The Route to Independence Leads Through Oban 136

Grassroots Oban are hosting me for a zoom talk on the Route to Independence this evening at 7pm. You are welcome to join us, which you can do by registering in advance (ie now) here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. I hope that over half the meeting will be open to questions and contributions and I am very happy for these to be wide-ranging. I must confess I don’t like online meetings and I very much miss actually getting round and meeting people. Hopefully we are not too far now from being able to do that again.

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136 thoughts on “The Route to Independence Leads Through Oban

      • Calum+Macmillan

        Oban is Gaelic. Not Scots. The Scots have oppressed our people for centuries. It’s ironic that you are holding a meeting about Scots nationalism in the Gaelic heartlands, in the English language.

        • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

          “Tugadh Scotti ar mhuintir na hÉireann i scríbhinní Laidine chomh fada siar le 369 AD. ‘Clann mhac na Scot (Scotbhéarla = an Ghaeilge) agus clann iníonacha na ríthe’ a thugann Pádraig Naofa ar phobal na tíre seo san Fhaoistin a scríobh sé san aois dár gcionn. Agus Imperator Scottorum a thug Brian Bóramha air féin nuair a bhain sé an t-ardríochas amach. Faightear na focail ‘Éire’ agus ‘Scottus’ i dteannta a chéile in ainm Eoin Scottus Eriugena (c.800-877). ‘Eoin an t-Éireannach a rugadh (gineadh) in Éirinn’ is ciall leis an ainm a thugtaí air. (Um an taca sin bhí Scotti eile ann, Gaeil Alban.) Deirtear gurbh é Eoin an scoláire ba mhó agus aba bhunúsaí dár bhronn Éire ar an mhór-roinn sna meánaoiseanna. […] Bhí greann agus gastacht intinne aige chomh maith. Lá, agus é féin agus an t-impire [Séarlas Maol] ina suí chun boird ag ól, d’fhiafraigh Séarlas de, ‘quid distat inter sottum et Scottum?’ (cad é an difríocht idir meisceoir (sottus) agus Éireannach (Scottus). Fuair sé freagra prap. ‘Tabula tantum’ (oiread an bhoird), arsa Eoin.” (‘Ciste Cúrsaí Reatha’ le Jim O’Donnell agus Seán de Fréine, An Foras Riaracháin, 1992, leath. 96,97)

          “The people of Ireland were called Scotti in Latin writings as far back as 369 AD. St. Patrick calls the people of this country ‘The sons of the Scots (Scots = Irish) and the daughters of kings’ in the Confession he wrote the following century. And Brian Borama called himself Imperator Scottorum when he reached the heights. The words ‘Ireland’ and ‘Scottus’ are found together in the name of Eoin Scottus Eriugena (c.800-877). His name means ‘John ​​the Irishman who was born in Ireland’. (For that support there was another Scotti, the Scottish Gaels.) Eoin is said to have been the greatest and most fundamental scholar that Ireland bestowed on the continent in the Middle Ages. […] He also had humor and quickness of mind. One day, while he and the emperor [Charles the Bald] were sitting at a table drinking, Charles asked him, ‘quid distat inter sottum et Scottum?’ (‘What separates a sot [drunkard] from a Scot [Irishman]?’). He got a quick answer. ‘Tabula tantum’ (‘Only a table’), says Eoin. “

          • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

            Can I say that I neither authored nor posted the English translation above. I posted only the Irish. The translation is fine, though a few clarifications might be offered. “Scotbhéarla = an Ghaeilge” has been rendered as “Scots = Irish”, which is true but could be more helpfully translatrd in context as “Scots speech = Irish (Gaelic)”. The “Brian Borama” mentioned is more likely known to readers as Brian Boru. The sentence translated “FOR THAT SUPPORT there was another Scotti, the Scottish Gaels” should read “AT THAT TIME there was another Scotti, the Scottish Gaels.”

            Since I am posting again now anyway, here is a bit more about the subject, distinguishing the names of the two great philosophers Johannes (Eóin) Scottus Eriugena and John Duns Scotus. The thought of the latter being the major formative influence on the Declaration of Arbroath.

            This from Antonie Vos —

            “However, there is also the possible early medieval meaning of ‘Scot(t)us’ which we find in ‘Johannes Scottus Eriugena’. In those centuries, or at any rate before about 1000, ‘Scotus’ could refer both to a Scot(sman) and to an Irishman, as ‘Eriugena’ itself explicitly indicates: born in Ireland (Eriu). However, in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Latin ‘Scotus’ only means Scottish.[…] John Duns, born in Scotland […] became the showpiece of Augustinian thought, the mainstream of Western theology and philosophy, within a few years through the quality of his thought as master of theology at the University of Paris. […] Duns Scotus summarizes and remolds the creative contributions of the thirteenth century and the upshot of this development is the hidden fact that Scotus is still a big power in seventeenth-century philosophy.” (The Philosophy of John Duns Scotus, Antonie Vos, Edinburgh University Press, 2006, pp 22, 1, 613)

            And this from Alexander Broadie —

            “The Declaration of Arbroath…repeats the message that a king does not rule except by the consent of those who are ruled, for it states that Robert [The Bruce] was made prince and king ‘by the due consent and assent of us all’ […] My conclusion is that while Wallace was fighting for Scottish independence, Scotus was developing precisely the intellectual framework that the Scots within a few years would deploy in the chief documents that defined that independence.” (‘John Duns Scotus and the Idea of Independence’ le Alexander Broadie,

            Finally… the use of the term “Scots” to designate a language (ie Inglis) other than Gaelic is generally dated to the translation of Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ by Gavin Douglas (c. 1474-1522).

          • arby

            “Can I say that I neither authored nor posted the English translation above.”

            To whoever provided the translation – it was appreciated, Eoin the quick-witted’s ‘Only a table’ was perfect!

          • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

            My comments provide more info about John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) as philosopher than equally eminent John Scottus Eriugena (c.800–c.877). So (with the forbearance of Craig and mods) here is a bit more regarding the illustrious Eriugena (written by Dermot Moran) —

            « Johannes, who signed himself as “Eriugena” in one manuscript, and who was referred to by his contemporaries as “the Irishman” (scottus—in the ninth century Ireland was referred to as “Scotia Maior” and its inhabitants as “scotti”) is the most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period. He is generally recognized to be both the most outstanding philosopher (in terms of originality) of the Carolingian era and of the whole period of Latin philosophy stretching from Boethius to Anselm. […] Since the seventeenth century, it has become usual to refer to this Irish philosopher as John Scottus (or “Scotus”) Eriugena to distinguish him from the thirteenth-century John Duns Scotus. Eriugena’s uniqueness lies in the fact that, quite remarkably for a scholar in Western Europe in the Carolingian era, he had considerable familiarity with the Greek language. […] In the nineteenth century, Hegel and his followers, interested in the history of philosophy from a systematic point of view, read Eriugena rather uncritically as an absolute idealist and as the father of German idealism. […] Eriugena is an original philosopher who articulates the relation between God and creation in a manner which preserves both divine transcendence and omnipresence. His theory of human nature is rationalist and intellectualist. His theory of place and time as defining structures of the mind anticipates Kant, his dialectical reasoning prefigures Hegel. But above all, Eriugena is a mystic who emphasizes the unity of human nature with God.” (Dermot Moran, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2004) »

          • Alyson

            Have to say, my cousins from Oban, who disdained learning to speak the Gaelic that their father broadcasted in, across the Western Isles up until not long before his death, declared that the pronunciation sounds more like garlic than gaylic when used to refer to the Scottish version. And incidentally I once learned from a student of Old Irish that the language written on the old punt notes was pretty indistinguishable fromOld Icelandic. And meandering completely off topic, the language spoken in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, by the pale skinned, green eyed mountain people is another Gaelic language, also used by the blond people of Tenerife, who genetically traced back to the Sami tribe of Eastern Finland. Diodorus of Alexander the Great’s time recorded details about culture and languages from the Canaries to Eastern China, where a village of blue eyed people claims to be descended from the last of Alexander’s armies who stopped there after he died. Ramble on. Culture is precious

        • Mist001

          Interesting fact. If you buy a new Windows 10 PC or do a fresh install of Windows 10, you get the option to set Gaelic as the default language. That fact alone gives the lie to the idea that it’s a dead language.

        • John O'Dowd

          Not sure what your point is Calum+MacMillan – but it is very effectively answered by the erudite and learned Fearghas MacFhionlaigh.

          Of course, the “Scots” who “oppressed” the Gaels (the real Scots) were, in fact, The Inglis/Angles/English who occupied Northumbria which included what are now the Borders and Lothian. Later, King David I (whose mother was Inglis) brought them north and used them to subdue the Gaels (Scots) in the what is now Aberdeenshire and Moray – which accounts for the gorgeous Doric Scots spoken there.

          These Inglis then started calling themselves ‘Scots’ and their Scots (inglis) language supplanted the Gaidhlig (Which the Inglis called ‘Erse = Irish”) which was hitherto spoken across much of Scotland. These Gaels had earlier subdued the Picts and replaced their (presumably) Brythonic (Welsh) language with Irish/Gaidhlig/Erse) and the new Scots (Inglis) reserved the term ‘Inglis’ for those now living in geographic England – called Sassenaich (Saxons) by the Scots=Gaels.

          I hope this clarifies things.

      • Angus Binnie

        John. Your anti-gaelic rewriting of history is typical scots-supremacism. It is widely accepted as Gaelophobic to accuse us of genocide against the picts. It’s a nasty slur, used by scots to justify your own historic oppression of us. The picts were a nomadic people with no fixed home and no civilized permanence in the islands or the west coast. The myth of “pictish rights” is just a antigaelicist trope used by the new scots left to delegitimize our claim to our land.

        • Giyane

          Angus Binnie

          Those people are dead and gone. One can speculate about history, maybe the Picts were Druids and the Gaels and Inglis Christians.
          But they are dead and gone so nobody can re-ignite racial hostility between their descendants who no connection to the arguments of the past.

          On a daily basis , in order to practise Islam I have to put up with racism that is residual from the terrible British Raj. Nothing whatsoever to do with me. We hated the British Raj as much as them.

          With regard to Scottish Independence I have said many times that historical grievances are a red herring. The issue of today is that English civil servants have made false accusations against a former First Minister and the present First Minister has colluded with them.

          What one ancient tribe did to another in another age is nothing whatsoever to do the US MeToo being used by London to stop Scottish Independence. If Sturgeon is allowed to bully Salmond and Craig et al in the same way the Pritty Patel has been allowed to bully English civil servants, Scotland should present their complaint about English workplace discrimination to some higher body in the UN or EU.

          • Giyane

            Angus Binnie

            If Nicola Sturgeon and Pritti Patel think bullying is just part of politics, they will also find out what Trunp has just found out, namely that politicians have to prepare for the next ballot box from the day they won at the last one. Viz that bullying is not acceptable in any politician. Politicians are expected to be find other ways of achieving their aims.

        • John O'Dowd

          Angus, I did NOT accuse the Gaels of genocide – I noted the fact that Pictish was displaced by Gaelic – ‘subdued’ in the cultural sense. Perhaps ‘subdued’ is the wrong word.

          My understanding is that this was a cultural takeover that also involved inter-marriage and alliances between Dal Riata and Pictland.

          Whatever the cause – the result is that Gaelic became the linguage of the emerging Scottish kingdom under Cináed mac Ailpin (Kenneth MacAlpine). The best accounts suggest that at the time mac Alpin Dal Riata and Pictland and both prospered.

          Far from being antiGael – I am a Gael myself (my surname is an anglicised form of the Irish O Dubhda and I have McGills, Morrisons .(Moireasdan) and MacLeans (MacIllEathain) in the Scottish line of my ancestry.

          Tha beagan Gàidhlig agam cuideachd, agus tha mi ag ionnsachadh a ’chànain an-dràsta.

          I am sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

    • Contrary

      I know Cubby, I’ve found it quite shocking myself – chatting about independence isn’t something we’d expect in the SNP. I hope Craig wasn’t thrown out for being so radical.

      RoS – the article you link to seems to suggest that anyone in the Yes Movement is quite possibly a Russian stooge and in league with the forces of darkness, because it seems that all our western neoliberal administrations believe Russian equates to bogieman, and that the SNP are trying to prove legally that we are… Did I pick that up correctly? It implies that the SNP hates actual independence supporters, if they don’t align with their neoliberal non-independent version. I don’t think I have the will to be shocked any more.

      Does this have parallels with the communist witch-hunts in the US during, em, the Great Depression? My American history knowledge is fairly poor, but I know it happened at some point!

      • Father O'Blivion

        One of the intriguing revelations in the recent WoS article, “All the jolly boys and girls” is that the SNP Westminster group has a “defence procurement spokesperson”. WTF!
        The spokesperson, Angela Crawley is yet another young (20 something when first elected in 2015) Politics graduate with a background in, ahem, “identity politics”. Stepford politicians. Unprincipled careerists eager to climb the greasy pole, malleable to the designs of deep and dark forces. The State Department has its hooks deep into the flesh of the SNP.

        • Contrary

          Father O’B,

          ‘Stepford politicians’ – brilliant description! I’ll be using that one if its okay 🙂

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Contrary, the great ‘witch hunt’ was in the 1950s led by Senator Joseph McCarthy (Wisconsin, Rep). It occurred because the Cold War was the new thing and the Russians getting ‘the bomb’ turned the USA into a paranoid commie-obsessed basket case. I mean, if you develop a bomb capable of destroying the world, why on earth would you expect the rest of the world not to defend themselves in the same way? Beyond US logic, that one….

        • Contrary

          Thanks Rhys! Of course, McCarthyism, the Cold War, etc – my memory is atrocious! And there is footage of some of the trials, so it couldn’t have been much earlier than that. US superiority complex, they’d managed to headhunt most of the German scientist and paid to develop the atomic bomb, so thought they ‘owned’ it I guess. MAD!

        • Courtenay Barnett


          ” Beyond US logic, that one….”

          Further – with the US having somewhere around 6,000 nuclear war heads and Russia about the same – where is the logic if 4 or 5 of them can blow up the world – then how many more does a country need to blow up the world and how many times over is the job to be done?

          WORLD LOGIC – 101

          • Kempe

            US nuclear stockpile is 3,800 compared to 6,800 in Russia although that’s down from the old Soviet Union’s 45,000 in 1986.

          • Courtenay Barnett


            For the US the Wikipedia entry reads as follows;-

            As of 2019, the U.S. has an inventory of 6,185 nuclear warheads; of these, 2,385 are retired and awaiting dismantlement and 3,800 are part of the U.S. stockpile. Of the stockpiled warheads, the U.S. stated in its March 2019 New START declaration that 1,365 are deployed on 656 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers.”

            And an estimate for Russia as of 2019 is:-

            ” 4,490 nuclear warheads
            As of early 2019, we estimate that Russia has a stockpile of roughly 4,490 nuclear warheads assigned for use by long-range strategic launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear forces.

            Russian nuclear forces, 2019″

        • Piotr+Berman

          (Occasionally reliable) Wikipedia:
          A Red Scare is the promotion of a widespread fear of a potential rise of communism or anarchism by a society or state. The name refers to the red flags that the communists use. The term is most often used to refer to two periods in the history of the United States which are referred to by this name. The First Red Scare, which occurred immediately after World War I, revolved around a perceived threat from the American labor movement, anarchist revolution, and political radicalism. The Second Red Scare, which occurred immediately after World War II, was preoccupied with the perception that national or foreign communists were infiltrating or subverting U.S. society and the federal government.

      • Republicofscotland


        I think what’s important to note here, is that some within the SNP at Westminster are content with the status quo, and have ingratiated themselves into the Westminster system so deeply that they now see independence as a threat. The likes of Stewart Hosie and Stewart MacDonald, the latter serving on the ISC, of which you don’t get on unless the PM has vetted you himself.

        • Contrary

          And vetted by all the security services! And their boss. It makes me feel nauseous when I think about how well ingrained some of them are, gives me the boke, as they say. Wonder how long it’ll be before the SNP drops the policy of not taking seats in the Lords?

          I bet 20p that if SNP get a majority in Holyrood next year, they’ll be accepting peerages before the next election.

          • Giyane


            Thatcher’s regime bought every single Labour MP except a handful like Robin Cook who they disposed of for revealing that Al Qaida works for us.

            Then a long period of brainwashing torture rendition and dosh bought the Islamists who were committed to destroy the West. They destroyed Iraq Libya Syria and Somalia and much more besides, instead.

            So there’s no need to salvage your own little rag dolls in the SNP like a pit bull terrier .They are in good company of idealists who have been bent as hairpins by the offer of filthy Lucre and important jobs.

            Most political people are ambitious, so if an easy short-cut is offered to them to satisfy their best egos and faster ambitions, no questions are asked after that, if the price is right.

            Politicians are not the people to change the world because they are driven only for their own gain. Purses and sow’s ears.
            The greatest threat to the status quo of violent global hegemony is truth speakers and whistleblowers.

            I don’t think you’ll find our Craig clad in tweeds in his private castle and loch. But for many, that would be more than enough, together with a few little sinecures on the board of this and that.

          • Contrary

            I definitely agree with you on politicians there Giyane. I was surprised at the amount of integrity Alex Salmond was shown to have – revealed during his court case, I’d imagined he’d be the one entrenched in Westminster,,, oh how wrong I’ve been.

  • laguerre

    “I must confess I don’t like online meetings and I very much miss actually getting round and meeting people.”

    It is true; nobody does. But it is amazing how many meetings you can take part in or seminars you can hear in diverse places all round the world, which you could never do, if you actually had to get out and go there. A couple of weeks ago, I gave a paper at a colloquium at Almaty in Kazakhstan in the morning (their afternoon), and took part in a PhD defence at Aix-en-Provence in France in the afternoon. That was exceptionally extreme, but I don’t see it stopping when COVID is over. It is too easy to run meetings that way.

    • Rhys Jaggar


      I think it is one of the positives of the digital revolution, even if there are many negatives too. But it is best where activities are more transactional than confrontational. You don’t really get a feel for body language in a Zoom meeting, so I wouldn’t want to be doing high stakes diplomacy that way.

      But for sharing scientific data? Excellent.

      If things can evolve so that ‘digital poster sessions’ allow a poster presenter to interact with ‘meeting attendees’ where their poster is digitally accessible, then you have the ability to hold fully fledged scientific meetings online.

  • Ron Arnott

    Good morning Craig, Ruth and all at Grassroots Oban. Thank you for hosting and participating in the Zoom meeting yesterday evening; most informative and entertaining. Being the wrong side of 70 myself, I can probably get away with saying how encouraged I was by the number of ‘wrinklies’ prepared to show face online. On the rare occasions that I pluck up courage to attend SNP meetings in person, I wear a badge that reads:- ‘I may be old and appear to be mad… but please don’t think I’m a Tory’. If I’m still alive when a Referendum is called, I’ll be out there showing that Independence is better for ALL who live in Scotland, even those of us brainwashed at school to believe that ‘Britanya rooles the waaaves’.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Ron, accessing a zoom meeting is as easy as you can imagine: literally three clicks of the mouse. A few pieces of guidance of how to mute and unmute, put your video camera to ‘on’ and you are away.

      I can really see a justification for local authorities running ‘seminars on how to access online meetings’ for pensioners, because they can be huge beneficiaries but many may not be particularly ICT savvy. Also, training up ‘visiting care workers’ in how to log a pensioner they visit into a meeting would also be suitable.

  • M.J.

    How might it happen, theoretically? Here’s a possible sequence of events: Boris doesn’t listen to Biden’s warning, breaks the UK’s international treaties, come 2021 there are shortages of essentials, Boris loses a vote of confidence, no party has a majority at the general election that follows and the ruling party forms a coalition with the SNP, and the price is Indyref2 and (who knows) EU ref2. So it’s not impossible that within 2 years we might have an independent Scotland, and rUK will have rejoined the EU as well. And all this could start unfolding within two months, once Biden’s in office! Too bad the Brexiters didn’t think about the threat to the unity of the UK.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      You need to look at the state of the EU, mate. It is really creaking at the seams, threats now to expel Poland and Hungary. The EU is a sinking ship, for better or worse. I have no doubt that some mechanisms of EU coming together may emerge again, but the way the EU is currently constituted is not going to last. It is German dictatorship and the rest of the EU has had enough of it.

      • M.J.

        I was thinking about the state of affairs before the Brexit referendum, where it seemed to me that we had the best of both worlds. Maybe if we hadn’t voted for Brexit, there would be no Trump encouraging authoritarianism everywhere. Hopefully Biden can both repair and help to prevent the damage.

          • M.J.

            It’s true that Trump’s rise will cause lasting damage, as did 9/11. Obama also warned that it may take some time for America’s standing to be restored. So Biden not only needs to begin a healing process but prevent the Trump phenomenon from happening again. Part of it may be promoting bipartisan activity whenever possible.

          • M.J.

            Cook’s insight is not new. Aristotle saw the danger of democracy degenerating into mobocracy – populism. Another Cook (almost) – Alastair Cooke wrote that there was an unending struggle between forces of regeneration and corruption in America. Nothing new under the sun. But it falls to the people in 2020 to do what they can. As one TV series title song goes “Some of us are gonna try” (The Persuaders, I believe)

          • Giyane

            The Trump phenomenon was caused directly by the sleazy incompetence of Clinton + Obama ‘s obscene scaremongering in Libya (Al Qaida) and Syria (Daesh).

            The highly unnecessary igniting of unnecessary wars was the driver of Trumpian politics. All that Biden has promised to do is to ease off on the gas pedal, so that the reckless destruction of the world can go unnoticed..

            Far from things going back to normal or ‘healing’, Trump has shown the world that America has a human face. Others will follow his example. Americans detest the Democratic Party warmongering swamp. If Trump had shut up about white supremacy and coronavirus, he’d still be President.

            The division starts now. biden will never stop destroying the world around him , for the cause of US hegemony UNTIL the world is a heap of nuclear ashes.

          • pretzelattack

            giyane, its not just a democratic party swamp, it’s a bipartisan swamp. george bush jr with iraq wasn’t that long ago. indeed, just as the election of trump was a reaction against obama (and against clinton), the election of obama was a reaction against bush jr and iraq. and nothing changes, no matter which bowl of crap wins the top office.

          • M.J.

            Giyane: if anything it was Obama’s reluctance to get involved in Iraq that allowed Daesh to arise. As for Trump, I’m immensely relieved that his four-year rule, which I regard as a nightmare, is over, at least for now. I hope he never comes back. He’s a bad example as a human being and a scoundrel whom no-one should ever have voted for. Playing golf instead of dealing with emergencies is the most recent and visible example. Fifty times as many people as died on 9/11 could be alive but for his incompetence. (100,000 might have died instead of 250,000 if the USA had measures comparable to Canada). Making fun of a disabled reporter is just one example of his general attitude. Hearing Obama speak on TV after watching Trump for 4 years was like a drink of cold water in a desert.

          • giyane


            Hearing Obama reminds me what brainwashing is capable of doing to the human mind.
            Calm, measured, controlled, moderated lies, while he sends out Toyota 4 x 4s for Daesh to attack Baghdad and Mosul. Biden the same. It took a man of Trump’s perspicacity to detect the stagnation and moral lack of oxygen of the swamp. Everybody else was perfectly happy with the appalling destructivity of US hegemony. They loved the cracking of Iraqi power, the cracking of Libyans wealth and the smacking of Syrian in the teeth just for the joy of deceit through proxy warfare.

            The swamp. stinkier , greener, fetider, opaquer, fuller of weirdo larvae, has returned.

          • M.J.

            Giyane/J Conspiranoid: I’ve listened to Obama talk about his book “A Promised Land”. It’s the first volume of two. I look forward to the complete version coming out as that may be cheaper (especially in paperback). If, however either of you read this first volume before then, by all means tell what you make of him!
            As for perspicacity and swamps, I regret the lack of the first in American society that enabled Trump to create the second, with jobs for cronies galore, and people of integrity like his own head of cybersecurity thrown out, or leading scientists trashed.

      • laguerre

        Rhys Jaggar

        You’re living in dream land, mate, if you think the EU is a sinking ship. It’s been the dearest wish of Brexiters, and many on this blog, for 40 years. But it ain’t so. Absolutely nobody, apart from little isolated England, wants to leave. Brexit has been a terrible example to the nationalists who used to want to leave. I remember the change took place in the 2017 election season. Le Pen made Frexit part of her presidential campaign in that year. Went down so badly, she was forced to drop it, and it’s never come back. Same in Holland. And the latest shenanigans in Brexit are only proving the point to every other European.

        • Ucumist

          I am European, British & English and believe that the EU is not a sinking ship BUT the Eurozone is. It has been an economic disaster and now only propped up by Germany, France Holland and a few others, breaking every rule in the book.
          Trouble is that when (not if) the Euro system disintegrates it could destabilise the the whole project. The only saving will be to reverse the Treaties and scrap the Euro or create a Republic.
          Scotland should think carefully about leaving a Union that has taken 300 years to develop and improves slowly in their favour as the decades pass, to a new immature Union where they may lose all economic power and have to wait another 300 years to get what they crave.

          • Cubby


            “300 years to develop” – that is laughable. It was designed to be an English dictatorship and it still is.

            “Improves slowly in their favour” – that is even more ridiculous.

            “where they may lose all economic power” – already had that for 313 years.

            I have read some nonsense from supporters of the union over the years but this post is well up there with most ridiculous ever. The only thing missing was a claim that the British Empire was a force for good and you would be in the top 5.

          • laguerre

            Or maybe it is that your economic theories aren’t as watertight as you thought. After all there used to be a good number of economists who believed Brexit was economically justifiable, but they’re increasingly shown to have been wrong, and Brexit is going to be an economic horror. Just how much is the question. The Euro, by contrast, is not a horror, and quite a lot like it.

          • Bayard

            “After all there used to be a good number of economists who believed Brexit was economically justifiable, “

            There were many forms of Brexit and some were economically justifiable. What was never going to be economically justifiable was any form of Brexit managed by the Tories.

          • laguerre

            I doubt if that is true. The Single Market, which Britain needs to maintain its current economy, is a very special sort of organisation, which requires conformity to its rules. It couldn’t be otherwise. Conforming for a non-EU country, like Norway, requires subordination to a degree, and I don’t see the Brits doing that, whether Tory or other..

          • Tom74

            People have been predicting the end of the euro for 20 years. There was a time about a decade ago when there seemed to be a continuous cycle of stories in the UK media of countries supposedly about to break the euro. It is a long-running fantasy of the American government via their stooge journalists in the UK – fearful of the collapse instead of the dollar.

          • Bayard

            “and I don’t see the Brits doing that, whether Tory or other..”

            Nevertheless, remaining in the Single Market, the “Norway” option, was definitely touted as a possibility before the referendum, as was going back to the relationship with the rest of Europe the UK enjoyed before the EEC became the EU. The fact that all these options were ditched as soon as possible after the referendum doesn’t mean that they weren’t possible.

      • Cubby

        Unlike the English dictatorship Scotland suffers under in the UK the members of the EU have an agreed process to leave – unlike the democracy deniers in Westminster.

        Of course the UK Union was a forced marriage and the instigators of forced marriages do not ever consider setting up arrangements for the victim to escape.

    • Bayard

      In your scenario, I would expect a replay of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition, with the SNP failing to be tough enough in the initial negotiations and then, when the Tories try to stitch them up, preferring to keep their hands on the levers of power than to bring down the coalition.

      • Kempe

        At the time of the last coalition the Lib Dems had 57 MPs (although 2 refused to co-operate); they now have 11…

  • Pyewacket

    Meanwhile, south of the Border, in our news, you independence minded folk have been reduced in the narrative to “Separatists”, with the spitting venom emphasis on the “ists”, usually reserved for the pronouncing of Terrorist, Anarchist, Fascist & Communist. Getting that last syllable right is so important these days, in a country where the psychological manipulation of our vocabulary is so important these days, and we’re paying people to do just that.

    • Geoff S

      You want to complain about the phrasing of the word ‘separatist’ with some hyperbolic ‘spitting venom’ reference, and yet in the very same sentence, casually throw the word ‘anarchist’ in, between ‘terrorist’ and ‘fascist’, as some kind of pejorative.

      Speaking as one of those evil anarchists, I find myself somewhat losing sympathy for your feeling slighted by how you imagined ‘separatist’ was emphasised.

        • Geoff S

          I understood his point completely. I just don’t think he noticed he was in a glass house when he threw his stone.

      • Pyewacket

        Geoff, I included it as another ist, that gets that treatment whenever it’s pronounced on what counts for serious news programmes these days. I have no problem with Anarchism.

    • Jockanese Wind Talker


      Step 1: Vote of No Confidence in Scottish Government

      Step 2: Failure to form a new Government in allotted timescale (think this is 2 weeks)

      Step 3: Holyrood Election (Independence Plebiscite)

      Step 4: Win Independence Plebiscite

      Step 5: Negotiate dissolution of UK


      Pity it can’t play out before 31/12/2020 when Brexit Transition ends and Scotland really has been dragged out of the EU despite Blackfords pish and wind to the contrary!

      • johnny doric

        The UK government will engage in fair and reasonable negotiations? If anybody in the Independence movement was worth a damn they’d have prepared for failed negotiations and disorderly Independence. Scotland isn’t going to be given a damn thing, we have to take what is ours, not ask for it politely.

        How will pensions be paid? What will our currency be? How will we set up our foreign service? How can the Scottish Government commision a Navy if it can’t handle 2 car ferries? Sturgeon has stuffed her government with useless sycophants who couldn’t deliver a pizza.

    • Contrary

      Thanks for posting the article RoS – the language of the committee members is getting stronger by the day – I note that this is a non-binding no confidence motion, but I couldnt make out if the next one would be binding? Probably not. I’m starting to get irritated by the other SNP MSPs backing up this government now – they are keeping that corruption in place, and it’s time they all grew a backbone.

      All of Swinney’s letters are exercises in creative obfuscation, even his response to the no confidence vote is an exercise in delay and ,,, nonsense ‘negative consequences’ – aye? Like what? This is what he said:

      “Swinney told MSPs that “no final decision has been made by the Government” about publishing the advice, but claimed there could be a “very real potential for negative consequences”.
      He suggested that it could create a precedent that could “potentially undermine the ability of the Government to receive legal advice””

      Non-binding motions aren’t going to cut it with these guys!

      • DaveyTee

        The trouble is that Swinney is right – legal professional privilege clearly applies to the advice the Scottish government received from their counsel, and as the law stands, no-one, not even the courts, can require that it be shown to a third party. As I see it, any demand by MSPs to see the advice government received, even if it is passed repeatedly by Parliament, is ineffective as they cannot legally require its production. Exactly the same prinicple applies to Westminster. As Lord Rodgers said in a House of Lords case in 2003, “‘… from time to time, a tribunal will be deprived of potentially useful evidence but the public interest in people being properly advised on matters of law is held to outweigh the competing public interest in making that evidence available’.

        Of course, whether the Scottish Government is politically wise in refusing to hand over the advice may be another matter, but I can understand why they would not want to set a precedent that would indeed undermine the ability of this and successuve governments to receive legal advice.


        • Giyane

          Davey Tee

          Eye swivelling politicians have to watch the legal opinion and the electoral opinion simultaneously.
          Buying winter thermals this week Ii see the hole provided in the front , could be used for the monkey’s tails politicians use to swing effortlessly across the political jungle.

          Any politician that follows legal advice only and ignores public opinion is doomed. All politicians everywhere just have to say what the public want to hear, even if their permanent rictus grins can only be achieved by plastic surgery.

        • Cubby


          You are wrong about it setting a precedent. The Scotgov has already previously released legal advice given to it. – on three occasions no less. The last instance being the trams fiasco in Edinburgh.

          So it does not undermine any future government’s ability to receive advice.

          The Scotgov are disrespecting the Scottish Parliament which has now voted twice for the advice to be released to the Harrassment Committee.

        • Contrary


          Cubby is right, there is plenty of very recent precendent – in one case the Lord Advocate actually appeared in parliament to answer questions which was unheard of before. To claim privilege in this matter is only obfuscation. The open and transparent rhetoric along with promises to supply the committee with everything, has just been empty rhetoric. The hypocrisy drives me mad – saying one thing but doing another!

    • Father O'Blivion

      Swinney is clever enough to anticipate a vote of no confidence in himself, yet he continues to act as Nicola’s human shield. The same applies to James Wolffe who refused to answer whether he was even asked for advice over the previous Parliamentary vote demanding sight of the legal advice (in preparation of defence at the Court of Session).
      How close to collapse must the defensive ring round Sturgeon be if all concerned are pursuing this all or nothing strategy?

  • ET

    I don’t imagine Gordon Brown is likely to be a very popular figure amongst posters here but has anyone read his article in The New Statesman? He argues for saving the UK but also points out much of what is currently very wrong in UK and perhaps other countries too.

    “And Boris Johnson’s reported “devolution has been a disaster” outburst – implying his management from the centre is a great success story – shows how out of touch he is: part of that No 10 faction that does not even admit there is a problem and the days of over-centralisation are numbered.

    So while No 10 may persist in dismissing unrest against the centre as the complaints of “restless and unruly natives” in Scotland or Wales, this is not the real story. The view from Scotland and Wales is the same as the view from the regions, too: an inflexible, insensitive centre still trying to imprison a multinational country of diverse regions, with their own histories and needs, into the straitjacket of a unitary state. “

    • Father O'Blivion

      His argument is reasonable up to a point. The sin of omission is failing to mention that devolution to the English regions has been tested in the past and there was no appetite. Dominic Cummings broke his virginity in helping to win the campaign against a regional assembly for the North East.
      Another impediment is the 8.6 million population encompassed by the London Mayoralship. Far greater than Scotland (5.6 m) and Wales (3.1 m). Structural instability is already built into the system through decades of laissez faire acceptance of the concentration of power in London. This is not a peculiarly British problem, two thirds of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in greater Dublin.
      Scotland would similarly be foolish to site its diplomatic capital in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

      • ET

        “two thirds of the population of the Republic of Ireland live in greater Dublin”

        It’s not quite that high, it is about 40% if one includes the 3 counties of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow in the Greater Dublin Area which many would disagree with. Even with them included it wouldn’t be considered a “political” unit in the same sense as Greater London. However, I get your point.
        I am Irish not Scottish (notwithstanding the earlier posts saying Irish are Scottish and vice versa) and have no horse in the Scottish Independence race. I thought whilst Gordon Brown was arguing how to save the UK he gave pretty good reasons why Scotland would want to be independent.

  • mark golding

    We recall Kneel Starmer, said, “In case the Prime Minister hadn’t noticed, the Labour Party is under new management and no frontbencher of this party has appeared on Russia Today since I’ve been leading this party.”

    In power Starmer will revoke RT’s broadcasting license in the U.K. insisting “Russia poses an immediate and urgent threat to our national security. (BS)

    • Cubby

      ROS – I think a bit of wishful thinking on your part is coming to the fore here. Too much time on WGD perhaps.

      Just another vague promise by Sturgeon that is not really a promise.

      • Republicofscotland


        I’m trying to open their eyes on the Dugs site, remember they’re not the enemy.

        • Cubby


          No they are not the enemy on WGD but they think you are.

          This wheest for Indy approach (or look the other way) that pervades Scot Goes Pop and WGD independence sites are a disgrace to people who want a decent and honest Scotgov not a replica Westminster with a bit of tartan thrown in.

        • Cubby


          I see you are now being described as “an infestation of a leech” on WGD – your social work is clearly not being received with love.

          As they complain about people BTL calling Sturgeon nasty names on Wings they then proceed to talk about leeches and quote you as an example.

          • Republicofscotland

            Ha, ha Cubby yes I’m the talk of the town as they say, but its more to do with self doubt on their behalves that they’re angry at me I think. They just don’t want to read or hear that Sturgeon could be anything but utterly honest to the indy faithful.

          • Cubby


            Social work can be very demanding. Keep trying your best if you must but don’t let them get you down.

            Eilidh is the latest to deny you any thanks and love. Try not to be shattered by this denunciation of yourself as a non believer. Only true believers of the Sturgeon prophet are allowed on the site by order of Mr Kavanagh says charming Eilidh.

          • Cubby


            I read a bit more on WGD and I have to say I was impressed by your calm and collected replies to some of the dreadful comments aimed at you.

            I noted again Dr Jim claiming that a referendum was lined up for 2020 but the virus stopped it happening. Now this really is delusional. Sturgeon clearly said in her Jan 2020 speech that there would be no illegal referendum only a gold standard Westminster approved referendum. As this wasn’t going to happen in 2020 Dr Jim has sadly lost the plot. It truly is amazing the capacity some people have for ignoring the facts.

          • Contrary

            “An infestation of a leech” – wow – the no-debate crew are getting quite agressive and even more intolerant. I just got called a ‘raging Wings sycophant’ on Talking up Scotland because I mentioned the harassment committee, and possibly mentioned the SNP leadership were liars etc. The main point about that comment was that it was good that the polls don’t show a drop for the SNP popularity despite all those issues. No mention of Wings, and I’m hardly gushing about him ever. Ach, it was just a troll.

            The quality of comments have been dire on Talking up Scotland lately, and very few of the old timers comment any more – really makes for a hostile environment. I see that Me Bungo Pony is trying to give Iain Lawson a hard time – I assume for the sole purpose of causing disruption – why go on a blog and comment incessantly when you don’t agree with anyone or anything? My comments weren’t appearing on his blog for ages, but I tried one there and it worked, but not sure I want to with an arsehole there just out to make a hostile environment.

            Are all these agressive no-debate people ex-wingers? It used to be somewhat unpleasant in the comments section on Wings – it is now fairly civilised – but certain other blogs have become very uncivilised. I’ve noticed there is a possessiveness too, they take over like they own the place – WGD is the worst for a kind of vetting then circling of the wagons. A couple tried it with me on Prof John’s blog (talking up Scotland), eventually I had to tell them to butt out: well, in code, because I’m always polite.

    • Father O'Blivion

      Talk of IndyRef II in 2021 was just general buffoonery from Blackford. There’s a lot of wrangling and obstacles to cross after the 2021 Holyrood election, 2022 was always a more realistic option. Strategy should target May, but a little slippage into summer wouldn’t necessarily harm (longer days, nicer weather, memories of the 2014 euphoria). Also, the “Festival of Brexit” is scheduled for 2022, that would offer a really stark contrast. Union jacks, spitfires, “we won the war y’know”.

      • Republicofscotland

        it appears Sturgeon has made a commitment on the indyref front, we must between now and the date of it (still to be set) hold her feet to the fire on it. 2022, looks the more likely in my opinion.

        • Cubby


          “It appears”. – yes that is what she wants voters to think who want independence.

          She “appeared” to make similar commitments previously – usually as an election is on the horizon and now more specifically as she is in trouble over the Harrassment inquiry. The fantasy referendum is always the next year.

          Not exactly the type of leader I would have imagined to lead Scotland to independence – “hold her feet to the fire”. I think if she was chucked in the fire she would still be claiming we need a gold standard sec30 from Westminster.

          The SNP under Sturgeons leadership is just another corrupt political party more interested in winning elections and maintaining personal positions of power than winning independence.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh don’t get me wrong Cubby I’m not convinced, not until she names the date of the indyref, which I have my doubts that she will.

          • Cubby


            A date in legislation for a referendum – not drafts or promises but actual passed legislation then I will believe it. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    “. It took a man of Trump’s perspicacity to detect the stagnation and moral lack of oxygen of the swamp. Everybody else was perfectly happy with the appalling destructivity of US hegemony”

    But given Trump’s instinct and personality ( lack thereof) don’t you think for a moment that Trump only held the office with Trump first and last in mind. He is not what you are actually trying to make him out to be – and he shall never be such.

    • giyane

      Courtenay Barnett

      Well, if he’s a TV personality host he’s a great deal better than ones I’ve met. As a man, he’s astonishingly more into communication than your average Brit. His skills as a businessman would appear to be first class in a category which is defined by self-interest. His skills as a politician are marred by his willingness to start digging into whatever rabbit-hole is in front of him , instead of sticking to a pre-prepared script.

      Those are all qualities I admire and like. The thing I absolutely detest about politicians is when they refuse to engage with people, or ideas, or events ,or news, or questions, but repeat pre-prepared statements which they either don’t believe in or have been prepared for them by somebody else. I like to see the ego, even if the ego is a little sensitive. Obama’s personality is a wraith, a spook, a ghost, a gnat. But even with a gnat you get more personality, because at least you know what he or she wants from you which is a few millilitres of your blood.

      • pretzelattack

        giyane i don’t blame you for a superficial view of us politics. trump is very much a creature of the swamp, he has appointed one longtime swamp creature after another–bolton, elliot abrams, jon negropointe etc etc to his administration. this is not an accident. he skills as a businessman are much inflated, as attested by his numerous bankruptcies. he played an outsider to gain power, much as obama did before him, and he was just as much a fake; he didn’t end the wars, he made domestic conditions worse, and he backed the brutal actions of out of control cops. i’m not sure if you have a similar problem with the police in scotland; do they often murder people in cold blood?
        biden of course is no better overall, and doesn’t even pretend to want to shake things up, just a return to the moribund failing state of the obama years. but you have fallen for a public relations image of trump which has no basis in reality.

        • Giyane

          Pretzel attack

          It was the disgusting things Daesh did to the Yazidi women and to Mosul women that tinted my specs in Trumps flavour when they were removed by him. For four years Islamist paganism, otherwise known as Salafism, going back to the pagan conditions of life before Islam, has had to crawl back under its stone.

          The bete-noires of neo-liberals China and Russia do not gang rape women and girls against their will. This is an invention of Salafism or as the Yazidi lady said: ‘ What century do you think we are living in?’

          The decision to openly befriend and employ these criminals in Libya was taken by Obama and Cameron. Democrats and Tories. But I take your point that Biden and Starmer would be quite capable of carrying on doing the same thing.

      • Courtenay Barnett


        When you say:-

        ” The thing I absolutely detest about politicians is when they refuse to engage with people, or ideas, or events ,or news, or questions,…”

        Isn’t that reason enough to detest Trump? He is not a career politician – but someone who seems throughout his business life to have trampled over far more people than the average businessman to get what he wants. What Trump does well is pander to public prejudices and thus his rallies serve this objective well. He plays the populist card in a skewed racial and prejudiced way. Listening to Trump – does he really engage the questions – especially when the interviewer directly challenges him – or – when some detailed knowledge is required; he really comes across as trite without detailed ideas or much specific knowledge of history or world affairs. Surely, not someone I see as being a good and/or effective leader. Praises be that soon he will out of the White House.

  • forthestate

    “I must confess I don’t like online meetings and I very much miss actually getting round and meeting people. Hopefully we are not too far now from being able to do that again.”

    Are you serious? You appear to be unaware of the disaster that has just befallen us. How can you seriously talk blithely of “getting around and meeting people” again? Are you aware of how many people, in the last months of their life, would long for that to be true, but will never see their loved ones again as a result of what has just passed? Forgive me, but don’t you have anything to say about the biggest catastrophe facing this nation in your lifetime? Is the route through Oban all that concerns you at the moment?

    Not sure I can be bothered to fund you any more, Craig. I know that won’t mean much to you. You flog your cause at Oban, sonny. I’ve got others things on my mind. Me and a few million ornery folk.

    • BrianFujisan

      For the State
      – Of Perpetual despair… Like being ruled over by Criminals of every calibre…War criminals Being the worst of them.
      We in Scotland – 2.5 million of us want the fuck out of it…WE NEED out of it, real fast as Brexit looms ..

      I hope Craig wins the Presidency of SNP, I hope Alex returns I hope Joanna wins the NEC too.

      I feel Sick Watching Multi-Millionaires Enforce Policies of Death.. Whilst sniggering Like the evil monsters they are..
      I Feel sick when I think of Julian being tortured by your state.. and For Iraqi’s..Yemeni’s, Syrian’s ..Palestinians.. Ect, Ect, Ect,

      • Forthestate

        I don’t need you to wave your virtuous willy at me, Brian, I’m onside with all those causes, and probably have been long before you.

      • Forthestate

        “I Feel sick when I think of Julian being tortured by your state.. ” My state, Brian? Are you accusing me of something? Spit it out , laddie. I’ve supported Assange all my life, so your only implication can be based on my race, no? My state. Because I’m English, I’m responsible. It’s not good enough that I support Assange, and decry my government’s abuse of law in his incarceration – it’s ‘my’ state, and I’m responsible, unlike you, because it’s not ‘your’ state.

        You’re a racist, laddie. Common cause isn’t good enough for you. It’s down to race. My state. Your state. Right now, I pray my state is overturned. Thanks for your support.

        • Forthestate

          I should add, I’ve prayed for that for many years. I don’t need you, laddie, to teach me a thing.

    • Stevie Boy

      Forthestate, your masters at the the 77th Brigade have noted your excellent contribution to the free speech agenda, well done.

  • BrianFujisan

    Great article in The National

    Joanna Cherry: If SNP NEC won’t put indy front and centre now, when will it? –

    A section of it –

    … ” On the issue of sovereignty and Irish unity, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 provides that the Northern Irish Secretary shall not allow a second border poll any earlier than seven years before the previous poll.
    Even allowing for the very different context, if seven years between referendums to leave the UK is acceptable for Northern Ireland why not for Scotland?
    If the party or parties who have a clear commitment to a second indyref in their manifestos win the Scottish election next year then it would be a Trumpian denial of democracy for such a referendum not to happen.
    But, if ever any UK leader was capable of Trumpian behaviour then it’s Boris Johnson, so it makes sense for us to think about what we should do in the event that the PM refuses to reach agreement with the FM about the means by which a second indyref can be held, as David Cameron did with Alex Salmond in the Edinburgh Agreement 2012.
    A recent poll suggested that two-thirds of voters want a fall-back strategy to secure a second independence vote if a Section 30 order is refused this time round.
    But some in the SNP are reluctant to contemplate the options in such a scenario because they believe that to do so might detract from the pressure on the PM to do the right thing.
    To them I say he’s not renowned for doing the right thing particularly when it comes to Scotland.
    I understand the argument that his refusal to grant a Section 30 order is unsustainable. Whether that is right remains to be seen.
    For now, it’s a comforting thought that his position is unsustainable but it’s a hope at best and it’s my belief that this hope should not prevent us from looking at what leverage we have in the meantime “…

    • Cubby


      Previous SNP manifestos had a clear commitment to an independence referendum. Nothing new there.

      In my opinion it would make no difference who was PM in the future they would refuse a sect 30 just like May and Johnson. Cameron only agreed because he was convinced he would win it easily and end the independence movement. As long as the polls show an ongoing significant majority for independence as has been the case all this year then no PM will sign up to a referendum ( unless external to the UK pressure is applied) never mind the Westminster parliament. Sturgeon is just stringing us along. Westminster is more likely to neuter the Scot parliament than agree to a sec 30.

    • nevermind

      Susan Katherine Sanders seems to be very ambitious, appearing on many posts and as a candidate.

  • johnny doric

    I can’t help wondering if the state of the SNP and the various odd individuals now within it (with their fringe agendas largely bemusing to the general population) aren’t the work of some outside nefarious agency…I have no evidence for this of course. It’s just a “conspiracy theory” 😉

    The alternative is the SNP is full of loony left useless idiots who’ve never had a real job, I’m not sure which scenario is worse? 🙂

    • Father O'Blivion

      Of course there’s “outside nefarious agencies” at work.
      On an international front, consider the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership program. SNP graduates include Humza Yousaf, Osama Saeed and Jenny Gilruth.
      Locally we have the John Smith Centre for Public Service. Check out their website. Nicola is a big fan. From their “mission statement” : “Politics has become a discredited and disrespected process. This acts as a huge disincentive to talented people choosing to enter politics.”
      Where’s the evidence that folk are reluctant to enter politics? Parties are chock full of young Politics graduates that have “never had a proper job in their lives”. The Director of the JSCfPS is Kezia Dugdale, an absolute exemplar of the previous sentence.
      Outfits like the JSCfPS actively push these (otherwise unemployable) young Politics graduates into the Party lists via deep and targeted networking.
      Their “fringe agendas” don’t seem fringe to them. They’ve never worked on the shop floor of a factory, never been “on the tools” on a construction site. In their insular world preoccupation with the rights of “bearded lesbians” is mainstream (as hard as that may be to process).

      • johnny doric

        “Politics has become a discredited and disrespected process. This acts as a huge disincentive to talented people choosing to enter politics.” That’s one way of describing psychopaths and narcissists I suppose.

      • Stevie Boy

        And, it’s not just politics that has become infested with the ‘never had a proper job’ brigade. IMO, the teaching profession seems to suffer from the same issues ?

        • giyane

          Stevie Boy

          Nobody ever told would be politicians to follow a script. But teachers have been told what to teach or not teach for the last 40 years. To be a teacher you have to subordinate all of your knowledge to what is in state handouts. If anybody is clever enough to do that, day in , day out for an entire career, fair play to them do whatever you like, with any part of your anatomy they like.
          I know I couldn’t suppress my personality for the sake of Mr Baker, or Mr Williamson, for more than about half a minute, let alone life…

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Father O’Blivion
        One problem is that as soon as a political party gets any traction outfits like the John Smith Centre for Public Service will start to target them for pumping full of neo-liberals.

  • BrianFujisan

    We Have Brexit Baying Balloons – Covid calamity – Brexit Broken Britain – Covid Carnage –

    Then then we have war with Iran..Remember that Sudden 20 / 25 Bn for the military ..Well, This –

    A high-ranking nuclear physicist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, has been assassinated in Iran’s Damavand County,

    I wonder who that could have been. Remember too, that this is the Second high ranking Iranian to be taken out .. Prepare yourselves

    • pretzelattack

      well old swamp drainer trump, the man of change, bragged about killing the general, so far he hasn’t criticised israel, who obviously had a hand in it. i think they did it with his approval.

    • Alyson

      Israel would like to commit Biden to a war against Iran. Trump while being remarkably hands off with Israel, managed not to start any new wars, and engaged directly with strong men across the globe, negotiating a peace which held firm throughout his tenure. Biden is old school and Israel will expect him to comply. Obama makes it clear that Israel was the most obstructive of the US’s allies, in his book. The deal brokered by Netanyahu with Russia says that any invasion of the sovereign territory of Israel, Iran, or Saudi, will have Russia defending the offended country in any necessary engagement. Iran remains patient, if angry. Its mothers ask why their sons have to die in Syria and Yemen, and are told that if they do not keep the liver eaters out they will come inside Iran’s borders. This is also why we have false flag attacks trying to incite anger against Russia. Mossad is well practiced at terrorism and manipulation of the facts. Witness the antisemitism furore in Labour. Starmer is bought and paid for with his wife’s family hostages in Israel. Our ally holds most, but not all, of the cards

  • doug scorgie

    November 27, 2020 at 19:48
    “I wonder who that could have been.”
    Between 2010 and 2012, four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated while another scientist was wounded in an attempted murder. The Iranian government accused Israel of complicity in the killings but we shouldn’t speculate on mere rumours; that would be anti-Semitism wouldn’t it.

  • mark golding

    It appears Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross is oblivious to the reality that Boris Johnson and the Tories are the biggest threat to the future of the UK.

    He bleats “This is a union that has delivered so much in the last 300 years, the most powerful economic and political union the world has seen. This is a union that delivers in times of crisis and in normal times as well.

    “This is a union I am passionate about.

    “This is a union that two million Scots voted to remain part of just six years ago, this is a union that can continue to deliver for Scotland and Scotland can continue to benefit from being part of.”

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