Alex Salmond, his trial will never end

And so it begins, AGAIN. The Scottish Times today are back on the Alex Salmond story, as are a few other papers, due to the impending BBC documentary next Monday evening. According to the Times 49% of SNP voters are now against Alex Salmond, I wonder where they got their figures, must have been speaking to an awful lot of unionists pretending to be SNP voters as most people I know are very supportive of Alex Salmond.

Alex Salmond was found INNOCENT of all charges and one not proven, a jury of mostly women found the evidence of the prosecution and prosecution witnesses to be unworthy of a guilty verdict in any of the charges, in normal circumstances that would be the end of it but not if you’re Alex Salmond, his trial will never end if certain people in the SNP, most of the media, and the unionists have anything to do with it. They are determined to destroy the man who very nearly brought Scotland to independence and they fear him even more today.

The BBC are billing their documentary as – In this one-hour programme for BBC Two, Kirsty Wark examines Alex Salmond’s trial and the accounts from his supporters, colleagues, accusers and critics. I am not planning on watching it as I don’t really watch anything by the BBC and especially Kirsty ‘Labour’ Wark but it will be interesting to hear what others think of it if they do watch it. According to the Times and the Daily Record Wark interviews some of the anonymous women at the centre of the trial and the Record say that she also interviews First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

There is no question that this is a continuing hatched job on Alex Salmond, for a group of ANONYMOUS accusers it seems very easy for the BBC and others to get interviews with these people yet we are not allowed to know who they are, even though a jury didn’t believe anything they said in court they get yet another day in the public domain. How many public statements can an anonymous person make before the conduct of making those statements questions that right to anonymity while the accused has to face this trial every day for the rest of their lives. I really do believe that many people in the SNP fear any sort of return to politics for Alex Salmond and especially with another party as the elections next year come around, the unionists fear him because of what he brings to the debate, they fear his appeal to many in the yes community, they fear his intelligence, and they fear him because he is not afraid, he won’t bow down, they can’t beat him so they will destroy him if they can.

What does this say about Scotland, the British establishment, about the SNP? The public only know one side of the story really as the media decided to pretty much not cover any of the defence during the trial and I don’t believe this programme by the BBC will be any different. I don’t know many of the details that were put out there during the trial because I chose to follow very little of the unionist media coverage of it and followed Craig Murray near the end of the trial but either way if there is one thing that we do know, for Alex Salmond his trial will never be over and that is just wrong.

Maybe it’s getting real?

The Times Scotland published a poll today that puts independence on 53%, Nicola Sturgeon on a +45 approval rating, and the SNP winning 74 seats in next years Holyrood elections if the momentum can be maintained. Maybe it is getting real now and we need to keep the pressure on the unionists. It will be interesting to see which way Westminster goes as polls continue to show that people’s opinion on independence appear to be changing consistently. Will Westminster try to bribe Scottish voters or will they go full colonist with more fear, more responsibilities removed, more threats, I would personally go with the later but when rags like the Times have to report this kind of news, you know times are a changing slowly but surely. This poll is also in spite of the exams issue and the non stop negative press Scotland receives on a daily basis. We can expect a wave of Swinney must go over the next 24 hours and then it will be back to mega too wee, too poor, and too stupid with the trolls out on social media in force.

It was only last Friday that the Express was telling us that Boris Johnson had sent the SNP and the Scottish Government into a panic as Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak descended on Scotland to remind us how really rubbish Scotland would be without the generosity and kindness of the English Government or we would be a starving third world colony. The funny thing is when Johnson goes all better together, pooling and sharing, security, the economy, our family ties, culture, he is actually going against every argument he used in his Brexit campaign, talk about between a rock and a hard place lol. Surely it has to be getting clearer to the English Government in Westminster that they do not represent Scotland, they never have and never will. They can send as many posh Tories from London as they want the fault lines are becoming clearer every day, we do not want you and we do not need you. This isn’t the 1950’s now when it was a two party state in Scotland. Labour and the Tories don’t have anything to offer anymore do they, there is a serious democratic deficit in the UK, there always was and the empty promises of reform during 2014 just don’t wash anymore do they. Scotland has no say in the UK all that much and that is why the EU is so attractive to Scotland and of course the independence argument is helped by the current wave of English exceptionalism that becomes more right wing by the day, just look at the yougov poll on immigrants yesterday and you can see that Scotland and England have less and less in common each day but that’s not to say that Scotland doesn’t have its own right wing ignorant enthusiasts also.

Either way though this poll does show that we are heading in the right direction and also shows that the Scottish Government and the SNP need to be on the ball with good governance, we might not know how we are going to get indy2 but we are scaring the unionists and now is the time to keep the pressure on, not to stop holding the SNP to account in any way but by supporting them next year in as large numbers as we can muster.

 

 

Deluded beyond belief

Boris Johnson was at a school yesterday and made a rather bizarre statement, well bizarre by his standards, now why this comment would come up in a school is beyond me but basically he said that people abroad don’t see Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they see great British diplomacy (yeah he really said that), they see the great British armed services, British science and technology, British arts and how much we are loved and admired around the world.

He went on to say that the Union is the greatest political achievement ever. Where do you start with this garbage. The people who admire the UK I imagine come from dictatorships, communist countries and places like Saudi Arabia, no one else in their right mind can admire anything about the United Kingdom. The so called greatest political union was a take over against the wishes of the people of Scotland, the country was annexed by red coats, there were riots in the streets and insurrection for years after it until the country was just tired beyond belief and the wealthy had sold out it’s own people, yeah the history of Scotland as it still goes on today.

Unionists really are getting desperate because they know that at the very least 45% of us are not going away, we are not going to be bought and sold for English debt any more, that we are never giving up on the return of all sovereignty to Scotland no matter how long it takes. Our days of bowing and scraping to the English Government are over for many of us and they are not going to return. I don’t even doubt any more that we are going to have get down and dirty, we are going to have to use every peaceful means at our disposal, even when violence is used against us. We are going to have to take back our sovereignty and we will, I hope in my life time but as long as we stand fast it can happen.

I have had enough of the shit that comes out of the unionists mouths, I have had enough of the shit that is spouted by the so called Scots who are nothing more than unionist slaves, I have had enough of the unfairness and the greed that is the mantra of the English Government. I have had enough of the theft of our taxes to off shore companies associated with unionists and done right before our very eyes. It’s bad enough that Scotland was colonised by the English in all but name but the apathy of the voters in England to what is happening to this so called union is an embarrassment to say the least, I am ashamed to be called British, I’m ashamed of the so called Scottish unionists, I am ashamed of the lack of democracy in this posh peoples play ground.

The United Kingdom can go (you fill in the gap) because I really don’t want to swear any more in this blog post. I have had the good fortune to have lived abroad and people either didn’t know where Scotland is or they love us, but in the main Scotland is respected and Great Britain derided, esp in America. When I travel abroad even now and you speak to people the English are despised by pretty much everyone, esp in Europe. Johnson is deluded beyond belief.

You YES yet?

Bad advice and too many poor decisions?

I heard Alex Neil on the radio this morning saying that John Swinney, Scottish Education Secretary, will make an announcement on Tuesday regarding the exam result fiasco that has been all over the news for the past five days. John Swinney also faces a vote of no confidence in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday also in relation to this issue and other perceived failures in Scottish Education.

John Swinney has said “ I have heard the anger of students who feel their hard work has been taken away from them and I am determined to address it”. Now the opposition calling for a vote of no confidence and basically for John Swinney to resign is pathetic, I am just surprised it wasn’t Willie Rennie calling for his head on a platter. I don’t go with the resign thing at all in most cases and very rarely in this blog call for anyone to go but this issue does call into question for myself where the hell are the SNP getting their advice the last few years because all of this could have been avoided with a bit of common sense.

The save England from itself Brexit policy, Gender Reform Act, the Hate Bill, Leslie Evans and the Alex Salmond affair, the exam results, the General Election strategy, the James Dornan and Joanna Cherry issues. The list goes on and it does raise serious questions for the membership of the SNP and it’s leadership. I have seen Alyn Smith MSP banging on about the make up of the SNP National Executive Committee but its too little too late and does anyone think he would have opened his mouth without the Wings Over Scotland articles and the membership/yes community getting very vocally angry about the party on line and in email, I don’t.

Independence is as close as it has ever been in my lifetime in relation to it’s popularity if not the process of actually achieving it. However, you have to wonder sometimes if the conspiracy theorists on social media are on to something about the SNP being infiltrated by unionists, many believe it to be those who defected from Scottish Labour and have managed to work themselves into the decision making process within the party, throw in the woke youth wing and you have the perfect storm happening right before your very eyes.

The SNP are losing members and losing votes, that appears clear now if social media is anything to go by. Next year really is a major one for the party and I really hope that they get the manifesto right, the language right, the campaign right. They have got to talk to their members and the wider yes community, anything less will be a failure on their part and will undermine, even destroy, all of the hard work over the last 6 years in getting independence to where it is now. If they stick to the same advice they have been receiving over the last few years then we could be looking at a disaster and independence being a longer battle than it need be.

I will vote SNP in the constituency next year for sure but it might be the last time if they blow it and let us all down again, they are on notice and they should not doubt that. I know many people who are of the same mind as myself now, next year is crucial for independence but it is also crucial for the SNP because if they think for one minute that the wider yes community is just going to keep too many of them in cushy jobs and nice life styles for the longer term they are in for a rude awakening. I don’t like writing blogs that are overly critical of the Scottish Government because I so want it, and the SNP, to succeed, but I also don’t consider myself to be an idiot, maybe not the most well informed voter out there or any great political theorist that’s for sure but I am not in the business of supporting that cushy life for politicians either who don’t act on what the wider population ask for.

I just hope the SNP have a serious look at where they get their advice before its too late. Abandon the Hate Bill, GRA, be honest and transparent on the Alex Salmond enquiry, don’t throw it all away because if they do, they are a Scottish Labour waiting to happen.

Something Different: Worth a Read

It’s not often that decent political fiction based around Scottish Politics comes along but I have just read a trilogy of books by Richard Drysdale that I found, overall, were well worth a read and a fun read at that.

Book One: State of Emergency.

“State of Emergency” is a political thriller set in Scotland in the future. The independence referendum is about to be won when the Westminster Government decides to prevent it by declaring a State of Emergency and imposing Direct Rule. The plot centres around how Scotland reacts and how the UK government deals with the reaction. It is an action packed thriller that examines themes such as the use and abuse of power, the surveillance state, loyalty and betrayal and relationships at a time of deep national crisis. It is set in London, Edinburgh, Fife and Skye. The book sets out to provoke debate and thought about issues central to Scotland’s future.

The book is 255 pages in length so it really is a two nights book for me and follows the exploits of various Scottish political figures as the country moves towards independence and the lengths that the UK (England) will go to prevent this state of affairs. Book one will hold your interest pretty well but more could have fleshed out the process and workings of moving to independence, the process to stop it, and character development but it is a decent read. My biggest gripe is the sudden ending of the story, it wraps up too quickly.

Book Two: State of Crisis.

‘State of Crisis’ is the sequel to ‘State of Emergency’ and is another political thriller set in Scotland in the future. The narrative is a continuation of ‘SoE’ and most of the characters are the same.

I found book two a bit more far fetched but the use of Scots more accessible this time and not so much over the top. The narrative continues well with the main unionist characters plotting their schemes and the rUK making their initial moves to ensure that Scotland does not have an easy time of things. Again well worth a read and I got through this book very quickly and did enjoy it and wanted to read book three.

 

Book Three: State of Occupation.

State of Occupation is the final book in the State trilogy and is a political thriller set in Scotland, London and California.

The final book in the trilogy and the one I probably enjoyed the most even if some parts were a little too far fetched, the writing is better and the story developed a bit more. The story takes a bit more time in development as it goes along and the characters flourish a bit more along the way. Again there could have been more time spent on the politics rather than some other aspects of the story but if you like a read and enjoy some political fiction then I would give these books a go and enjoy the ride.

Overall I am glad I read them, they were fun but not perfect, the story could have been developed more and the political process explained better but well worth the hours.

It will look like a cover up

If true this will raise fears of a cover up that will haunt the SNP and the Scottish Government for a long time to come.

The Scottish Government have said that the administration will cite legal privilege as the reason why some material will not be disclosed to the up and coming enquiry. The Scottish Government said previously there would be an open and transparent process in the enquiry into the Alex Salmond affair but now “The Scottish Government asserts its privilege over all communications it holds about or in relation to legal advice to the Scottish Government and litigation involving the Scottish Government, a spokesman noted:

“That is not to say that the Scottish Government will not give a full account of its legal position at various points, just that, in accordance with usual practice, it will not disclose the internal processes of taking and receiving advice or the scope and nature of any requests for legal advice or any legal advice provided.”

However it seems this maybe does not have to be the case at all as the Scottish Ministerial Code makes clear that legal advice can be published: “If, in exceptional circumstances, Ministers feel that the balance of public interest lies in disclosing either the source or the contents of legal advice on a particular matter, the Law Officers must be consulted and their prior consent obtained. It also appears that the submission has many redacted pages that will also fuel the conspiracy theorists.

It also appears that all information from the judicial review, which cost £500,000, will be with held from the committee looking into this whole affair. Court papers can’t be disclosed if they are not already in the public domain which I suppose is fair enough. It doesn’t look good though and will just fuel the rumours on top of things like Craig Murray being prosecuted but unionist journalists not being touched who as shown on Wings Over Scotland reported far more about the case than the likes of Craig Murray.

The Scottish Government, or any UK Government, don’t usually release legal advice as a matter of course but this case is an exceptional one to say the least and I would argue that this is in the public interest on this occasion. With the continued vilification of Alex Salmond, even though he was found innocent of all charges, this decision will be difficult to stomach for many and I can see why that would be the case. I hope common sense prevails in the end and the public can get the truth, anything less just means that the Scottish Parliament appears no different from the UK one at the end of the day and that will damage the cause of independence in my opinion.

Closing Down Sale

Christine Berry has a really interesting article in the Guardian regarding the UK’s debt crisis that is on the way. This came to mind as I was listening to Radio Scotland (I know) this morning and they had some Tory on spouting the usual unchallenged crap like an independent Scotland would not have been able to financially manage the Covid crisis, Scotland won’t get into the EU because it’s deficit is too big, the usual scare stories but as usual no real challenge to that narrative at all. Where did BBC Scotland Journalists go for journalism training a Greggs training scheme. But anyway it did get me pissed off and thinking and I remembered the article I read yesterday.

Around 6 billion pounds in personal debt has been racked up since April in the UK by around 4.5 million people with total personal debt in the UK at around 1,680 Billion pounds and a UK national debt of 1.9 TRILLION and the Scottish Tories persist with the too wee too poor narrative and BBC Scotland does not challenge this at all. The UK is sitting on top of an economic, financial and employment crisis we have never seen in our lifetimes, this will eclipse the 1980’s and every part of the economy will be affected.

The UK is in the midst of the biggest shock to economic activity that it has experienced for hundreds of years. Forecasts for the path of GDP vary, but all are terrible. The Bank of England is expecting the economy to shrink by 25 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 (and a contraction of 14 per cent for the year as a whole).1 The Office for Budget Responsibility is expecting a 35 per cent GDP fall in the second quarter.

The job retention scheme ends in October and it’s expected that many businesses will either downsize or close completely, hundreds of thousands of people are about to find themselves looking to the state to support them via Universal credit but we know that UC is a joke, it doesn’t work, and with the damage the Tories have done to social services since 2010 the safety net is not there and we are looking at the perfect storm, I wonder how that Tory vote last December looks now. 1 in 3 people who have had to claim UC since April are reporting that they are now missing payments, have depleted any savings and are struggling. Currently there are 2.8 million people unemployed in the UK, this is not good at all and it is expected to rise by another million according to the Metro.

The UK has spent around 190 billion pounds supporting people and businesses during Covid – 19 compared to the 955 billion during the banking crisis so the SNP argument that the Government could be doing more is spot on but will they? It really is one rule for the bankers and a different rule for the rest of us, Owen Jones in 2014 said that “It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us in Britain”, that sums up life in Britain perfectly.

As I have blogged over the last few days now IS the time to be pushing the indepdence narrative, what we could have done differently, the lack of responsibilities in Holyrood that stop a Scottish solution compared to the far right narrative of the English Government and the Tory Party beholden to the wealthy. I accept that the some really rich people will have lost money during covid but many others will have gained as well and while we need business to create jobs at this time we also need them to pay their taxes, the impact on the poorest is always greater than the impact on the wealthy. We are in for stormy waters, we need to fight for indepdence more now than we ever have.

You yes yet?

Exam results based on class is wrong

Exam results were always going to be contentious this year due to the corona virus and the need for schools to close in March, there was always going to be controversy as teachers were asked to set pupils grade based on their learning within school but if it turns out that the SQA have marked nearly 150,000 pupils lower on the basis of where they live then that is wrong.

John Swinney the Education Secretary has said that the data “does not bear this out”. John also went on to say it was always accepted that there would be “questions” about the grading system that was introduced when exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. SQA allegedly based their results appraisal based on a system where its aim was to “ensure consistency across schools and colleges, and with results from previous years”. As part of the process, the SQA looked at each school’s previous history of estimating results and attainment. It developed a maximum and minimum pass rate for each course at every school based on the four-year average, but said it had built in flexibility to account for year on year changes(BBC).

University of Edinburgh Professor Lindsay Paterson has raised concerns regarding this system saying that this was unfair because it could mean “an outstanding student in an average school will be likely to have had their grades pulled down” (The Scotsman). It was never going to be easy to come up with a system that would please everyone, we all understand that but surely a system could have been agreed that would not have placed a young persons results based on what can only be perceived as their class, that cannot be acceptable in this day and age, it’s bad enough we live in a country built around class without the Scottish Government reinforcing it, even with their best intentions to be as fair as they could be. Surely if a teacher set the grade based on their knowledge and the evidence of the work of the pupil that should have been enough this year, trust teachers professional judgement or are we saying our teachers are not professional enough to assess where a pupil is academically.

This is another own goal by the current Scottish Government when it maybe didn’t have to be.

The Union has never been Weaker

There have been a series of polls that I have found interesting this past week or so and I think they show that the times are a changing and for the union, negatively in the main in the medium to longer term. The last few days we have seen part time referee, part time MP Douglas Ross of the Conservative Party say he intends to stand as Branch Manager of the Scottish Tories, with soon to be imposed House of Lords place mat Ruth Davidson helping him or something.

The narrative they are pushing is the strength of the union, pooling and sharing, evil nationalists, the economy, reform, blah blah blah. The bedrock of the union has always been the so called strength of the economy, the Royal Family, the popularity of Boris Johnson, strong and stable government, and more unites us than separates us narrative.

It also seems that Ruth Davidson will take over at First Minister Questions for the time being, poor Annie Wells never had a chance after the night of the long knives, although the Tories deny this of course, the party with a history of stabbing their MPs in the front didn’t force Jackson Carlaw out, of course not. At least due to the media and the football media some people will know who Davidson and Ross are because they had no idea who Carlaw was.

 

Jackson Carlow as a recent poll showed was the least popular of the Scottish Party Leaders having a -32 approval rating, he was that bad that Richard ‘ no one knows me ‘ Leonard, branch manager of Labour in Scotland had a -24 approval rating. No one knows who Willie Rennie is of the Scottish Liberal Democrats is so they didn’t ask the question. Nicola Sturgeon by far the most popular leader with a +36 approval rating.

Boris Johnson doesn’t fair very well either from his adulation only 6 months ago with a net rating of -9. Johnson has led the UK for over a year now and it has been a disaster from start to finish. He unlawfully closed parliament, the UK is slowly but surely creeping towards a no deal Brexit that will damage Scotland beyond belief, and his handling of the coronavirus has resulted in the deaths of thousands, even his visit to Scotland was a typical fly in and fly out visit the Tories favour.

Most people across the UK (52%) believe that Scotland have handled the coronvirus better than England and that must really be annoying the unionists a great deal right now, all over England people believe the English Government have arsed this up big time. Another interesting poll showed that other bedrock of the union, the Windsors, are pretty much insignificant to the majority of the population (76%) of people taking little or no interest in anything they have to say. This disgraceful family only matter to the privileged and entitled as they reinforce class and the inflated ego’s they all have, the rest of us pretty much don’t give a crap what they think anymore, not that I ever have anyway. A majority of people (74%) also think that the relationship between Scotland and England is a lot worse now than it was five years ago, yes and long may it continue if it demonstrates that Scotland is a different country. With the growing sense of English Nationalism it can only weaken the so called union further and again I am all for it. The people of England in the main would not give a crap if Scotland left, it’s the entitled who are worried about their so called status on the world stage and our resources they want and badly need.

Boris Johnsons claim on his visit to not meet the people in Scotland that the union has never been stronger is all bullshit, the union has never been weaker than it is now. The UK is struggling to fund it’s 300 billion deficit due to Covid-19, 49% of English people want English independence, Brexit will plunge the UK into a recession that will make the great depression seem like a day at the park. The UK is on it’s knees.

The SNP will never have a better opportunity to take back our sovereignty. I really hope they can step up and don’t blow it.

Now the Backlash

What did the SNP think would happen when they have made decisions over the last few months that have just pushed some people to have had enough. GRA, the Hate Speech Bill, Named Persons. Brexit, Joanna Cherry, James Dornan and Alex Salmond. Throw in Curriculum for Excellence, Police Scotland, and all the good work is being thrown away. Prescriptions free at the point of need, home care, the green agenda, council tax freeze, carers top up, no redundancy policy 2010 to 2019, all progressive policies that helped cement the parties popularity in Scotland. Policies that showed good governance and all being thrown away in a matter of months as the party appears to have been hijacked by the woke club, former Scottish Labour and Labour student members by all account. These people destroyed Scottish Labour and now have their hooks in the SNP and the leadership appear blind to the disaster that awaits them. The surge in membership after 2014 was mainly women and young people, many now deciding to leave the party or are considering it after recent decisions.

Just look at and consider the views of supporters of the party here, the very people who put the leaflets through the doors, the people who go out in the rain, the ones who challenge the media and the unionist mantra. Kevin McKenna talks about what he calls the purge in the party and the Tories celebrating and being thankful today for the SNP National Executive and he is not wrong there. It’s difficult to not take a different view when the seat held by James Dornan is made a women’s only short list but not the seat that Angus Robertson hopes to be the candidate for in Edinburgh Central, what else are people supposed to think about all of this.

I live in hope that common sense will prevail, we need the SNP, we need a focussed SNP, a well led SNP. We need to keep the unionists out of Holyrood and we need to keep moving towards independence and the SNP better be taking note today of the growing volume of voices who have had enough of the woke crowd infecting the party, please SNP don’t blow it now there is too much at stake. I will continue to vote SNP in my constituency, even with my nose pinched, I will encourage people to still vote SNP in their constituency and consider ISP for the list and I would encourage those that don’t want to vote SNP on the list to agree to go for ISP so we do not split the vote too much on the list and it backfires but to the SNP, I think you are on notice now and you really need to listen.