In response to what next? My realisation!

In response to what next? Iain Lawson wrote a very sobering blog yesterday what next that just made me consider how I have been feeling about where we are right now in Scotland, and how I feel about independence in general. Ian captures very well where we currently find ourselves in the UK and Scotland, the many crisis we face, the potential, but likely, devastating impact that this will have in every aspect of our lives and in our communities in the months and maybe years ahead, and what is coming down the road right now. Sobering reading indeed doesn’t even describe it.

It is going to change society. The only question to answer is how will that change manifest itself? (Iain Lawson, Yours for Scotland)

Current UK polling has Labour on 39%, the Conservatives on 35%, the SNP on 4%, and the Liberal Democrats on 12% with support for Scottish independence sitting at around 47%. But the simple fact is if these parties are the answer then we are still not asking the right questions and the future is a bleak as Iain suggests.

Now I accept that there are fighters out there like Barrhead Boy who are more optimistic for the future, who are energised by the commitment and desire of some in the wider independence movement, in new media, and in many ways both Iain and Roddy are correct in their own way.

This is historic political failure, for decades our oil and gas resources enriched our neighbour rather than ourselves. That is how you end up with more oil and gas jobs in England rather than Scotland. Our renewables are going the same way, the new cable based in Blyth will export Scottish renewable energy, not anywhere in Scotland. We will have no control as England exports whatever energy they don’t just use themselves. (Iain Lawson, Yours for Scotland)

I freely admit I have less faith in people than most, my glass, maybe as a result of life experience and growing up in the 80’s, tends to be half empty rather than half full, I accept that this is who I am and while I feel I have changed in the last year in many positive ways one area I have not changed in is my view on our journey towards independence. That journey in the aftermath of 2014 felt potentially shorter, that there was optimism as people had had their eyes opened, their minds switched back on, their passion awakened. I learned a lot during the referendum campaign and like many others was determined to keep fighting the unionists at every turn, to be honest that hasn’t changed, but what I feel will happen in the medium term has.

I really do not believe there will be a referendum in 2023, even if there were one I think we would lose it anyway, actually if I were the unionists I would hold a referendum in January 2023, in the midst of winter, and kill off independence for the next 50 years at least, they won’t of course, they like the SNP Government don’t have the guts.

We had the opportunity in 2014. For the first time in my lifetime Scots woke up. They voted for Independence, however the lack of a proper franchise, a franchise that would have operated in virtually every other country in Europe, sufficient non Scots who the Edinburgh University study evidenced voted overwhelmingly no, particularly those originating in the rest of the UK, and they were sufficient, when added to the minority of Scots who voted no, to deny us freedom. Iain Lawson Yours for Scotland)

I believe in Scottish independence, in self determination. I believe, in the main, Scotland is a distinct nation separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, and accordingly it should control all aspects of its full political authority as an independent sovereign nation state. The reality I wake up to every day is sadly very different. We are a colony in all but name, we are governed by entitled and stupid people in the main at both UK and Scottish levels. Voters across Scotland, in far too high numbers, refuse to accept what they see in front of them, and as Iain describes I think, seem to have their heads buried in the sand for what is coming down the road when support for independence still sits at 47%.

Over the last few years it has become increasingly obvious that us Scots are our own worst enemies, too many suffer at the hands of one of cruellest Governments in my life time at UK level and one of the most inept Scottish Governments since 1999 and devolution. Things are bad as they have ever been and are on course to be much worse than even Thatcher could dream up in her best moments of political destruction and madness yet too many put their faith in a charlatan First Minister and an SNP that appears to have lost it’s way on virtually every front while abandoning party democracy at every turn while most of it’s membership ignore what is front of them and those who left to join Alba for a variety of reasons are now treated lower than the worst right wing Unionists, even the DUP get better treatment from the SNP and it’s membership.

This has led me to the conclusion that I just won’t see independence in my lifetime, it won’t stop me fighting for it and this blog being my main way of getting my opinion out there and doing what I can to call out the unionists of all party colours while hopefully encouraging any one who reads the blog to get the facts for themselves. The best I now hope for, and what I believe is vital and noted last week, is that in the meantime we can get back to good governance. We have got to get the very basics right, even more so now, things like the bins being emptied, the pot holes filled, education standards improving, health waiting lists coming down, community services and facilities open, the grass cut. The bread and butter issues that people see on a daily basis are the key to independence for myself in so many ways. Gender reform, ending free speech, persecuting those you disagree with or want to keep out of politics is the politics of the play ground and has no place in Scotland right now when we can’t fill a pot hole or empty a bin.

The SNP need to replace Sturgeon, or we do as voters as quickly as possible and we need to start again at the local level to get things right as I have said. So while the dream still lives on the expectation has taken a step back and sometimes we have to do that to take two or three forward.

 

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Toilet Stains of the worst kind

Some toilet stains even vanish can’t shift – MPs rejected a wind fall tax on energy companies by 310 votes to 248, and not one Tory MP backed it. Surprise surprise, scumbag Tory MP’s voted against a windfall tax that could have raised billions and provided a £600 cut in energy costs for the poor people. We all know that the prices of food are eye watering right now, all of our bills are going up daily, and inflation set to hit 10% in the next couple of months. Chancellor Rishi Sunak hinted the government could perform a U-turn in future, however, as he said “no option is off the table”, yeah I bet it is.

The cold facts

  • 3.16 million – The official number of households in fuel poverty in 2019 according to the latest definition
  • 6.32 million – The estimated total number of households now predicted to be in fuel poverty due to the latest price cap rise from 1 April 2022. This could rise to 8.5 million by the end of 2022.
  • 2.5 million – The number of additional households with children expected to be in fuel poverty from 1 April 2022.
  • c.11,400 – Winter deaths caused by cold homes (NEA).

How much have food prices gone up?

According to the Food Foundation, prices have risen 5.1 percent on average in the 12 months to February 2022.

The foundation says food prices have risen in all categories, the highest increase of 6.7 percent has been in oils and fats and then fruits at 6.2 percent.

Milk, cheese and eggs have risen by 6.1 percent, and meat has risen by 5.2 percent.

Ed Miliband Labour MP said during the debate that “Every Conservative MP who voted against the windfall tax tonight has condemned millions of families to misery and anxiety as they struggle to pay their energy bills.

“Tonight a message has been sent by the Government that they will do everything they can to protect the oil and gas companies, and refuse to act to protect families; it says everything you need to know about where the Tories stand.

I think my wording would have been stronger but we all know that in the toilet that is Westminster MP’s are not allowed to say a bad word. However the toilet stain Tories do have an answer to this crisis though,

This would save most working people less than £100 pounds per year, £175 if you are earning £30,000 a year which the toilet stains seem to think everyone earns in the UK. However as is always the case with the scumbag Tories there is a major catch.

You still end up paying more and more and more

 

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “The Chancellor has managed to announce tax cuts without reducing the planned tax take from previous plans.

“The cuts to income tax and National Insurance are effectively paid for by increasing revenues as a result of fiscal drag.

“The freezing of the income tax personal allowance and higher rate threshold turn out to be much bigger tax rises than first intended.

The result of the spring statement was that we will all be paying more in taxes, this will allow us to pay for all the dodgy Covid contracts that went to Tory Party friends during the pandemic, it will allow us to protect share holders who make money from our poverty, and it will do nothing for anyone who relies on social security to avoid starvation, they get to die to get the costs down to look after them in caring sharing Britain.

It’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us in Britain (Owen Jones).

This Tory Government are SCUM, end of, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of the language I am using today, they are shit bags and the opposition in all of the other parties are cowards and shit bags too for their absolute lack of ideas and balls to really take the toilet stains on.

The lack of action on independence is depressing, the lack of an actual socialist in the Labour Party is even depressing, I used to say that Scots wouldn’t support independence until they are starving in the streets, well obviously I got that one wrong too.

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Bits and Pieces Monday 16th May 2022

A step in the right direction – Only 45% of Scots want to retain the Windsors as the Head of State, for myself that is a positive step forward. This survey also found that only 48% of people in Scotland are interested in the jubilee this year, compared to 73% of people in Wales and 66% across England. 25% of people associated the butchers apron (union Flag) with racism and extremism. I have always despised everything that the Windsor’s represent in the UK. They represent privilege, elitism, the establishment, the whole show is designed to remind us who we are and where we sit in this country, it’s designed to keep you in your place and nothing I have ever found any pride in. So while many in England and Wales celebrate Elizabeth Windsor this year I will not be with them in any shape or form, the sooner Scotland is a republic the better.

How long does it take? Allegedly Peter Murrell refused Police Scotland a look at the SNP accounts, really. How long is this farce going to take, it’s not as if we are talking multi national company here, we are talking a small political party.

Sean Clerkin, the ­campaigner who made the first formal ­complaint, said: “It seems clear to me that this was money that people were told would be used to fight a referendum campaign and it was spent on other things.

“The police need to step up this investigation. It seems like a relatively straightforward case to decide whether any criminal charges are required.

“What they have told me is that the investigation is very much active and that it has been given the code name Branchform.

The Daily Rancid (Record) are reporting that Senior officers at Police Scotland are reported to believe the complaints have some substance and that ­criminality may have occurred.

But Surprise Surprise

Crown Office ­officials are rumoured to have argued that all spending by the party ultimately supports the aim of independence, and that a crime is unlikely to have occurred. Interesting indeed as it can’t be both and let’s be honest here, does anyone believe that this money was spent on independence, I don’t, proving it wasn’t may not be easy but either way this has dragged on long enough now. Given what we have seen the last few years from the Crown Office, do you trust them either, I don’t, my trust in the Procurator Fiscal Office in General and the Courts in Scotland has been destroyed by Sturgeon and the Scottish Government.

Git tae F –  Apparently Scottish Independence is a national security threat to the United States & NATO. In becoming independent, Scotland would paralyze the nuclear defensive stance of the UK for at least five to ten years, blowing a huge hole into NATO’s defensive posture at a time when the alliance is tested unlike any since the end of the Cold War. Independence would also hamper Scotland’s ability to help mitigate the energy crisis, and would adversely affect Europe’s long-term energy security. Scotland is potentially home to one of the biggest potential net surpluses in energy, especially in renewables. (The National Interest)

What is it with America and certain Americans that they think they can just dictate to the rest of the world. It was bad enough that Obama felt that he could warn Scots against fighting for their own democratic status in 2014, can you imagine an independent Scotland telling the USA that it could not become independent and must remain a colony of England, yeah right. So my message to any Americans trying to denounce Scotland’s right to choose based on their own selfish and disgusting colonial interests, Git Tae F and go do one.

They are all at it – So the Labour Party have been caught fixing a selection candidates list to put in place candidates sanctioned by the leadership. So all the party officers in Wakefield resigned in protest at this and good on them. Does this sound familiar Wakefield Constituency Labour Party (CLP) secretary Paul Jowett accused national officials of riding roughshod over party rules governing the selection process and of blocking the party’s online communications system, preventing constituency officials from contacting local members. Does this ring a bell? Think SNP / Candidate selection / NEC ring a bell.

No wonder people leave political parties or just don’t join anymore, they are all at it and it clearly demonstrates that democracy and political parties don’t go anymore. Becoming an MP is now a career choice for the approved and why the UK, and Scotland, has such crap idiotic politicians in the main.

 

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The National Disgrace

This national disgrace warrants a resignation and it should be the First Minister – I won’t pretend to know as much about this disaster as Yours For Scotland but I know that the more that comes out about this national shame the more I feel that the buck stops at the top and the person at the top should do the right thing and go, but she won’t because Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t do shame, or responsibility, she does do blame well though. The Herald have more on this story today and the damage this does to the cause of independence is immeasurable, let alone the cost to the Scottish tax payer at a time when every penny is a prisoner.

A SPIRALLING catalogue of faults with the two vessels at the centre of Scotland’s ferry fiasco under the stewardship of minister-controlled Ferguson Marine has prompted serious shipyard concerns over whether they will ever see service.

It appears there are safety faults that could result in the Ferries never ever taking to the water, this on top of Management and Ministerial failures from start to now just add to this on-going disaster. The nationalised Ferguson Marine has told Audit Scotland that if multiple issues with the vessels are not resolved “there is a risk CMAL “will not accept the completed vessels”.

Read the full story here without the pay wall and it is just unbelievable when you think what forced other First Ministers out of office and you look at the record of the First Minister. I don’t usually call for people to resign but this is a scandal on top of too many other scandals that are plaquing this SNP Government. They have been in power too long and while we are stuck with them until at least 2026, because let’s be honest there ain’t going to be no referendum, there needs to be serious change within the Scottish Government. I appreciate the SNP are not exactly filled with big hitters with brains but we cannot go on with this level of incompetence much longer before we are begging the English Parliament at Westminster to save us all from the SNP.

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Comment: It stinks of incompetence and cover up

From Salmond to Inde Ref what is she hiding?  Another story emerges regarding the lack of information that comes out of the Scottish Government, why am I not surprised. It appears that Nicola Sturgeon and other Government Ministers have not been making public their public engagements, their travel representing Scotland, any gifts received. During the Alex Salmond case we all got frustrated at the actions of the SNP Scottish Government in refusing to hand over information or it was so redacted to make it meaningless, no notes taken at meetings with lawyers and who was there, all with the protection of the courts on top, of course we shouldn’t also forget that this policy didn’t extend to Alex Salmond whose charges were leaked by someone in Nicola Sturgeons office just minutes before Alex Salmond was to seek protection from the claims until the case was formal.

Something stinks at the heart of the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government have used data protection to hide bullying claims against Fergus Ewing, we know that there are now missing documents, unrecorded meetings, redacted emails in the on-going ferries shambles. All governments abuse data, although I can’t think of many First Minister’s who forget as much as Nicola Sturgeon or hangs out people to dry like Joanna Cherry and Derek MacKay, but this is a party that has slowly but surely become authoritarian to the extent that they have now earned the tartan Tory nickname. An SNP Government happy to use laws from Tory Pritti Patel to curb free speech and demonstrations outside Holyrood.

I know some people have accused me of becoming anti-SNP anti-Nicola Sturgeon, and I am I admit it, but it is the same as I am anti-Boris Johnson/Tory, anti-Starmer/Labour, I cannot stand the shocking level of governance and opposition that we have in Scotland and in the crappy UK. It beggars belief that the standards of politician we have to endure now have fallen so badly since the 80’s, the Tories were still scum bags under Thatcher but at least you could argue they were not light weights, horrible people yes, but not light weights. What we have now are light weights, clueless, woke incompetents pretty much across the spectrum and in Scotland right now, wither people like it or not in this blog that is my opinion, that includes Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. From the hope of 2007 to the depression and abject failure of 2022 that is Sturgeon and the SNP Government and this hiding of information, losing information, forgetting information, just all smacks of lies, cover up, and incompetence at a level that would get anyone else sacked.

Nicola Sturgeon, no matter what the sheeple or the bought and paid for media want to ignore, is a serious mistake that is getting worse by the day in my opinion. If we are to move forward as a country then our level of governance has to drastically improve, transparency and honesty has to improve, that won’t happen under Sturgeon and the SNP and likewise Johnson and the Tories, they both have to go because both Governments stink to high water with corruption and incompetence.

 

 

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Some People are Just

Assholes –  I appreciate most of you will have seen this headline already this week but it just really grates on me full stop. Tory scumbag MP Lee Anderson claimed that “the UK has no “massive use for food banks” and that people use them because they “cannot cook properly [or] budget”, what a total asshole, closely followed by another total asshole in right wing mentalist Isobel Oakeshott who then tweeted support for him claiming it is possible to eat cheaply. These people are toilet stains of the worst kind and it really does beggar belief that anyone can vote for people like Anderson.

There are far too many in this country who live their lives full of entitlement, Tories, many in Labour also. The cost of living crisis is real yet the response from the government is more real, i.e. no help for the poorest at all. The media in the main should hang their heads in shame at their own lack of action in reporting this and even when they do trying to blame it all on the Ukraine/Russian conflict. There also needs to be a serious investigation in petrol forecourts and supermarkets who it looks to me are totally profiteering at the expense of the most vulnerable. Every time you go to the store now the prices are up, oh they might take 5p off their own brand watery ready meal but then you see that they have added 20p to toothpaste.

2.25 million people used foodbanks last year in the UK

The Chancellor,  another scumbag, Sunak said the other week it would be “silly” to announce more measures to help with energy bills before it was known how much prices would rise in the coming months” . Maybe starvation is the Tory way to cull the herd, and tackle obesity, maybe raising the pension age to 564 didn’t kill off enough people quick enough. The cost of living crisis doesn’t touch these people but it is the rest of us. I just wonder how long it will take for the riots to start, and how long it will take for the blind and stupid in Scotland to realise that if we don’t get out of the UK as quickly as possible then we might as well just start queuing up now for the poor house.

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Bits N Pieces Wednesday 11th May 2022

Pomp and Piss – So yesterday the powerful and the sycophants rolled out the gold and all the pomp, the dead animal robes, the bought for titles, and the Windsor’s to remind us all of our place in the so called union of equals. They even had a separate car for the crown with the large diamond on top. We were fed a day of how terrible it was that Elizabeth Windsor couldn’t be there for the first time in 60 years and her poor 78 year old son was missing his mummy, he was sad and forlorn. He must have been very afraid that mummy wasn’t there to hold his hand. All of this was the State Opening of the English Parliament masquerading as the UK one. I know every nation, or most of them, have a state opening of their new sessions in whatever form their government takes but this pish is beyond the pale, cars and protection for a crown, gold and dead animals, this is the kind of garbage that sums up the shit hole that is the UK. The fact that so many down south fall for this rubbish just demonstrates even more how badly we need out of this nightmare.

One of the few positives to come out of Covid – 19 –  Being able to work from home was one of the very few things that were positive to come out of the Covid-19 Pandemic for many people, including myself although I have had the option over the years anyway, but it appears the Tories just don’t like this at all so are removing the right to do this. Now this is just another attack on worker’s right, there are areas where working from home makes better sense overall. Working from home allows a better work/life balance with a positive effect on mental health and family relationships, cuts down on commuting time, less cars on the road, saves money on travel and especially offensively high rail costs. Of course it is not for everyone, it requires balance, and you need to use your common sense as there are times when you do need to be in the office with colleagues, there are times when you need to make sure it doesn’t effect your family life negatively but overall with common sense it was a step in the right direction in this country so of course the Tories want to remove the option from the serfs so that work is a dire depressing chore for many every day starting with the travel to work in the rush hours. Tories don’t change.

Blah Blah Blackford the contradiction – I caught Ian Blackford’s response to the Windsor speech yesterday and it was just a huge contradiction for me and to honest it again highlights everything that is wrong with the leadership of the SNP right now. Blackford said in his speech that  “game is up for the union”, that “the SNP is not seeking the Prime Minister’s “permission” for the referendum, as the only permission it would need is the “democratic permission of the Scottish people”. We got  “Democracy has spoken in Scotland, it has spoken before and it will speak again and again. And all our democratic decisions are saying exactly the same thing: Scotland rejects this Westminster Government, we reject the Tory party and we demand the choice of an independent future”.

He then went on to demand “the Government to deal with the cost-of-living crisis by bringing forward an emergency budget following the agenda-setting Queen’s Speech”. 

We are not seeking the Prime Minister’s permission. The only permission we need, the only permission we will ever need is the democratic permission of the Scottish people. And let’s not forget it’s the people of Scotland who hold sovereignty.” (Ian Blackford)

So Blackford pontificates to his hearts content while playing the English Westminster Governments game stomping his feet and demanding our colonial masters take action on the cost of living crisis while pontificating about the democratic and sovereign rights of the Scottish people while doing nothing about it. You just can’t make it anymore when it comes to the SNP.

The Windsor speech yesterday was a slight of hand –  we will be losing our right to protest, we will be losing our right to free speech, we will see more protection for investors and big business. There will be trade war with the EU, there was nothing to ease the poverty and hunger that millions now face, most of us now face, this was a right wing authoritarian policy platform that the SNP could have written under the current Scottish Government, maybe that was why Blackford was as effective as he usually is.

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Quiet Reflection Part Two

So here is another part of my thinking the last couple of days. The list is not exhaustive in any shape or form, please feel free to add what you feel the priorities are moving forward.

The Alba Party – There is a need for clear water between the Alba Party and the Scottish National Party. No more advocating any vote for any other party other than the Alba Party. While it was honourable and laudable to ask people to vote SNP last year, although it was never for me so I didn’t, and again there was encouragement to vote for independence supporting parties after Alba in the elections last week, it is time for that policy or advice to be gone. Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP spent more time trying to fix the vote last week and attacking Alba than concentrating on what is actually important right now. We also do need to educate people as to our voting system sadly, but how they vote is up to them.

Alba need to seriously consider having a policy that says every election is a plebiscite election going forward, no Section 30 acceptance that implies we are not in control of our own futures and that we need permission from voters in another country to decide our own future. Alba need to have a presence on the streets when possible, and in our communities, we need to highlight the failures of our current situation but not just poverty or the cost of living crisis which we have little or no control over but issues we do like the state of our towns and cities, pot holes, waiting lists, education etc. The bread and butter issues are all important and they all highlight the failure of the Scottish Government.

We need to probably focus less to a degree on the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon, Sturgeon will be the past soon enough and the issues within the SNP is for their members to sort out. We need to focus on the Alba Party and how things in our communities can be better, can be run better, can be managed better, and can be financed more effectively from our pocket money while being clear that we can only do so much more if we controlled our own affairs and had ambition. As I said yesterday the key for myself in so many ways is returning to the good governance of 2007-14 where there were successes.

The Scottish Government – while I understand why Alex Salmond made this change from Scottish Executive the simple fact is we do not have a Government in Scotland we do in fact have a Scottish Executive. It might seem silly and petty but until we control all of our own affairs do we have a Government? Are the current SNP/Green coalition a Government? They administer badly on the whim of a Government elected by voters in another country, they are an Executive and are even poor at that so from now on I am calling them that, the Scottish Executive. Does the idea that we have Government in Scotland give the excuse that this is as good as it gets?

Devolution – NOUN – the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level, especially by central government to local or regional administration. Too many powers are still devolved, and while we should never ever settle for devolution as an end we need to constantly be arguing for powers to be returned to Scotland in between. Areas like immigration can be exclusive within Scotland, employment law, financial services, the minimum wage, energy, social security, the civil service, trade should not be left to the whim of a Government in what is effectively another country where we have little to no say and no power. A new campaign needs to be launched that keeps these issues to the fore, to demonstrate to the people in Scotland that we don’t have a Government we have a regional Executive. How many times have Westminster ignored the Memorandum of Understanding, the Joint Ministerial Committee, the so called Sewell Convention, power devolved is power retained and exploited.

Been having a discussion with Terry via the blog. Terry understands that there are many legal arguments against many of the methods I support in trying to gain our independence and I won’t pretend to have Terry’s knowledge of the legal implications, but for myself when every avenue is denied, or we suspect, will be denied in our pursuit of independence then what do we do, where do we go. Do we accept the state of affairs that is a union that is 300 years old and was signed by people at a time when democracy was a philosophy and denied the people. If our only avenue to independence relies on the whims of Westminster then we might as well all give up and go home.

If the Scottish people are truly sovereign then a vote for a majority of elected reps in a plebiscite election should be all we need to begin the process of independence irrespective of the law of the UK which will never ever recognise the rights of Scots to choose unless they feel they are guaranteed a win.

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Quiet Reflection Part One

Quiet Reflection Part One –  Well another set of elections have come and gone and while disappointing in some ways I have been thinking about where do we go from here? So here are some of my thoughts, please feel free to express your own. These are not based on any legal arguments that others have put forward previously, these are just my thoughts on what I think we need to be considering at this time.

Independence – SNP success in the council elections has been hailed as yet another mandate for independence while Nicola Sturgeon has already started to roll back from the promised referendum in 2023 when she said the day after the council elections

“This election was a local council election, I didn’t go into it arguing that it was all about independence, so I’m not going to come out of it and argue that somehow retrospectively it was all about independence”.

However she did say on the council election manifesto that

“ a vote for the SNP in the May elections then you are voting for democratic principles, the right to decide your own future, independence will give the Scottish people the powers we need to grow the economy, invest in people and public services, to build a fairer, wealthier, and greener country”.

So that was a lie then? She also said on the 2nd May leading up to the vote that,

“I wouldn’t want to go ahead with a referendum that wasn’t legal. “I couldn’t go ahead with a referendum that wasn’t legal because we have a system of checks and balances in this country, Scotland and the UK, that would ultimately lead to the Supreme Court stepping in or considering a case if that was the case”.

As good as conceding that Westminster hold all of the cards and that in reality our democratic future lays with the voters in England and not the voters in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon is conning us all, every single one of us and the fact that too many are giving Sturgeon the benefit of the doubt is sadly depressing 7 years down the line. I live in hope that the failure to deliver a referendum in 2023 will be both the end of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and leader of the SNP and the wake up call that will see many in the SNP and the wider YES community having their scales removed from their eyes.

Part of the answer longer term is good governance – My feelings have been clear for a long time, our standard of governance since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister has been some of the worst since devolution came to be. Hundreds of millions of pounds have been wasted, malicious court cases, gender assassination, character assassination, major mistakes around infrastructure and the ferries, it’s a long long list of failure.

We need to get back to simple levels of good governance starting with a fair funding mechanism for local councils to deliver the things that people see around them. Clean streets matter, your bins being emptied matter, your home help matters, you libraries matter and your adult and youth groups matter.

No more major reforms of the Scottish NHS or Education. We need to concentrate on getting SNHS services open and waiting lists down, that has to be the number one focus for the SNHS, when people see they are being treated in a decent time frame then they will look at you as if you are competent. Likewise with education, less of the sex surveys masquerading under the guise of health and well being and focus on  improving the 3 r’s and sciences. If we can’t get the basics correct then the decline will be terminal, again parents will be happy and young people will have the basics.

No more large infrastructure projects. More money needs to be available to fix what we have already have. Fill the pot holes, tidy up City and Town centre’s, tidy up the parks and open spaces, pretend the Queen is coming and give the country a paint. Again the simple things that people see around them are the things that will convince them that we can manage our own affairs, that we can look after our own and we can do it well. Show the people of Scotland that there is an alternative to the terminal decline of the UK.

Scottish Constitutional Convention –  bring back as a matter of urgency the association of Scottish political parties, churches and other civic groups, and the wider YES community to openly discuss the avenues to the return of Scotland’s statehood and this should not be hamstrung in any way and should be able to look at every option or idea from a plebiscite election, to a referendum, to a declaration of independence, no ideas off the table and no pandering to the unionist media in the discussion of ideas for fear of upsetting the established order.

Tomorrow I will look at a couple of other things that I have been thinking about and again these are just my thoughts.

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Something Different: Dr Strange 2 and the Multiverse of Madness

Despite what the so called movie critics said –  No spoilers and despite what the critics have said Dr.Strange 2 is not bad at all, yes you have to concentrate to follow it and it has special effects that are excellent. Compared to Black Widow, Eternals, and Shang-Chi this is Marvel possibly getting back on track after an ok Spider Man 3 as well. Benedict Cumberbatch is very good as he tends to be in most things.

Without giving anything away basically America Chavez and an alternate version of Dr. Stephen Strange are chased by a demon in space between universes to find the Book of Vishanti. This also involves Scarlet Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen, good as well but maybe not great in the film. The film moves along at a decent pace throughout and it keeps you interested as it goes along, the special effects as I said are very good.

I went to the cinema not expecting anything enjoyable after the last few Marvel movies and was pleasantly surprised that I liked the film, my son enjoyed it as well which is good as it was choice of a treat. I am not a big fan of the multi-verse theme and I really hope they don’t keep to this and get back to a more story arc type approach but if you like Marvel then this is worth seeing and it may surprise you overall but Marvel do need to up their game a bit as it does all feel a bit tired now. Rating – 6 out of 10. 

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