2007 - 2021

A Post-Covid Scotland Must be a Post-UK Scotland

As the human collateral of British government nepotism and Disaster Unionism continues to cut a swathe through our lives there seems to be a growing weariness, an exhaustion for change. We’re caught between the necessary collective compliance and the growing despair at both the constitutional contempt and the ‘world-leading’ response to the corona virus.

More than 90,000 people have died in the UK since the start of the pandemic. Figures published earlier this week show the UK currently has the highest daily death rate in the world. If ‘UK:OK’ seemed desultory in 2014, seven years later it seems ominous. In 2014 it was presented, implausibly, as a safe-home in a fragile world. “Would you move house in a storm?” was one of the often repeated questions mooted by Project Fear. The (highly successful) idea was that independence was the high-risk option. The message was particularly aimed at, and resonant with women. In 2013 only 28 per cent of women planned to vote Yes against 41 per cent of men. As Britain reveals itself as a more of a death-threat than a safe-haven this reality has now flipped. Now more women are in favour of independence than men. As Lesley Riddoch notes: “Safety through independence” isn’t exactly a heart-stopping idea, but it may be part of the new normal. As the truism goes “Don’t fight the last campaign, fight this one.”

As Nicola Sturgeon carefully frames a narrative about independence being an essential part of ‘post-covid recovery and reconstruction’, and the scale and length of the pandemic sinks home, looking at how these phenomenon inter-link in our dark self-isolation, shielding and Lockdown Four lives is essential. This week saw Professor Devi Sridhar getting dogs abuse for the simple observation that Scotland’s response to the crisis had been “constrained” by being part of the UK.

Asked if she thought different decisions would have been taken in an independent Scotland under Sturgeon, Sridhar said: “Yes, definitely.” And she said those decisions would likely have led to a different outcome, with lower rates of death being recorded. She said: “I think, yes, we could have hopefully been more like a Norway or a Denmark. Already, if you look at the charts and the devolved nations, Scotland does come out in terms of lowest case numbers. At the start, in March, it did just as badly, but since then, in the summer, we got the numbers low.”

The simple statements from one of the most impressive scientific voices sent the likes of Murdo Fraser and Alex Cole-Hamilton apoplectic. But Sridhar – who is a high-profile member of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Advisory Group – is emblematic of the quite confidence that speaks to the moment of Scotland as a safer option from the ideological carnage and institutional corruption that Britain reeks of.

But if some of the handling of the crisis seems to inspire more confidence than that of No 10, that’s a low bar, and the vision for the future, and for economic and social recovery through independence is a taller order by far. This Scottish Government and this new emergent independence movement needs to be alive to the new reality which is far darker and far more dire than the previous idea of independence as solution to all. The scale of the reconstruction required is not really apparent yet, but walking around and opening your eyes you can hazard a guess. In order not to perpetuate – or re-inflict – our existing social inequalities and ecological predicament – we need to be thinking in a far more profound and radical way about what post-covid Scotland might look like. This requires a much deeper understanding at the forces at play in Scottish society and moving away from blaming everything on ‘Westmonster’.

Out of the Darkness

As George Monbiot wrote observing the Biden inauguration: “I suspect we may be stuck in a cycle of euphoria and sentimentality, followed by disappointment, alienation and reaction. Forgive my cynicism, but we’ve been here before.” So too with independence we must move beyond the tendency for vicious in-fighting and construct movements of change that operate a deeper level beyond constitutionalism. We need to be asking what does ‘self-determination’ mean for people, for communities, for cities, for young people? What does post-covid independent Scotland mean for social inequality and what does it mean for breaking down the power structures that exist within Scottish society now?

While the task is daunting and the road ahead formidable, as we all struggle with the personal realities of covid, the Unionist leaders are doing us some favours.

While George Osborne used his position as editor of The Evening Standard, to this week write: “By unleashing English nationalism, Brexit has made the future of the UK the central political issue of the coming decade. Northern Ireland is already heading for the exit door. By remaining in the EU single market, it is for all economic intents and purposes now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland. Its prosperity now depends on its relationship with Dublin (and Brussels), not London. The politics will follow. Northern Irish unionists always feared the mainland was not sufficiently committed to their cause. Now their short-sighted support for Brexit (and unbelievably stupid decision to torpedo Theresa May’s deal that avoided separate Irish arrangements) has made those fears a reality. It pains me to report that most here and abroad will not care.”

It was a careless but brutal assessment, that showed utter contempt for the people of Northern Ireland, but hey we knew this.

His next paragraph was equally revealing blending a sense of ownership with a sense of profound fragility:

“Scotland is an altogether different matter. Its history is our history. Its contribution to the world through its literature and philosophy, exploration and art, is our contribution. Its departure — with no disrespect to the Welsh — would represent the end of the United Kingdom. The rest of the world would instantly see that we were no longer a front-rank power, or even in the second row. We would instead be one of the great majority of countries who are on the receiving end of the decisions made by a few, subject to the values of others. We would become another historically interesting case study in how successful nations can perform unexpected acts of national suicide.”

The Unionist forces are desperate and Osborne’s ultimate reveal showed this. Osborne writes, reflecting on the angst he and David Cameron had waiting for the results in 2014:

“So what’s the plan? Simple. Refuse to hold a referendum. It’s the only sure way you won’t lose one. Yes, the SNP will be in full cry — but so what? Domestic opposition has already evaporated, with the Labour leader there resigning last week.”

“As Tony Blair says, no one has been able to mount a fight since Ruth Davidson left the stage.  There’s a risk that the Scottish government holds its own plebiscite — but that won’t be legal, and the courts will stop the arms of the Scottish state, like the police and civil service taking part. Ask the jailed Catalonian leaders how their illegal poll worked out. The only way you can have legal path to independence is through a referendum that is voted for by the House of Commons. So don’t vote for one. Whatever the provocation. Just say no, Boris, and save yourself a long anxious night in Downing Street.”

If this tips us from a weird dysfunctional un-democracy into something far more akin to colonial rule, it’s also true that they are not united in this brittle grotesque strategy.

As the Spectators political editor James Forsyth mused in The Times (‘A flat ‘no’ to Sturgeon won’t save the Union’):

” …there’s a growing realisation that Johnson can’t just say no. The danger is that a two-letter answer with no further explanation could be seen as typical Tory, or English, arrogance. The SNP’s sky-high poll rating shows that the Nationalists benefit when they can make all politics, as they have been able to do during the pandemic, about whether you agree with Boris or Nicola.”

Forsyth and his ilk are deluded. He writes; “The UK’s procurement of vaccines means Scotland has a greater share of its population covered than any country in continental Europe. But there’s no sign of a Union dividend in the polls yet.

Hey we even “gave” you the vaccine – you ungrateful bastards!

If the talk of a Royal Commission is vague and unconvincing the tone of threat is not.

Image credit:

“CORRUPTION, limited edition artwork by Hilary Jack photos credit to the artist. “

Comments (32)

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    A question for the clowns who go on about the “gifts” we’re receiving from Westminster.

    Is it the whole of the “UK” that’s expected to pay it back or just the English?

    If you answer “the English” why in the hell would you want to hang on to us? Love?

    If you answer the “UK” then WITF are you havering about.

    PS If you think the tories themselves are paying for it (there are some eejits out there who still think Thatcher paid for 70% of their house) seek help urgently.

  2. Bill says:

    Further to the comments about how Scotland has tackled the pandemic, witness the Baroness at First Ministers questions, unable to understand Nicola’s reply to the charge that Scotland was lagging behind in the vaccination programme. So we have Boris the Buffoon unable to answer a question and the Baroness unable to understand an answer. Then we have the attack on those hoping to demonstrate peacefully in favour of Independence being likened to the rabid dogs of Trump. Both Gordon Brown and the Baroness have short memories – it was the NO voting supporters who attempted to instigate the violence after the result was declared in George Square. The violence has always come from the Unionist supporting Orangemen and Tory ‘Billy Boys’.

    To me all that is above is significant of the failed, corrupt, incompetent, lying Westminster government and their fellow traveller chums in Scottish labour fear that Independence is getting closer and that for them there is no future.

    Bill

  3. Blair says:

    An independent Scotland under Nicola Sturgeon would definitely come up with something different. She is already indicating that her way forward is for Scotland to become part of Europe again.

    Boris and his Tory party are looking towards the United States in a bid to create a stronger position for the UK within the world.

    The United States of America gives the impression of being a God fearing nation, yet they also display satanic behaviours in their projection of power around the world.

    “As Nicola Sturgeon carefully frames a narrative about independence being an essential part of ‘post-covid recovery and reconstruction’, and the scale and length of the pandemic sinks home, looking at how these phenomenon inter-link in our dark self-isolation, shielding and Lockdown Four lives is essential.”

    Our post covid recovery is heading towards a world which we don’t want to emulate. If Scotland remains joined to this satanic world it will never be free! Four lives, how are they essential Bella?

    Revalation 20-22

    http://www.bibletrack.org/cgi-bin/bible.pl?incr=0&mo=12&dy=31

    Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

    One of the four is David. A route or root to future events. The key to God’s Kingdom and His living library.

    The first fruits of Scotland provided by ‘Christ in a’ post Satan World recorded by Bella as a prophecy of an independent Scotland leading God’s Kingdom.

    -CVB.

  4. Daniel Raphael says:

    “Just say no,” does seem the obvious safe route for the Unionists to take. If the blowback were entirely rhetorical, why would Westminster care what words were flung at it? Let the Scots scream.

    We’ve seen just how much words upset–and influence–Boris and the rest of the unfunny clown show. Given this, and what I discern as no compelling mechanism that can bring about a vote that Westminster would be bound to respect, what alternative to Scots have other than the obviously risky path taken by Catalonia?

    1. Bill says:

      Daniel, remember Scotland was a free and independent country that entered, freely, into an agreement with England to unite the parliaments. We were an equal partner – although over the years that equality has faded. As we freely entered an agreement, so we can freely withdraw from that agreement. Our situation is different from that of Catalonia as we were – and still are a sovereign nation. We could assert our rights under the Declaration of Arbroath and reject Mrs Windsor as well.

      The current threats to deny us Covid vaccine if we do not behave, and the attacks on Devi Sridhar are examples of Unionists who see the writing on the wall. The gathering of the lying, corrupt and asinine in attacking the SNP plans are to be expected – but we remember ‘The Vow’ and other lies and will not be fooled again

      Bill

      1. Daniel Raphael says:

        Bill, first please know that I’m utterly sympatico and favor Scotland’s independence. That said, the word that stands out to me is ‘compel’. The fact that Scotland has the right–and is in the right–isn’t sufficient, I suspect. The USA has a long history of ignoring treaties of various sorts, when it doesn’t suit its current imperial interests. I’m not indulging cynicism here, but am indeed thinking of cynics with considerable power, for whom something as “mere legalities” would not prevent them from preventing Scotland’s departure. Am I being too over the top with this? Do you believe Boris (or whatever denizen of The City was currently occupying the PM spot) truly would allow Scotland’s departure, in the case of a vote by its citizenry? That’s what I’m trying to get at. Verbal assertions are just that…but force on the ground is another matter. I should add a postscript to this thought, in that formal independence might be allowed if it couldn’t be avoided for one reason or another, but an independence-threatening crisis would be easily ginned up. Think of Scotland’s demand that Trident-bearing submarines no longer be moored in its waters. If it came to Westminster’s refusal, how would this be enforced…as in ‘force’?

        1. Bill says:

          Hi Daniel, I am aware that your sympathies are with an independent Scotland. How would Boris et al act were we to just have a wee referendum of our own, or were to declare ourselves independent? I am not sure – however, I think that if the SNP make the next election a vote for independence, by being quite clear in the manifesto, and get an overwhelming result, then I think that that could be a game changer. Of course one would like to see that they had taken on board some of the issues from the last failed referendum, eg currency, central bank etc. You are correct that assertions without actions are pious hopes. Were we to insist on departing the UK would England invade? Interesting thought. The Brexit pressures will be even more extant by May. That will undoubtedly breed a resentment against the Westminster Tories. The Northern Ireland situation will also have an impact. I think that the situation will become more complex and fluid as time passes. I am hopeful that a good election result, and when Covid restrictions allow, mass peaceful protest for independence will carry the day. Trident is another issue entirely and the USA will also have a say in that

          Bill

  5. Liz Summerfield says:

    ” The rest of the world would instantly see that we were no longer a front-rank power, or even in the second row.”

    If global influence is so vital, why is it that the countries that report the best quality of life, eg. the Scandi “bloc” and New Zealand are not regarded as “front-rank powers”. It seems to me that our politicians crave personal prestige rather than the good of their constituents.

  6. Darren Saw says:

    For goodness sake please just go, you’ll keep wanting a referendum until you get the answer you want so just get it out out the way.

  7. Graham Ennis says:

    The writing is on the wall. (Hadrians wall), actually, as the two northern counties of England have decided that they might be better off joined to Scotland.
    I kid you not. Also, the huffing and puffing in London and saying no will be shaken to the ground by the very first Scottish resistance Bomb to go off in London. All it takes is just one solitary single Scottish military veteran with skills and some kitchen sink chemistry.
    At that point, grim reality will kick in. The discussion between the two states will then become one of racing the clock, and inevitably, there will be more carefully controlled violence and threats made. In the event of a NO to a referendum, the only alternative is a Catalan referendum. A referendum built on mass demonstrations, (Like the Catalans) strong public activity for Independence, and a strong campaign against Unionist Quislings and trolls, who were lucidly described in The book “Black Skins, white Masks” by Franz Fanon, writing in Algeria. if this does not happen, there will be a political vacuum filled by bombs, inevitably. So its essential. There is a large Vichy element in Scotland, mostly well breeched and part of the system, that will fight tooth and nail to stop freedom. Scotland will then be between a rock and a hard place. I dourly see a terrible vision of violence eventually breaking out, given the sheer racist anti-Celtic hate and stupidity of the UK Tory establishment, and the Sour objections of Scottish Labour, as they slide into oblivion. I give it all a max of 18 to 24 months, then the bad times begin.

    1. John Learmonth says:

      Graham,
      Please provide evidence that the 2 northern counties of England (Cumbria/Northumberland) have decided that they would be better off in Scotland and why would Scotland accept them?
      You’ve made it up haven’t you just like the rest of your rant about a possible ‘ethnic’ conflict between Scotland/England and rounding up the ‘Quislings’ who would prefer to stay in the Union.
      I accept the fact that its Sunday and you might have had one to many……….but really.

    2. Blair says:

      Graham,

      There is a level that exists above government that seeks to control the outcome, to provide unity and peace. Scotland is trapped by England believing that they are the better educated to negotiate for the UK within the New Order.

      Scotland is just as capable of understanding the Historical precepts leading up to BREXIT and independence from Europe that we need not fear negotiating our own independence and place within the world which is built on education & mapping to The Knowledge Economy. The link below provides a fairly comprehensive run through:

      https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-Europe/Ever-closer-union

      Scotlands main problem is our elected politicians who believe that the Westminster machine is working & capable of leading the whole UK despite knowing there are many many problems and a severe lack of funds.

      Our Scottish SNP politicians are equally devoid of real ideas and funds to support their dream and are reliant on cashing in on people who are voting to reject the alternative party plans that depend on dependence to get things done in a better together before they get found out way. The SNP are still a closed party needing to be developed out of their entrenched attitude.

      The way forward is to introduce open inclusive policies, helping England and rUK out freely through provision of knowledge based power. Westminister common approach to keep power and limit choice through division and rule can be replaced by division creating choices distributing power back to individuals. Technology is the key to success, Today’s technology can & should be used to effectively control the levers of power. Resources can and should be deployed more efficiently and effectively. Success can be rewarded and controlled to stop imbalances in society.

      The electorate (and the world) must be given the message Scotland is more than ready to be an independent nation. The mother of all parliaments needs to be reconfigured if it’s plans are to succeed. God’s Millennial Generation will have their work cut out but at least they will not be cut out as they have been.

      Education, Work, Retirement & Health decisions devolved to individuals and family’s and businesses. A 10 year implementation plan to restore Free choice through building back better governing systems post BREXIT.

      -CVB.

    3. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      I think there’s as much chance of this coming to pass as the Unionist Southlands throwing in their lot with Cumbria and Northumbria rather than with an independent Scotland.

      In my fantasy, D&G, the Borders, Northumbria, and Cumbria, would come together under a kind of ‘March law’ to form its own jurisdiction, with only nominal affiliation with Scotland and England; a kind of autonomous territory of the two kingdoms. This territory would be called ‘Yr Hen Ogledd’.

      Well, we can dream; can’t we, Graham?

    4. Laurence Pocock says:

      If there is e evidence of Englands northern counties wanting to join u p with Scotland then I think I would have heard about it. However, I have heard that some people in the borders are looking at splitting from an independent Scotland if it happens and rejoining the UK. No wonder, a lot of them have family and jobs over the border and view the prospect of having to cross a border in order to work and see loved ones as just not worth the effort. In addition those loyal Liberal strongholds of Orkney and Shetland don’t look too pleased at the idea either- may be they will want go back to Norway? There won’t be violence as you suggest the English will just use their financial power to undermine the new state as they have done in the past . At any rate they will demand any referendum waits until the economic fall out from the pandemic is sorted out- and with good reason it may be right the Scots have the right to change the constitutional arrangement with the UK but they don’t have the right to inflict economic troubles on their neighbours.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        What border? Do you think they’ll have to pass through gates guarded by soldiers (as in Palestine to Israel) to get to work?

        1. Laurie Pocock says:

          I thought no problem unfortunately there will be no option but to have a border if Scotland joins the EU. There will also be punitive tariffs for Scottish goods and services, and I even think it will be doupful if reciprocity for work and residency will be allowed. A Conservative Uk government will strike a hard bargain and although Labour may be less antagonistic I don’t see them winning the next election. This whole Independence issue will lead to a Nationalist England and I don’t see anything round that, it isn’t what I want to see and it will be bad for Scotland going forward.

          1. Tom Ultuous says:

            There will be a common travel area between Scotland and England just as there is between the “UK” and Ireland. I would guess what will happen will be that the “border” in the Irish sea will shift to the mainland between Scotland and England. In any case, England will become more and more isolated and they’ll re-join the single market. The fascist tail cannot wag the “UK” dog forever.

          2. Tom Ultuous says:

            PS Tariffs are not for the “UK” to decide. They will be determined by the deal between the “UK” and the EU. Anyway, even if they could, why would a country desperate for trade deals put up barriers to a deal with their nearest neighbour and a country they’ll be dependent on for energy and water in ~25 years time?

      2. Tom Ultuous says:

        “the English will just use their financial power to undermine the new state”

        You mean like they did with Ireland, India, America, …..

        Stick with something less silly like not being able to see Eastenders.

  8. Zoonotic Huawei says:

    I’m struggling to see how Scotland’s Covid response was ‘constrained’ by being part of the UK. Nicola Sturgeon had ample opportunities over the last ten months to diverge from the English model but she chose not to. If we go back to March 2020 and the run up to the first lockdown, it didn’t appear to me that Sturgeon had been strong-armed into locking down Scotland by Johnson. She had a free choice in which direction to go but she pretty much moved in lockstep with Johnson using lockdown and Tiers as a suppression tactic. We now know, from the SAGE minutes, that Johnson’s claims to be following the science were nonsense. At none of the SAGE meetings through February and March were the scientists recommending lockdown. Lockdown was a political decision made from No.10. Did Sturgeon question Johnson over lockdown? Did she ask for summaries or minutes of the SAGE meetings? Did her own scientific advisors recommend lockdown? Did she question why Johnson was ditching a pandemic preparedness plan that was ready to go? We may never know the answers to these questions, but the impression I got was that Sturgeon was not agonising over the decision.
    Many commentators, including Mike Small, want to give the impression that lockdown was inevitable or that it was the only option on the table. This is simply not the case. Science didn’t drive us towards lockdown, politics did. I think it may be that the extreme nature of lockdown and the regular hyping-up of the dangers of Covid suited Sturgeon very well. A handy distraction from the corruption that runs through the Scottish Government, it’s Civil Service, the Police and COPFs like a stick of rock.

    1. Tom Ultuous says:

      The Scottish govt has repeatedly locked down before the Westminster govt and always been slower to unlock. At the first lockdown it was the Scottish govt and the football authorities that embarrassed the tories into abandoning their herd immunity proposals and introducing a lockdown in England. When Westminster decided it was safe to open up it was another 2 weeks before Scotland eased restrictions however they had limited choice as to when that easing happened. Sunak had already decided the furlough scheme would be ended so what were the Scottish government supposed to do? Tell people they had to stay home on Universal Credit? Had Scotland had its own borrowing powers they could’ve waited longer to open up. I also seem to remember there was some friction in the beginning about Scottish scientists being excluded from SAGE meetings yet Cummings was allowed to sit in.

      As for corruption, set aside a few days for reading and google “covid chumocracy”. It’s not just about corruption though. At the beginning of the pandemic the tories were offered the opportunity to join the EU’s PPE bulk buying scheme. Despite knowing they had a shortage of PPE they chose not to so they could hand out lucrative contacts to their chums (doubtless in return for crypto pushbacks). Many, including medical professionals, died as a result of a lack of PPE. Those people were murdered as far as I’m concerned. I’d love to know what the cost of the usable PPE they got in return for those contracts would’ve cost under the EU bulk-buy. The “UK” is being pillaged and raped by Eton SCUM.

      1. Zoonotic Huawei says:

        Point 1 – the Scottish Govt may have made moves on different dates to Westminister and they may have more Tiers but overall the strategy is exactly the same north and south of the border – lockdowns and Tiers in a failed attempt to suppress the virus. A complete overreaction to a disease with an IFR of approx. 0.3%
        Point 2 – there is no such thing as a Herd Immunity proposal or a Herd Immunity strategy. Herd Immunity is a scientific term and describes how a virus moves through a population. Proposals, strategies and lockdowns are politics not science.
        Point 3 – I am well aware of the covid chumocracy and the corruption of PPE procurement. It’s completely disgraceful. But are we to ignore corruption in Scotland just because it’s worse in England?

        1. Tom Ultuous says:

          Point 1 – Strategies are similar timing is not. As for IFR see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/207273/covid-19-deaths-infection-fatality-ratio-about/ (0.3 my @rse).

          Point 2 – It doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of toast. It’s the road the tories initially intended to go down. A road it seems you’d like to have travelled.

          Point 3 – Give me links to these corruption articles and I’ll bet the amounts involved wouldn’t pay the tories’ crypto conversion commission. I’ll also bet that they’ll be hard to separate from incompetence. The tories need no such cover. Their working class fascist supporters don’t mind as long as their Eton masters make all working class existences as miserable as their own.

          1. Zoonotic Huawei says:

            Point 1 – same failing strategy and it’s causing massive collateral damage. See collateralglobal.org
            Point 2 – it’s not a proposal, a strategy, a piece of toast or a road that I can go down.
            Point 3 – surely you couldn’t have missed the bungled hatchet job on Alex Salmond. Or the malicious trial of Mark Hirst. Or the ongoing trial of Craig Murray. You could also check out the latest Iain McWhirter column in the Herald about the failed attempt to prosecute David Whitehouse and Paul Clark – damages and legal fees are going to cost us about £24 million.

          2. Tom Ultuous says:

            Point 1 – same failing strategy and it’s causing massive collateral damage. See collateralglobal.org
            Point 2 – it’s not a proposal, a strategy, a piece of toast or a road that I can go down.
            Point 3 – surely you couldn’t have missed the bungled hatchet job on Alex Salmond. Or the malicious trial of Mark Hirst. Or the ongoing trial of Craig Murray. You could also check out the latest Iain McWhirter column in the Herald about the failed attempt to prosecute David Whitehouse and Paul Clark – damages and legal fees are going to cost us about £24 million.

            Point 1 – Covid causing damage. Didn’t realise that.
            Point 2 – It’s a do nothing strategy which had great appeal for the tories. The massive death toll would’ve reduced the pension & care system bill as well as the unemployment figures. I’m still not sure they’ve completely abandoned the idea. Their tactics so far seem to be akin to killing as many people as they can while paying lip service to the scientific advice.
            Point 3 – I’m not sure if you’re claiming the Scottish govt are collecting brown envelopes from the legal profession but, in any case, it all sounds a bit mickey mouse compared to the tories. The misery that’s been inflicted on the people of the “UK” so that those evil ***** can escape the scrutiny of the EU’s impending investigation into tax avoidance, money laundering and offshore accounts is criminal. That working class people have colluded with it even more so. That said, there should definitely be an enquiry into legal costs. The legal parasites are criminals themselves. Here’s a good news bad news joke for you. The good news is ‘A bus taking lawyers to a big legal convention in town went off a cliff’. The bad news There were 4 empty seats on it’.

            I suspect from your name and your posts you’re an anti-lockdown unionist (maybe even loyalist). Do you not think you’d be better off waiting for the new Andrew Neil channel instead of wasting your time on here?

        2. John Monro says:

          Zoonotic- Your post is almost total nonsense

          1. The IFR of Covid is not fully know, and won’t be until the pandemic is over and we know how many non symptomatic infections we may have missed in the figures. However in the USA the presently the IFR is around 1.7% overall – in black, native and Polynesian communities twice or three times that. It’s fatality rate in the USA is around 13 times that of influenza. Are you seriously suggesting that seeing that sort of Covid death rate in our ethnically diverse communities is either politically or morally sustainable? Or even among the white ageing Scottish population with their high levels of obesity, respiratory disease, diabetes and in the bigger cities, serious urban deprivation, poverty and the highest rate of serious drug abuse in Europe? Your attitude to your fellow citizens is seriously sociopathic.

          2. A lockdown or isolation or quarantine is not a political decision per se. It’s a well tested way of isolating an infectious agent and interfering with its transmission – reducing its R value to less than 1. – it’s basically a public health measure, a science, known since early humanity first recognised infective illness. The political judgement is what is the price that society pays, or gains, in other ways to achieve this reduction in viral spread.

          3. Arguments as to Scotland’s response to Covid vs England’s I am not qualified to comment on, nor whether the differences and similarities in its management, such as they are, are the result of how constrained or not any Scottish government has been in the present constitutional arrangements. As far as I am aware the death rate in Scotland isn’t that much lower than England’s and is still very high. The difference it seems to me is a matter of perception. England has a bumbling, entitled, incompetent, U-turning and unliked PM (at least in Scotland) and cabinet whose communication skills are abysmal, whereas Scotland at least has a first minister who appears competent, consistent and communicates regularly and effectively.

          1. Zoonotic Huawei says:

            Hi John – taking each of your points in turn
            1. Yes I totally agree that diabetes and obesity are major factors in the Covid crisis. Obesity is surely the only explanation for the USA’s huge death toll. Strangely, though, I haven’t heard of any initiative in the USA or UK to tackle these issues. Why have our governments shut down gyms, swimming pools and sports centres when they should be opening them up? Why haven’t they stressed the importance of good diet to avoid diabetes and support our immune systems?
            2. You say that the political judgement is what price society pays. Again I agree entirely and my judgement is that it’s not worth paying ( and I don’t mean that in the purely economical sense – many lives will be lost due to lockdown). Have any of our governments been open about those costs? To get a sense of the scope and depth of damage caused by lockdowns go to collateralglobal.org.
            3. Again I agree with you. Sturgeon and her team communicated about Covid much better than Johnson and co. But that doesn’t mean that lockdown was the right strategy or that she didn’t have other options.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            ‘Scotland at least has a first minister who appears competent, consistent and communicates regularly and effectively.’

            And whose days may be numbered, depending on the outcome of the internecine conflict that’s currently playing out within the SNP.

          3. John Monro says:

            Thank you zoonotic, a reasoned reply and much I would agree with. Long standing lack of investment in the human infrastructure of our societies, along with the physical one, both deteriorating under this lack of care, all under the neoliberal, mean and sociopathic system we’ve been living under. Indeed. Expect that to worsen under the Tories. Boris Johson’s expressed contriteness today notwithstanding. He is a serial liar, incompetent and totally untrustworthy. Insincerity is his the name. However, it’s obvious in the major matter we’re discussing, that I don’t agree with you about the need or not for a lockdown. Without it, the Scottish health system would be totally overwhelmed, and the people who work in that system, (PTSD will become an epidemic of its own) you’d be seeing refrigerated trucks in the streets to hold the dead until they can be disposed of and a huge amount of misery in your fellow citizens. And, why I can’t agree with you is that it wouldn’t avoid the economic consequences of the pandemic in any case, indeed, I suspect ultimately it would worsen them. You’re not “saving” the economy if you’re not saving the citizens. And in regard to the other comment bout Sturgeon, I am aware of some deep problems with the SNP, and with Sturgeon and her colleagues, I follow Craig Murray’s blog.

          4. Blair says:

            John,

            Are this Craig Murray,

            https://wingsoverscotland.com/crumbling-walls/

            One who reiterates information by dressing it up without considering everything first. Stick with Bella’s small posts, The Times are changing with Technology designed to make Scotland Great for Britain in our own United Kingdom.

            -CVB.
            RI Live.

  9. Andrew McNiven says:

    It would be good if you – at least – credited Hilary Jack, who is the artist responsible for ‘Corruption’ used to illustrate this piece:

    https://www.paradise-works.com/multiples/corruption-bespoke-edible-strawberry-flavoured-blackpool-rock-with-printed-label-and-cellophane-wrap

    1. Very happy to Andrew, thanks for the prompt, my over sight

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