These are extracts of complete articles. Click Headings (underlined) to go to full article.
Posted on WoS | November 29, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“In a post last month we referenced a ZX Spectrum computer game from 1984 called “Worse Things Happen At Sea”. Today as we watched the First Minister on the Andrew Marr Show, we were put in mind of another nautical-disaster-themed one from a great deal nearer to the end of the Speccy’s life.
“It was grim viewing in every sense.
“We counted a remarkable 41 blinks in the 20 seconds Sturgeon was onscreen before she said a word, and the rate barely decreased throughout the 16-minute interview.
“If you don’t think there’s anything significant about that, we suggest trying it yourself. Walk around your house blinking twice a second (or do it while reading this) and see how long it takes before you have to stop because you’re getting dizzy. It’s like being in a disco when a strobe light comes on. It really isn’t natural.
“But the overall performance was dire. With a face like thunder the FM simply waffled and swerved around every question an unusually combative Marr put to her, and every time her ultimate fallback answer (often reached via “We’re not as bad as England”) was “We’re ahead in the polls”.
“It is, as we’ve noted before, basically the argument of a violent spouse – “You’ve got nowhere else to go, what are you going to do?” The SNP are untouchable in the polls because Scotland has a farcical clown show for an opposition, and because the No vote is split three ways while the Yes vote is the property of a single party.
“But time and time again Sturgeon evaded tough realities she couldn’t explain away by saying “Hey, I’ll leave it up to the people to judge me”.”
. . . more
Smear is typical of the abuse dished out by misogynistic factions
By Stuart Campbell Wings Over Scotland | The National | 27 November 2020
“I’ve never read any Harry Potter, so I had to go and look up who “Voldemort” was after reading Alyn Smith’s column this week (Parties within parties are a danger to the cause of winning independence, November 25). It seems he’s a sinister, narcissistic creature obsessed with creating a dark tyrannical empire of the “pure-blooded” with himself as its ruler, and Voldemort’s not much better.
“I do know what a “bigot” is, though, and it doesn’t mean “person who believes in human biology and women’s rights”, so it was a bit dismaying to see Mr Smith smearing not only myself but the good people of the SNP Women’s Pledge and the SNP Common Weal Group with the term. It’s typical of the lazy abuse that a certain misogynistic faction of the party likes to dole out as a substitute for being able to conduct a debate.”
. . . more
Pete’s Perfect Plan
Posted on WoS | November 24, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“If we’re honest, our expectations for Pete Wishart’s Masterplan had been extremely low. But yesterday’s effort dug a very deep hole and tunnelled so far under them that we didn’t even feel the earth tremble as it passed underneath. His article is a gross and cynical insult to the intelligence of anyone who read it.
“(He did, of course, delete all critical replies.)
“But worse than that, it’s something the SNP were and are clearly happy to be said in public by one of their senior elected representatives. They plainly believe that at least a percentage of their supporters will still swallow it.
“And that, folks, is because they think you’re stupid. They think you’re stupid. They think you’re really, really stupid.” . . . more
Our Number One Fan
Posted on WoS | November 05, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Lavish expenses recipient Pete Wishart MP doesn’t want to talk about Wings.
“So that’s probably the end of that.”
[My Note: Har har]
. . . more
When people tell you who they are
Posted on WoS | November 04, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Nobody around here has any time for the Tories. But if you believe democracy should exist then governments should have oppositions and be subject to legitimate scrutiny.
“The two motions the Scottish Government lost today (not just to the Tories but all the other opposition parties including the pro-independence Greens) were on providing evidence to the Salmond inquiry – ie they were being asked to do something the First Minister promised to do 19 months ago but which so far hasn’t been done – and on a public inquiry into the scandal of care home deaths, a genuinely serious issue.
“These motions were the entirely proper business (and indeed duty) of a Parliamentary opposition. In the first instance they were acting on behalf of a cross-party, SNP-led committee which has repeatedly requested evidence it hasn’t been given, and in the second instance the SNP didn’t even oppose the motion (their MSPs abstained).
“Neither of today’s motions were anything to do with independence or a referendum, just the normal everyday operation of government, so what Wishart is so indignantly demanding for his party is a rubber-stamp sham Parliament in which the SNP can do whatever it wants all the time without any meaningful scrutiny or challenge – an arrangement better known in communist China or the Third Reich.
“(Ironically, it’s also exactly the sort of staggeringly arrogant entitlement you’d expect from the most stereotypical Eton Tory.)
“We don’t know about you, folks, but that’s not what we signed up for.”
. . . more
Posted on WoS | October 30, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It’s important not to understate the magnitude of the chance we’re missing.
“Because the SNP’s abandonment of any hope of Scottish independence until at least 2031 – because make no mistake, that’s what happened today at the hands of an anonymous party committee – is all the more criminal when you realise how close to our fingertips the prize is.
“(Refusing to consider Plan B means no chance of a viable democratic trigger until the 2026 election, and we already know the SNP think it’ll take another five years after a Yes vote to actually achieve independence. Today’s decision is SO bad that even Cosy Feet Pete Wishart thinks it’s a terrible idea.)
“A new poll today gave independence another firm lead – 56% to 44% – but we’ve had a dozen of those now. That wasn’t nearly the most interesting thing about it, which is found when you drill down below the headline.”
. . . more
The whole rotten structure
Posted on WoS | October 28, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It’s hard to know where to even start tackling the avalanche of new information. There were extraordinary revelations from the Salmond inquiry. There were other shocking revelations about the investigation. There was Alex Salmond’s request for the separate independent inquiry into Nicola Sturgeon to determine whether she lied to Parliament (which it should have been doing in the first place).
“We’ll get to all that stuff in due course. But because there’s nothing like a good delve through some data, we’ll kick off with the SNP accounts.
“Last night we broke the story that what Wings has been telling you since January was (as should go without saying, quite frankly) the truth, despite all of the SNP’s indignant denials – that almost all of the “ring-fenced” money raised in two crowdfunders for a second independence referendum campaign, which the SNP swore blind it wouldn’t spend on anything else, has been spent on something else.
“Since we ran that piece we’ve been contacted by SNP insiders with more information about the fundraiser money. Contrary to previous higher estimates, it’s now believed that the second one, launched in April 2019 with the stated intent of producing a book to be called “An Independent Scotland: Household Guide” and sending a copy to every home in Scotland, only raised about £100,000.
“(Unlike the 2017 fundraiser, which had a live public running total until it was suddenly closed at £482,000 in June of that year, the 2019 figure was never revealed.)” . . . VERY MUCH More
Waiting For The Men
Posted on WoS | October 18, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The battle to save the soul of the SNP – formerly a party of Scottish independence but now a career vehicle for intolerant science-denying cultists solely interested in social engineering – is already almost lost.
“By delaying its online pretend “conference” until the end of November, the party has ensured that the chronically dysfunctional current National Executive Committee (NEC) controls the selection of candidates for next year’s election, and it’s using that power every bit as crookedly as anyone who’s been paying attention recently might fear.
“Following the stitch-up of Joanna Cherry, the latest victim of the SNP’s woke cabal is Caroline McAllister, a woman who the party considers quite fit to be a councillor – and indeed the Deputy Leader of its group on West Dunbartonshire council – but who has suddenly somehow become unacceptable when she tried to seek nomination for the MSP seat currently held by Jackie Baillie of Scottish Labour.
“She is, of course, far from alone.” . . . more
Posted on WoS | October 12, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It doesn’t take a master analyst to see that the Salmond inquiry committee is running out of patience with the Scottish Government’s endless attempts to obstruct its work.
“This afternoon it issued a statement, with obvious irritation, making clear that it did not wish to see documents the Scottish Government was trying to submit to it, which the committee had not asked for, and which had previously been struck down as unlawful by Lord Pentland in the initial judicial inquiry.
“The Scottish Government’s only purpose in doing so was to try to put the details of the discredited and disproven-in-court allegations into the public domain with the intention of smearing Mr Salmond yet again, and the committee has made its displeasure with the plan clear, telling the Scottish Government to abandon its intended legal action to release the documents and get on with producing the ones the inquiry HAS asked for.
“But there’s a little bit more to the story than that.” . . . more
I just got back from Damascus: there was nothing there of interest
Posted by Rab Dickson | 30 September 2020 | on TwitLonger
“I’ll say right off the bat that I’m not about to change my mind about either the cowardice or duplicity of the current leadership cabal or my belief that they need to go. This latest delaying conference decision is indicative of their control freakery coupled with fear of loss of position. Too feart to face hard questions.
Quite a change from 12,000 members and some groupies chanting your name a few years ago, eh?
The party set-up needs an overhaul so that careerists, chancers and frankly, inadequate weirdos, who don’t give a toss about independence can’t get to important positions.
But my absolutely blistering anger last week at that apologist thread by the FM, made me feel like a dam had burst and that my 40 year support for the SNP was over. My frustration boiled over.
She was a hypocrite . . . she still is . . . an office managerial image, hypocrite. Unfortunately she still leads the party that millions of us pin our hopes to.
I HAVE to hold my nose and vote for them at constituency next year. . . .
[…] . . . .more
Posted on WoS | October 05, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Readers, we can’t tell you how much we want to get back to just dissecting Scotland’s hopeless Unionist media for a living. It’s a lot more fun than what the current political circumstances are obliging us to do, so you can hardly imagine our excitement when we spotted what looked like an open goal in yesterday’s Mail On Sunday.
“Our ears pricked up immediately at the sight of the words “up to”, which is invariably a sign of dodgy doings on the way, and so it proved. The article contained no solid data at all about the size of Scottish Government special advisers’ pay rises, only how many SpAds there were and which general pay bands they were in, each of which spans a wide range of between £14,000 and £23,000.
But while the Mail had spooned the sitter six feet over the crossbar – because the crude spin they’d put on it was total rubbish – there was still a loose ball just waiting to be knocked into the back of the net.
“Because what the article revealed was that the pay BAND for the top level of special adviser – a category inhabited only by the First Minister’s chief of staff Liz Lloyd – had seen its maximum rocket in a single year from £83,000 to £104,000 – a staggering 25% leap, coming at a time when most public sector employees are doing very well to get a tenth as much.
“What, we wondered, might Liz Lloyd have done in 2018 that required her maximum salary to be increased by a breathtaking £21,000 in appreciation? (After all, she’s the only person in that bracket, and if you’re not going to pay someone £104K then why do you need to make it possible for them to get £104K?)” . . . more
The resource drain
Posted on WoS | October 05, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The SNP’s earth-shattering 2011 majority election victory, which paved the way for the 2014 independence referendum, dropped a bomb on Scottish politics.
“What few people realised at the time was that it was also going to set up a series of massive paydays for one of Scotland’s wealthiest demographics: lawyers.
“Since the beginning of the indyref campaign there’s been a string of high-profile court cases which have all funnelled mindbogglingly colossal sums into the pockets of Scotland’s legal elite – the Alistair Carmichael affair, our own defamation by Kezia Dugdale, the judicial inquiry and trial of Alex Salmond, and currently the Section 30 dispute being brought by Martin Keatings.
“The SNP, too, is doing its fair share to enrich our learned friends. Or even rather more than. Because as far as we can establish, the party is currently employing the services of no fewer than THREE of Scotland’s top law firms all at once.
“It’s also known that the SNP recently hired commercial law specialists Shepherd and Wedderburn – the largest law firm headquartered in Scotland, according to the Herald – to try to obstruct the committee inquiring into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair and in particular shield Peter Murrell from some increasingly uncomfortable scrutiny over his involvement.” . . . more
None so blind
Posted on WoS | September 30, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“A column on a Sturgeon-loyalist indy website that we read yesterday has been mildly annoying us ever since, and in the interests of open debate (but mainly because it’s cold and grey and rainy outside and we can’t go out and feed the swans) we thought it was worth taking half an hour to walk through it a little and explain just why it’s such a dangerous piece of fantasy nonsense” . . . more
No More Lies
Posted on WoS | September 21, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“We’ve just sent a Freedom Of Information request to the Scottish Government. You can read it below.
REQUESTED BY: Stuart Campbell. DATE: 19 September 2020
“As recently as the 3rd of August 2020, the Scottish Government published an FOI response stating that:As recently as the 3rd of August 2020, the Scottish Government published an FOI response stating that:
“That quote can be found under “Part (c) of your review request”
“This would appear to suggest that the Scottish Government was flatly denying that the First Minister had met with Geoff Aberdein in her official office at Holyrood on 29 March 2018 six days AFTER it had admitted to Sky News that she did.
“The inescapable fact of the matter is that the Scottish Government website is actively concealing them. We shall of course be seeking an explanation of this too, and will keep you updated.
Always tell the truth, readers. It’s a lot easier to remember. . . . ” more
The people in the room
Posted on WoS | September 19, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Whichever side you’re on, it’s simply observably true that the Scottish Government is doing everything in its power to obstruct, delay and derail the Parliamentary inquiry into its botched investigation of false allegations against Alex Salmond.
“Any investigative journalist attempting to get to the bottom of the subject and find out what really happened is met with a wall of secrecy and misinformation while trying to navigate their way through the publicly-available information, and just to give you some idea of what it’s like, we’d like to offer you one tiny but typical example.
“It’s an undisputed matter of agreed fact that a meeting took place on 2 April 2018 at the private home of Nicola Sturgeon in order to discuss the allegations about Mr Salmond. Unfortunately, that’s where the undisputed facts run out.
“Because we don’t even know who was in the room at that meeting, far less any details of what was said. From various public accounts we’re told completely contradictory things that cannot be reconciled with each other. Let’s go through some of them.” . . . more
The Land Where Nobody Knows
Posted on WoS | September 18, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Readers may recall that this site is engaged in an ongoing attempt to clarify why the Scottish justice system is choosing to selectively only pursue those supportive of Alex Salmond for contempt of court with regard to his trial, while conspicuously turning a blind eye to those in the media who have committed exactly the same crime but are hostile to Mr Salmond and therefore apparently immune from prosecution.
“We’ll keep fighting, readers, to find out why law in Scotland seemingly only applies to certain people, dependent on their political affiliations. We suspect it’s going to take a fair while yet to get to the bottom of it.”. . . more
Cracks in the fog
Posted on WoS | September 17, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Over the last year or so, this site’s commentary on matters surrounding the attempted imprisonment of Alex Salmond over false allegations of sexual abuse has attracted a considerable amount of ire from a section of the readership, demanding “proof” of the involvement of the current First Minister.
“Such proof has been impossible to provide for legal reasons. But it’s always been the case that the truth could only be suppressed for so long, and events in recent days have brought the first chinks of light through the wall of smoke and mirrors the Scottish Government has been attempting to surround the matter with.
[. . .]
“We’re sure that for the diehard loyalist supporters of the current SNP leadership, all of these facts will be brushed away as hearsay and tittle-tattle and the work of Unionist MI5 plants in the Yes movement and whatever. It is a position that is getting harder and harder to sustain with every day that passes.
“The Scottish Government has done everything possible to hide this entire affair behind a veil of silence. But silence, readers, is a fragile thing. One loud noise and it’s gone.” . . . (much) more
The Hardest Walk
Posted on WoS | September 16, 2020 by Kenny MacAskill MP
” ‘Settling up, not settling down’ was the rhetoric, as Westminster reconvened and the new SNP group headed south. Fine words and said no doubt sincerely. But it’s been said by every SNP generation that’s gone there, though none possessed the authority or faced the threats to Scottish democracy as now.
“But what has happened since? As ever fine speeches given and incisive questioning of Ministers made, but to what effect?
“SNP MPs and their staff are a resource that should be focussed in Scotland, especially as the most critical election in our nation’s history nears. Surely the time has come to turn the rhetoric into reality and prepare to settle up, not settle down? Otherwise the danger is you’re legitimising not only your own demise, but that of our country.” . . . more
The value of nothing
Posted on WoS | September 15, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The most recent insult handed down by the smirking, sneering Permanent Secretary To The Scottish Government to the people of Scotland, who she ostensibly works for and who pay her enormous salary (she gets more than either Nicola Sturgeon or Boris Johnson, and who knows, possibly even slightly more than Peter Murrell), is a crass and dismissive one even by her extraordinary standards.
“The Woman Who Remembers Nothing, having asked for some time to think about it, concluded that there was simply no way to estimate the total cost to the public purse of the biased and unlawful fiasco she presided over regarding the investigation of false abuse claims against Alex Salmond, and which had cost taxpayers over half a million pounds in Mr Salmond’s legal fees alone.
“Her argument was that because government employees are paid fixed salaries and don’t record how much of their time they spent on specific tasks, there was no way to estimate how much had been spent on the attempt to fit up the former First Minister.
“But that isn’t how anything works these days, is it?” . . . more
An Alternative Route To Indyref 2
Posted on WoS | September 14, 2020 by Various authors
“The purpose of the paper below is to kickstart the process of examining alternative methods of holding a second referendum which can claim constitutional validity and thus satisfy both our voting public and, if necessary the Courts, of its legality.
“At the stage when the commitment to a referendum in 2020 was dropped, questioning of our leadership on the sole reliance on Section 30 to achieve a referendum and the need to explore alternatives, made it clear that this was not a matter for debate.
“Whilst the First Minister has now committed to a referendum should the Holyrood elections provide a further mandate, it would appear that the strategy continues to be a sole reliance on Section 30 and a belief that the UK Government would consider further opposition to a Section 30 unsustainable.” . . . more
A kind of transparency
Posted on WoS | September 11, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“On 17 January last year, the First Minister told the Scottish Parliament that she, her administration and her party would “co-operate fully” with the parliamentary inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of false allegations made against Alex Salmond.
“She further assured the Parliament, unambiguously and without any qualification, that the committee investigating the matter “will be able to request whatever material they want, and I undertake today that we will provide whatever material they request”.
“So we thought we’d check in on how that was going so far.
“Something certainly appears to be pretty transparent here. We’re not sure it’s the thing that’s supposed to be transparent, though.” . . . more
We have no clue as to what is going to hit us economically as a result of a No Deal Brexit
Posted on Tax Research UK | Richard Murphy | September 10 2020
“We have no clue as to what is going to hit us economically as a result of a No Deal Brexit as yet, but whatever we assume it will probably be much worse than we can imagine.
“Let’s be clear, all the forecasts from the likes of the Office for Budget Responsibility and Bank of England, have been based on the idea that there would be a Brexit deal and that there would be trade deals as a consequence.
“It now seems very likely that those assumptions are wrong. It now seems not only that a Brexit deal is very unlikely but that any trade deals are also unlikely as well, most especially with the USA, but also with many other countries as a result of the proposed UK approach to the EU on Northern Ireland.” . . . more
The Government Payroll
Posted on WoS | September 09, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The SNP’s official 2019 accounts, which were due to be published today (five weeks late), have not appeared on the Electoral Commission website. We’ve rung the EC and we’re still waiting for someone to get back to us with a reason and/or a new date. [EDIT 3pm: the EC say they’re “fairly confident” the new date will be 23 September.]
“In the meantime, there’s something else of note.
“Below is a list of the party’s reportable donations (anything over £500) in 2020.
“Out of a total of £964,382 received by the party in the six months from January until June, £783,026 (or 81%) came directly from the British state.
“£595,665 (the entries listed as being from the House Of Commons) came in the form of “Short money”, and the rest (which are listed as from the Electoral Commission) is something called the Policy Development Grant, which – like Short money – is paid depending on the number of MPs a party has.
“Just two donations to the central party from anyone other than the British state were recorded, both of really weirdly specific sums (£88,622.93 and £92,732.47) and both of roughly £90,000. We’ve been unable to find any verifiable details about the donations or the donors, which is slightly surprising given the amounts involved, although we do know that most large donations to the party in recent years have been from wills.
“Nevertheless, the extent to which the SNP is now dependent on British state money should provide some interesting context for the accounts if and when they do show up.” . . . more
Defoe the Union Spy
Posted on Grouse Beater | by GB | September 7, 2018
“Daniel Defoe left his mark on the world in two ways. Among what amounts to an entire recycling plant of political pamphlets, mostly forgotten, and a batch of novels of which only two are remembered by the public, Moll Flanders, and the much adapted Robinson Crusoe, Defoe perfected the craft of black propaganda that inspired generations of flaky journalists. Almost single highhandedly he designed the architecture of Unionist falsehoods still exploited to this day.
“One strand of Defoe’s thinking chimes with England’s current feverish search for cricket and warm beer purity. Defoe considered Englishness – heterogeneity – eradicated. This is a good place to start before analysing his influence on current politics.
“Sadly for Defoe, the future of the Britain is just as ambiguous now as it was when presented as a ‘union of equals’ by Defoe and his confederacy of lies. England wants the return of its parliament and Scotland to pay for it.” . . . more
Contempt of justice
Posted on WoS | September 07, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“We’ve had another letter from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. And slowly, painfully, we’re starting to get at least some answers.
“It speaks of public servants who don’t consider the confessedly malicious wasting of tens of millions of pounds of public money to be a resigning matter, because they know that there’s nobody who can MAKE them resign unless they can also take down the entire government to do it.
[ . . . ]
“That, of course, is also the reason Leslie Evans is still in a job, having also wasted a fortune of public money on a biased and illegal persecution of Mr Salmond. And the common thread linking the continued employment of Ms Evans and Mr Wolffe is that their highly-paid positions are at least notionally in the gift of the First Minister.
“We can only invite readers to speculate as to why, at such astronomical cost to both the public purse and to the reputation of some of Scotland’s most distinguished and important institutions, Nicola Sturgeon is so desperate to keep them both in place.” . . . more
Into our own hands
Posted on WoS | September 06, 2020 by Kenny MacAskill MP
“The Scottish political focus has been on Holyrood in recent days, with the Programme For Government announced and Westminster returning from recess. But parliaments can only do so much. Extra-parliamentary action is required for many reasons, not least because activists are increasingly frustrated at delays and uncertainty.
“Giving direction and something constructive to do is therefore important; and that will have to come from within the grassroots movement.
“Time’s short and the work to be done is great. Some preparations are being laid by the Scottish Government and SNP centrally, but a great deal more sadly isn’t. And done it must be, not just to prepare for but to ensure that we win the referendum when it comes. Any assumption that it’s all over bar the declaration is naïve.
“Finally, steps must be taken to engage with the Scottish diaspora. There’s a great deal of sympathy for independence amongst many of our emigrant community. They’re a resource that should be utilised.” . . . more
Let’s just kill ourselves
Posted on WoS | September 05, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Bad news, readers. We’ve done some research, and it’s our grave duty to report to you that according to the evidence we’ve discovered, there’s a high statistical probability that everyone reading this website will one day die.
“Luckily there’s a solution: we can all just commit suicide right now.
“Wait – that’s a stupid idea, right? But it’s not as stupid as what we’re currently being asked to swallow by the SNP.
“Because there are only two possible ways to interpret the absolute drivel penned by Angus Robertson in today’s National:
(1) “The Tories will choose to definitely lose a Scottish referendum now rather than possibly lose one at a later date in the future, as they’d rather lose earlier for some reason I can’t even be bothered to make up.”
(2) “The Tories will grant a referendum now because they believe they’d win it, whereas they’d definitely lose a future one.”
“If (2) is true, then the last thing in the world the SNP should be doing is agitating for a vote any time soon, because everyone seems to agree that a second defeat in quick succession would kill off independence for decades.” . . . more
Blah, blah, blah
Posted on WoS | September 01, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Oh, is it that time again? Gosh, it seems to come round quicker every year.
“So forgive us if we feel like we’ve heard this song already.
“Because we remember when it was going to be in 2017. [IMG]
And we remember when it was going to be in 2018 or 2019. [IMG]
And we remember when it was going to be in 2020. [IMG]
But the important thing is that it’s definitely up to Nicola and Nicola alone. [IMG] So we can’t help wondering what’s taking so long. Although at least we do know that it’s always just around the next corner. The war, we know, is always within measurable distance of its end.” . . . more
Posted on WoS | September 01, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“If only we’d been telling you for the last two years, eh?
“We’d honestly love to hear some of the “have faith in Nicola!” loyalists explain this one away, and we’re sure we will. We’re sure they’ll find some tortured justification, and the gullible will swallow it because the reality is just too painful to face. But any lingering shreds of credibility for the defence just died in public and everyone knows it.
“And of course it shouldn’t have been for Martin Keatings to stand in those shoes. It was the job of the SNP, to whom voters and the Scottish Parliament have now given EIGHT mandates to do something about independence, and who have stood twiddling their thumbs and looking the other way and filling their pension pots for four long years since England and Wales voted to drag Scotland out of Europe against its will and into an endless hell of English nationalist Tory rule, which will have been 15 years long by the end of this Parliamentary term and very likely to be another five after that.” . . . more
The distant choir
Posted on WoS | August 27, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“During the 2014 indyref, the astonishingly vast imbalance of the mainstream Scottish media was partly compensated by a huge rise in new media, with dozens and dozens of sites filling the gaping chasms where printed and broadcast media would have been in any country with a press worthy of the name at such an exciting time.
“The subsequent shrivelling of that presence has been one of the least observed and explored phenomena of the six years since the referendum, and especially since the SNP’s election victory in 2016. The incredibly wide-ranging, mutually-supportive pro-Yes new media is now down to a tiny handful of outlets, most of which are barely read (and most of which would celebrate if the others burned down in a chemical fire).
There are many and varied reasons for this worrying situation, but before we get into those let’s have a quick look at who’s still who and what’s still what.
“It remains to be seen if another referendum would see an outbreak of unity and common purpose, but as the Salmond inquiry rolls on and the battle for the SNP’s soul – between its careerist, devolutionist woke wing and those who are actually focused on independence – shows no sign of abating, it looks like the road ahead has a lot more rocks and potholes in it than smooth tarmac.” . . . more
What Have We Become?
Posted on CraigMurray (.org) | August 28, 2020
“My friend and mentor the much-missed Gordon Wilson used to run Radio Free Scotland, a pirate radio station supporting Independence. It was entirely illegal broadcast, a crime the state took very seriously in the 1950’s. […]
“What has happened to the SNP? It has become very comfortable with authoritarianism. It has a claque which operates both on social media and at party conference, which pursues Clinton style identity politics allied to neo-con policy. They have adopted a focus on foreign policy which accords entirely with the NATO agenda. You hear a very great deal from the party leadership about the rights of people in Belarus, Russia and Hong Kong. Yemen, not so much, and Palestine is entirely off the agenda. In fact, among the claque, enthusiastic support for the Israeli Defence Force appears to be a badge of honour.” . . . more
GERS Day for Mercy
Posted on WoS | on August 26, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Last week, in the biggest city in Scotland, a young mother was found dead next to her starving infant child, because Scotland’s economic, immigration and welfare policies are decided hundreds of miles away in a foreign country by a party that Scots haven’t voted for in 65 years but which has ruled Scotland for 42 of those years anyway.
The gums of the tiger
Posted on WoS | August 23, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The Sunday Times carries a quite surprising story today.
[Sturgeon’s senior adviser will be key witness at Salmond inquiry:” After Sturgeon, Lloyd is regarded as the second most powerful woman in the Scottish government”.]
“We’ll pause for but a brief moment to contemplate the assertion that this unelected, unaccountable civil servant might be “the second most powerful woman in the Scottish government” and then move on to the interesting bit.
“The revelation is surprising because less than a week ago the Scottish Government (in the form of no less a personage than the Deputy First Minister) was still going to a considerable amount of trouble and effort to insist that Ms Lloyd – despite having had what appears a fairly central role in the entire Salmond affair from the beginning – SHOULDN’T appear before the inquiry.
. . . more
You Are The Boris Johnson
Posted on WoS | August 21, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Much as we might wish otherwise, we haven’t been able to help noticing other pro-indy websites doubling down on the “BOTH VOTES SNP, TRUST IN QUEEN NICOLA, THE 10TH MANDATE IS THE ONE THAT’LL WORK!” routine lately.
And however much we’ve tried to get people to grasp the seemingly-obvious fact that Boris Johnson is not looking at this debate from the same viewpoint we all are, reality doesn’t seem to be getting through to everyone yet.
So we thought we’d try a new tack. DISCLAIMER: We’re not very good at impressions.” . . . more
Posted on WoS | August 19, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“An alert viewer noticed this evening that after being broadcast twice in two days, “The Trial Of Alex Salmond” has tonight disappeared from BBC iPlayer.
“We have no information as to why, although we do know it committed contempt of court by providing so-called “jigsaw identification” of one of the complainers in the case. If that’s the reason for the show being pulled, it’s going to be VERY interesting in terms of our ongoing enquiries with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service about why a number of Scottish newspapers and websites critical of Salmond haven’t been acted against for publishing exactly the same information, while pro-Salmond blogger Craig Murray faces a trial and a potential two years in prison for doing less.
“It was definitely available to watch before, as this Google cache shows: […] And in fact, EVERY SINGLE programme featuring Salmond is now gone.
An alert viewer noticed this evening that after being broadcast twice in two days, “The Trial Of Alex Salmond” has tonight disappeared from BBC iPlayer.
Another alert reader has notified us that Kirsty Wark has deleted every tweet about the show from her Twitter feed, although we did find one from last week remaining.” . . . more
The unseeing eyes
Posted on WoS | August 19, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“In a development which has caught us somewhat by surprise, we’ve just had a reply from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) which was both timely (in more than one sense of the word) and actually contained a straight answer.
“Join us in our astonishment below. If you’re in a hurry we’ve highlighted the key part.
“This is a quite extraordinary revelation. What it reveals is that while COPFS instructed Police Scotland to go round to several random Twitter user’s houses to threaten them that they might face criminal prosecution for possibly tweeting something questionable in respect of the anonymity order on the Salmond accusers to a few hundred Twitter followers, they didn’t even issue a gentle informal note of caution to a whole bunch of newspapers – with tens of thousands of readers each – who had published information which enables the immediate and easy identification of one of the protected women.
“[…] It’s an absolutely shocking admission, and if we ever manage to find out who COPFS is answerable to, we’ll be taking it up with them with all possible urgency.” . . . more
Out comes the filth
Posted on Wos | August 18, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Last night’s BBC Scotland documentary on the Alex Salmond trial was so shockingly biased that even the Herald, the Telegraph and Gerry Hassan couldn’t quite bring themselves to defend it. Anita Singh’s two-star review in the Telegraph said:
““The verdict in the Salmond case, by the way, was not guilty. He was cleared of all charges of sexually assaulting ten women while Scotland’s First Minister. However, it was pretty clear that the programme-makers hoped he would be found guilty; the first 45 minutes of the hour-long film were devoted to the prosecution case.”
“While another female reviewer not known for being terribly fond of Mr Salmond, Alison Rowat for the Herald, observed:
“”Taken with Ms Wark’s observations as the trial went on, it felt like proceedings were being played out all over again. Except this time Mr Salmond was not there to defend himself.”
“”Ultimately, you had to ask whether the film gave Mr Salmond a fair shake. For this reason, and many more, The Trial Of Alex Salmond had to appear far and above the fray on which it was reporting. From where this viewer sat, it did not pass that test.”
“We can only hope that she, (Kirstein Rummery) like the rest of the liars in the Salmond case and all of the others who drove the conspiracy, faces the lawful consequences of their actions one day and that justice is finally done.” . . . more
The endless trial
Posted on WoS | August 17, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
The last words spoken in Kirsty Wark’s documentary “The Trial Of Alex Salmond”, which just aired on BBC Scotland, are spoken by an unnamed actress letting rip with the full BAFTA range of quivering emotions as she reads out the words of a completely anonymous woman (we don’t even get to know her trial pseudonym letter) who last year falsely accused Alex Salmond of sexually assaulting her.
“What you’re saying is a man can try to kiss a woman, or he can say completely inappropriate things to her, when he’s 30 years older than her and he’s the First Minister of Scotland. I’m worried about what this says more widely to other women, or just to us as a society. I mean, where does this leave us?”
Now, since the court found that neither of those things actually happened, the logical answer in that person’s case ought surely to be “facing prosecution for perjury”. But readers will be astonished to learn that that isn’t where the show went.
Because it’s important to remember that the jury of eight women and five men found that all of Alex Salmond’s accusers were lying. All of the accusers said, clearly and specifically, that Salmond had sexually assaulted them, but the jury concluded that he didn’t sexually assault a single one of them.
In other words, the jury decided that every single one of the accusers wasn’t telling the truth. Some specifics can be debated but there’s no wiggle room on that. They decided that the things the accusers claimed didn’t happen.
Had they happened they would indisputably have been crimes (otherwise they couldn’t have been charges), but the jury’s view on hearing all the evidence the Crown could assemble – in a vast nationwide trawl encompassing hundreds of police interviews of people who’d made no complaints whatsoever – was that they hadn’t happened. . . . more
Co-ordinating the mob
Posted on WoS | August 17, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“If you didn’t already know that the BBC were going to run a character-assassination hatchet job on Alex Salmond tonight (and another one tomorrow), you could surmise it easily enough from the state of the Scottish media in the last few days.
“We’ve almost lost count of the attack pieces on the former First Minister in the run-up to the show, from specially-commissioned opinion polls to conveniently-timed releases of allegations of unspecified “bullying” during his leadership and highly selective leaks from the documentary itself.
“But it’s today’s Daily Record that dredges the depths of the journalistic sewer with a barrel and then scrapes the very bottom of it for the grubbiest, oiliest sludge it can find.
“Because the paper chooses today to drag up the case of “disgraced” former MSP Mark McDonald again and his supposed sexual harassment of an SNP staffer, to whom it gives a 1200-word interview in an attack it explicitly links to the Salmond case, even though Salmond was completely acquitted on all charges.”
. . . more
MSPs say Scottish public ‘must get answers’ on Alex Salmond
Scott Macnab | The Scotsman ! Sunday, 16th August 2020
” Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s bungled handling of harassment claims against Alex Salmond must “get the answers that the public needs”, according to MSPs involved in the probe.
“The long-awaited Parliamentary investigation launched after the former First Minister’s dramatic civil court victory in January 2019 over the Government he used to lead will get underway next week. It resulted in taxpayers forking out more than £500,000 in expenses to Mr Salmond after the Court of Session found that the Scottish Government had acted unlawfully in the way that it dealt with harassment complaints made by civil servants.” . . . more
Clearing the smoke
Posted on WoS | August 16, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
There’s been a lot of talk in the last couple of weeks about the SNP NEC, the rather secretive body that controls the operation of the party (and therefore also in effect the Scottish Government).
Extraordinarily, even if you’re a party member there’s no way to access a full list of the 42-member committee – something which for pretty obvious reasons of basic political transparency and accountability ought to be recorded prominently on the SNP website, let alone available to rank-and-file members.
(Ordinary party members aren’t even permitted to see the minutes of NEC meetings, which are restricted to NEC members.) So we got our investigating hats on.
Below is what we believe to be a full and accurate list of the current SNP NEC. If we’ve made any errors, please let us know and we’ll correct them.
The names highlighted in red are those who have so far announced their intentions to stand as candidates in next year’s Holyrood election, after the NEC voted to effectively block Westminster MPs from seeking nomination. We suspect several more will follow.
SNP members: this is what you’re not supposed to know about your own party.
OFFICE HOLDERS: . . . more
Kartoon Klown Korner
Posted on WoS | August 15, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
‘Sorry we’re a bit late with the comedy this week, readers. Our regular weekend comedian Chris Cairns is off on a golf holiday this weekend (in fairness he’s only had four so far this year and it’s already August), but this is a sicker and more brutal joke than anything he’s ever come up with.
“We haven’t covered Martin Keating’s court case because we have some unanswered concerns about its transparency and communication, but it’s doing just fine without us, having passed £100,000 of its £155,000 funding target earlier today.
“It’s bad enough that some random activist is having to do this and pay for it when the Scottish Government – who SHOULD have been doing it three years ago – sits with its thumb up its hole staring out of the window, but having their representatives actively attack and try to sabotage it is disgusting to a degree we can barely find words for.” . . . more
A plague of fools
Posted on WoS | August 14, 2020 | by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Sometimes people are so stupid it’s legitimately scary. For example, all the Unionist politicians in Scotland who appear to genuinely think that voters won’t notice that the recent exams catastrophe affected England (run by the Tories) and Wales (run by Labour) even worse than it did Scotland, and yet they scream for John Swinney’s head while having nothing to say about the even worse messes bursting all over their own parties’ respective jurisdictions.
“t genuinely boggles our mind that a anyone, let alone a professional politician who’s supposed to have their finger on the public pulse, could possibly imagine they’d ever get away with such utterly brainless naked hypocrisy, apparently believing that voters have memories less than 24 hours long and enjoy having their intelligence insulted.” . . . more
Alex Salmond inquiry in new fight with SNP Government over witnesses
Tom Gordon | The Herald | 12 August
” THE Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair has rejected a Scottish Government bid to block civil servants from giving evidence.
“The cross-party committee insisted Nicola Sturgeon’s chief of staff and other officials should give individual statements, rather than be referenced in a single Government overview.
“The inquiry also demanded the Government’s top official, Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, give oral evidence next week alone, rather than assisted by her aides.
“The move will allow MSPs to grill Ms Evans uninterrupted, denying her chances to pass the buck or obfuscate in cross-talk.
“The inquiry also said it would allow witness to bring lawyers, given the need to avoid breaking legal restrictions related to Mr Salmond’s separate criminal trial.
“The inquiry’s demands are included in a letter sent to Ms Evans this week, and mark yet another front in the committee’s war of attrition with Ms Sturgeon’s top official.” . . . more
Kenny MacAskill slams Scottish Government’s attitude to Alex Salmond probe
Jamie Shuttleworth | The Herald | 13 August 2020
” SNP veteran Kenny MacAskill has openly criticised the Scottish Government for ‘failing’ to hand over evidence in the Alex Salmond probe.
“The MP for East Lothian rejected claims that some information had to be censored and backed a Holyrood committee’s demands for full disclosure.
“A committee of MSPs are now raking over the bungled investigation which cost half a million pounds of taxpayers’ cash.
“Speaking in The Scotsman, Mr MacAskill said: “Failing to deliver up all the papers in the Alex Salmond inquiry is simply unacceptable. It goes against the very ethos of the Scottish Parliament which is why the committee is right to stand its ground.”
“MacAskill went on to criticise the “intransigence” of the Scottish Government’s civil service chief, Leslie Evans, and said that the actions of the country’s top law office, the Lord Advocate, are “plain wrong”. ” . . . more
The Scourge of Scotland
Grouse Beater | Posted on July 2, 2014
“Nothing is more pitiful than a politician who has lost power, except perhaps a newspaper mogul, the latter an occasion for celebration; which brings me to the subject of this essay, frazzled George Galloway.
“Galloway, defender of the down-trodden and the working class, who, like the poor, enjoys a good Havana cigar, often visibly contradictory as he is dogmatic on everything, is squandering the autumn of his life telling Scotland ‘like it is’.
“His entire political outlook is encapsulated in the declaration he wants Britain to be a sovereign state but not Scotland. He means England. Even Westminster acknowledges Scotland is a separate country.” . . . more
The Hackneyed Empire
Posted on WoS | August 12, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It is our grave and solemn duty to inform readers that there’s been another entrant in the New Act Of Union Of The Year competition. (This is an extremely niche joke.)
“The details of this one, which is arguably even more bonkers than the last one, needn’t concern us here. But they’re a reminder of something we DO need to remember.
“Because as this site has pointed out before, Boris Johnson has a mandate too. He was elected, and has a huge effective majority (as he’s also supported by Labour, the Lib Dems and the DUP), on a clear platform of flatly rejecting another indyref.
“Scottish voters, who delivered just six seats of that majority, have no leverage over Johnson. They can do nothing to either hurt or help him, and are therefore of zero interest to him. He is concerned with the views of the people in England who elected him, and they would regard his concession of another referendum as a total betrayal by the man who campaigned as “Minister Of The Union”. . . . more
The Russian Interference Report, Without Laughing
Craig Murray | 12 August 2020
“Now the madding crowd has moved on, I take a mature look at the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee on Russia. It is so flawed it is tempting simply to mock it. But in fact, it is extremely dangerous.
“It calls expressly and repeatedly for the security services to be actively involved in “policing the democratic space” and castigates the security services for their unwillingness to interfere in democratic process. It calls for tough government action against social media companies who refuse to censor and remove from the internet material it believes to be inspired by foreign states. It specifically accepts the Integrity Initiative’s Christopher Donnelly and Ben Nimmo as examples of good identifiers of the material which should be banned – even though Nimmo is the man who stated that use of the phrase “Cui bono” is indicative of a Russian troll, and who accused scores of ordinary Scottish Independence supporters of being Russian trolls.
“In order for you to assess the threat of a report which specifically calls on the social media companies to ban those individuals the British government identifies as Russian trolls, and which calls on the security services to act against those people, remember Ian.
“Ian was identified by the British government as a Russian troll, on the word of Nimmo and Donnelly – exactly the “experts” on which this report relies. This report proposes Ian, and people like him, be banned from social media and subject to security service surveillance.” . . . more
Covid-19 death toll revised down by more than 5,000
Jack Peat | The London Economic | August 13, 2020
“Matt Hancock last month ordered an urgent review into how Public Health England (PHE) calculates daily Covid-19 death figures.
“The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has reduced the coronavirus death toll by more than 5,000 following a review of how figures are calculated.
“Officials said as of Wednesday August 12 the number of all deaths in patients testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK within 28 days was 41,329.” . . . more
UK suffers biggest economic slump in western Europe
Jack Peat | The London Economic | August 12, 2020
“Britain has officially entered into the largest recession on record after figures showed the pandemic sent the economy plunging by 20.4 per cent between April and June.
“A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).”
Posted on WoS | August 11, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“We have written yet again, wearily and with little hope of a meaningful response, to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, a body with the power to destroy people’s lives but which appears to be answerable to no-one.
“The letter is attached below.” . . . more
BBC criticised for migrant footage dubbed “most disgusting journalism I’ve ever seen”
Jack Peat | The London Economic | August 11, 2020
BBC Breakfast has been criticised for airing live footage of a ‘sinking’ refugee boat described by one person as the “most disgusting journalism I’ve ever seen”.
Simon Jones reported from the English Channel where he filmed a group of Syrian asylum seekers ‘bailing out water’ as they made their way towards the English coast.
Standing atop of a secure vessel which tracked the migrant dingy, Simon told viewers: “We came across this boat about half an hour ago, just spotted it on the horizon.
“We have seen them trying to get water out of the boat. They are doing that at the moment. They’re using a plastic container just trying to bail out the boat, so obviously, it’s pretty overloaded there.” . . . more
Democracy – We’ve had the Russia Report, now where is the America Report?
By Rob Woodward | TruePublica | 11th August 2020
“The long-awaited Russia report was published with a call for “immediate action” by the government and intelligence services to tackle the threat from just one country – Russia. The reality was that while Russia may have been meddling at the edges of Britain’s democracy, America has been actively involved in centrally funding the breakdown of democracy, the rule of law and the British way of life. So where is the America Report?
“The Russia Report cited ‘open source’ studies which pointed to “pro-Brexit or anti-EU stories on RT and Sputnik, and the use of ‘bots’ and ‘trolls’, as evidence of Russian attempts to influence the process.” Apparently, 150,000 Russian tweets bots churned out pro-Brexit propaganda. When asked to comment on Russian interference into British politics, MI5 couldn’t be bothered to answer and provided just six lines of text – and anything remotely important in that text was redacted anyway.
“The government said: “We have seen no evidence of successful interference in the EU referendum“. Was anyone expecting them to say anything else?” . . . more
Aug 11, 2020 ~ Peter A Bell
“I’m never bored. I don’t get bored. I’m not sure I know what it’s like to be bored. I’m always doing something – even if it’s only sitting thinking. Mostly, I do the same things at more or less the same times every day. I am comfortable with that although I know many (most?) people would think it frightfully dull. [ . . . ]
“It started about 13:30 when I received a message from a friend saying they were unable to share anything from this site on Facebook. Every time they tried, they got a message such as the one pictured above. To be more accurate I should say that this is when I became aware that something ‘interesting’ was intruding on my pleasingly uninteresting routine. My friend also mentioned that copying and pasting a URL into a Facebook comment resulted in non-standard behaviour in that the preview of the article did not appear. I realised then that I had vaguely noticed – but not noted – this non-standard behaviour myself.
“Then I started to get more messages from people who’d found it impossible to share articles from this website on Facebook. So, I thought I’d best investigate. Which brought me in due course to the Support Inbox on Facebook where I found a small slew of notifications saying that posts had been blocked with the message ‘This post goes against our Community Standards on spam‘. Which was odd. Because they were simply shares of my articles – almost all on my own profile or one of my pages or groups. ‘Interesting’!” . . . more
A New Understanding of Herd Immunity
James Hamblin | The Atlantic | July 13, 2020
The portion of the population that needs to get sick is not fixed. We can change it.
Without a better plan, this threshold—the percentage of people who have been infected that would constitute herd immunity—seems to have become central to our fates.
Some mathematicians believe that it’s much lower than initially imagined. At least, it could be, if we choose the right future. . . . more
The other shoe drops
Posted on WoS | August 10, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
Ah, so NOW we know why the SNP’s woke junior league stitched up the NEC to stop serious, talented and experienced politicians like Joanna Cherry and Philippa Whitford standing as MSPs in next year’s Holyrood election.
You CAN probably guess what sort of people they are, though – the standard-issue hyper-intolerant piously quasi-fascist Twitler Youth trooper that dominates the party’s younger faction and wants all dissenting voices not just disagreed with or debated but silenced and shut down completely.
On the one level, of course, we can’t blame the party’s ambitious males for trying to carve out some sort of career opening – the SNP already hold the vast majority of Scottish constituencies (59/73), and the party’s rules are that if an incumbent SNP MSP stands down they should be replaced by an all-female shortlist, so there are only a tiny handful of seats where anyone with a penis has a hope of being elected for the party unless they pop a frock and a bit of lipstick on.
But still, we can’t help but think – given the selection process isn’t even officially under way yet – that it might have looked just a bit less crooked if they’d waited until the stushie over the dodgy meeting was over before announcing their intentions. . . . more
Priti Patel roundly mocked for “British people” tweet
Jack Peat | The London Economic | August 9, 2020
“I’m so sick of this ‘The British People’ nonsense. It’s inflammatory and divisive and also errant vacuous nonsense with no meaning in a multi-party democracy. The phrase should be banned from political discourse.” [Professor Brian Cox]
“Home Secretary Priti Patel has been roundly mocked for a tweet suggesting “the British people” want to take back control of our borders in response to the refugee crisis.
“A migrant in wheelchair was among people arriving in Dover aboard a Border Force boat yesterday, many of whom wore blankets and lifejackets.
“The Home Office has been accused of having “lost control” after a new single-day record for migrant crossings was set on Thursday.
“As the number of people making the perilous crossing creeped up, Patel tweeted:
“I know that when the British people say they want to take back control of our borders – this is exactly what they mean”, adding that the UK needs “the cooperation of the French to intercept boats and return migrants back to France”.
But the comments have been heavily criticised on social media . . . more
Posted on WoS | August 09, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Labour sub-faction the Scottish Fabians this weekend published a call for “a new Act Of Union”, an idea that’s been kicking around in the party for some time since failed branch office manager Kezia Dugdale came up with it in 2016.
“And at first it sounds almost intelligent and democratic, proposing a clearly defined path by which any of the four constituent nations of the UK could become independent.
“But then you get to the small print.” . . . more
Techno-Capitalism, Transgenderism and the Colonization of Female Biology
Uncommon Ground | May 8, 2020 | Jennifer Bilek 9
“Under Techno-Capitalism, hatred of women is promoted in order to commodify female bodies and profit from women’s pain.
“Most people probably think more about the liberating elements of technology than how it drives our servitude. We may think about the drawbacks of individual technological developments, but overall, we’re not thinking a lot about the unfettered growth of technology, its speed, complexity and its vast spread. As technology is sewn to unfettered capitalism it must grow or die. It must breach new boundaries or wither. Techno-Capitalism, or technology as it is wedded to capitalism functions of its own accord now, driven by profit. The oppression and hatred of females has become part of this system, which continually magnifies it.” . . . more
So, it’s ok to punch women who have opinions?
Kaye McIntosh | 6 August 2020 | Uncancelled
“The naming of TERFs is a tactical matter, as TS Eliot didn’t say. Given his name is an anagram of toilets, it seems appropriate to invoke him in a discussion of trans ideology – the claim that a man who feels like a woman (whatever that means) is magically transformed into a female and should be able to stroll into the women’s loos unchallenged. Trans extremists claim historical figures all the time: every woman who had to wear men’s clothes or use a man’s name to be able to join the army or publish a book was trans apparently. Which might come as news to George Eliot.
“‘TERF’ is the slur aimed at JK Rowling (who had to use her initials because publishers feared boys wouldn’t read books written by a woman). She’s a ‘well- known transphobe’ because she says biology is real. It’s easy to qualify as a TERF – derived from ‘Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist’, a term much harder to spit in anger. All you have to do is say that it’s OK for sportswomen to want to compete against other women, not the greater strength, bigger hearts and denser bones of male bodies.” . . . more
Clive Ponting, Hero
Craig Murray | August 7, 2020
“Clive Ponting, doyen of British whistleblowers, anti-imperialist historian and campaigner for Scottish independence has died at his home in Kelso, age 74.
“Clive came closer than anybody else to saving British society and industry from the horrors of Thatcherism. There is a danger in history of believing that everything that happened was inevitable. In fact Thatcher’s government after two years in office was extremely unpopular just before the Falklands War. Conservative party support was at 23% in the opinion polls, well behind both Labour and the Liberal/Social Democratic Party. Thatcher’s later popularity was entirely unexpected and based on a tidal wave of jingoism as a result of a short, successful war with Argentina. Without the Falklands War the privatisation of water, rail gas and electricity and the destruction of 90% of British heavy industry may either not have happened or have been short-lived.” . . . more
The stench of rotten stables
Posted on WoS | August 07, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It seems to be becoming apparent to the SNP’s aggressive woke wing that they badly overreached themselves with last week’s trainwreck of an NEC meeting. The backlash from ordinary members has clearly been severe, with senior party figures lining up to distance themselves from the decisions made, and one of the two contentious moves (the effective deselection of James Dornan) has already been reversed, although the one regarding Joanna Cherry still stands at the time of writing.
“Yes-supporter social media was aflame last night as Stirling MP Alyn “Daddy Bear” Smith pulled an unexpected move in which he basically threw most of the Twitler Youth members of the NEC under the bus in an attempt to save himself.”
The foundations of Scotland’s democracy have crumbled and you should worry
Robin McAlpine | sourcenews.scot – Common Weal | 6 August 2020
“There is one final element of democracy they haven’t quite managed to degrade yet. The people.”
“PICKING what to write about this week isn’t easy – I could happily unpack what I think is going on with Cherrymandering, the SQA debacle, the return of lockdown in Aberdeen, the virtual admission that Sturgeon misled parliament about a crucial meeting, the latest nonsensical stuff coming out of unionism…
“But are they really separate issues at all? Or is something systemically wrong with our political system and our democracy?
“Let me start by doing something which isn’t done enough; stating specifically the foundational principles on which Scottish democracy is based (remember the 1998 Scotland Act anyone?). This isn’t a random system – it has specific elements for specific reasons.”
Stinking Tory Corruption
Craig Murray | August 6, 2020
I wrote a furious article about the £250 million PPE contract inexplicably awarded to the “family office” Ayanda Capital, an investment house for private wealth tax avoidance. We now learn £150 million of face masks delivered are unusable as they do not meet the required standards.
The Times today reports the NHS year’s supply of top level “FFP2” masks for surgical and similar use – 43 million of them – delvered by Ayanda failed regulatory testing. This was entirely predictable. As I wrote on 8 July:
We do not just need a public inquiry. We need people to go to prison. All those involved in the Ayanda Capital PPE contract would be a good start.
UPDATE 8:58am: I have just seen this absolutely astonishing thread from Jolyon Maugham at 6.25am this morning. It really is mind-blowing. Not only did the “adviser”, named as Andrew Mills, set this all up, he himself established an intermediary company in the transaction to cream off a fortune.
The closed eyes of the law
Posted on WoS | August 05, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Alert readers will be aware of very considerable recent active involvement by Police Scotland in matters relating to alleged contempt of court with regard to the trial of Alex Salmond. A blog in April by Craig Murray gave some details.
“But if you’re pressed for time, allow us to summarise:
“Contempt of court is not a criminal offence in Scotland, so it’s got nothing to do with us, the police – unless of course the people alleged to have committed the contempt are supportive of Alex Salmond and we go round to their houses to threaten them about it, in which case the rules are different because [SOMEONE WAS SUPPOSED TO INSERT SOME REASONS HERE BEFORE WE SENT THIS OUT]. Now go away and stop asking awkward questions.”
“Yes, that all seems absolutely fine. Nothing to worry about at all. Definitely fair and above board and absolutely normal. As you were, everyone. Sleep soundly in your beds, for justice is abroad.”
Why has “biological reality-speak” become a thought crime?
Kim Thomas | Uncancelled | 5 August 2020
Last weekend, Labour MP Rosie Duffield did something so terrible it prompted a torrent of online abuse and calls for her to resign. Eventually she locked her Twitter account.
So what did she do that was so awful?
Her first offence was to “like” a tweet by Piers Morgan. The broadcaster CNN had tweeted about American Cancer Society guidelines that state: “Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with HPV testing every five years.” Morgan’s reply asked: “Do you mean women?”
People who scour Twitter looking for examples of wrongthink by prominent figures were quick to spot Duffield’s “like” and started to attack her. She then tweeted: “I’m a ‘transphobe’ for knowing that only women have a cervix….?!” Woke Twitter was outraged.
Who is Douglas Ross? 5 things you need to know about the Tory leadership contender
Olaf Stando | SNP.Org | 3rd Aug 2020
“Amid rising support for independence and a consistent majority now supporting a Yes vote, Jackson Carlaw resigned as leader of the Scottish Tories – just 5 months ago after getting elected.
“Boris-backing, Brexit-positive” Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, is set to be crowned as Scottish Tory leader. Here’s all you need to know.”
Posted on WoS | August 04, 2020 by SNP NEC member
This post was written by an SNP NEC member present at last week’s controversial Zoom meeting, who wishes to remain anonymous. Wings has verified their credentials.
“A farce, a shambles, an incompetent mess. There’s no other way to sum up the NEC stitch-up of the Edinburgh Central seat last week.
“Bad enough was the situation of the Glasgow Cathcart seat, over which my sources tell me it didn’t take long for someone in ministerial tower to realise ‘but what if Dornan jumps ship to an Indy list party, we’ve just given them a seat in Parliament to promote why our both votes SNP message doesn’t make sense.’
“And of course those looking at what really matters in the near future were noting, ‘we could already be relying on Derek Mackay to turn back up at Parliament, and Mark McDonald to crawl out from the bus we threw him under, to survive a confidence vote if the inquiry doesn’t go our way, now we’ve just lost Dornan’s vote, the Greens will hold us to ransom now…’
“Fast forward a mere day and James Dornan didn’t even need to threaten legal action to get that decision overturned.”
On the march
Posted on WoS | August 03, 2020 | by Kenny MacAskill
“Symbolism matters in politics. What ostensibly can appear minor actions can have significant effect. Simply changing the names of things, whether from Londonderry to Derry or from the Scottish Executive to the Scottish Government (and swapping a UK-focused logo for a Scotland-focused one), were hugely important, signalling a new era and enthusing supporters.
“Similarly, it’s been the case that as well as public actions of political leaders there requires to be mobilisation of grassroots supporters.
“That can be in visible displays of support, not just by the usual political means of leafletting or canvassing. The “million-man march” on Washington was pivotal for the American Civil Rights Movement and mobilisation of ordinary people linking hands across the Baltic States, crucial in achieving freedom from the Soviet Union for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”
‘It’s time once again to show that independence is on the march.’
Assange Legal Farce Continues
Craig Murray | August 3, 2020
“There has simply never been a broadcast report in the UK on Assange as fair as this one from Sky News Australia, nor is it conceivable that there ever could be.
“I have reported already on the US changing the indictment after the defence’s opening statement had been heard and defence written evidence submitted. The latest legal twist in this Kafkaesque saga is that Julian may be released and instantly re-arrested under the new indictment.
“The USA and the Crown continue to argue that the charges remain the same, even if the indictment has changed. This is like being halfway through a trial for the murder of Stephanie, the defence having demolished the prosecution case, and they suddenly change the allegation from murdering Stephanie to murdering Peter, but say it makes no difference as it is still the same charge of murder. As I have catalogued the relentless cruelty and the contortions of reason in this case, a little bit of me keeps saying “they cannot get away with this”. But so far, they always do.”
The Great Reverse
Posted on August 02, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The size and volume of the public backlash to this week’s disgraceful goings-on in the SNP National Executive Committee must have frightened the party a very great deal, because there’s been quite a stampede of senior figures – even including loyal cabinet ministers – taking the extraordinary, almost unheard-of step of publicly criticising NEC decisions and disassociating themselves from the party’s ruling group.
“But how on Earth did the National Executive Committee of the SNP ever come to make a decision that was “unconstitutional” in the first place? How can the NEC, of all entities, not know what the rules are? It’s literally their entire job to know what’s in the SNP constitution and ensure it’s adhered to. Can they ALL be totally incompetent?”
Wolves and vampires
Posted on August 01, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It seems fair to say that the SNP’s shady, ugly coup d’etwats yesterday hasn’t gone down massively well. Social media was awash in pictures of cut-up membership cards and resignation letters, and some of the most moderate voices in the commentariat also decried the stitch-ups of Joanna Cherry and James Dornan.
“The NEC meeting which forced through the new rules was held in secret and nobody knows who was present or who voted for what. Indeed, even the identities of the NEC’s members are largely not public knowledge.
“But there’s one thing we do know.
“Alert readers have been aware for some time that the headquarters of the SNP’s woke division, and the hotbed of the party’s quasi-fascist Twitler Youth wing, was its Stirling branch. And in perhaps the least shocking revelation of all time, it turns out that this week’s events have Stirling SNP’s grubby fingerprints all over them.”
Footprints on the Moon
Posted on WoS | July 30, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
Well, here’s a place we’ve been before.
Especially alert veteran readers will recall that this site, too, has had its advertising removed from a railway environment for being “political”, on the flimsiest of grounds. We doubt whether excessively-named feminist activist Kellie-Jay “Posie Parker” Keen-Minshull will be overly distressed about this turn of events – our experience was that it generated far more publicity than the adverts themselves could ever have hoped for, PLUS we got all our money back. Win-win!
But while it speaks volumes about the idiot hypocrisy of “cancel culture” (Network Rail Scotland tweeted about it from an account decorated with the LGBT rainbow flag, which seems a fairly clearly political statement in itself), it’s especially pertinent when seen in the light of the Scottish Government’s new hate crime bill.
How Action Aid UK erased sex
Maya Forstater | Medium.Com | Jul 29
On July 15 Barrister Sarah Phillimore published a message shared with her by an Action Aid UK supporter who wrote asking them to clarify the words sex and gender. This was the response she got:
“We agree that words are important. As ActionAid UK is an organisation focused on supporting the most marginalised women and girls in the world, it is important to us that we are clear that when we are talking about women and girls, we are including transgender women and girls in our definition of women and girls.”
ActionAid UK defines women and girls as anyone who self-identifies as a woman or a girl. Allowing self-determination of our bodies is a basic feminist principle. ActionAid UK understands there is no such thing as a ‘biologically female/male body’, and that a person’s genitalia doesn’t determine their gender. As such, we’ve used the word gender not sex, and include trans women and girls in our definition of women and girls. ActionAid UK also recognises that many non-binary people and trans men face gender discrimination.”
The Cabaret Voltaire
Posted on WoS |July 29, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“In the light of several news stories today, we thought it’d be useful to keep a record of which organisations and individuals had now publicly expressed strong reservations or outright opposition to the Scottish Government’s alarming and deeply illiberal proposed new Hate Crime Bill, and which had expressed support.” [List]
HOW NOT TO BE TRANSPHOBIC
Another one from the archives
Graham Linehan | Jul 28
Now is the Time for All Good Men…
Posted on July 28, 2020 by Craig Murray
craig murray email@example.com
I hope you are well in these worrying times. I assume you will be called eventually before the parliamentary inquiry into the Alex Salmond case re your text or WhatsApp message about sitting on the complaint given you against Alex Salmond unless it became necessary to deploy it. I would not worry about it; I am sure if you simply tell the truth you will be fine. The fact that the court case proved that complaint was specifically untrue, and that the lady who relayed the complaint to you was not even present on the occasion she claimed
the assault happened, should be of comfort to you. I suspect your own suspicions of the veracity of the complaint were why you decided not to act upon it.
Anyway, with the Holyrood elections on the not too distant horizon, I should like to put myself forward for the candidate vetting process again. I realise that processes are suspended but would be grateful nevertheless for your guidance on how to proceed for when they reopen.
There is much talk of list parties, but the SNP remains the essential vehicle to take us to Independence. It just needs a bit of a push start in that direction; and it is now up to those of us who were NOT involved in a conspiracy to fabricate evidence against the innocent former leader of the party to step up to the plate.
BREAKING: Pope still Catholic
Posted on WoS |July 28, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
Alert readers may have noticed that the hypothetical Wings list party is once again the talk of the steamie, with the usual suspects stamping their feet and pouting about it yet again on social media, in particular the firmly-ensconced SNP MP Pete Wishart and the worryingly obsessed former poll-analysis website WINGS OVER SCOTLAND IS BAD AND TERRIBLE AND STUART CAMPBELL SOMETIMES DOES SWEARS SO NOBODY WOULD EVER VOTE FOR HIM! Goes Pop.
(We’re not sure where this sudden outbreak of 18th-century Puritanism about Scottish people using colourful language has come from, to be honest. It seems the weirdest and least plausible grounds for objection imaginable in a country that’s literally world-famous for its enthusiastic embrace of swearing, but shrug.)
(His thread today is a long list of people attacking the party’s failure to make, or even attempt, any meaningful progress on independence, followed by Wishart replying “but we’re going to win the election!”, apparently completely unable to separate the concepts of independence and the SNP or understand that SNP voters are less keen than he apparently is to give up on the party’s supposed primary goal just to keep its elected representatives in comfortably-feathered nests for life.)
Sky News Miss the Story
Craig Murray July 27, 2020
“Sky News are today carrying the story that Nicola Sturgeon attended a meeting with Salmond’s former Chief of Staff, Geoff Aberdein, about a historic sexual allegation made against Alex Salmond on 29 March 2018, several days before she claimed to parliament that she first heard of it. It will prove in the long term still more significant that this meeting also contradicts Sturgeon’s claim that it was Alex Salmond who first told her of the existence of the allegations.
“This all appears to come as news to James Matthews, the Sky reporter. The extraordinary thing is, that both he and I sat through the testimony under oath on this point of Geoff Aberdein at the Alex Salmond trial.”
On 8 to 9 March 2018 … had contacted him to say she was involved in a process of looking at complaints about Alex Salmond. He had spoken to Kevin Pringle and Duncan Hamilton by conference call to discuss this. On 29 March 2018 he had held a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament to discuss this. On 2 April he had attended a further meeting in Sturgeon’s home.
The pieces of the jigsaw
Posted on WoS |July 27, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Late last week, Wings finally received a long-overdue full response to the queries we first made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in early April, regarding several matters connected to the failed prosecution of Alex Salmond. (You’re supposed to get a reply in 20 working days. It’s been nearly four months.)
“The unmappable fog-filled labyrinth that COPFS (under the Lord Advocate, W. James Wolffe QC), the Scottish Government and the civil service are attempting to construct around these matters is so tangled that it’s taken us a few days to sit down and make some sense of it, but the truth that’s being coaxed, painfully slowly, into the light is one that paints a truly disturbing picture.
“However, the Lord Advocate is constitutionally responsible for the systems of prosecution of crime and investigation of deaths in Scotland, and is answerable to the Scottish Parliament for the operation of those systems.”
“The convenience of a live case against Mr Murray as an excuse behind which to hide the behaviour of politicians and officials all the way up to the First Minister and her Permanent Secretary, which would otherwise be exposed to full public view, suddenly seems all too apparent.”
Parliament denied a “voice and a vote” over future trade deals
Jack Peat | The London Economic | July 21, 2020
“Ministers have resisted a Tory backbench attempt to give Parliament a definitive say on post-Brexit trade deals as flagship legislation cleared the Commons.
“Emily Thornberry said: ‘This Bill drives a cart and horse through the principles of parliamentary democracy’ “.
Credible Open Source Reporting”, the Intelligence Services and Scottish Independence
Craig Murray | July 21, 2020
“The BBC has all morning been trailing the imminent report by the Intelligence and Security Committee as showing Russian interference in the Scottish referendum campaign according to “credible open source reporting”. It is hardly a surprise that Westminster has weaponised its report to attack not the British Establishment but Scottish Independence.”
“A prominent campaigner for Scottish independence has said a second referendum will not come in the next five years if Nicola Sturgeon is still in power.
“Robin McAlpine, director of the Common Weal think tank and a prominent voice in the Yes Movement, attacked the First Minister in a scathing blog post on Thursday, and said it is ‘over to the loyalists now’ to deliver.”
Opinion: Good. So are thousands of other Indy supporters and long-time activists. She needs to be reminded that she is standing on the shoulders of generations of Giants – from Kier Hardie to Winnie Ewing and Alex Salmond. She is a mendacious usurper.
For impeding Independence in favour of your own personal interests, and for your (incredibly dodgy) part in bringing false charges against Good People.
Giving up on independence
Posted on WoS | July 17, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“It’s hard to express quite what a revolting piece of rank hypocrisy this is.
“Behold, ladies and gentlemen and other genders, some pious little twerp whose own comfy seat in the Scottish Parliament was secured entirely by what he calls “cheating”, saying that nobody but him and his mates are allowed to cheat now.
“Ross Greer, alert readers may recall, snuck into Holyrood on the very last list seat in West Scotland, with just 5.3% of the vote. That’s sub-Annie-Wells levels of support.”
“Most of the opposition to the idea of a new list party comes from (a) vested interests within both pro-indy AND Unionist parties who sense a threat to their own power and/or positions, and (b) really stupid people who STILL don’t have the slightest grasp of how the Scottish electoral system works after 21 years and really ought to shut up until they do.”
Calling all NUJ Members
Craig Murray | July 16, 2020
“When a country’s main union for journalists polices the Overton window, you are in a society well on the way to authoritarianism. For four months I have been excluded from the National Union of Journalists and, despite repeated requests, the NUJ even refuses to tell me the nature of the objection.
“140 days ago, on 5 March 2020, I applied online to renew my lapsed membership of the National Union of Journalists. For two months I heard nothing, then after inquiring I was told objections had been received to my membership. After two months more pressing I was told the objection is that I am not a “fit and proper person” to join the trade union. I still have no idea on what grounds this is alleged, or who alleges it.”
The land of mystery
Posted in WoS | July 16, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The BBC website is playing it rather enigmatic this morning:
‘The UK government has unveiled its blueprint for policing trade between different parts of the country after the post-Brexit transition period ends.’
‘Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to be handed powers in areas such as air quality and animal welfare currently regulated at EU level.’
‘But in a bid to protect cross-border trade, they will have to recognise standards drawn up elsewhere in the UK.’
“Does anyone know the name of the place it doesn’t want to say for some reason?”
Fresh row over devolved powers after Brexit
Philip Sim | BBC News | 16 July 2020
“Mr Russell said Mr Sharma’s claims about new powers for Holyrood were “not true”, saying MSPs had already legislated in a series of areas highlighted.
“He said: “The list of powers that’s been issued by the UK government is simply dishonest. It’s one of the most shocking pieces of dishonesty I’ve seen from a government.
“It’s a mishmash of things the Scottish Parliament already has, things they’ve already decided we won’t have because of the frameworks, and things that could be automatically overridden by a decision by the UK government to take a power away.””
Joanna Cherry urges Nicola Sturgeon to plan legally binding indyref2 without S30 order
Exclusive by Kathleen Nutt | The National
“JOANNA Cherry will tomorrow call on Nicola Sturgeon to consider pressing ahead with plans to hold a legally binding independence referendum if Boris Johnson continues to reject the Scottish Government’s request to transfer powers for a new plebiscite to Holyrood.
“Writing in The National, the SNP MP points to the First Minister’s Brexit day speech in January where she suggested a second referendum may be within the remit of Holyrood and that such assessment has been made by a range of constitutional experts.”
Why feminists like me stand with JK Rowling in trans rights row
Susan Dalgety | The Scotsman
As one transgender woman complains about ‘a lot of really unhelpful femininsm’, Susan Dalgety explains why she and others fear women’s rights are now at serious risk.
Johnson to make facemasks compulsory in shops and ‘confined spaces’ next week
ByChris McLaughlin | Mirror | 16:44, 11 JUL 2020
“Prime Minister to tell the Commons about the plan within the next few days after it became compulsory in Scotland
“Boris Johnson is preparing to tell the Commons the move is necessary to encourage a swifter shift towards “more normal” living. The aim is to prevent a surge in the spread of the coronavirus as Ministers encourage more people to return to work.
“But the PM has been blasted for delay and confusion about what people should do when they leave the house amid signs of localised increases in the infection rate.”
EU open to Scotland joining bloc but ‘very reluctant’ to let rest of UK back in
Adrian Zorzut | The New European | 15:06 08 July 2020
“Kirsty Hughes, a former director of thinktank Scottish Centre on Europe Relations (SCER), said Scotland had a better chance of rejoining the EU than other parts of the UK during an online conference.
“Hughes predicts that Brussels would show “complete openness” to Scotland if it vote for independence in a legally binding referendum.
Speaking at the event, organised by pro-EU group European Movement in Scotland, she said: “On the Scottish side I think there is complete openness if Scotland was to vote Yes in a constitutionally and legally valid referendum.””
UK has opted out of EU coronavirus vaccine programme, sources say
Nadeem Badshah | Fri 10 Jul 2020 00.41 BST
The UK government has rejected the chance to join the European Union’s coronavirus vaccine programme due to concerns over “costly delays”, according to sources.
The EU is planning to spend around €2bn (£1.8bn) on the advance purchase of vaccines that are undergoing testing on behalf of the 27 member states.
Negotiations with Brussels have been ongoing but Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is believed to have opted out of the opportunity, according to The Daily Telegraph. The European commission is expected to be notified of on Friday.
Parts of England could run out of water within 20 years, warn MPs
Sandra Laville | Fri 10 Jul 2020 07.00 BST
Water firms not addressing problem of leaks, causing loss of 3bn litres a day. Continued inaction by the water industry means one fifth of daily supply is lost to leaks, say MPs. There is a serious risk that parts of England will run out of water within 20 years, MPs have warned.
The public accounts committee said the bodies responsible for water in the UK had “taken their eye off the ball” and the scale of leakage – more than 3bn litres a day – was “wholly unacceptable”.
Now sometimes offensive
Posted on WoS | July 09, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The rapid regression of civilisation continues apace, readers.
“Because it ought to be noted that it’s not the concept of homosexuality that’s being deemed offensive there, nor the word itself, but specifically the definition of it.
“In other words, a dictionary just said “some people are offended by facts”.
“There are no prizes for guessing who’s responsible for this, of course – the transcult. We already knew that they considered the words “lesbian”, “gay” and “bisexual” to be “transphobic”, along with just about everything else on the face of the planet, so we suppose it makes sense that the umbrella terms had to go too.”
Transforming the question
Posted on WoS | July 09, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The Huffington Post published a poll today, to the great delight of the likes of Stonewall Scotland, which seemed to fly in the face of every previous one on the idea of gender self-identification, a policy which appears to have been dumped by the UK government but is still very much in favour with the Scottish one.
“That the poll had been commissioned by trans uber-fundamentalist website Pink News immediately set off alarm bells, especially as the site had previously asked a similar question, found dramatically different results and swiftly disappeared them.
“As ever, Wings went looking for the truth.”
The NHS September 2019 ‘Delivering Same-Sex Accommodation’ updates and replaces previous guidance on the provision and monitoring of same-sex accommodation for patients in the NHS England Estate.
It is clearly influenced by the Government Equalities Office, which has given advice to the effect that biological sex can be ignored in favour of the self-assertion of patients. This would mean men (adult human males) being able to elect to be accommodated in the female estate. The contrary would also be possible. A further absurdity is the direction – where an unconscious patient is admitted – for staff to accommodate based on a judgement of their ‘clothing’.
Talk to the hand?
July 8, 2020 – Peter A Bell
“If we could create this ‘independent’ Manifesto for Independence it would be outside the realm of party politics while being available to any party as a constitutional addendum to their own policy manifesto. This would have numerous advantages. The public tend to be more accepting of ideas that are not associated with political parties. Let’s not go into the rights and wrongs of this here. Let’s just accept that, as a general rule, people are more amenable to proposals that are seen as not serving partisan interests.
“Like it or loathe it, and as unquestionably helpful as a common Manifesto for Independence would be, it is the SNP that matters. It is the SNP that must be pressed into renouncing the Section 30 process. It is the SNP that we will rely on to lend effective political power to Scotland’s cause. It’s entirely in Nicola Sturgeon’s hands. We can have all the “grown-up conversations” we can cram into whatever time Scotland has left. It will all be for nothing if the lady ain’t listening.”
Sturgeon told to reveal all on Salmond hearing
Kieran Andrews, The Times. Thursday July 09 2020
“Nicola Sturgeon will be forced to reveal whether she encouraged the reporting of sexual misconduct complaints against Alex Salmond to the police.
“The first minister has been asked by independent investigators into her government’s handling of claims against her predecessor to outline her role in referring the claims to Police Scotland.
“James Wolffe, the lord advocate who is principal legal adviser to the Scottish government, has been told to detail any involvement he had in the decision to refer the complaints to the police. MSPs in a cross-party group also want Ms Sturgeon to provide details of when she was first made aware of an internal investigation into her predecessor and what, if any, action she took or encouraged others to take over the complaints.”
Pressure on Humza Yousaf after two errors
Kieran Andrews, The Times, Wednesday July 08 2020, 12.00am
“Humza Yousaf is under pressure to explain why he twice misled MSPs after being forced to correct the official record for the second time.
“The justice secretary told Holyrood’s health committee on June 23 that about 20 per cent of travellers arriving in Scotland were receiving follow-up checks from public health officials to ensure they were obeying quarantine rules. Until yesterday, not a single check had been performed because of a dispute with the Home Office.”
Dominic Cummings ‘set to tour top-secret military sites’ in major defence review
Mirror: Ben Glaze – 8 JUL 2020
“The PM’s controversial top aide will reportedly tour some of Britain’s most highly classified national security sites as a review prepares to reshape billions of military spending. Dominic Cummings plans to visit the SAS headquarters and secret military sites as Whitehall carries out a major defence review, it was claimed today.
The Prime Minister’s controversial top aide will tour some of Britain’s most highly classified national security sites, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. As well as visiting the famous Who Dare Wins base in Hereford, he also plans trips to the Special Boat Service HQ in Poole, Dorset. Also on the list are said to be the Porton Down chemical weapons research centre in Wiltshire, the Rapid Capabilities Office at Farnborough, Hants, and the Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre at RAF Wyton, Cambs. It comes amid a major turf war between Whitehall departments over the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development.”
Why Neil Oliver is not the NTS’s biggest problem
Lesley Riddoch: 4th January 2018
“The controversial appointment of Neil Oliver is actually a radical departure for NTS. Yes, the historian, archaeologist, author and TV presenter has described the prospect of a second referendum as a “cancerous presence”, did say Alex Salmond is a “round, wrecking ball of a man, shaped only to do damage” and described the Highland Clearances as “migration”. I’m not going to get into a slanging match here, but let’s just say that if NTS simply wanted to gain international profile, it could have chosen the very courteous Sam Heughan.”
Court sets date for Craig Murray trial over Alex Salmond case
By Michael Gray @GrayinGlasgow
“FORMER British ambassador turned independence campaigner Craig Murray will face contempt of court charges on October 22 and 23, judges have concluded.
“A virtual hearing today decided to continue the case until late October, following legal submissions made by representatives of the Crown and Murray.”
Help us protect free speech in Scotland
The National Secular Society
“All citizens have a responsibility to challenge prejudice in order to ensure Scotland is an inclusive and respectful society. However, criminalising speech is a draconian and ultimately counterproductive means of achieving that aim.
“The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill was introduced in Scottish parliament in April. According to the Scottish government, the bill provides for the “modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland”.
Leave EU campaign vows to […target] Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand election
Jonathon Read | The New European | 07 July 2020, 12:32
“Arron Banks’ Leave.EU campaigners are reportedly planning to assist New Zealand’s First Party in its upcoming elections, claiming its leader is like a “more seasoned version of Farage.
“Now the Telegraph reports that Banks’ Leave.EU campaign is advising Winston Peters’ New Zealand party on its social media campaign, claiming that the pro-Commonwealth politician is like a “more seasoned version of Farage”.
We are going to court – Peoples AS30
An action by @MartinJKeatings
“The Peoples Action on Section 30, however, gives a good plan and for reference, I am going to refer to it as ‘Plan A+’
“Why am I calling it that? Simple! Because it is a referendum BEFORE the end of the parliamentary term AS PROMISED by the SNP.”
Fresh scrutiny poured on government’s PPE procurement
by Henry Goodwin July 6, 2020 – The London Economic
“The more we scratch the surface about the PPE contracts awarded by the government, the more serious questions that arise.
“The government is facing a string of legal challenges after it awarded multimillion pound contracts for PPE to a number of obscure companies – including a sweet wholesaler and a ‘family office’ owned through an offshore holding firm.”
I Need A Craig Murray
6 Jul, 2020 by craig Murray
“I tried to do a public service in making available to everybody key facts from the Julian Assange extradition hearing and the Alex Salmond trial, which revealed a picture very different from that portrayed in the mainstream media. I find myself wishing now I had somebody to perform the same service for me.”
“Our most extra-specially alert readers may have recently noticed […] some dodgy chancer claiming that a recent opinion poll by Survation showed high support for a pro-independence list party led by Alex Salmond.
“Unfortunately, no such poll existed. But it seemed worth asking the question for real.”
The newly-deleted web page that seems to exonerate Long-Bailey and Peake
By SKWAWKBOX – 05/07/2020
‘Israeli Tactical School’ site offered ‘law enforcement’ training it claimed is carried out by ex-Israeli security services personnel – “based on the curriculum of Israeli security forces and special units”.
“If the SNP win 74 seats based on an unequivocal call for #indyref2, and there is a pro-independence majority of 37, how can the UK Government possibly turn down a section 30 request?” [Paul Hutcheon]
Even by the intellectual standards of the Scottish media, this is a stupid question: But just to be helpful, we’ll answer it: by a majority of more than 500 votes.
The Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Democratic Ulster Unionist parties in the UK Parliament are all explicitly opposed to a second independence referendum. Between them they hold 586 of the 650 seats in the Commons.
Trump is on his way out
The London Economic | Jack Peat | 1 July 2020
” . . . and so is Johnson’s hopes of a US UK trade deal. Biden is no Brexiter, and with a global pandemic, economic downturn and social upheaval to deal with – it will drop to the bottom of his priority list.”
The indivisible kingdom
Posted on July 04, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“To mark the occasion of England lifting lockdown restrictions on pubs and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic (even with daily deaths still lingering around the 150 mark, three times the toll of the 7/7 bombings), we commissioned another Panelbase poll, touching on various border-related subjects, with samples of around 1000 people in both Scotland and England. And the first finding was an astonishing one.”
Neil Oliver must now go from NTS role over David Starkey race row
The National – July 3 2020
“NEIL Oliver has surely put paid to any lingering doubts over his suitability or unsuitability to act as the public face of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). By appearing to support the xenophobic and racist views of the self-appointed imperialist historian David Starkey.”
‘The lockdown is causing so many deaths’
Dr Malcolm Kendrick on the disastrous response to Covid-19: 26 June 2020
“Few would disagree that the UK’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been a shambles. We are now in the 14th week of a three-week lockdown and excess deaths are among the highest in Europe. But while the received wisdom is that lives could only have been saved by locking down harder, earlier and for longer, the benefits of lockdown remain unproven, while the costs of lockdown are starting to mount.”
The trail of breadcrumbs
Posted on July 02, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new World Speed-Reading Champion:
“Almost 1200 words in 15 seconds is mighty impressive going in anyone’s book. (Either that or it’s REALLY slow for a 12-word tweet.) But we wondered if there might be any other reason why Mrs Angus Robertson wouldn’t want people reading that article.”
Court of Session today: “Magna Carta has no force of law in Scotland; it is an English document, & at the time of its execution, 1215, England was an independent country from Scotland.” Good that while Downing Street is constitutionally illiterate, Scotland’s top judges aren’t.— Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow) July 2, 2020
SNP MP calls for ‘Plan B’
The New European | Jonathon Read | 26 June 2020
“SNP MP Joanna Cherry has called for a debate within the party on achieving an alternative route to Scottish independence if Boris Johnson continues to refuse a second vote.”
“I’ve tried to give Keir Starmer the benefit of the doubt as Labour leader, but his absurd decision to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey over an article she shared on Twitter is not just profoundly hypocritical, it’s strategically inept too.
“The stated justification for the sacking is that the article supposedly contained an antisemitic conspiracy, but what it actually contained was a criticism of Israeli brutality.”
“The Labour leader said the UK is on the verge of an economic crisis and said independence is the wrong move.”
Truly Shameful BBC Israeli Propaganda
25 Jun, 2020 by Craig Murray
“In a genuinely outrageous piece of victim blaming, BBC News just blamed Palestinian intransigence in refusing to accept Israeli annexation of the West Bank for the deaths of Palestinian children caused by the Israeli blockade of medical supplies to Gaza”
What is Known as Parklife
Posted on June 24, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“Scotland has belatedly begun to meaningfully diverge from English policy, but since London is refusing to maintain the furlough schemes for the other three UK nations it remains to be seen how long that divergence can be sustained. People can’t survive without income.”
Rowling’s Publishers Choose Rowling
June 23 2020
“A literary agency lucky enough to have JK Rowling on its books probably cares little about the departure this week of four largely unknown authors.”
The justice of blindness
Posted on June 23, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell
“The ramifications for Scottish politics of the failed stitch-up of Alex Salmond over false allegations of sexual abuse have hardly begun to be felt.