish independence agreement would also be subject to the democratic process, ie it would be a matter for agreement in all respects including say, division off shore fisheries and energy resources.

    • Simon

      Treaties get breached. Back then, treaties didn’t include enforcement mechanisms. Any shower can declare themselves independent, and many do. One of two regimes then apply: either it’s “law of the jungle”, or international law. Craig thinks or hopes rest-of-UK wouldn’t occupy or besiege a Scotland that declared independence, so it’s not unreasonable to look at international law, as Craig does, to look at the precedents for recognition of independence declarations.

    • Contrary

      I agree that it is and should be in Scotland’s best interest to have England in a good condition.

      (a) Scotland isn’t ‘part’ of the U.K. – there is no UK without Scotland (UK relates to the union between two kingdoms, those of Scotland and England. The kingdom of England had already annexed Wales and Ireland, and so they were already a part of that)
      (b) there is nothing in the treaty of union that says it cannot cease to be. In fact, England has breached it numerous times. It should have been null and void long before now. It even originally said Scotland was to be financially and economically independent – that one didn’t stay long.
      (c) legally, the Scottish people have a choice, through the Claim of Right, on who they want running their country. We do not need permission. And we certainly don’t need any one else’s opinion. Scotland gets enough interference, with no control over regulating the broadcast media.
      (d) the EU didn’t interfere with the EU referendum, which was a vote on a treaty – would it have been democratic to have all the other EU countries vote in that too? Westminster would even allow EU residents to vote! Maybe we should invite all countries of the world to vote on Scottish f independence just to ensure its truly democratic, and ensure the the Scottish people don’t get too uppity and think they are better than peons, or have a choice. Maybe that would suit better?
      (e) division of off-shore industries isn’t up for debate, there are clear international waters areas, lines agreed by all countries, internationally. England has already breached this, it has its own oil fields by illegally drawing new lines through Scottish waters. I would say any agreements should involve those lines being restored.
      (f) the uk barely has a democracy.
      (g) scottish people are not ‘subjects’ – they are sovereign (see Claim of Rights above. International law, ratified in Westminster, and part of Scottish law). Scotland will always be disadvantaged within the union, and always has been. There is nothing to show, it is demonstrated daily. There has been plenty of time for Westminster to demonstrate something better than wholehearted contempt, but they still continue.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Cyprus got independence but signed over Sovereign Territories to UK in perpetuity – such as Akrotiri und Dhekelia

  • Neil McFarlane

    One day Edmund the Trustworthy came running into the village yelling, “There’s a dragon coming around the mountain! Flee! Flee for your lives! A dragon approaches!”
    Theresa said, “That’s all very well, but I’ve got this washing to do.”
    “Did you not here what I say?” repeated Edmund. “A fire-breathing monster approaches!”
    Jeremy said, “Yes, I heard, but I’ve got to prepare lunch for the kids.”
    “A dragon …!” spluttered Edmund.
    Craig said, “Yes, We know. But I’m a bit busy right now with Scottish independence.”

    The moral of this story is, Craig, put all the childish nonsense to one side for now because the breakdown of the natural world as a result of climate change demands 100% of all our attention.

    • Blunderbuss

      “the breakdown of the natural world as a result of climate change demands 100% of all our attention”.

      Not for much longer, I think. By 2030, I am pretty confident the carbon dioxide theory of global warming will have been discredited and there will be a crisis of confidence in science. How could so many people have got it so wrong?

      • Bayard

        “How could so many people have got it so wrong?”

        Because believing looked more attractive than not believing?

      • pretzelattack

        or alternatively, gravity exists and the moon landing happened and the earth is not flat. never fails to amaze me how many posters spout oil company propaganda like it’s the received wisdom.

      • Neil McFarlane

        “I am pretty confident the carbon dioxide theory of global warming will have been discredited”

        I’m curious as to the source of your confidence, and also your decision to stake the future of your children, my children, and every animal and plant on that confidence that you are correct and 99% of climate scientists are wrong.

        Presumably you also argue with doctors when they say your daughter needs a life-saving operation or a car mechanic when he says your brakes are about to fail or an engineer who says your home is about to collapse, etc etc etc.

        Or let me guess – you do none of these things. Only with climate scientists …

  • Sharp Ears

    Earlier on here, it was reported that Williamson! is sending more military to Afghanistan. Why? What for?

    This is a graph showing the number of bombs the US has dropped on that benighted country. What is the agenda? To reduce the whole place to dust and rubble like Iraq? To keep the military industrial complex in business?

    ’17 years after U.S. forces and the Northern Alliance captured Kabul, half of Afghanistan has been retaken by the Taliban and the war is dragging on. ISIS have also become increasingly active in the country and approximately 14,000 U.S. troops are still serving there in an attempt to contain a growing wave of extremism. Even though the conflict has been making fewer headlines in recent years, the U.S. has never dropped as many bombs on Afghanistan as it did this year. According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command data, manned and unmanned aircraft released 5,213 weapons between January and the end of September. 2018′

    It’s a very annoying website. Pop up after pop up. Pop off Forbes.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I was speaking to an exiled Afghan professional recently who described UK activities in the region as being “a cancer” that spreads death wherever it seeds. For some reason the shrivelled island state in the North Atlantic wants to play at budget versions of The Great Game and butt heads with the Pathan tribes like in the days of The Raj but with effeminate schoolboys as Defence Minister sending a token deployment of British “Sepoys” to assist their US Colonial Masters in expanding their empire

  • Goodwin

    “It is the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to secure Independence for Scotland”, even if the people don’t want it? Still, I guess that goes for democracy in some parts …

    • Jon

      It is the job of the leader of the SNP to secure independence for Scotland by democratic means. Therefore a majority of people living in Scotland would have to want it.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Hunterston B nuclear reactor in North Ayrshire has more than 350 cracks in it. Yet EDF energy claim its safe and want to fire it up again, even though the (ONR) Office of Nuclear Regulation states that 350 cracks is the maximum amount, and beyond that the reactor should not be fired up.

    Shockingly EDF, attempting to appease its shareholders is likely to propose to the ONR, that it should be allowed to have a 1000 cracks in the reactor, and still be permitted to switch it on.

    Some nuclear experts have said that Hunterston B is a Chernobyl catastrophe waiting to happen.

      • Republicofscotland

        What’s more frightening is the Scottish government know about the situation. A Chernobyl event in Ayrshire would certainly put a big dent in the goal for independence.

        • Martinned

          On the contrary, a nuclear event in Ayrshire would give them the hardest of hard borders whether they want it or not. If no one is going to cross the land border between England and Scotland for decades to come anyway, because it glows in the dark, you might as well make Scotland independent.

          • Jo1

            That comment is quite disgusting. There are valid concerns about Hunterston and you think it’s funny?

          • Sharp Ears

            I agree Jo1. Having acquired thyroid cancer myself which in all likelihood originated from the fire at Sellafield or from Chernobyl, I am sickened at the remark from the visitor from Brussels. I am told by medics that I either contracted it from the air I breathed or from contaminated food or drink. I have always eaten a high proportion of fish in my diet. I have no family history of the disease.

            The surgeon who treated me told me he was dealing with an epidemic of the disease.

            Did you know that barrels of low level radioactive waste are routinely dumped into the English Channel and other seas and oceans? It is outrageous.

            ‘The USSR, between 1959 and 1992 discarded the most amount of waste, which was mainly in the Arctic Ocean.
            The UK is just behind Japan on the list, with Switzerland and America far behind in third and fourth.’


            Goodness knows what has entered the Pacific from Fukushima.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes Sharp Ears there was rise in cancer cases in Scotland as well, post Chernobyl. Many grazing animals were taken out of the food chain due to prevailing winds bringing particles from Chernobyl the UK.

            Depending on prevailing winds, a Hunterston B catastrophe could see England, Wales or NI receive radioactive particles.

            Any reactor incident around the world such as Chernobyl or Fukishima, has knock on consequences for countries far and wide, whether it be in the food chain or global weather carrying the fallout.

            As you say there are barrels of nuclear waste in the Irish sea, English channel, and god only knows whats in the mountain behind Faslane.

            I hope your health improves a bit.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Prior to Chernobyl the main Long-Range Study of the effects of radiation on civilians was Sellafield where the 1957 Fire at the former munitions plant at Windscale and milk from a 500km2 area was destroyed.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the new owner of the Scotsman newpaper paid Boris Johnson a one off fee of £94,000 pounds to speak at a conference earlier this month.

    Golden Tree Asset Management, which leads JPI media, Johnson Press creditors, who took over the group is a US hedge fund with offices in Singapore and London.

    So no change then at the Scotsman more Tory anti-independence propaganda.

    • Node

      Meanwhile the new owner of the Scotsman newpaper paid Boris Johnson a one off fee of £94,000 pounds to speak at a conference earlier this month.

      Speaking fees are an effective method of disguising bribes to politicians for past or future favours.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It was no doubt a Paternity Payment to cover his progenital mishaps. This is another feeding pool for former Wall Streeters. Johnson was always about self-promotion and he is the Richard Branson of politics

  • Tony

    “This is Sturgeon’s dilemma. She sees a UK in which the tragedy of the Remain camp is that its leadership is utterly discredited. Blair, Campbell, Umunna, Clegg, Mandelson, Straw; the only people articulating a Remain position have no credibility. They are all people who turn the nation’s stomach when they show up on Marr>”


    Campbell was on the television the other day complaining about what he described as the lies of the Brexit campaign during the referendum.

    Despite not being an intelligence analyst, Campbell was allowed to amend the dossier to make the case for invading Iraq:

    “But in its final drafting stages Campbell nevertheless sought and secured no fewer than fourteen changes to the wording of the dossier, each one toughening its language” (Correspondence released to the Hutton Inquiry).

    “The End of the Party: The Rise and Fall of New Labour” by Andrew Rawnsley (Viking 2010) hardback edition, p117.

    • Ian

      It’s news to me that anybody thinks those people are the ‘leaders’ of the Remain camp. Or that there are any leaders, as if they are needed. What is important is the arguments and evidence in favour of remain, and not the predictable reduction of politics to this stupid yah-boo, tribal stuff based on simplistic stereotyping of people the author thinks are somehow ‘leaders’ of one group. You could of course just as easily pick out some on the other side who are equally obnoxious, with dubious pasts. In fact you could do with just about anybody involved in politics, which is why the arguments and evidence are rather more important than character-based cop-out denunciaions.

  • Joe

    Craig wrote: “I am confident the dislocation effects of Brexit will not be as immediately harsh as doom-mongers predict”

    That’s true, but only because what is now being tabled as ‘Brexit’ is very little different to the UK remaining in the EU.

  • Sharp Ears

    Somebody please tell Grieve and his ISC committee members that we already knew this about MI5 and Abedi a short time after the attack.

    It has taken them 18 months to come out with their report.

    Pathetic stuff.
    MI5 ‘missed opportunities’ to prevent Manchester bombing


    Opportunities to stop Manchester bomber Salman Abedi (pictured) missed due to catalogue of failings by security services, report says Credit: PA
    Gareth Davies
    22 November 2018 • 11:13am

    Opportunities to stop the Manchester bombing were missed as a result of a catalogue failings by security services, a major new report has concluded.
    A number of shortcomings in the handling of Salman Abedi before he launched a suicide attack at a pop concert in May last year, killing 22 people, were detailed by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC).
    Abedi, 22, first came to the attention of MI5 in December 2010 and was briefly investigated by the agency in 2014.
    The ISC assessment said:

    1. Abedi visited an extremist contact in prison on more than one occasion but no follow-up action was taken by either MI5 or police

    2. MI5 decided not to place travel monitoring or restrictions on Abedi, meaning he was allowed to return undetected to the UK in the days before he carried out the attack

    3. MI5 systems moved too slowly after Abedi’s case had been flagged for review

    4. Abedi was not at any point considered for a referral to the Prevent anti-terror scheme


    • Spencer Eagle

      5. Abedi and or associates brought the explosives and detonator into the UK. The false trail the authorities have created claiming the explosives were made in a bathroom is to deflect from how easily the device was brought into the UK.

    • Paul Greenwood

      MI5 does not make so many mistakes as they are credited with………

      MI5 to set up base in the city
      MI5 is coming to Manchester. Spy chiefs responsible for the nation’s security are to establish a new regional base in the city.

      Manchester Evening News 30 June 2005

      So you reckon they were all in the pub as these bombings were planned and carried out by the son of an MI6 asset ?

      • nevermind

        Handy to have a calamitous event right in the middle of the elections, makes you look like you are in charge and dealing with it.
        The MI’s let this happen just as nine11 was allowed to happen, we are being colonised and punitively regulated by a bunch of self serving psycho’s who think nothing to use a few terrorists fror their own aims.

        keep the status quo boys and keep taking the taxes we pay you.

        • Dungroanin

          Also led to the one week moratarium in the surprise election. Except for some call centre in wales i heard…
          Just as Mays strong and stable manifesto imploded with it’s dementia tax.
          A genuine candidate for a false flag, hastily engineered, with the failure of full disclosure today.
          These Libyans were forefront in the isis brigades in Syria and terrorist attacks in Tunisia and across the region. Their longstanding relationship with FUKUS is known.

          Let us recall the JFK assasination anniversary today – a now granddaddy of a major conspiracy by the profiteering war mongers.
          His ungiven speech that he was on his way to make.

          It would have changed the course of history if he was able to implement his plans.

  • Ottomanboi

    Political discourse in the United Kingdom is more than ever dominated by English voices. England chose to quit the EU, Scotland didn’t. British government considers that a mere ‘detail’. So much for the trumpeted democratic benefits of the Scoto-English political Union.
    Marginalised to the point of irrelevence Scotland must have leadership prepared to do some fighting. Sturgeon & co, what ever discreet game they may be playing, do appear loathe to directly engage and challenge. Saving the English, London etc from the follies of Brexit is not the SNP’s function. Interviews with Marr and the Guardian are no substitute for action. Scotland and its interests must be paramount and not be boxed in by the supposed ‘realities’ of the system or waiting for something to turn up.
    Many are growing weary, to put it very mildly, of the current leadership which seems mired in legalistic convention and quite out of step with the needs of the times.
    We need a party less Brit more Scot and one to traumatise BritState to the very core.

      • Republicofscotland

        How so?

        Scotland voted 62% to 38% to remain.

        England however voted 53% to 46% to leave.

        Wales voted 52% to 47% to leave.

        NI voted 55% to 44% to remain.

          • Republicofscotland

            But when you breakdown the vote England did vote to leave. That was the statement.

            Ergo Ottomanboi’s sentence is true.

            “England chose to quit the EU, Scotland didn’t.”

    • Martinned

      It’s actually unusual, in that UK political discourse usually isn’t so much England-centric as London-centric, but in this case London is being ignored as much as the devolved nations are.

      • Republicofscotland

        Actually at no time was the Scottish government consulted, admitted to talks, or informed on the details of Brexit by the British government.

        Even the useless Scottish secretary David Mundell, who’s supposed to look out for Scotland’s interests at Westminster failed miserably to inform Scots of what was, and still is happening with regards to Brexit.

        I can’t speak for the other home nations and their access to Brexit info.

        • Martinned

          Indeed. But the same goes for London. (Except that, IIRC, the City of London has a representative sitting next to the Speaker in the House of Commons to keep an eye on things.)

          • Martinned

            Normally, what happens is that huge chunks of England also get ignored during Westminster policy making, in much the same way that Whitehall routinely ignores the devolved nations. That’s how you end up with a Minister for the Northern Powerhouse who hardly ever visits the North and with a policy for promoting growth in the North that mostly seems to consist of devising means to allow northerners to get to London more quickly.

            But this normal London-centric perspective is entirely missing from the Brexit debate. For example, there seems to be an utter lack of interest in the impact of Brexit on the London banking sector, which might be a good thing but is certainly highly out of character for the Westminster types.

          • Republicofscotland

            You mean the the remembrancer? Who makes sure the city’s interests don’t suffer.

          • Republicofscotland

            Re your second comment in a similar fashion as to the provinces that make up Holland, are they favoured more? Or am I wrong in my asumption.

          • Martinned

            Well, Holland is one (well, two) of the provinces that make up the Netherlands, and politicians rarely realise that there are 10 more provinces in the country. (Cf. how people often use England, Britain, and the UK as synonyms.) Then again, in recent years we’ve had some rather noisy earthquakes in the North that are linked to the gas drilling that goes on there. That certainly got everyone’s attention. But not so much attention that they’re going to stop drilling anytime soon.

            (OK, earlier this year they finally committed to ending the gas extraction by 2022. But that’s after years of houses being made uninhabitable by the earthquakes. And 2022 still doesn’t sound like anyone in Holland is particularly fussed.)

          • Republicofscotland

            The Netherland’s in my opinion should push on with regards to renewable energy. I understand that there’s an attempt to meet EU renewable targets by 2020?

            Surely in a country renowned for its windmills, producing energy via wind farms should be higher than 14%.

          • Blunderbuss

            “Surely in a country renowned for its windmills, producing energy via wind farms should be higher than 14%”.

            Yes, I’d have thought so too. Wind is now quite a significant contributor in Britain. At the time of writing it’s 7.2% but I have seen it as high as 25%.


        • Pail Greenwood

          Scotland does not have “a government”. Scotland has a DEVOLVED Assembly.

          The GLC used to declare “Nuclear Free Zones” and have its Ken Livingston pretending to be Daniel Noriega, but at the end of the day he was a Council Leader of an Assembly – admittedly with twice the population of Scotland

          • Republicofscotland

            The official title is the Scottish Executive, however like Theodore Roosevelt, who changed the name of the Executive Mansion to the Whitehouse, Alex Salmond changed it to the Scottish government.

            A Scottish Saltire replaced the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom on the Scottish government’s official documents.

            As Donald Dewar said, “I like that.”

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    In relation to the death of an American missionary on the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, the BBC reports “A murder case against persons unknown has been registered”. Presumably under Indian jurisdiction. What nonsense, the Sentinelese are entirely unaware of Indian jurisdiction and clearly have no interest in becoming so. Thankfully it doesn’t sound as if any actual investigation will take place.
    Commiserations to the family of the would be missionary, but don’t go where you’re not wanted.

    • Martinned

      Jurisdiction of the state authorities is not optional for those who are present within its borders. Whether the inhabitants of the Andamans like being Indian citizens/residence and subject to Indian law is of no consequence whatsoever.

  • Sharp Ears

    Not man’s inhumanity to man this time but one man’s inhumanity to animals.

    Dogs and deer plunge off cliff during brutal hunt
    18 Nov 2018
    This is the horrifying moment a dozen dogs and a deer plunged off the side of a cliff during a hunt in Spain. Animal welfare lobbyists attacked the unidentified hunter for sending his dogs to trap the wild animal today after the footage surfaced on social media. The incident happened near the village of Herreruela in the western province of Caceres.

    Princes William and Harry used to go hunting in Spain. Perhaps Kate and Meghan would not stand for it now. The PR honchos at the Palace would definitely not welcome it.

    Each winter, with their pals, the Princes, plural, knock off a few thousand pheasants in Norfolk.

    This was just four years ago on the Duke of Westminster’s estate in Cordoba.

    Prince William goes hunting in Spain ahead of launching wildlife campaign
    The trip is bound to be seen as poorly timed
    8 February 2014

  • Dave

    The truth is she no longer believes in Independence and the SNP isn’t an Independence party. It’s just the way things go once you enjoy the comforts of office and want to be liked. Ironically that’s why you need to be prepared to be called a racist to succeed, because that’s what you will be called if you are a genuine nationalist of whatever stripe!

  • Jim Sinclare

    I agree with Craig that Nicola Sturgeon should be pushing hard for independence, but purely for its effect on the Brexit debate. The Tories don’t want the end of Great Britain, and Labour don’t want to loose 7 seats. I believe Corbyn intends to switch at the last moment to back Theresa May’s plan rather than a 2nd referendum.

  • Aslangeo

    The sensible thing to have done is for England and Wales to secede from Scotland. The Scots would retain the UK place in the EU as a continuing country or effectively a rump UK. E&W would then be allowed to go their merry way and all would get what they would have voted for

  • Trowbridge H. Ford


    Why is no one interested in Trump backing the Saudi murder of Khashoggi?

    Could it be because in naming the Crown Prince responsible, as even his CIA has assessed, he could say that the POTUS suggested it, and MBS accepted the offer after long discussion, and Trump even approved it?

    Trump doesn’t have a clue about his limits!

    • Republicofscotland


      Because A) Trump and the US do too much business with SA, and B) No one really cares that a CIA backed Saudi national was neturalised by his own ilk.

        • Republicofscotland

          No, but if the likes of the US or Britain does substantial business with them, then they can literally get away with murder. Yemen being a prime example.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            But they don;t have to suggest and support murdering their troublesome nationalists to help achieve the goals of the Mefiterranean Dialogue.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            What little good Trump achieves, like helping take North Korea out of the US-made nuclear express box, is far offset by the new crap he is creating.

        • Nick

          This is an interesting comment coming from an ex (?)-CIA agent. They say you never leave. I don’t know. I do know, however, the CIA has specialised in vile dictatorships. We all know this.

          I’m going to be a huge Trump fan if he codshits on the whole agency from a huge height THF.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            I am not an ex-CIA agent because I was never in it. I was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War and served in its CIC, the Counter Intelligence Corps Have opposed covert governments ever since because they are run by loonies.

            You can codshit wherever you want, but Trump is just making the world worse.

  • Adrian Parsons

    Seth Abramson ( reviews his new book Proof of Collusion in the Guardian ( and concludes that the gift of “curatorial journalism” that he is giving to the world will cure the evil that some people still do not believe that they have been given any evidence of “Trump-Russia collusion”.

    You see, “curatorial journalism” helps the slower members of society comprehend the things that the smarter members of society absorb almost without thinking, like osmosis, such is their intellect and sophistication, and good ol’ Seth has deigned to ‘slum it’ with the hoi polloi just long enough to correct our thinking on that nasty old fascist, Donald Trump.

    I wonder what ‘good ol” Seth thinks of the “curatorial journalism” of Noam Chomsky and/or Norman Finkelstein over the past 40 years or so on, say, Israel or the MSM? But then that is the “wrong kind” of “curatorial journalism”, right?

    Pass the sick bag, please.

  • GFL

    The only people who appear to talk any sense at all are the SNP, would it be possible to draw a line from the Mersey to the Humber with anyone north of that line becoming Scots. How would the jock’s benefit, you would increase you population with no nonsense working people with good skills and work ethics, the Scottish premier league would become one of the strongest leagues in the world. How would I benefit, I would be a proud jock living in a prosperous republic, a slight downside is I would become a southerner.

    When drawing the new border, we would of course have divert around those nasty Tory, Harvey Smith, land of hope and glory types that inhabit certain parts of North Yorkshire. Hold on I’m getting ahead of myself, in all probability you would more than likely tell us to get te F###

    • Adrian Parsons

      If Yorkshire became part of Scotland, your proposed “super-league” would grind to a halt: no one would be prepared to lend the referee a coin to start matches.

      • GFL

        Got me there Adrian, I guess we’ll have to exclude the whole of Yorkshire. Not a bad thing really full of obnoxious royalist and they haven’t got one decent football team.

    • Republicofscotland

      In 2015 a few friends and myself met a lovely old couple from Yorkshire, who spent every Summer holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond.

      They were very angry when I revealed what David Cameron had to say about Yorkshire people.

      “We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”

      You and your fellow Yorkshire men/women would be most welcome in Scotland, just as the elderly couple are.

  • Dave Lawton

    For those who have TV.
    Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack: The Inside Story
    Today 8pm – 9pm BBC One

      • Tony

        Apparently, the sealed bottle found by Charie Rowley is the one used to smuggle the Novichok into the UK, and the same one used to spray the Skripals door handle!!! And it took Detective Nick Bailey’s symptoms TWO DAYS to become so serious that he needed to be admitted to hospital. The implausible nonsense continues apace.

      • Sharp Ears

        Julia Hartley Brewer on QT tonight!

        NO. NO. I cannot bear it.

        21 November 2018
        How Brexit exposes the decline of BBC Question Time
        In this febrile atmosphere, the longer-form current affairs programmes have come into their own.

        Brexit has turned out to be good news for broadcasters, at least. Last Wednesday, as the marathon cabinet meeting ran on, an unusually high figure of 5.2 million viewers tuned in to the BBC news at 6pm. The following day, as ministers seemingly resigned on the hour every hour, a spike of 14.8 million users visited the BBC News website; and a total of 3.4 million people watched Theresa May’s Downing Street news conference on BBC Two and the News Channel. Sky News says these events brought its biggest digital engagement of the year across its website and app.

        This period has shown the value of rolling news services. Dominic Raab’s resignation was confirmed at the very end of the Today programme, but Radio 4 stuck to its schedule and went to a discussion about the poet Horace without so much as a mention for the continuing news coverage on BBC 5 Live. Strikingly, the commercial news stations were rewarded with exclusive prime ministerial interviews. Theresa May appeared live on LBC’s breakfast show with Nick Ferrari on Friday, leaving the Today programme with housing minister James Brokenshire and then having to replay chunks of May’s phone-in from its rival station. On the Sunday talk shows, the prime minister turned up on Sky News to be interviewed by Sophy Ridge, while Andrew Marr’s show had no cabinet minister at all. The headlines generated by the two May appearances, and by Jeremy Corbyn’s slot on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, show that the BBC has its work cut out if it wants to remain the agenda-setting national broadcaster.

        Written by – Roger Mosey is the Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge. ‘He was formerly editorial director of BBC News and the director of London 2012 by the BBC. His other positions have included being Producer to the BBC’s New York bureau and Editor of Today on BBC Radio 4.’

        Another stooge.

      • Tony

        And the sealed bottle found by Charlie Rowley was used to apply it to the door knob, apparently.

      • Blunderbuss

        I watched the Panorama Skripal prog. Apparently 3 policemen, all wearing forensic suits, entered the Skripal house but only one was poisoned. Did he have a hole in his glove?

    • Sharp Ears

      Jane Corbin, ex Death in the Med infamy, is using her best conspiratorial voice, almost whispering at some points.

      Russia, Russia, Russia………….. ad infinitum.

      All toffee. I prefer Sharp’s Toffee myself.

  • Sharp Ears

    NHS Trust taken to court after dropping potential contract with company owned by Grenfell cladding firm
    The company say the Trust scrapped the tendering process due to ‘political pressure’ from Jeremy Corbyn and campaigners.

    The company (Ryhurst, a division of Rydon who fitted the cladding) would say that wouldn’t they? No mention of the 72 dead from them though.

    ‘Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are legally required to put services out to competitive tender – thereby opening up the NHS to private sector involvement and the private sector takeover of services – where there are two or more qualified providers.

    The legislation – which has seen companies such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Care amass hundreds of NHS contracts, and scandal-hit companies such as Circle Health operate under the NHS logo despite being a for-profit company – is being used by the firm to demand that it be awarded the contract and an unspecified amount of damages.’

    The H&SC Act 2012 was put through by Lansley under that terrible coalition. Burstow LD was a junior health minister in his team. Simon Burns Con was another. They have both gone. Anne Milton was another – still around in the Dept for Education. God help them.
    Lansley went off to join Bain & Co.

    Read this and you will wonder that there is anything left of OUR NHS. What a swine. See what Lansley got up to and who he was meeting.

    Former health secretary Andrew Lansley’s diaries finally released in (nearly) full
    Tamasin Cave
    10 January 2018
    Insurers and private US healthcare giants are revealed to be amongst those on the inside track of creating huge NHS changes.

    Tamasin Cave is to be applauded. She is a contributor to Spinwatch who tell us what lies behind and who is funding who and what.

    Their latest –
    The UAE Lobby: Subverting British democracy?
    A new Spinwatch report exposes how the UAE influences British politicians and the media.

    • Adrian Parsons

      As opposed to the shit peddled by the EU. I give you the Cecchini Report (1988) (

      “The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes Cecchini Report in the following terms: [1] The 1988 Cecchini Report, named after the chairman of a Commission-appointed committee of experts, is chiefly famous as a cautionary tale (see more in this European encyclopedia). Basing their results on econometric models and a survey of 11,000 businessmen, the authors of the 16-volume report forecast that the single market would add around 5% to the GDP of the Community’s member states, reduce prices, raise growth to 7%, create several million extra jobs and ‘put Europe on an upward trajectory into the next century’. In the event, the achievement of the single market in the 1990s coincided with stagnation and a massive increase in structural unemployment – evidence, if evidence were needed, of the shallowness of economic predictions, especially by businessmen.”


  • M.J.

    “Who else do the Remain camp have as a leading politician who is not discredited and deeply unpopular? Serious question, please do attempt an answer.”
    Here’s some possibilities:
    Sir John Major
    Ken Clarke
    Nick Clegg
    Gordon Brown
    and last but not least
    Craig Murray, Ambassador (retired)

    • Ian

      The case for remain (or indeed leave) is not dependent on the characters of what you refer to as ‘leading politicians’, most of whom are deeply flawed. There are utter plonkers on both sides. Listing a lot of dubious nonentities doesn’t answer of prove anything.

  • Col

    Sturgeon has no dilemma. She is the highest paid politician in the country with a bolt hole in tax free pension Portugal to follow. Remarkable for someone of so little competence.

  • giyane

    26 pages of waffle. Civil servants have been busy editing the waffle to the bare ingredients which are:
    The 1% can and will do whatever they like. The 99% have no say whatsoever in the destiny of this country.
    Please sign. UAE. Leads removed from privates.

    I do sign quite a lot of contracts in my vicarious employment, and with organisations such as Google and banks. I never read what I am signing as I physically cannot read the print nor do I have time to read the meaningless verbiage. The entire purpose of Brexit is to give the 1% a fresh blank cheque.

    When Mrs May says, lying, that the British people want the deal finished she, not the EU, are manufacturing the tension of haste. So I hereby state that even if my right-wing Labour MP Liam Byrne signs Mrs May’s cracked-voice 26 pages of total garbage, I don’t agree with them because their content is empty nonsense.

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