A Small Story of Scottish Justice 220

A story you will not have heard unless you read the Oban Times or are one of the 146 people who live on the island of Lismore, gives a profound insight into the abuse of state power in Scotland today.

You may recall that back in April 2020 Dr Catherine Calderwood, the Scottish government’s chief medical advisor, was forced to resign after breaking lockdown regulations on a family visit to St Andrews. One week later, it hit the newspapers that, in conflict with Scottish government advice, another key Scottish government figure in dealing with the epidemic, Prof Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh, had moved to his holiday home on the island of Lismore. Woolhouse is Professor of Epidemiology and a member of Nicola Sturgeon’s covid-19 advisory committee.

The Daily Record reported that people on Lismore were not happy:

One islander, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It’s just another example of hypocrisy.

“Locals in Lismore are far from happy because coronavirus refugees put the community in danger.

“There’s not even a doctor or nurse on the island.

“Just as Professor Woolhouse came here, various politicians were telling people to stay away from the Highlands and Islands.”

On 22 March Nicola Sturgeon stated:

“Those who do not normally live on the islands and who have traveled there in the last few days will be able to leave to reduce pressure but from now on ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to and from the mainland and for essential supplies or business.”

Other Scottish ministers repeatedly made clear the message that the Highlands were not in a position to cope with any extra strain on health services, so people should not go there to escape the epidemic and if already there, should leave to where they normally lived.

Now Professor Woolhouse had left Edinburgh and taken his family to Lismore a few days before the official advice not to travel to the Highlands. But whether he had official foreknowledge of coming restrictions, or was acting on his own information as an epidemiologist, or it was genuine coincidence as claimed, I do not know. What is true is that Edinburgh University was still operating and teaching when he abandoned Edinburgh for his holiday home. And what is true is that he ignored government advice for non-residents to leave the Islands and return to their permanent homes.

Woolhouse was not pleased with the adverse publicity. He therefore started initiating lawyers to chill any media outlet which criticised his retreat to the island, with some success (though I note the Record report is still there). Four months later he was still on Lismore, and on 31 July 2020 an interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel Four News included this extraordinary passage on live TV:

Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “Is that what you did yourself, a personal risk assessment, because you came in yourself for criticism for moving your family out to a remote Scottish island at the beginning of this pandemic”
Prof Woolhouse: “Krishnan that matter is under some legal dispute and if you want Channel 4 to join the legal case you are very welcome to we came for a one week holiday and got caught by lockdown like many thousands of other people around the country”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “And you are still there are you?”
Prof Woolhouse: “We are, as it happens. The community has been extremely welcoming and extremely supportive and we are very grateful to them for that.”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “So what is the legal sort of confusion, we are obviously not wishing to join litigation but I am wondering what it is you’re threatening when you say that, I mean what’s the confusion around what you have done.”
Prof Woolhouse: “As I have said, the matter, the reports in the press are under legal review…”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: “So you didn’t move, you just happened to be caught there, is that what you are saying?”
Prof Woolhouse: “Yes, we just happened to be caught there, like thousands of other people”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: But why haven’t you gone back, because your job is in Edinburgh”
Prof Woolhouse: “Yes, it turns out like many other people that it is entirely able (sic) to carry out this work remotely, thanks to some very fleet-footed work by my ICT team at the University of Edinburgh, for which I am grateful as well.”
Krishnan Guru-Murthy: So what do you say to those people, I am not putting this allegation to you myself, but you have been accused of hypocrisy haven’t you?”
Prof Woolhouse: “As I say, if you want Channel 4 to get involved in the legal action, you are very welcome to continue this line of questioning.”
Krishanan Guru-Murthy: I am asking you, when people accuse you of hypocrisy, what is your answer to that?”
Prof Woolhouse: “My answer is the matter is legal and I am ending this interview now. Sorry Christian (sic).

One thing we can say for certain is that Prof Woolhouse’s claim that he somehow got stuck or stranded on Lismore is a lie. Firstly, the ferries were kept going and non permanent residents were positively instructed to use them and go home. Secondly, a friend of his daughter had arrived with them for a holiday and managed to go home with no problems, as Oban Sheriff Court was to hear last week (of which more later).

Jeremy Gilchrist enters this story. He is a full time resident on Lismore for many years and, I must declare, a friend of my family. At the start of the pandemic, Jeremy along with other Lismore residents was alarmed at the small wave of outsiders coming to holiday homes on the island from cities and potentially bringing the virus with them. They started a facebook group on the subject, and Jeremy went so far as to make a report to the police of potential breaches of lockdown regulations. The reply from Oban police station was that the lockdown regulations were not, in March 2020, legally enforceable.

[I might make it clear at this stage that I do not really approve of this kind of Covid vigilantism, but can understand it in an island environment and I have no sympathy at all for those who own second homes in the Highlands and Islands, like Prof Woolhouse – or Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg.]

Islanders also started to make clear to the pandemic incomers they were not entirely welcome, simply by politely telling them so. Jeremy, who is 70 years old, on 30 May 2020 waved to Prof Woolhouse’s wife, who then stopped as she passed his home. He asked her “Why are you still here?” She claims that he added she should “go home”, which Jeremy denies saying, though it is not an unfair implication.

Some weeks thereafter, Oban police came to the island to see Jeremy Gilchrist and he thought that finally they were taking seriously the question of people coming to holiday homes on the island in breach of lockdown rules. He was astonished to find that the police were launching a high-powered investigation – into Jeremy Gilchrist.

That was the start of over six months of nightmare. Normally getting the police to come investigate a crime on the island is a difficult pull on limited resources, but suddenly there was unlimited police time available to go all over the island, interviewing residents and asking them if they had ever seen Jeremy Gilchrist act aggressively, and if he had ever been heard to say anything racist.

Think about that – you live on a small island and suddenly the police are asking all your neighbours if they know you for a violent racist. The strain was appalling. Jeremy Gilchrist was to learn from Oban police that the instruction to devote all these police resources was coming directly from the Crown Office. This is Scotland 2021, and Jeremy Gilchrist is, in the eyes of the Crown Office, just some pleb islander. Whereas Professor Mark Woolhouse, Order of the British Empire, is a member of the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Covid-19. Woolhouse is therefore within the charmed Scottish Government circle of those whose enemies get persecuted at unlimited Police Scotland and Crown Office expense. Especially as the whole story of the dubious adherence to lockdown advice of its own adviser was potentially politically embarrassing to the Scottish Government.

Jeremy Gilchrist therefore found himself charged by the Crown Office with “acting in a racially aggravated manner intended to cause alarm or distress”. Because Prof Woolhouse’s wife, Prof Francisca Mutapi, is a black Zimbabwean. She claimed in court that she had believed Gilchrist wanted her to leave the island because she was black, not because of Covid, and that he had wanted her to go back to Zimbabwe, not go back to Edinburgh.

There was no claim made that Jeremy Gilchrist had said anything about her being black or about Zimbabwe. Gilchrist had, as the court heard, been campaigning for all holiday home dwellers to leave the island, in accordance with official Scottish government Covid advice, with no reference to anybody’s ethnic origin. Prof Mutapi is a highly intelligent woman and herself a Professor of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh. The idea that – after the controversy over her family being on the island had been in the national newspapers – she genuinely did not understand why some people including Gilchrist wanted the family to leave the island, is a nonsense. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at hiding bad behaviour – deciding to live on the island during a pandemic – behind a protected characteristic. Astonishingly, this behaviour was then promoted by the Crown Office and Police Scotland.

Here is an extract of the report of the trial last week from the Oban Times:

Ms Mutapi told the court that as she jogged by she became aware of him ‘gesticulating’ and when she stopped to say hello, he had told her to ‘go back home’.
When she replied it was her home, she said he began shouting: ‘This is not your home, you don’t belong here.’
Ms Mutapi described her ethnicity as ‘black Zimbabwean’ and regarded his comments as meaning either go back to the cottage or go back home to Africa.
She said she felt ‘angry, attacked, sad and shocked’ as Scotland had been her home for the past 25 years and the holiday home had been in her husband’s family for 40 years.
She said Gilchrist had never made such remarks when he had seen her with her husband, so she decided to report it to police as he had singled her out as a woman on her own, she said.
But Gilchrist’s advocate Alan Gravelle said Gilchrist had simply meant go back to Edinburgh.
Mr Gravelle also asked Ms Mutapi why she had not told police that her daughter’s friend had travelled to Lismore but then left during lockdown to return to her parents.
‘I didn’t think the friend’s presence was relevant,’ replied Ms Mutapi.
She further denied Mr Gravelle’s suggestion that the racism complaint had been made to ‘silence legitimate criticism’ about their visit which had intensified after a national newspaper report in April slammed her husband for being on Lismore.
Gilchrist, a retired fruit grower, was subsequently charged by police with acting in a racially aggravated manner intended to cause alarm or distress – which he denied.
Giving evidence, the court was told that due to Covid, a neighbour of his with cancer had NHS treatment cancelled and subsequently died.
Gilchrist, who also has type-1 diabetes and a partner with disabilities, insisted his comments were not about the complainant’s ethnicity and denied being racist.
He disputed having used the words: ‘this is not your home’ and claimed he had simply asked her: ‘Why are you still here?’
‘They shouldn’t have been there and I had a right to ask why they were there,’ Gilchrist told the court. ‘I was concerned about the virus being brought to the island. It was about keeping people off the island for our safety.’
Prior to the incident, Gilchrist had also had reported a different second home owner to the police but was told there was ‘nothing’ officers could do.
He had consistently raised his concerns with the island’s Covid group, posted on Facebook and raised them face-to-face with other second home owners who had ‘not enjoyed’ hearing it, Gilchrist admitted.
Mr Gravelle said his concerns represented many on the island about people having fled the cities to holiday homes and the risk of introducing coronavirus to remote communities. Home to under 200 permanent residents, fears were rife about food shortages and the absence of NHS staff for its elderly population, while Lismore community leaders had also been warned to prepare for fatalities, the court heard.
However, Procurator Fiscal James Dunbar said Gilchrist had set out to ‘confront’ Ms Mutapi with aggressive behaviour and that she represented ‘one second home owner too many’ for him.
Sheriff Patrick Hughes told Gilchrist the trial had not proved his behaviour had been criminal or racist; it was clear he had become ‘obsessive’ about Covid.

It is important to note that the Procurator Fiscal put no evidence of any kind before the court to back his disgusting and unjustified assertion that Jeremy Gilchrist is a racist. There can be no such evidence as he is not any kind of racist, and the police had wasted much time on a politically motivated wild goose chase through is neighbours, acquaintances and social media.

I am struck by:

Procurator Fiscal James Dunbar said Gilchrist had set out to ‘confront’ Ms Mutapi with aggressive behaviour and that she represented ‘one second home owner too many’ for him.

It won’t come as a shock to many highlanders or islanders, that here the Crown Office explicitly sides with the second home owner over the resident. But note the procurator here demolishes his own argument that Gilchrist’s objection was anything to do with ethnicity. That was plainly a nonsense. In terms of his behaviour in talking to Ms Mutapi being “threatening”, remember he is 70 years old and unwell, and was stood outside his own front door.

Jeremy Gilchrist was acquitted at Oban Crown Court this week. But six months of his life had already been ruined, he lost tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees and he was wrongly labeled a racist by the police to the entire community where he lives.

There is never any shortage of police resources in today’s Scotland to investigate thought crime. Burglaries or riots in George Square, not so much. The Crown Office wasted substantial amounts of taxpayers’ money in large scale police investigation of Jeremy Gilchrist and in prosecution of accusations which were never going to result in conviction because they were plainly – simply – wrong. The politically directed Crown Office did so in order to assist the self-evidently spurious attempt to deflect attention from lockdown hypocrisy by a key Scottish Government adviser. This was another Crown Office decision about politics and media presentation, not about justice.

A final more worrying thought. These kinds of entirely unjustified persecutions in Scotland will become much easier for the Crown Office with the new Hate Crime Law. Ms Mutapi was undoubtedly caused offence by Mr Gilchrist, and belongs to a protected group. In the terms of the new law, I think Jeremy Gilchrist would be guilty, despite having no racist intent whatsoever. Interactions with members of protected groups will be on anything but a footing of equality under the new law, and the capacity for malicious allegation will be enormous and very difficult to refute. Which is why liberal democracies generally avoid such laws.


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220 thoughts on “A Small Story of Scottish Justice

1 2 3
    • Wikikettle

      Brass neck or what. Looking forward to see what AS says on Wednesday, the day before Craig has to go to the Headmistress.

        • Ken MacIntyre


          Sutherland’s Law was the only TV drama about a Procurator Fiscal in the days when the Scottish legal system was something to be proud of and the Fiscal was a respected figure in the community. Filmed on location in Oban. Changed times indeed. You cannot imagine, say, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Margaret Thatcher’s first Lord Advocate, acting as her legal bootboy. Nonpartisan and impartial, and later Lord Chancellor, Mackay would have politely told her where to go.

          • Colin Smith

            The Ministerial Code never conceived the levels of psychopathy and depth of corruption that the whole affair engendered.

          • Republicofscotland


            Now there are virtually no Scottish tv programmes on tv and our culture has been replaced by English culture, STV carries ITV’s output entirely, and the BBC has created a part time channel called the Nine. If by chance you want to watch an old Scottish programme say Take the High Road, you need to go onto the STV player.

        • Cubby

          Alec – If he is I hope he is funnier than you. You won’t be laughing when Sturgeon wastes another 5 years. Sturgeon is a fraud and will never deliver independence.

    • fonso

      She’s now been told she can do what she likes, regardless of legality and morality.

  • Tatyana

    Do you want an opinion from a Russian person?

    “… Having freed itself from Nazism, the West decided to insure itself by eliminating a complex person. That complex person, whom Europe had formed for many years of Christianity. The person, whom Dostoevsky described: both high and low, an angel and a devil, loving and hating, believing and doubting, reflecting and fanatical.
    Unable to overcome the consequences of Nazism intellectually and spiritually, Europe decided to castrate a complex person.

    The modern Western world is taking shape of the New Ethical Reich with its own ideology – “new ethics”
    Nazis have been replaced by a mix of queer activists, fem-fanatics and ecopsychopaths; equally aggressive and just as thirsty for a total reformatting of the world.
    Traditional totalitarian regimes suppressed freedom of thought. The new non-traditional totalitarianism has gone further and wants to control emotions.

    In the New Ethical Reich, a person is trained to love and is deprived of the right to freely hate. You can no longer say I don’t like … or I’m afraid …”

    (c) “The Abduction of Europa 2.0” by Konstantin Bogomolov, the former confidant of Alexei Navalny, the current spouse of ex-presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, theatre director and hereditary creative intellectual.

    Well worded emotional descriptive opinion, a bit exaggerated as is usual with creative people, but I agree with this above piece.
    The rest of his opus describes pre-war Europe and suggests some action for Russia, on that I rather agree with Bogomolov’s critic Victor Marakhovski.

    The source in Russian

    • nevermind

      whats an ecopsychpath? somebody who loves Russian nature/the Taiga/Kamchatka?

      please, do explain Tatyana why ecopsycho’s exist only in the west. Do you care whether your grandchildren have a natural environment and enough resources to live on? Or is it just for those in the here-and-now?

      what makes you so cocksure that you don’t live in Alexander’s Russia, who seems to be old Putin’s favourite maniac next to mass-murder Stalin.

      • fwl

        I suspect both that the piece might mean that an eco psychopath is an eco warrior anti-global warming activist and that there is a certain irony behind the post considering that it is said to be by a confidant of Navalny; as if to say “do you know what you are supporting” (but I might be wrong about all of that).

          • Tatyana

            Thanks for asking, Nevermind.

            • ecopsycho, in my personal opinion, is a person going so mad, that they truly believe cow’s fart adds significantly to the global warming, so we should stop eating meat and get rid of farms.
            • yes, I do care of natural environment for my grandchildren, just choosing reasonable ideas to support.
            • the air of publicity is given by the author, who published his original article. Further publicity is given by main Russian news agency, as you can see from the source linked. I just happen to be the reader of it. I bookmarked it back in February especially to think on it and to bring the translation here. As well you could read it yourself on Russian site, using Google Translate. It is open source.
            • I must also state, in case you continue labeling ‘crap’ my ideas BEFORE you even get my explanation answer – I will ignore your comments.

            The definition ‘Navalny’s confidante’ is given by Victor Marakhovsky, the author of the original article. I found it worth adding to the translation, to give the readers more context.
            You are of couse free to interpret this as you wish.

          • nevermind

            thanks for your reply Tatyana, I take the crap back.
            We are in a world where interests and money overrule concerns for the environment and it is not cows’ farts, but our habits and overconsumption, that we grow vast amounts of soya on massive fields just to produce meat for a few.
            And cows do fart a lot, much more than humans.

          • Tatyana

            It’s okay, nevermind 🙂
            Did I mention I’ve got very vivid imagination? A picture of someone bringing some crap and then taking it back – made my Thursday evening a bit more funny 🙂
            My grandma had a cow, and I can milk a cow myself, so, I assure you they fart to a very modest extent, comparing to a car. And cars are much more harming for the environment.
            Tesla is no help since we still use oil products to generate electricity to charge Teslas

          • ET

            It isn’t a cow’s farts that produces the methane but their belching. And it’s the bacteria in their breaking down the grass etc in their complicated digestive systems that actually produces the methane. And apparently they produce a lot along with other ruminants representing a third of all human produced/associated methane. Seems seaweed can reduce that 80+%:
            Not sure about the accuracy of all the figures in that article.

          • Tatyana

            The journal Chemistry and Life estimates that emissions from agriculture add 10% to emissions from fossil fuels. In general, I think that cow tantrums only create an excuse for forcing farmers to pay more.

            In Russia there’s a common expression “not rubber”, which means “won’t stretch / there’s place only for a limited amount”.
            So, I’m not rubber and therefore I need to prioritize. I focuse on the most important points for my place. I want my grandchildren to have clean water and land, and I believe they would like to have the variety of cheese we enjoy now.

            So let’s secure pure water and clean land, and then let the cows continue walking on this land, and let them fart and belch if they need to.

          • Rhys Jaggar


            People should perhaps evaluate not just the cows ‘belching’ but also their crapping. Cows crap all over the place, especially in the fields, but also in the stalls in winter.

            The crap in the fields helps fertilise the soil, causes nutrients to be processed into bio-available forms by worms and other ecological species, makes soil more fertile and hence promotes conversion of more carbon dioxide into green plants. As an aside, a US soil scientist recently measured the levels of carbon dioxide in soil and it measured over 4000 ppm. That’s right, greater than 10 times the amount in the air. Quite how it isn’t a poison at those doses but is a poison in the air is quite beyond me.

            As for cow manure from the stalls, well, that tends to get spread either on fields for arable crops or distributed to horticulturalists to fertilise their growing areas. They may mix it with other organic materials to turn it into some form of compost before using it, but you get the picture: it is used to promote soil fertility and make our agricultural productivity higher.

            A lot of very fair-minded ecological folks did some experiments the past 25 years to see if you could fertilise grounds used for vegetable growing without using cow manure. One thing they found was that after a few years, lettuces wouldn’t make proper seeds any more.

            No seeds means no vegetables pretty soon, doesn’t it?

            So I would like to see green nutters show a slightly wider range of vision rather than just focussing on cow farts….

          • Clark

            Tatyana, I think there probably is a problem.

            Humanity’s livestock now weighs almost double humanity itself. Both now vastly outweigh wild mammals:


            Demand for meat and animal produce is increasing rapidly as more of humanity become more affluent, but meat and animal produce require several times more land per calorie delivered to humans – the rich will eat meat and dairy while the poor go hungry. Vast tracts of ancient forest and its associated biodiversity are being cleared (often burned) to raise cattle for fast food, or to raise soya for such cattle. The production process involves extensive international transport and uses vast quantities of fossil liquid fuel.

            “…then let the cows continue walking on this land”

            Many cattle no longer walk the land; so industrialised are the production methods now, that many cattle live their entire short lives indoors. I am not a radical vegan, I am not even vegetarian, but I support the radical vegans in their campaign against industrialised animal farming:


          • Tatyana

            Watch out! I believe that pea and bean eaters are capable of emitting much more poisonous farts than a regular cow. I wouldn’t go to places where too many radical vegans meet together, indoors 🙂

            Seriously, one cow used to feed a whole family of about 4-8 people and people lived like that for centuries. How much do we have today?

          • Clark

            Oh I’m not complaining about the old ways of families farming for themselves and their neighbours, where the animals lived alongside their human keepers and their lives and deaths were witnessed by everyone concerned. But the modern way is nothing like that; it is detestable, conducted virtually in secret because the animals are treated as unfeeling commodities, and it dehumanises those who work in it.

            What is sustainable has unfortunately changed because there are so many more people now. I have seen world population more than double in my lifetime. We will have to treat meat and animal products as more of a luxury, share them out more evenly or there simply won’t be enough food to go around.

      • Bayard

        Why are you asking for the meaning of a word (ecopsychopath) if you have already decided what it means?

      • Talanaes

        It’s poor form to grab upon a single word from a quoted piece, and just ignore the entire argument that was being presented by quoting that piece. You’re avoiding the intellectual meat to fill up on bread.

    • Stevie Boy

      “… Having freed itself from Nazism…”.

      As time and intelligent assessment makes more and more information available it is apparent that rather than free itself, the West actually enthusiastically adopted a lot of ‘the ways’ of the Nazis. Our current situation is a culmination of that adoption – and worse is yet to come.

      • Tatyana

        In my opinion, what is going on now in the West, is disguised Nazism. Well, sort of that.
        Let me explain.

        Nazi idea was that some people are subhumans deserving death, while others are superior people, worthy of ruling over the world.
        New Western trend is reversed. Using Mr.Murray’s words ‘protected groups’ fight for privileges.

        To me, either of these are disbalanced approaches, far far from normality. I believe all members of a society must be simply equal. No discrimination and no privilege based on skin color, ethnicity, gender, political position etc.
        Normal society gives privilege naturally to those who made good service to the society.
        And, normally a society discriminates those who harms it by committing very well known list of crimes understandable everywhere. Universal human sins – murder, rape, theft etc.

        I see hipocrisy in Ms Mutapi’s accusation. As well as I see hipocrisy in Navalny’s claim he is persecuted for his political position.

        • Tatyana

          I’d like to illustrate my above comment with more detail.
          Some people don’t notice that they discriminate one party when they give preference to another party. Like a woman accusing a man of rape is gaining confidence long before a court’s decision. Isn’t it discrimination against men?

          A friend of mine posted photo of himself in Ukrainian Cossack clothes. He also wrote слава Украине
          We discussed in the comment section if he is looking authentic enough, privately I wrote to him ‘I should warn the slogan originated in Nazi supporting group, so it sounds pretty Heil Ukraine, to the Russian ear. We here still need time to get accustomed to the new revisioned sense of the slogan’
          The aswer was ‘I know about the slogan, I just want to show support to all the Ukrainians’
          My feelings on that answer, really, are best described by the meme from ‘True Detective’ series – you may know Colin Farrell picture. He was told to fuck off, so he stands there apalled, saying “Yeah, yeah, that’s right.. Fuck me”

          Something’s wrong in this situation. He seemed so sincere and caring and sensitive, when we talked about him. So, where is that sensitivity when we talk about me?

          The same I noticed in Mr. Murray’s position, he said he loves russian people and russian culture and then always comes several ‘but-s’ ‘if-s’ and total insensitivity.

          • Tatyana

            Yet another illustration
            Recently a commentor here said that my position on Palestine is not that of civilised people.
            Yeah, yeah… 🙂
            I’m not preferring one to another sides of the conflict, because both are committing violence. I’m not taking sides, because it means I would have indulged that my preferred side of committing violence.
            I’m not playing this game. I suggest focusing on stopping violence first. Stop killing people.
            I cannot see how taking a side might be helpful.
            I know surefire way to make peace, and it has nothing in common with choosing a side.

          • Tatyana

            More on this-
            That friend of mine is gay, and he sees nothing wrong in using a Nazi slogan.
            My ancestry includes Zaporozhye Cosacks, I understand Ukrainian language and know folk songs, and generally in love with the culture – still I’m uneasy at seeing the slogan.
            Does it mean that my friend supports Nazism? No. He just wants to support his friends.
            Does it mean that I don’t consider Ukraine a great country? No. I just hate Nazism.
            The point of intersection of our respective attitudes lays in the modern Ukraine’s revisioned history.

          • Fwl

            Sounds something like some of the arguments in Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, which from a libertarian position posits fascism as authoritarian statism and identifies German, Italian, Russian and Western versions. Each has a sort of wrapper which makes it very distinctive: German was cloaked in racism, Italian in Nationalism, Russian in class struggle and the Western type in a liberal cloak of progressivism including the sort of issues identified above, which on the surface appear attractive and good. Problem is that libertarianism is also on the surface attractive (freedom) but has the problem that when the little lamb is free to compete with wolf then wolf generally eats the lamb. As for Russian and Chinese authoritarianism it appears that the 1930’s Italian style cloak of Nationalism has replaced that of class struggle.

            Anyway, I wish Craig well with his hearing.

          • Tatyana

            you know, the comment on the article which got most approval points from the readers says:

            “The world has many faces and a person has the right to be himself. Russia is indeed much more liberal in many issues today than those who are often imposed on us as an example to follow. We have our own way, it’s hard to disagree.”

            The second of the most approved comment is:

            “The manifesto makes an impression. And it’s nice that, as a representative of the cultural intelligentsia, Bogomolov does not nod at European-American values ​​as the only possible reference point – which is very popular in our secular society. On the contrary, he points out rather succinctly that the aggressively imposed Tolerance is just as evil as Nazism.”

    • CasualObserver

      Tatyana, interesting observations you make, which will predictably raise the ire of some.

      The thing is, with human span being short, the failures of humanity in either the political, or financial sphere are liable to be repeated every 90 to 100 years or so. Hence the financial blow up of 2008, and now the widespread lack of criticism of those who are claiming to make a more perfect world by promoting acceptance of issues that are far from perfect.

      H L Mencken, who seems to have produced quotable lines on most topics tells us, ”The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve”.

      Given the relatively recent experience of Russia, and Central Europe, of those who neatly fit with Mencken’s quote, we may hope those lands serve as a bastion of some sense whilst the ‘West’ works its way through its current hysteria.

      • Tatyana

        Actually, the observations are not mine, I just joined some. But you are absolutely right, it provoked anger in the Russian environment too. Here’s another piece of the aarticle:

        “The intensity of the fighting is growing every day: the earth didn’t have enough time to cool down after the Battle of Slepakov*, when a group of musicians, overwhelmingly emigrants, issued their manifesto ‘on the eve of the civil war’.

        In the manifesto, these Great Russian Music School alumni, obviously not going to throw away their bow or piano in order to return home and shake the regime personally, demand that the Kremlin immediately stop the terror, release EVERYONE, start a dialogue with non-system politicians and generally stop the insane bloodshed (do not ask what they are talking about – they have their own atmosphere).

        In this setting, the theater director’s manifesto, published in the flawlessly anti-state Novaya Gazeta, was perceived as a betrayal of the joint anti-Kremlin undertaking. Like political desertion, leaving the front, etc …

        In reality, Sobchak’s husband did not go beyond the liberal canon, or beyond what is called “a creative worldview”. He simply named something that the Russian liberals, and even more so the emigrants, are not supposed to state: that the Europe – that Russian Westernizers and progressives have imagined for the last thirty years – doesn’t exist in today’s real Europe.”

        As you can see, flames are ablaze in the Russian-speaking sphere.
        Quite difficult to translate.
        Trying not to miss a single spit, while tracing the route of every piece of shit thrown at opponents.
        Viktor’s article itself has the headline “Sobchak’s second husband asks Russia to return Europe to him” – no more, no less!

        * the Battle of Slepakov is described here

  • M.J.

    Isn’t the Queen’s surname “Windsor”? But it’s interesting that her birth certificate on the internet doesn’t have any surname on it.
    Anyway, concerning the Prof: wouldn’t people during the pandemic with more than one house have had a choice as to where they could stay till the epidemic was over? I’m not an expert on Scots law, just asking.

    • Richard

      The surname adopted by the royal family is indeed Windsor but this is just an adopted name as the “proper” name of the house of windsor is in fact Sax-Coburg. Dating back to when Albert Sax-Coburg married Victoria (the last monarch of the house of Hanover). It was changed to Windsor during the first world war to sound more “English”. Once Charles gains the throne that should be the start of the “house of Battenburg” (as in the cake) which has been translated as Mountbatten to sound a bit more English/British?

      • Bayard

        Isn’t that just being a wee bit sexist? Edward VII was just as much a “Hanover”, his mother’s family, as he was a “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha”. The blood of the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas was pretty well diluted by the time we get to Elisabeth. She’s much more of a Bowes-Lyons than she is a Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. If a queen can’t keep her name when she marries, who can, or do you believe that women are inferior and therefore should always take their husband’s name and give it to their children?

      • Stevie Boy

        If the Scottish people believe the ginger kranky has avoided her rightful fate then maybe they need to seriously think about their support of her Scottish Nazi Party in the upcoming vote.
        Like in the GE, people keep complaining about the mess we’re in then they go and vote Tory again and again and again.
        The definition of madness, keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

    • John Monro

      Indeed it is Windsor, her children’s names are Mountbatten-Windsor, as Prince Phillip took on the surname Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British citizen. The Royal Family have been part of the “House of Windsor” since 1917. For Mr Murray to keep referring to the Queen as a “Saxe-Coburg” is just trying to be clever, to make out she’s some sort of foreigner, and in that it’s supposed to mildly insulting, has a tinge of xenophobia, at least Germanophobia. I’m sure Murray isn’t in the least xenophobic, but Murray’s republicanism does make him a bit churlish at times. Lots of people change their name for all sorts of reasons and generally shouldn’t be derided for it. I once had a patient called Gotobed, apparently it’s an old English name dating back to the 13th Century. I’d be proud to have such a nearly unique and historical name, but all his children were embarrassed and changed their names – I thought that was sad – surviving eight centuries, it couldn’t survive modern delicate sensibilities.

      • zoot

        his point is obvious. the family brits revere as the embodiment of their nation and of britishness itself do not even come from britain! even as late as the 1930s they were still ardent german nationalists.


        the joke is not on the “windsors” themselves but on their subjects and on the british state itself.

        • Giraffe

          You always find that the same people considering themselves clever to point out that the royals are German, despite ten generations being Uk born are also the first to clutch their pearls if you consider a first or second generation Afro-Caribbean to be less British than a 2000 year resident Celt. And would be horrified to be considered racist or sexist.

          • zoot

            they are revered as the embodiment of the british nation and of britishness itself. what did you think of the image they wanted to have on record?

          • M.J.

            I didn’t know anyone had been resident here for 2,000 years, Celt or otherwise. 🙂

        • Bayard

          Wow, a picture of someone doing a Nazi salute! They must be a Nazi! No suggestion that it might just be “Mum, let’s do this, those funny men in Germany do it all the time”.
          The fact that Edward VIII had fascist leanings doesn’t make the whole royal family fascist.
          In the past, any royal family had, of necessity, to be nearly entirely foreign, as each country only has one royal family and, if the heir to the throne is to marry another royal, then their spouse had to from another country. In any case, the British see nothing odd in this, they are quite happy to support a football team, none of whose players or manager were even born in the same country as the place the team purports to represent, let alone the same town.

        • Penguin

          I hate that picture.

          You do know that was the young Princesses and their mother mocking the funny little man and his silly salute.

          We used to do that at school

          There’s a lovely scene in Fawlty Towers featuring a similar gesture. John Cleese isn’t an actual NAZI though.

          Do grow up now.

    • Tatyana

      You may also enjoy the latest joke:

      “Call me old fashioned, but I prefer women without penises.”

      Though funny it sounds, that’s how normal people try to find a way to express their opinion without being accused of hate speech.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        It must be a terrible realisation for the feminazis to learn that there are plenty of women out there who actually want men to be dominant in bed with them.

        In this era, most men find that out because women tell them so: it’s pretty stupid to go out there advertising openly for a submissive!!

        My take on it is that if women can put a man in a position where a woman is helpless to prevent him doing anything, then if he still behaves well then she realises she can really trust him.

        Not all women want to push to that level, of course.

        But it is the absolute lie to the contention that all women need to be dominant personalities.

        What all women need in my opinion is to be absolutely respected….and that covers an absolute myriad of arrangements, outcomes etc. It just means that a woman’s wishes are acknowledged, accepted and not judged prejudicially.

        • Tatyana

          Rhys Jaggar and DiggerUK
          more peculiar words and more on gender from the same journalist:

          Gallup reports*: back in 2012 … the percentage of Americans who consider themselves LGBT was 3.5%. At the beginning of 2021, they became 5.6%. An increase of more than one and a half times.
          According to media reports citing Ipsos**, only about 50% of Britons between the ages of 18 and 24 declare that they are ‘only sexually attracted to their own sex’.

          … tragicomic nuance … The overwhelming majority of young Americans who identify as LGBT have chosen bisexuality as their ‘minority identity’… in a heterosexual relationship (33%) … without any relationship (55.5%). Only 3.7% meet and cohabit with persons of the same sex … LGBT agitation and propaganda has reformatted relatively few into persistent gay and lesbian practitioners.

          What actually was achieved is – instilling in the young minds the understanding that being biologically normal is not cool. That it’s depressing. If you are normal and ordinary, then you will not be liked; at school, the psychologist and the administration will not carefully cackle over you; you will not be invited to a conference on your equality; someone more ‘diverse’ will be elected to the school council instead of you; you’ll remain uninteresting and deprived of any practical bonuses, privileges and social approval.

          … Unusual Sexual Identity works great as a reason not to get shaken into normal human love-family relationships. For, building relationships is always work, it is some work on yourself, if you like. The advanced sex identity lucidly explains that working on oneself is not only unnecessary, but also a must-not: this is ‘compulsion to heterosexuality’ under the yoke of a toxic external environment
          … In humans and apes, in contrast to simpler living creatures, sexual attraction is realized not instinctively at all, but as a result of learning. Without it, the only way to release sexual tension in humans, orangutans, or chimpanzees is through (I’m sorry!) masturbation.
          … Zombiesexuality is the transformation of outwardly mature and biologically normal young men and women into lonely units that are non-functional in terms of creating stable social ties.

          … will the wave of zombiesexuality reach Russia?
          … in order to turn this insufficient ability of ours to be normal men and women into a widespread and proud unwillingness to be them – the evangelists of zombiesexuality in Russia, of course, will have to reformat very much. And to begin with, zombiesexuality should come out of the pseudo-cultural ghetto of Twitter and Instagram, where it’s practiced by rather marginal (although often widely known) brainless trendocephals. To become official.
          And to do this, it must grab a lot of state money and state administrative resources, which – at least in the short term – is not visible.”

          * https://news.gallup.com/poll/329708/lgbt-identification-rises-latest-estimate.aspx
          ** https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/2421677/half-young-people-exclusively-attracted-to-opposite-sex/

          Original is here

  • Davie

    Jeremy sounds like an absolute arsehole.

    The courts would be rammed if that’s a prosecutable offence.

  • RouterAl

    When I was writing my many letters about my opposition to the Hate Crime Bill to Mr Russell and many others , I included the following paragraph from Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds from the chapters on Witches. There I found the following passage

    “After this time, prosecutions for witchcraft are continually mentioned, especially by the French historians. It was a crime imputed with so much ease, and repelled with so much difficulty, that the powerful, whenever they wanted to ruin the weak, and could fix no other imputation upon them, had only to accuse them of witchcraft to ensure their destruction. Instances in which this crime was made the pretext for the most violent persecution, both of individuals and of communities, whose real offences were purely political or religious, must be familiar to every reader.”

    You do have to admire the chutzpah of these people to turn up to an island of 160 people with a black wife, and think no one would notice your arrival and at the same time to be stupid enough to believe your own propaganda that you were at any serious risk from Covid and that you like a coward run away to a remote island.

    • UWS

      Except you got it backwards. In witchcraft cases, the innocent women, labeled witches, were the victims. Comparing hate bills to it is like saying we don’t need anti-witchcraft law, because we might catch one or two people who are innocent, while ignoring thousands of misogynists lynching and burning women for fun. Gee, I have no idea which side has more leg to stand on and needs to be corrected first. Maybe we should also get rid of rape laws because one guy was falsely accused 11 years ago? It’s equally absurd and idiotic argument that makes no sense if you think about it unless you’re Tory who doesn’t give rat’s ass about weak/victims (or better yet, likes to persecute them in their spare time)…

      • Crispa

        Witches were certainly not seen as victims at the time they were being hunted and tried according to the laws of the times that were in existence for a long time after the practise of prosecuting them had stopped because ideas had changed. It is only with hindsight that they are thought of as “innocent women”. You had to be very brave at the time to stand up against it as you would be likely to be accused too.

      • RouterAl

        The idea is you replace “Witchcraft” with “hate crime” or what ever accusation the strong choose to persecute the week. So Mr Gilchrist , Mr Salmond and Mr Murray here are all being persecuted to “ensure their destruction” by those in power merely on the word of one or other of our protected groups. Other than that I have no idea what you are complaining about, it mystifies me how you can extend a paragraph you have obviously missed the point of , probably because of your own political leaning to such nonsensical comparisons, the paragraph is about the abuse of power, it does not matter how or what you label it, and Mr Murray’s article is also about the abuse of power.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    It is rapidly becoming necessary for any white man to carry a means of recording any conversation entered into with any protected grouping/person.

    In order to defend yourself, the very least you will need is a contemporaneous tape recording of events which can be presented to the court, copies of which can be made for the police and the prosecution services.

    Under no circumstances should any white man in future ever hand over original documents, recordings, videos etc etc to legal authorities. There is no longer any reason to believe that such evidence will be treated as inviolably unalterable…..

    • DunGroanin

      Rhys , aren’t the Authorities, the Supreme White Mans?

      What happens to all the recordings of the Black British constant harassment and stop and search whether they are on the street or driving on nice cars ? Does your WM Authorities accept them or says ‘nothing to see move along’ ?

      Have I got it right ? Or are you talking about Wightman the deputy FM to be in the Holyrood rose garden wedding to ape the coalition of depraved Austerity of the last decade? In which case your rant makes sense.

  • 100%Yes

    One rule for the us normal peasants and another for queen Nicola and her royalist,

  • Courtenay Barnett


    When your legal ordeal is over – your book shall be entitled:-

    ” How not to make friends – but influence people”.

    Awaiting the final decision.

  • Chris gilchrist

    We talk about corruption in other countries. Why can’t we recognise that this too is corruption? Who will trust a legal process that is bent to suit members of the bezzle?

  • Ian

    So they failed in the Alex Salmond case, to convict an innocent man of false charges and ruin him politically and financially. Because jury trial held up against tainted, exaggerated, false evidence. So they enact legislation to ensure that can’t happen again, jury less courts and the same principle that financial ruin awaits innocent people defending themselves against false slurs by people who will not have to pay a penny for their fabricated vendetta against an enemy/rival.
    What a benighted place Scotland is becoming, where justice is politically decided against people, many of whom couldn’t afford their defence, and with their reputation damaged whatever the outcome. While complainers will get anonymity. What a horrible, Kafka-esque farce. Sturgeon and co are implementing their Salmond ruse to ensnare innocent people who are polticially inconvenient and troublesome. How many blogs, for instance, will be attacked on spurious grounds with the intention of financially ruining them? Perhaps Craig is the first unfortunate target of such a policy. Dissidence will not be tolerated in the brave, new Scotland, land of autocratic landowners and the elite. Who want your vote, btw, for an entirely fictional independence.

  • Olly Perry

    So let me get this right, and forgive me for my simplistic interpretation, but in Scotland you can be relentlessly persecuted and have your reputation in tatters despite being found not guilty several times by a jury or when the public prosecutor (or Scottish equivalent) in cahoots with shady elements of the law and politics (SNP) it’s in the interests of justice to pursue one particular individual for possibly alluding to a real person (through jigsaw identification) who is protected by anonymity even though there are others who have probably blown that person’s cover already in the media (and who do not suffer any persecution or threat of it whatsoever) but neither of these rate as a hate crime?

    • Olly Perry

      …shady elements of the law and politics (SNP) THINKS it’s in the interests of justice…

      • Giyane


        I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘ runs’. Too leggy. More ‘ slides ‘ or slimes the Crown office, whatever slugs or snails do.

    • David G

      They’ll need a shorter version for the tourism posters once travel starts up again.

    • nevermind

      yes Olly, and should you take the information from those ‘others’ in the media, seemingly within this protected circle and publish what was already published, they can use it against you, a completely new way of guarantee to fuck you over. And if they don’t procede to fuck you over, they’ll be sure to tell you that you are living a life at their graciousness….

  • Alf Baird

    The Scots are a minority ethnic group within a UK context. This tends to be forgotten, or ignored. Postcolonial literature helps to explain Scotland’s situation. Scotland has numerous features similar to a colony. One of these is a cultural division of labour. An oppressive justice system another.

    The Scots language is not taught which means Scots speakers are discriminated against. The meritocratic elite is mainly Anglophone. The bourgeoisie Scots are predominantly Anglophone (Memmi’s “natives mimicking the coloniser”) and accept the status quo thereby protecting their privileges.

    Scotland has the largest prison population per head in Western Europe. Almost half the population live in or close to poverty. Scotland’s historic loss of between 3-4 million people was one of Western Europe’s largest population losses for a country of Scotland’s size. These are colonial legacies.

    In my own research I found the main racism issues in Scotland are rather less to do with colour racism and more connected with colonialism. Firstly, colonialism itself is racism, and also fascism. Secondly, under colonialism the natives accept their subordination and inequalities as deserved, which is internalised racism; we know this condition as the Scottish cultural cringe.

    The persecution of Scots in Scotland is nothing new, and is also typical of a colonial environment. Recent political persecution cases and subsequent enquiries have merely raised our consciousness as to the oppressive processes and practices employed, and the main state actors involved. We have been aided by blogs such as Craig’s and numerous others, where such matters may be discussed and analysed in greater depth, and hence better understood.

    Independence is decolonisation, as was the case for a great many UN member states.

    • Wikikettle

      Alf Baird. Very powerfully put. Colonialism, The East India Company sure messed up the world. Together with the carve up at Versailles, the ramifications with us to this day.

      • Wikikettle

        I really mourn the passing of the Great Robert Fisk. His many books document the great misdeeds of the past that curse so many peoples.

    • Giyane

      Alf Baird

      While I agree with everything you say above, could I please add that the English only enjoyed 30 years of de-toxification from living under a colonizing hypocrisy, between 1948 and 1978. We English need more time to detoxify than the 30 years between the collapse of empire 1 and the start of empire 2. Imho.

      If only the China threat and Russia threat were real, our political classes would concentrate their minds on reality.

    • Wally Jumblatt

      Independence is decolon(ial)isation – I don’t think it follows.
      If we are gifted independence tomorrow, the new boss would be the same as the old boss.
      There needs to be a groundswell of ambition in the populace, to support the energy required to transform the nation.
      Decades of brainwash education and the exporting of so much of our talented youth, as well as a very unhealthy massive public sector, have been the drag-chains on our ambitions.
      In my mind, our people (apart from those with a chip on their shoulder) are the basically smartest, most philosophical, well-balanced and intelligent on the planet. We still punch way above our weight, unfortunately most of the time outside our borders.
      Everyone knows what we invented, what we figured out, what our wide-ranging thoughts were in the past 200 years. Those times have not gone, the talent is still there, just has to overcome our crap, intrusive system that gives kids coloured pencils up to the age of 10 and calls that education.

      For some folks to keep suggesting that we should be given permission to have independence, tells the tale.
      In my Scotland, we would just seize it. If the people want it, they would take it.
      -and actually, it won’t be a party (the Stalinist SNP) who delivers it, it will be across the board with right, left and centre all hauling the ship in the same direction.

  • Alan McHarg

    Unfortunately a sign of things to come in an unfettered power crazed tin pot dictatorship that Scotland has become in the last six years. The law is now very much political and will be wielded by the corrupt to do its bidding. If you told me in pre 2014 that we would have a corrupt SNP government working hand in hand with the Crown to attack independence/independence supporters I would never have believed it possible, yet here we are. The parallels with 1920/30’s Germany are frightening. We now appear to have a new untouchable tier of society free from criticism and the law whilst the majority live in a “Clipe” society of fear and persecution. If I wasn’t witnessing this history in the making I would have found it hard to believe.

  • Pixywine

    Either the PF was exercising his lurid imagination or the Politburo doctor was lying. Another innocent man put on show trial.
    By the way 5000 pound fines for trying to leave the country? When did we wake up in the Soviet Union? MARCH 2020 That’s when.

    • Wikikettle

      Pixywine. At the same time Denmark are trying to bribe refugees to go home (rubble) or go into detention centre. At the same time funding proxy islamists to fight their regime change wars.

  • UWS

    “Interactions with members of protected groups will be on anything but a footing of equality under the new law”

    Good. And I say this as someone who thinks this case is spurious. Because right now, these protected groups are on ANYTHING but equal footing their entire lives and this law is supposed to fix that, one or two bad cases notwithstanding. I have no idea how anyone who supports palestinians, scots, or catalonians having the right to decide about themselves can write this – because right now, you have “”equal”” footing under UK law and you’re trying to give your own group privileges the rest of UK doesn’t have. Funnily enough, the exact same ones the protected groups want – for their entire lives to not be decided by racist far right/conservative whims. Funny that, eh?

    “Which is why liberal democracies generally avoid such laws”

    Come on, this is nonsense, non-argument, Craig. 100 years ago, you could write the exact same thing about right of women to vote. Supposedly “liberal democracies” didn’t let them to. 80 years ago, it was the right of minorities to vote and use same facilities. 40 years ago, right of gays to not live their entire lives in closet. Trying to defend something as “we didn’t have such laws in the past” is 100% pure Tory speech and a historian should recognize that the fact our ancestors ‘avoided’ having a law is often the best argument FOR that law being enacted, unless your goal is being stuck in the past and nothing ever improving.

  • Seamus Ariat

    Talking about Channel 4 news reporters has anyone noticed a weaselly Ciaran Jenkins reporting most favourably about wee Nicole over the last few days?

  • The Smart One

    Prof Woolhouse should have been held responsible for putting the islanders at risk.

    How could a member of Nicola Sturgeon’s covid-19 advisory committee justify his own hypocrisy?

    Although not intended to be racist and having genuine concerns about Covid, Jeremy Gilchrist confronting his BAME wife rather than the professor himself was definitely not in order.

    • DunGroanin

      Was the professor jogging past the old islanders house at any stage?
      How many times and how many years has the professors wife being going to her husbands holiday island? Has the old islander ever suggested any such thing to her when she has previously been jogging past.
      Do the couple know the local inhabitants and do they interact with them?
      Did the Husband try and talk with the elderly native about what was said by that gent to his wife?

      Why the fuck did he not return to his home and important job and her too as soon as they had their little vacation ?
      I mean isn’t it the wrong time of the year for such a long visit anyway? Barely spring?

      • Bayard

        Not to mention the idiocy of alienating all your neighbours on a small island where you have a house that is empty for most of the year. The next time the winter gales remove a few tiles from the roof or part of his fence falls down and sheep get into his garden, does he really think they will be quick to phone him up and let him know?

  • Andrew MacGregor

    After 250 years I think we good’uns can agree that The Scottish Enlightenment is finally Monty-Parrot dead. Thomas Jefferson defined the ‘enlightened political generation’ was only 19 years. From 2014 that gives us until 2033 to come up with a new one to vote for before a 2033 election? We don’t have to ask permission to write a constitution, ‘we’ merely have to sell it. Average age of delegates in Philadelphia Constitution Convention was 42, so ‘we’ need to select future delegates of present average age c.30? Delegates to be chosen free of any political party or institution – each proposed delegate to take part in a TV programme of a knockout competition format.

    People, especially politicians and their academic acolytes discount Jefferson’s direction, that there should be a updating of any constitution every 19 years on the silly idea that a revolution has to be ‘bloody’. Clarity is offered by understand that there were two American revolutions – the ‘bloody one’ and the 1787 Constitutional one. The early Enlightenment poet wrote the most important inescapable law of progress: “Final ruin fiercely drives – Her ploughshare o’er creation. The failure to update has allowed final ruin to progress from Smith & Hume et al to give us the debasement of the Alex & Nicky Show as it has morphed Geoge Washington’s constitution into Trumpism and various other cocktails of detritus.

    The public should be asked to support “Independent Scotland’ regardless of whether that be inside or outside the Union – in other words let Scotland lead as it did in the 18C and then it will be up to England, Wales and Ireland whether they want to join Scotland’s new constitution, new institutions and Union. Scotland is happily blessed with its own Royal Society charged with furthering the well-being of Scotland. It is therefore totally progressive for this society to take the lead in recruiting, training, educating and directing the average 30 year old future delegates so the level of both the Scottish Enlightenment and the 1787 Convention. The drawback of thinking of the Royal Society is of course that they need re-education first and they may not welcome that. I just want to nudge some of the members into the 19C so that they can encourage our potential 40 year old leaders to promulgate and encourage others to use common sense more and better. For future delegates an average of 42 will be correct as the magical peak between the young ‘turks’ and those on their final path to becoming claret loving ancient philopshers as Lord Kelvin found Glasgow University full of mid 19C.

    What a shame Jeremy’s father “Sir Andrew” is no longer still with us, as though maybe not unique, he was certainly the only man whom I have ever met who Bothe understood and had the integrity to emulate George Washington’s role in !787 – he eld the convention together for basically one reason and one reason; all the delegates knew that Washington had the highest integrity. Who in Scotland today can be singled out for that?

    Of course the voting age should be reduced to zero – it is one ‘man’ one vote. Enlightened economics for the next generations is to encourage a reduction of population not an increase. How many of 5 million understand that one cannot create wealth, one can only add utility? The Scottish Enlightenment was prior to 19C science, there is a science of wealth if one separates it from complex accountancy which separates economics as a standalone science from sense. When was ‘peak common sense’? The Romans thought there was very little as did say Voltaire, Paine 1776, popularised it, I propose it had its peak around 1875 and has been in sharp decline ever since. Today it is mostly used as banal rhetoric when politicians wish to treat it as a minor ‘god’ A good starting point is Decartes: “but it is rarely used well”. Democracy can only thrive if its population is well educated, which in turn is educated to think rather than memorise reference material; the wide home eduction of a 100 years ago is well highlighted by many professionals: “I am so busy keeping up with my own profession I do not have time to read anything else.

    If Scotland takes the war against those who would ruin enlightened democracy to the world, it might win as it did from the 18C, if instead it only takes aim at England it will surely lose ‘everything’. Independence under present institutions, regime, politics etc etc is a 100% ‘cast iron guarantee of social and financial disaster. That allows us12 years to develop our institutions to world leading class, return our education to the best in the world, encouraging utility adding enterprise. I would rather live in a country looking ‘upwards’ to new horizons rather than follow the 5000 year proven path to decline and ruin. Decline and Fall may be inevitable, we do have the choice of slowing our loss of wealth and well-being while saving moire for future generations. The only SNP policy that I am aware of consists of borrowing more of our children’s birthright when they cannot actually sell it to other nations.

    This is a superior rant because I do not believe Scotland retains the b*ll*cks to stand up and take on the world no more. If you are the last reader please put out the lights. On particular Adam Smith and Kelvin were not warlike and yet they induced the greatest revolutions in history. We could all do nothing or we could emulate our our ancestors who were among the greatest., Excuse typos I have lost the will to edit

    • Bayard

      The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy, disorder, always increases. This is not just true in thermodynamics, it is true in all nature. Life is the struggle of living things to create order out of disorder. In politics too, structures slowly break down as all regimes slowly inch their way towards the political absolute zero, which is dictatorship. As Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  • Douglas Scorgie

    Alan McHarg
    March 23, 2021 at 21:48

    “We now appear to have a new untouchable tier of society free from criticism and the law whilst the majority live in a “Clipe” society “

    Alan, Clipe is a word I’ve never heard of and I can’t find it in the online Scottish dictionaries. Can you help define that for me?

    • Photios

      From the Scottish National Dictionary, online at: https://dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/clype_n1

      CLYPE, Clipe, Cleip, Claip, Clep, n.1 [kləip Sc., but Rxb. + klep]

      1. “A tell-tale” (Cai.1 c.1920, clipe). Gen.Sc. Sc. 1899 Mont.-Fleming:
      Every schoolboy has known a “clype” in his own class, and probably wolloped him well too. Abd. 1931 A. M. Williams Bundle of Yarns 47:
      The clype of the class told her that Johnnie had a preen. Gall. 1930 (per Wgt.3):
      Picking up a stone he waited till Sandy reached the other side of the rock and then, grinning at the irate herd, shouted out, “clype! clype!” and raised his hand aloft as if to throw.

      Hence clypie, cleipy, clipie, clepie, adj., (1) “loquacious, addicted to tattling” (Lth. 1825 Jam.2, clypie, s.v. clype); also in n.phr. clypie-clash-pie (Abd.19 1936), — pyet (Bnff.2 1912), = Clash Pyet, q.v.; †(2) “deceitful” (Sc. 1888 C. Mackay Dict. Lowland Sc., clepie); ‡(3) also used as a noun: “a loquacious person” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., clypie, obsol.). (1) Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxii.:
      But . . . weel-a-wat we had a curiosity still, and that was a cleipy woman . . . that rhaemed away and better rhaemed away, about the Prentiee’s Pillar . . . and such a heap of havers. (3) Rxb. (Teviotd.) 1825 Jam.2:
      She’s a clever lass, but a great clipie.

      2. Idle tale, falsehood, gossip (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Ags.1, Lnl.1 1936). Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 28:
      That’s the clype o’ the queentry, an’ ye sudna hear’t. Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. 41:
      Gae he nae reason for this hasty step? None that I ken except the country claip Said Bess, ’bout Mrs Henny an’ himsell. Ags. 1892 Arbroath Guide (14 May) 3/7:
      It’s no richt to carry clypes oot o’ folks’ hooses. Ayr.4 1928:
      He tell’t me a wheen clypes.

      Phr.: haud your clep, — claip, hold your tongue (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., — claip). Hdg. 1801 R. Gall Poems (1819) 30:
      Whist! haud your clep, an’ speak nae langer, Ye neer-do-weel, to raise my anger!
      [From Clype, v.1, above.]

      • Alf Baird

        Aye, thar’s mony braw Scots wirds, nae doot aboot hit. An thegither thay aw mak a Scots langage. Juist a peety Scots bairns irnae taucht ony Scots wirds, deprived oor ain mither tongue. Anely Englis garred doon oor thrapples, an thon’s nivver gonnae by ma langage nor a muckle pairt o ma cultur. Langage is a human richt, an shuid aye by taucht tae fowk in thay’re ain kintra.

        As Fanon said: “the native is an alien in his own country under colonialism”.

        “Linguistic imperialism permeates all other types of imperialism, since language is the means used to mediate and express them” (Phillipson 1992).

  • Douglas Scorgie

    The Smart One
    March 23, 2021 at 23:53

    “Prof Woolhouse should have been held responsible for putting the islanders at risk.”

    I agree with you Smart One. Proffesser Woolhouse initially supported lockdown as a temporary measure but now thinks that lockdown was a mistake and now he seeks an alternative to lockdown; without proposing any credible alternative that would ameliorate the spread of this infectious and deadly mutating pandemic virus.
    I can’t find much information about him and his personal history; his job history and financial interests on the internet.

  • CasualObserver

    So, no privilege for MSP’s in the Scots Parliament, a judicial system that has no clear separation from who ever has the majority in Holyrood, and an abolition of diverse constabularies to form a ‘National’ police force.

    It rather looks a though the nationalism of the SNP has as with other nationalisms, been used to disguise the implementation of what could easily cross the bounds of accepted democracy, if indeed it has not already crossed that particular Rubicon.

    • Giyane


      The purpose of the Hate Crime Bill is to ratchet up racial tension and Balkanise Scottish Nationalism.
      So one has to ask whose side the creators of the Hate Crime Bill are really on

    • Penguin

      There is nothing wrong with a national police force so why the scare quotes? Should we not have a single Scottish National Health Service either?

      The main problem is that murrell is a fascist dictator and our Scottish police are under the control of english commanders for colonial reasons.

      • CasualObserver

        Its usually been the practice of historical tyrannies to place policing under the control of a single centralised authority.

        Whilst I have little doubt that a couple of the former Scottish constabularies were small enough to warrant incorporation by their neighbours, to combine all of Scotland’s police forces into a national force smells decidedly dodgy, whilst no doubt making things easier for wee Nikki and the gang, in only having to deal with one Chief Constable and police authority.

      • Bayard

        “Should we not have a single Scottish National Health Service either?”

        Probably not, for the same reasons.

  • Tim Richard Glover

    This is all an eye opener. For many British people Scotland is a socialist paradise that they plan to escape to when England has been completely laid waste by unrestrained avarice and financial corruption. But the corruption in Scotland sounds darker and worse – more puritanical, more tyrannical, based more on power than money. Is that true? What can we do? Only spread this blog as far and wide as possible I guess.

  • Christopher Barclay

    Ms Mutapi might not understand the antipathy of residents of the islands to second home owners but as a Zimbabwean she should be able to appreciate that independence is not a panacea for all ills.

  • U Watt

    The charmed circle will be even more untouchable after this week. Don Sturgeoni, the Neoliberal Syndicate’s most feared Girl Boss, has been re-empowered by her “exoneration.” We are entering a period now where all but the very bravest will be keeping their heads down.

  • Garry W Gibbs

    Spotted on the Scottish Parliament website:

    “Visit the Scottish Parliament for free
    Did you know the Scottish Parliament is free to visit? You can see our Chamber, take a free tour, get involved in free events and exhibitions and find out about the history of the Parliament.
    Are you ready to explore?”

    Covid rules say it has to be essential though so don’t all rush at once.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The question for me has moved on in the last two days from “would Sturgeon deliver independence?” to “would we want an independent Scotland delivered by Sturgeon?”.
    The ruling party that delivers independence would substantially determine the new constitution.
    Éamon de Valera determined the constitution of the Irish Republic and how did that work out? A Year Zero, agrarian economy and the Church handed control of State functions in return for preaching conservative, insular social policy. And remember, de Valera was dictator in all but name for decades as a result.
    The four SNP members of the Committee voted against the Parliament having the ability to hold the Executive to account. Take that through to its logical conclusion; an elected dictatorship with Queen Nicola as Chancellor and Head of State. Not for me. Independence can wait.

  • Athanasius

    Can we all now acknowledge ‐‐ or at least begin privately considering ‐‐ the utter, inherent and ineradicable odiousness of the very concept, let alone practice, of so-called “hate speech” laws?

    • nevermind

      seconded, a toxic continuance to assure colonial superiority over and above everyone who disagrees with an unreal reality.

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