A Legal Farce 56

Sir James Eadie, acting for the Westminster government, closed the day at the Supreme Court with a vicious twist of the knife: “If you can’t even persuade your own law officer, the shutters come down”.

Eadie is well suited to knife twisting, a figure of smooth menace whose polish is undercut by the odd hint of the Estuary in his accent. He had spoken for an hour, after a full day of abysmal performance by Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain. She told the court proudly she is a minister in the Scottish Government.

In an excruciating three hour ramble, delivered with all the concentration of an 18 month old toddling around Hamley’s, the only points of clarity from Bain were the following, which stood out like nuggets of bacon in a lentil soup of obfuscation:

1) “I could not clear the bill as appended. I do not have the necessary confidence that the bill is within the competence of the Scottish parliament”
2) “A referendum on a matter which is ultra vires, is also ultra vires”
3) “It is a peculiarity that the Scotland Act refers to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England. Those states no longer exist, having been replaced by the United Kingdom”…(two hours later) “Nothing turns on the peculiarity. The union is a full political and economic union between what were two previously independent countries.”
4) “There is clearly a cogent argument that the Scottish Parliament does not have the competence to pass this bill”.

You have not misread. Those are all quotes from Dorothy Bain. A minister in Sturgeon’s government.

Unionists on social media could not believe their luck. Was this really the Scottish Government’s case? I give you one of the more publishable ones:

Yes, Greig, she certainly did say that. Twice.

This is no surprise however, as Bain had very specifically endorsed that view in her written arguments before the Court, as I explained in my analysis of them:

Eadie’s dry observation that the Scottish government could not convince its own law officer of its case, struck home because it was a withering understatement. Bain could not have made clearer her Unionist credentials if she had come into court sporting an orange sash and with a brooch in the form of Ian Paisley.

Bain said she had given arguments both for and against the Scottish parliament having the power to hold an advisory referendum. But she said that by contrast she was unequivocal that it was this, Westminster’s Supreme Court, with one Scottish judge on the panel of five, that had the power to decide the issue.

Her main argument that the Scottish parliament could have the power to hold a referendum was that the proposed referendum was non self-executing, and its legal effect was nil. It was not for the court to anticipate any political consequences that might arise from what was in effect just a large opinion poll that the Westminster parliament would be legally entitled to ignore.

Yes, that really was her argument, particularly about Westminster having no obligation to accept the result. She said the referendum proposal respected the “protection of the integrity of the UK parliament”.

She went on further about the material difference between a vote for a thing to happen, and the thing happening itself. In this context she referenced at huge length cases about cigarette advertising in Scotland and hypothecated NHS spending for pulmonary disease in Wales. We were far now from Scottish Independence, a situation with which Bain was much more comfortable, and she accordingly meandered for two hours in this beguiling pasture, looking down every rabbit hole.

At this stage, even those of us who believe we have known for some years the reason why Nicola Sturgeon would appoint a unionist Lord Advocate determined to scuttle the good ship Independence, were puzzled about why Sturgeon would appoint a Lord Advocate incapable of finishing one single sentence without looking down at her notes, with a deep frown of puzzlement as to their content.

Bain early came under an interesting line of questioning from Court President Lord Reed and from Lady Rose. Did the Lord Advocate really have to certify the legislation as competent? The Scotland Act only indicated that the responsible minister must do so in good faith. They were not obliged to take the Lord Advocate’s advice. Bain relied for this on the Ministerial Code, but that did not have legal force.

Bain replied that a Minister could take a contrary view, but it would have to be reasonable and argued. It would be most unusual – the Law Officers’ (ie Bain’s) role was to give the Scottish Government advice on the law.

This was fascinating to me because there were obvious assumptions underlying these exchanges that did not have to be stated between lawyers.

The first unasked question was that the minister could simply go out and get their own legal advice rather than take Bain’s – there are hundreds of lawyers in Scotland willing to argue that a referendum is within the powers of the Scottish government, indeed Bain had referred to them. The minister could publish that advice and fulfil the “good faith” and “reasoned argument” criteria.

The second underlying question left hanging was why on Earth the Scottish Government had appointed a minister in Bain unwilling to back its flagship policy, and why she wasn’t resigning to make way for somebody who would.

Both these questions were not able to be asked by Lord Reed and Lady Rose because they are political matters not for the Supreme Court – but they hung thick over this phase of the discussion.

When James Eadie came to reply on behalf of Westminster’s Advocate General, he was by contrast a model of brevity and common sense. The Court could not possibly rule, said Eadie, on a matter which was hypothetical, theoretical, abstract and inchoate. Personally, I prefer to eschew sesquipedalianism (that is a joke), but it came over well from Eadie.

Who knows, Eadie opined, what final form the legislation might take, or even if it would be passed at all? Where were the accompanying memoranda and costings? What amendments might be passed? The court could not rule on a mere idea of a bill.

Interestingly, Eadie was given a much harder time by the judges than Bain. They seem far keener on Scotland’s democratic right to hold a referendum than Bain is. They suggested the draft bill was pretty clear and short and unlikely to change substantially. They asked how in Eadie’s view the Scottish Government could go ahead in circumstances when the Lord Advocate could not certify. That is what drew from Eadie his closing barb:

“If you can’t even persuade your own law officer, the shutters come down”.

Eadie will continue his argument tomorrow.

Lord Reed, who has a gentle manner, had opened proceedings by explaining that the Supreme Court was the court of the whole United Kingdom, included Scottish judges, and took Scottish cases under Scottish law. He added that a decision would take “months” in view of the mountain of paperwork involved.

Reed is however the only Scottish judge on this panel of five, with two English, one Welsh and one Northern Irish. This is very much the UK Establishment deciding on Scotland’s future. Reed himself is a Tory appointment as President and widely viewed as a Tory.

I confess I was fascinated by Reed’s accent. He has taken the title Lord Reed of Allermuir – that is the hill I look at from my study here; I can walk out the back and be on its slopes in less than ten minutes. He has lived nearly all his life in Scotland. Yet there is no trace at all of Scot in his accent, not even the refined tones of Morningside or The Grange. He was privately educated in Edinburgh then Edinburgh University, but the accent really is remarkable. It is beyond posh Scot. I have no explanation.

On a much more profound matter, I do not believe Dorothy Bain referred one single time to Scotland’s right of self-determination in international law, or indeed to the international law context at all. Nor did she reference the SNP’s written intervention in the case on precisely those points.

This is to double down on an omission that to any practitioner, legal or diplomatic, in the field of sovereignty, secession, decolonisation or newly Independent states, will find beyond astonishing. It simply misses out the fundamental argument. Remember, Dorothy Bain is speaking here, not as an individual but as a minister in the Scottish Government.

That the Scottish Government does not believe in the right to self-determination of the Scottish people – but the governing party the SNP, which has intervened separately to assert it, does so believe – is a situation of astonishing farce. It is, frankly, the perfect illustration of the blind alley into which devolutionist political careerism has shunted the entire future of the Scottish nation.

My reading of today is that the judges of the UK Supreme Court are sympathetic to the democratic argument for an outlet for the will of the Scottish people, but that Dorothy Bain has – not by accident, and in collusion with Sturgeon – presented so poor an argument as to make that decision virtually impossible for the court.

I don’t think James Eadie can believe his luck.


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56 thoughts on “A Legal Farce

  • 100%Yes

    Nicola took 18 months and found the law officer who’d do an excellent job at screwing Scotland over for the Union, while Sturgeon was conning the New Labour SNP with the idea she was acting in Scotland’s interest – Nicola, that is, not Bains – and they have; it’s just a pity that the rest of us who were SNP supporters and members before 2014 have all left, and have never voted for Labour and never would.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    “He has lived nearly all his life in Scotland. Yet there is no trace at all of Scot in his accent”.

    I too have lived most of my life in Scotland. I too am endlessly excoriated by the bigots as speaking in an “English” accent, despite having lived in Stockbridge since the early 1950s and having been educated in a very prominent Edinburgh school closely thereto and subsequently at Embra University.

    I shall go and listen for a detectable Scottish accent in Craig Murray’s voice, but I will not judge him on that basis.

    Bigotry is a bitch, Mr Murray.

    • U Watt

      If you don’t mind me asking, how did you come by an English accent if you went to school in Scotland and have lived there most of your life?

      • David W Ferguson

        I do hope Ebeneezer comes back to answer your question. I would also love to hear more info on how he is endlessly excoriated by the bigots… Is this something that happens all day every day, or just nearly all day every day? The truth is, as an old Fettesian it’s very unlikely that there is a single person in Ebeneezer’s social circles who has a different accent from his own.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      An exchange from a few years ago whilst passing through the English, middle class ghetto in my ain hame toon.
      “Gid morning.”
      “Are you lost!” (pronounced “lorst”)
      “Excuse me?”
      “Your accent, are you lorst?”

      Bigotry cuts baith ways.

    • craig Post author

      I have a very English accent, because I grew up in England. I suspect it is more English than yours. I have, however, never been excoriated by anyone in Scotland for it, in the 16 years in total I have lived in Scotland. I don’t believe that happens.

      • Yuri K

        There is a man from Scotland couple houses down the street, so after we’ve moved in one of the 1st things I’ve heard from the locals was “Your accent reminds me of Stan’s. Are you from Scotland too?”

    • Alf Baird

      Hits no the faut o Edinburra fowk ye dinnae hiv mony Scots wirds in yer heid, Maister Scroggie. Tho ye’ll shuirly no lairn ony Scots langage at a preevat (i.e. colonial) schuil in Scotlan. Tae maist o thaim preevat schuil fowk an heid bummers in oor kintra o Scotlan oor Scots langage is aye conseedert inhabile (invalid), an sae is thay Scots fowk sic as masel wha aye spik hit. Tho Englis isnae oor mither tung an thon kintra-hoose Englis ye mebbe spik yersel haes nae ruits whitsaeiver in Scotlan, sae ye shuid ken thon. Sae onybody wha meemics kintra-hoose Englis shuid be awaur an ken fineweel thon’s juist anither furrin langage in Scotlan. Tho Scots bairns in the schuil are aye telt Englis is braw an thay hiv tae lairn an meemic hit in the schuil whaur thay hiv anely Englis garred doon thair thrapples, an tae thraw awa thair ain mither tung (an cultur wi hit) tae mak ony avance an win a guid job in oor owergang Anglophone kintra.

      Frantz Fanon referred to this phenomenon as ‘colonial bilingualism’, native language deprivation being a common theme in colonialism and Linguistic Imperialism, whilst Albert Memmi distinguishes between the languages of the colonized and the colonizer.

  • U Watt

    Sounds like it played out even more ridiculously than you predicted. If these full details came to the attention of most Scots this could be very dangerous for Nicola. However we know the filter through which the case will be reported by mass media — careful omissions and artful finessing to keep it kosher looking. Everyone will also have seen the thunderous reception she received at conference for her passionate commitment to independence. The psyop is working as well as it ever has.

    • DavidH

      That sounds about right. The Guardian, for sure, is reporting as though Sturgeon and Bain are giving it their best shot and the outcome could go either way…

  • DavidH

    Surely the Scottish parliament having the power to hold an advisory referendum is quite separate from having the power to declare independence?

    As Craig has argued, the UK Supreme Court can never agree with the latter. It’s a non-starter. The Act of Union has no exit clause, and the Scottish Parliament is a product of, and subordinate to, UK law. Scottish independence would have to be either unilaterally declared under international law and precedent, or negotiated with the UK government, not the Supreme Court.

    Organizing a referendum is initially an internal matter, though. So go right ahead with that, under their own legal advice, if it’s what the Scottish Parliament wants to do.

    The fact they don’t seems to indicate they aren’t really ready for independence. Or they don’t have a consensus on exactly what that independence should look like.

    Just a view from the sidelines. Please correct any errors…

    • Roger

      I don’t live in Scotland but I think I would regard an “advisory” referendum (on anything) as a complete waste of time, and not bother to vote.

      If democracy means anything at all, it must mean that a referendum result trumps the politicians. That’s how referendums work in Switzerland, one of the very few real democracies in the world now.

      Of course Scotland should get a real referendum.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      If there are by now any firm proposals presented by various factions regarding “exactly what that independence should look like,” what are they? If there aren’t any, should there be?

  • Ian Brotherhood

    Craig, have you any thoughts on the timing of this whole episode? Quite a coincidence that Sturgeon delivered her conference speech on Monday, made a point of saying ‘we will respect the judgement’ and then, less than 48 hours later, Bain blunderbusses the baws off any positive case.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    Senior Judges in Scotland are almost eight times as likely to have been privately educated than to have been State educated in comparison to the general public (David Hume Institute; Elitist Scotland?, 2015).
    Both Dorothy Bain and her husband (Lord Turnbull) are State educated, but then those striving to gain entry to an exclusive club often display the greatest zealotry as a price of admission.
    The Scottish elite caste is perhaps proportionally smaller than its southern equivalent due to our more egalitarian history.
    What it lacks in size it makes up for in elitist viciousness.
    A review of the Scottish aristocracy and ennobled Lords from the 1930’s and 40’s, reveals them as having been the very worst of the worst.
    Archibald Maule-Ramsay, Scottish Unionist Party MP for Peebles & South Midlothian was interned from May 1940 to September 44. They let Oswald Mosley out before Maule-Ramsay.
    Sir Thomas Hunter, Scottish Unionist Party MP for Perth campaigned against allowing Jewish refugees from Germany.
    Walter Douglas-Scott, 8th Duke of Buccleuch, Scottish Unionist Party MP for Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire led a racist campaign against Honduran forestry workers being shipped to Scotland to assist the war effort.
    Our elitist caste are perhaps more viciously inclined towards their fellow country folk because they are more aware of the hot-breath of revolution on the back of their necks than their southern counterparts.
    The Anglo-Irish aristocracy was particularly callous towards their own.
    Our elitist caste are strident in their opposition to independence as they perceive independence as threatening their relative privilege. Tellingly, their material advantaged status would be unlikely to be impacted, it’s the thought of the peasants gaining political power that repulses them.
    Their position as colonial administrators secures their hereditary, unearned privilege.

    • Jimmeh

      > Walter Douglas-Scott, 8th Duke of Buccleuch, Scottish Unionist Party MP for Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire

      That’s interesting; I was under the impression that “peers of the realm” were barred from standing for a seat in the commons. That’s why Anthony Wedgewood-Benn declined his hereditary peerage, no? Are scottish peers exempt from that rule?

      • Vivian O’Blivion

        Like Eric Morecambe playing all the right notes just not necessarily in the right order, Douglas-Scott was both things just not necessarily at the same time. On the death of his father, Douglas-Scott resigned his HoC seat to assume his place in the HoL. As many of the first sons of the aristocracy were MPs due to the suffocating atmosphere of social deference at the time, this was quite common.
        It should also inform us of the somewhat different balance of power between the HoC and the HoL at the time. Remember, Lord Halifax was Foreign Secretary while in the HoL.

        • Phil Espin

          Vivian: to your list of the worst of the worst Scots aristocracy you might consider adding the late Jock Bowes-Lyon and his wife Fenella. The auntie and uncle of Elizabeth Windsor, our late Queen. The widow Fenella committed 2 of her “imbecile” daughters, the Queen’s cousins, to a mental institution in 1941 where they stayed for the rest of their long lives with no contact from their family. If they can treat their own kids like that, the rest of you Scots have got no chance…

          • Vivian O’Blivion

            Not sure the incarceration of the daughters was entirely Jock and Fenella’s idea. Two second cousins (both female) were incarcerated in the same institution on the same day. Some co-ordination was required from someone further up the family tree. My guess would be Queen Mary. That one was an evil auld bitch.

          • Phil Espin

            Thank you for the additional speculation, nothing on Wikipedia about Fenella or the decision to incarcerate. Jock was already dead when it happened. Fenella may have been ill herself, madness apparently running in the Clinton family. Queen Mary allegedly had form with hiding away her youngest son who suffered from epilepsy. You’d think someone would find this interesting enough to get to the truth of why these two Scots sisters were locked away for life.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      You are saying that an independent Scotland would be obliged to maintain the status and protect the material wealth of this Scottish elite caste or aristocracy of unearned privilege? Why is that?

  • Republicofscotland

    This farce couldn’t be any clearer, in that Sturgeon and Bain are not interested in Scottish independence, and are actively working against it.

    • John D Monkey

      Sturgeon does not want independence, she knows it would be a disaster; she wants a never-ending campaign for independence which keeps her in office and in the public eye. Nothing else matters.

  • Cubby

    In days of past Empire jolly England didn’t have to try and pretend that its colonies were colonies and what Westminster wanted was enforced. Nowadays they make a great deal of effort to pretend that England’s remaining colonies are no such thing but just part of a happy family. The mask slips every so often and it ain’t a pretty sight.

    Still waiting for democracy to establish itself in Scotland.

  • John LEON

    Meanwhile, ethically Russian people who voted in a legitimate referendum for their independance from a ethicless authority are being murdered and the west applaudes, MI6 conduct terrorist acts of sabotage against an infinitely more powerful state and the west applauds. The Premier Minister of Scotland supports the same openly fascist regine and the west applauds.
    It promotes the most biased, corrupt and mediocre of minds to support the supposed values it espouses it follows. Which it doesn’t. allowing political expediency to dominate over duty and ethos.
    No wonder the U.K./Scotland is sliding into oblivion.

  • Peter M

    For what it’s worth.
    Having followed Craig’s writings, thoughts, hopes and predictions on Scotland Independence in relation to Sturgeon’s SNP, I can only conclude one thing: he is being ‘Assange’d’.
    Julian Assange is slowly smothered to death (literally! – I so much hope NOT), by stringing out and delaying judicial proceedings, while he is being kept in prison isolation, for years.
    The same process is being applied to Scottish Independence. Think about it: if SNP is really pro Independence, why the delays and the waste of time with the current (purposely) inadequate Lord Advocate?
    The same process is being applied to Palestinian statehood, by Israel. If Israel really wanted peace, why the delays? Why not immediate peace negotiations? (Answer: Israel does NOT want peace).
    They’re all delaying, obfuscating, lying, betraying, bullshitting, anything to gain time until those in favour of freeing Julian Assange, those wanting of Palestinian statehood, those striving for Scottish independence, will die a natural death and the same process starts again with those taking over the struggle.
    Nothing but revolutionary action can break these frustrating deliberate stalling tactics now!

  • 100%Yes

    During the first referendum, I could never understand why the SNP were saying a vote for Yes was a vote to be Independent; it just didn’t make sense to me, as I’ve always believed Scotland was an Independent country and only in a Union with England. Here we have it the country called Scotland no longer exists and has been replaced by Scotlandshire. My thoughts on this: does England know that it isn’t a country and England doesn’t exist? Now we know why this film Carry On Britain isn’t being played on the MSM: the English would be up in arms, as would the Welsh, to believe that their nationalities don’t exist anymore.

    • Jimmeh

      So the United Kingdom should be considered as two independent states, bound by a voluntary union?

      By the same reasoning, the United States of America consists of 50 independent states, any of which can legally secede. Except several of them seem to have tried that once, suffered a huge military defeat, and surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        The US Civil War began when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, a federal government-owned garrison on an artificial island off the coast of South Carolina, Jimmeh. This occurred three-and-a half-months after South Carolina had voted to secede from the Union.

        In Texas v. White (1869), the US Supreme Court ruled that individual states could not unilaterally secede from the Union. The US Constitution, which is of course what the Supreme Court should base its opinions on*, makes no mention of whether states can secede or not – but does include the 10th Amendment, which reserves powers not explicitly forbidden by the Constitution to the states themselves.

        * but almost always doesn’t – then and now

  • Colin Alexander

    Thank you Craig. You summed it up much better than Ms Bain.

    The case may help others to realise Holyrood is not Scotland’s parliament: It is a colonial outpost of the British Empire in Scotland. Scottish MSPs and MPs are like prisoners serving as trustees to assist their jailers after they have sworn their allegiance to the UK monarch and his heirs. The SNP Scottish Government is like the Vichy France puppet government helping the Nazis to keep France under the control of Hitler’s Third Reich.

    • ET

      Generally, about as well as the Scottish ladies team played against the Irish ladies team for the World Cup qualifier. 😀
      The Irish team have been criticised for singing a pro IRA song after winning. They have apologised.


      Apparently, according to advice from the Crown Office following the “Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill,” the assistant Chief Constable said in 2011 “that his understanding – coming from the procurator-fiscal in Glasgow – is that if you sing ‘Ooh ah up the ’RA’ you will be prosecuted for breach of the peace,”


      Do you think the Irish womens team will be arrested?

      I read CM’s articles on how the leadership of the current SNP orchestrate maneuvering into the “blind alley into which devolutionist political careerism has shunted the entire future of the Scottish nation.” Got to ask, why are they still the leadership?

      • Vivian O’Blivion

        That Act was repealed in 2018, sponsored by Scottish Labour MSP, James Kelly. A man barely capable of forming sentences. Kelly was playing to the audience that elected him (standard political practice).
        The Act was opposed by fitbaw fans (fae the ugly sisters) demanding their right to be “90 minute bigots” (their term, not mine). An argument I suppose, but you dinnae get to be a “90 minute stabbing victim”.

        • Republicofscotland

          Vivian O’Blivion.

          I’d go as far as to say that the unionist parties at Holyrood wanted the OBFA repealed because without it, it allows unfettered use of sectarian language that helps keep Scots divided, something the union relies on.

  • kashmiri

    Correct. Bain did not argue that a constituent country has a right to secede. That would be a non-starter. Secession is, consistently, an act that no sane government in the world accepts.

    Her argument, therefore, was that it’s nothing wrong about holding an advisory poll and that Westminster has no grounds to object to one.

    Advisory referendum. Does it ring a bell?

    • Jules Orr

      Unionists would simply boycott any “advisory” referendum and declare over and over again in advance that it is not legitimate or binding.

      The very opposite of what Remainers did in 2016.

        • Pigeon English

          Advisory!!!!!! to my understanding.
          But I am remainer so biased and can not provide single simple link explaining advisory v binding. It was so partisan!

      • yesindyref2

        “Unionists” applies to maybe 10,000 people tops in Scotland. The rest are voters who are not activists.

        Similar figures for Independentists. And for both, 10,000 may be an exaggeration.

  • ben madigan

    watched about 10 minutes of the appalling Lord Advocate’s “speech”. Couldn’t bear any more. She was so, so bad in content and delivery. Awful to think of her as representing anyone, let alone a nation.

  • David Forbes

    This outcome was PLANNED…and the Murrells were in on the plan…thanks Craig, for your comprehensive coverage of this scam against Scotland…

  • Steviemac

    Am I missing something? Sturgeon is first and foremost a consumate politician. Her grassroots are pushing for a referendum which she knows is likely to be inconclusive at best, or at worst, lost. She knows this will lead to calls for Scottish Independence to be kicked into the long grass by her political opponents in Scotland and Westminster. The result will almost certainly be a loss of momentum for the SNP going forward.
    If the Supreme Court rule against, it allows her to take the moral high ground and agitate against UK establishment arrogance in stymying the will of the Scottish people. It also unites the grass roots and those favourable to the cause and gives a platform going into the next election. Sturgeon knows Scottish Independence is not achievable at this time as the vote is split down the middle on the issue but cannot say so to the party or the country.

    • Chris Downie

      The uncomfortable truth, is that if the Sturgeon and Murrell regime was as committed to independence as the Johnson administration was to “getting Brexit done”, the.mn Scotland would likely be independent by now, or at the very, very least, have a second referendum date on the horizon.

      That they have utterly failed to capitalise on the every perfect storm (including some of the weakest, most inept and unpopular Westminster governments in history) since 2014, says it all.

    • Utterheb

      Having followed the ebb and flow of the independence debate closely for many years, I must concede that I have to agree wholeheartedly with the observations you make.
      A debate can only persuade those sitting on the fence – and others with a stronger anti independence stance – by reasoned argument, and the delivery of innovative policies, projects, and persuasion.
      While the pace of reaching the goal of independence may at times appear to be agonisingly slow, it is a goal that is now beginning to be tantalisingly within reach. However, crucially, it is one that thus far has been built on the foundation of a tremendous amount of work, patience, the delivery of innovative policies, projects, and thereby altering the stance of the conservatively minded anti voters.
      It seems like yesterday when we only a single stalwart MP – Donald Stewart – who fought a very lonely battle for many years – with his only public political support coming in the form of Madam Eccosse. Between them – and their team in the background – this pair changed the public perception of Nationalism in Scotland.
      The legions of activists, the level of public debate, and the incredible journey the independence movement has undertaken over the past three decades is breathtaking and bodes well for the future.
      In the short term a sidestep which my be worthy of consideration is the notion that there may indeed exist a swathe of Conservative and Labour voters who are minded to support an independent Scotland in which they could bring forward Scottish Labour and Scottish Conservative policies. It is a sign of strength – not weakness -that we can reach out and seek to work constructively with those with whom we do not necessarily agree.
      I have always drawn comfort from the old saying that the strongest iron is the one that spends the most time in the furnace while being repeatedly heated, beaten, and bashed to get it into shape.

  • Dominic Berry

    There are only two possibilities.
    Scotland is in a Union and has its own right of self determination. Or the terms of the Union are broken.

  • Ruth

    ‘My reading of today is that the judges of the UK Supreme Court are sympathetic to the democratic argument for an outlet for the will of the Scottish people,’

    I totally disagree. This is part of the game to make it appear the court is balanced.

    ‘Judges are not independent in most government related cases and are no different to salaried and pensioned civil servants. The independence of the Judiciary is an allusion fostered by the Judiciary. Too often a Judicial Inquiry is a system for cover up and concealment. Too often the courts are influenced by political considerations as in the Scott Inquiry and the recent Lloyds of London case.’
    — Gerald James

  • Sheena Jardine

    I think Nicola Sturgeon and her close cabal are controlled opposition. Controlled by whom is not quite clear, but certainly by a group outwith Scotland. She follows all the directives of the WEF as closely as possible including all the lockdown narratives, vaccine narratives, gender crazy narratives (which can result in castrating our children). Controlled opposition means she appears on the surface to be for Scottish Independence and “detesting the Tories” but in reality she perhaps works for the other side. She is for Freeports, presides over a massive rise in foodbank usage, has appointed a Unionist Lord Advocate, failed to set up a Scottish Energy company, allowed us to be taken out of Europe without taking any action at all, and has managed to completely ignore and divide the massive YES movement which she inherited while doing the absolute minimum possible to make Scotland Independent. I was until June 2021 an SNP member, but the attitude shown towards the Alba party was the last straw. I used to support NS but now find her an unbearable traitor.

    I believe we will only get Independence through some other way, such as salvo.scot which is a very promising way forward. I don’t think the British State would ever allow us to win a referendum, even if we get one. They will always rig it, as Sara Salyers said at the Yestival.

    • Fiona Buzza

      Sheena, I have to agree with you & have said this about Sturgeon since 2020 at the start of the first lockdown, I believe she is a member of the WEF! One of her heroes (heroines) is Hilary Clinton, OMG!

  • John Gourlay

    If the UK does not exist as an entity do the International treatues made by that late entity still hold any legal justification? Should the treaty of Utrecht of 1713/14 be revisited and brought up to date? I would think that Bain person ought to provide answers to such questions as well.