The State We’re In

It’s tempting to view the debacle of the last few days (or years) as just the soap opera of the Conservative Party with its odd collection of swivel-eyed loons and unlikely characters. Enter stage right Suella Braverman, a woman who makes her predecessor look like a Tofu-eating liberal; or the ghoulish double-act of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Thérèse Coffey. Everywhere you turn there are people who are not just clearly unfit for office but are also just very strange indeed. Jonathan Gullis. But mesmerising as the meltdown is it shouldn’t be seen as a crisis confined to the dysfunctionalities of the Conservative Party.

This is a crisis of the British state, of Westminster and of democracy.

The Westminster media cabal recycle stories and visions of the world which are more like incantations than news reporting. Their craven repetition of the eight words ‘Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee’ as if any of this makes any sense at all is an unswerving capitulation.

How is it possible in a supposed democracy for the same group of people to have total control of the process of electing a leader and therefore a Prime Minister? I understand that, given the fixed term parliament act, and given the majority of 80 that the Conservatives have, this is the legal / constitutional position. But it does seem extraordinary that not only was Johnson able to cling on despite a tsunami of evidence of wrong doing, but also that there are no other mechanisms of accountability for the wider parliament or electorate. So much so that we are told tonight that Johnson will be running for leader, again.

There is nothing to stop this rolling process by which the Tories spew out – in rotation – a different candidate every few months to deliver guaranteed failure along a very narrow bandwidth of their right-wing political ideology. These characters come from a tiny gene pool of elite English society and have the characteristic combination of unwavering confidence and virtually no real-life experience.

Then there is the closed-loop of the media rounds, as the embedded inner circle embody a group with the attention span of goldfish. How is it remotely conceivable that Boris Johnson can put himself forward for high office?  It is only a political possibility with the connivance of a pliant and docile media.

There’s also the way the centre relates to the other nations. Liz Truss has become the first UK PM since the establishment of the Scottish & Welsh Parliaments who never spoke once formally to the Scottish and Welsh First Ministers. She explicitly said that she would ‘ignore’ the First Minister of Scotland. This open contempt is part of the wider picture of the British crisis and not just the manifestation of Truss as a rude and stupid individual.

But in this there is also a wider problem of how Scotland and Scottish MPs relate to Westminster.

With the British establishment in complete disarray wasn’t this an opportunity for the SNP, the mass ranks of the independence movement to make effective and dramatic interventions? “England’s difficulty is Scotland’s opportunity” as the saying (sort of) goes?

But we didn’t really see that. Kirsten Oswald says in a tv interview: “We can do so much better” with the sort of banal understatement that leaves you gasping in desperation. The SNP should be going for the jugular of this discredited hopeless government – but also pointing to the archaic and dysfunctional systems that are exposed everywhere: the blatantly corrupt lobbying system; the weird Westminster voting systems; and the complete lack of transparency or basic standards in public office. These are not issues confined to the chaos within the Tory party, these are the systemic problems of a broken Britain, littered with institutions and practices not fit for purpose.

There are two options for the Conservative Party. They can cling to office with whatever individual they deem most likely to help them survive for another two years, or they can cut to the chase and go for an election. They will only consider the former.

[By the way all of the suggested candidates Sunak, Johnson, Mordaunt, or Wallace all would play easily into the arguments for independence, for different reasons].

The SNP need to step up to the plate and respond to this unprecedented crisis as if it was an unprecedented crisis. “There must be a general election, it is a democratic necessity,” says Nicola Sturgeon to a BBC interviewer. But the point is that this is not a functioning democracy, so stop treating it like one. Yours is not the job to provide stability, to help steer the ship or calm ‘the markets’. Tory Austerity 2.0 is on the way and the shoring up the reputation of Britain is not in your purview. The task is to find the way to the Exit and ideally lead the way.

Comments (71)

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  1. Robbie says:

    Not much to say other than ,” you have said it all” Mike . Surely the Scottish electorate must push for a general election and take this opportunity to set us free from the Westminster gangsters who have only their own interests at heart.. Time for Indy.

  2. Squigglypen says:

    Excellent as ever Mr Small.

    And yet there are still idiots who think we should stay in this toxic union….help me somebody!
    What was it Alexander did to unravel the knot…everybody else trying to unpick it..he took his word and slashed thro it….solved!

    UDI…best sword out.
    For Scotland!

  3. Malcolm Kerr says:

    I have also been ‘gasping in desperation’ for a while too. I am genuinely baffled as to why the SNP has such interest in who the Conservative leader/UKPM should be, or why we’d want a general election at this point. What would the SNP campaign slogan be this time? ‘Even Stronger for Scotland’? ‘Hope for Progress’? This is a historic juncture replete with opportunities for a leadership with the ability to seize opportunities. Instead we are caught unprepared and flat-footed. The lights are on but there’s no one in. A resurgent Labour Party committed to the Union will not help.

  4. Robbie says:

    “The tories are Desperate NOT to have an election at this time” and you wonder why the SNP along with other party’s would want one ,time to attack is when your opponents are in such a Mess .All you hear from them is Our Great Country ,which one is that I wonder.

    1. dave says:

      Hullo Robbie. The only parties wanting an English/British election are the NU-S.N.P., and the 3 English branches at Holyrood. All true independence parties, Alba, ISP and groups want a declaration of independence which the British leader NU-S.N.P. Leader Sturgeon refuses to do.

      Alba immediately pointed out that a G.E. will change nothing for Scotland except give Ms. Sturgeon yet another lame excuse to kick the can once again to delay for the umpteenth time our independence. Meanwhile more trillions of our money goes to England, that’s right trillions.

  5. Gavinochiltree says:

    Over the next two years the colonial media will bad-mouth independence and the SNP for all they are worth.
    In England, Labour will get pelters.
    The media is overwhelmingly right wing with an agenda.
    The SNP need to push the “right of self-determination” day and daily.
    Point to International law.
    Point to Ireland.
    Point to the energy being exported south.
    Point to Greater England and Scotland being exploited by a colonial situation.
    Make a
    Make a feckin’ FUSS!

  6. dave says:

    Liz Truss has resigned. The British NU-S.N.P. leader F.M. Sturgeon has called immediately for a British General Election. That’s right a ‘ British General Election ‘. Can any true Scot believe this Sturgeon farce ? We need a declaration of independence. It’s time for all Scots to call this traitor out along with CEO Murrell and Ian Blackford. They must be forced to resign.

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      It’s significant that you attack the SNP a lot more often than the Tories.

      1. Malcolm Kerr says:

        Significant of what, Alec? What’s your point?

      2. dave says:

        Alec Lomax. I am an independista. The problem is the refusal of the NU-S.N.P. Leader to declare independence as she was voted in to do.
        You and others can waste your time getting rid of Boris, Liz and the next English P.M. 2 Scottish Alba M.P.s cannot out vote over 600 English MPs including the NU-S.N.P.s at Westminster. As a sovereign country Scotland can declare independence and doesn’t need England’s permission for anything. What part of that do you not understand?

        1. 221021 says:

          Why would a sovereign country need to declare its independence? If it’s government ain’t already independent, it ain’t sovereign.

        2. Derek Thomson says:

          “Alec Lomax. I am an independista. The problem is the refusal of the NU-S.N.P. Leader to declare independence as she was voted in to do.”

          It’s probably just me, but that NU-S.N.P jars a wee bit. Grates in fact. As if it’s being worn as a badge.

          1. dave says:

            Derek. What should be jarring you is the fact that once again the NU-S.N.P. Leader Sturgeon is now continuing her do-nothing programme by demanding a British general election instead of declaring Scottish independence. That’s the issue. How much time did she waste going after Boris then Liz Truss and now a BGE? Do you really think the English cons are going to call an election?

    2. Tom Crozier says:

      What does NU stand for?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Tom Crozier, I’m guessing it isn’t ‘nuance’.

      2. dave says:

        Tom Crozier: The NU is to define that the current S.N.P. is not the dynamic S.N.P. led by Alex Salmond which was the party standing up for our independence. Alex Salmond got the job done with a referendum which we narrowly lost. The current S.N.P. has done nothing except delay, delay and delay any advance since 2014. Many people are confused and think that it’s Alex Salmond’s S.N.P. and that it is still the yes leadership which it is nothing of the kind. It’s not about personalities it’s about voting yes for independence. As an independista 100% I will vote yes. Under the NU-S.N.P. that will never happen. I left the Sturgeon Murrell S.N.P. as I realized that under their kick the can, begging to London strategy, I nor any other Scot will ever get to vote. I was an S.N.P. member since the days of Billy Wolfe and I can tell you that every member could discuss any points with him as we could with Alex Salmond. Try contacting Ms. Sturgeon. BTW all we need is a declaration of indepoendence.
        Have a great day.

        1. Tom Crozier says:

          Maybe you can explain why NU. You have a strange definition from a strange world of your own but it has no relevance to the letters NU

          1. dave says:

            Hullo Tom Crozier. The use of NU does exactly what it is intended to do. It gets attention. The other meaning, I explained to you already.
            You are right about my world being so different from yours. While you and the NU-S.N.P. led by F.M. Sturgeon are manning the bilge pumps to try to save the sinking ship Britannia, I will, with Alba led by Alex Salmond, be launching the lifeboat Scotland. You’ll be going to London to protest for England to hold a general election no doubt. Perhaps you or your British NU (new if you like)S.N.P. F.M. Sturgeon can explain how England having a G.E. will help getting us Scots independent. Just another deflection from Sturgeon to get our minds off the fact that she is doing absolutely nothing for indy.

          2. 221022 says:

            But are you attracting the right kind of attention, dave? You seem hell-bent on making Alba and its supporters a laughing stock here, which I’m sure is the opposite of your intention.

  7. 221020 says:

    Is anyone else disturbed by the bullying that’s hounded Liz Truss out of office?

    I suspect that a lot of folk would say, “Well, it’s LIz Trust, an all-round nasty piece of work; she just got what she deserved.”

    But isn’t such a response even more disturbing? Is bullying ever deserved?

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      Not very good satire.

      1. 221020 says:

        You don’t think she was bullied? I think the Parliamentary Conservative Party bullied her out of office when she upset the economic orthodoxy and incurred the ire of the international financial markets.

        (When she ‘did a Corbyn’, in other words. If Jeremy had ever won an election, become Prime Minister, and tried to introduce his economic heterodoxy, the international financial markets would have done for him as well.)

        1. JP58 says:

          Bullied – she sacked her chancellor after he implemented her policy.
          She was absurdly incompetent as a leader and way above her limited ability this was obvious to anyone who had observed her in her previous posts. She has caused a lot of financial pain to a lot of people in her brief sojourn in Downing Street.
          In her resignation speech she talked about her mandate for her policies. She had no mandate to dramatically change the policies the Tories got voted in on in 2019. The only people that voted for her and her policies were Tory Party members and they are mainly all senile.
          You are right in one thing only she was so reckless she has made the markets run economic policy for next wee while. She has also diminished any chance of any other non neoliberal economic policies being implemented regardless of how cautious they are proceeded with.
          In short she was way
          , way short of being competent and should have resigned last Friday with Kamikwasi Karteng.
          The only sympathy I have are with all the public who will be adversely affected (90% of public) by her juvenile stupidity.

          1. 221021 says:

            So, what you’re saying is that she deserved it.

          2. JP58 says:

            Reply to 221021 comment so you think she deserved it.
            Well not much gets past you!
            She resigned on Wednesday 201022 when if she had any integrity she would have resigned on Friday 141022 when she cowardly sacked her chancellor.
            She was in post for 6 weeks in which she:
            Finished off the Queen
            Wrecked economy
            Sacked the Chancellor she appointed to follow her policy
            I know you like to appear a contrarian but this time you are just showing how far down the rabbit hole are prepared to go in taking contrary views.
            I am no lover of Tory MP’s but why do you think members voted for Truss rather than Sunak?

          3. 221022 says:

            This is true, JP. But do you think it’s right that the Parliamentary Conservative Party bullied Liz into resigning rather than, say, obliging the UK parliament to hold a general election by proposing and supporting a vote of no confidence in her government? Bullying in the party interest is still no justification for bullying.

            Bullying is a huge problem both in politics and society more generally. We should stop paying lip service to tackling it and call it out wherever it appears.

        2. florian albert says:


          You are correct in saying that Liz Trust upset the international finance markets.

          However, these markets had recently lent tens of billions of pounds to the UK government to allow it to cope with the financial strain caused by the covid epidemic and the surge in energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
          When you rely on international finance markets, you lose some of your freedom.
          There is an alternative; avoid reliance on such markets.
          There does not appear to be much of a clamour to have this policy adopted.

          1. 221022 says:

            Yes, ‘independence’ is a myth that serves only as a political shibboleth. That the UK government can be thrown into disarray by the forces of international capital gives the lie to both Brexit and Scexit as a panacea to all our problems.

    2. dave says:

      I am making a laughingstock out of people who like you are so worried about Liz Mistrusst being bullied by her English Tory colleagues.

      Have you booked your London trip to protest for an English General Election? Are you taking a bilge pump with you?

      1. 221022 says:

        You think?

      2. JP58 says:

        Dave – ignore him he is a typical contrarian narcissist always seeking attention.
        The latest Liz was bullied theory shows how far he will go to pick an argument so he can get his voice heard.
        In actual fact there was some bullying reported of a Tory MP by JRM and Coffey at fracking vote on a 3 line whip instigated by Truss.
        He lives in his own little world so best leave him there and not feed his need for constant attention. I will let you work out psychology behind this need.

        1. 221023 says:

          So, you don’t think the Parliamentary Conservative Party, most of which didn’t want her as its leader and abhorred her radical policies, bulled her into resigning so that it could get the leader it wanted? Or do you just not take workplace bullying seriously? Is it alright to throw a work colleague under a bus; i.e. to do something harmful to someone else in order to gain an advantage for yourself?

        2. dave says:

          Hullo JP58. Thanks for the ‘heads up’. I have noticed that there are never any answers from 221021, 221022, 221023 & etc numbers. When there are they really make no sense. I’ve suspected for some time that it is only one person behind all these posts. The critical, urgent matter for me is informing the NO voters at large of the huge economic advantages and benefits of independence. The NU-S.N.P. have wasted, and still are, around 9 years parroting the English Gov’t’s “this is not the time”. For them it will never be ‘the time’. The number poster is of no help.

          1. 221024 says:

            To what questions are there never any answers? Or, at least, answers you’re able to understand?

            If you’ve a problem understanding anything ‘I’ say, ask some proper searching questions (the sort of questions ‘my’ pseudonyms ask) of it and ‘I’ will clarify! Self-clarification or ‘communication’ is what these wee dialogues are about. That’s how we learn from one another and evolve.

            (Do you understand now?)

  8. SleepingDog says:

    Many of these problem categories were foreseen by the campaigners Charter 88 three and a half decades ago.
    Unprecented does not mean unpredicted. We studied arguments for constitutional reform in my Contemporary Issues in British Politics class back around then. But both the Conservatives and Labour have blocked key reforms.

    Charter 88 lives on in successor organisation Unlock Democracy, although they hardly seem to appear in corporate news, and I just found out through a web search that they gave evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Inquiry into Future Governance of the UK. The UK government published its response to that Inquiry’s report (Building a Stronger Union for the 21st century) last month.

    The media circus continues to distract from ongoing politics. Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published its final statutory report today, for example. Perhaps it is more convenient for the Conservatives if these kinds of issues are pushed down the news agenda.

    1. 221021 says:

      ‘Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published its final statutory report today…’

      Yes, I saw that. It was all over the media… along with links to the government website, from where the all the Inquiry reports can be downloaded. The Inquiry itself has produced short, plain language explainers for all 19 investigation reports, the Interim Report and the Inquiry’s statutory final report in a wide range of accessible formats. Each ‘rapid read’ contains contextual background, links to the main report and, where relevant, a summary of the recommendations.

      The information has hardly been buried. You just have to get up off your *rs* and look for it.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, I don’t know if you are too stupid to understand, too corrupt to admit, or whatever, but there was only one set of stories that have been “all over the media” in the UK in the last couple of days: the topic of this very article.
        It has been the top British story in foreign news outlets too.

        As others have rightly pointed out, this is a form of ‘court politics’, characterised by ‘who is out, who is in’ at the top jobs in Westminster. By dominating the news agenda, more ‘real’ political news is driven down the agenda; reporters who could be tasked to other stories have been reporting on the infighting in the Conservative Party. I am not suggesting this is a carefully-calculated conspiracy; courtiers generally want other people talking about them, after all. It also brings a form of politics (often presented as the *only* form) into disrepute, and may contribute to apathy (at the polls and elsewhere), although it may also inspire people to get active in alternate forms of politics, yet the latter is woefully under-reported in UK corporate media. This cause is partly why Bellacaledonia exists, as a corrective.

        You, in contrast, apparently see nothing in our corporate media that needs reform, since people can just (somehow) “get up off [their] *rs*[s] and look for” information. If they don’t, presumably you will just blame them for being lazy or inept, instead of the current system you obviously love so much. But then you also slate others for blaming people for being lazy or inept, whilst elevating yourself to some kind of transcendent hero.

        It is, of course, absurd for you to so often witter about nothing being objectively true yet being unable to refrain from making objective statements as if they were true “It was all over the media”, yet worse still, lies. But hardly surprising, since you have explicitly chosen to have no integrity.

        1. 221021 says:

          Yes, the bullying out of office of Liz Truss by the Parliamentary Conservative Party has been the top news story of recent weeks, even on Bella, and understandably so. It would be rather strange if it hadn’t been.

          But it’s hardly been a ‘distraction’ from other stories; I had no problem reading about the publication of the ICSA’s final report yesterday, even in the ‘mainstream’ press. There was even a lengthy, establishment-excoriating BBC report about it on the wireless news.

          The corporate mediators are what they are; they spin information in the direction that best serve their private interests. If you disagree with a mediators editorial policy, no one’s stopping you from getting your information elsewhere, from source that are more confirming of your prejudices.

          I don’t blame people for being lazy or inept, or victimise them by suggesting that they’re poor souls who are easily led. I’m only saying that, if people can’t nowadays find and grade in order of importance news stories that speak to their interests, then they’ve only themselves to blame.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, so if people are homeless, sick, disabled, institutionalised, don’t have English as a first language, have literacy problems, work such long hours or do so much childcare they’re exhausted, are offline, cannot afford devices and subscriptions that most enjoy, are dependent on carers who buy or control media for them, and so on, then it is still their fault if they “can’t nowadays find and grade in order of importance news stories that speak to their interests”? Why do you love the billionaire press and government-toadying BBC so much anyway? Perhaps you have never heard of structural disadvantage?

          2. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, of course there are people stopping me from getting information elsewhere; they are generally known as gatekeepers, but also there are forms of silencing that happen throughout professions (Scottish historian Tom Devine recently apologised on behalf of Scottish historians including himself for, er, historic failures in this regard).

            The UK has recently gotten worse in this respect, according to various sources like the Sutton Trust and Declassified UK, with a narrower section of society controlling gatekeeper roles. The apparent decline in investigative journalism (quality and quantity) in the UK may be partially connected to the negative impacts of various new laws, same goes for protesters, whistleblowers, charities and so forth. Ministers and government officials, especially in the more secretive departments, will only brief a very few, selected journalists. The royal family have squatted like scabs over their family archives (aka state records), for another. The National Archives are highly selective, and government departments frequently abuse their powers to withhold or redact documents without giving reasons. There is a lot of secret government and state activity (that we know something about).

            My old Contemporary Issues in British Politics lecturer told us that there were many things of great public interest known to academic specialists and similar researchers that were sometimes published in obscure journals or expensive textbooks, but were unknown to the general public. I guess that is still the case. I can pursue my self-chosen research topic into unfree labour in the British Empire, but it has proven expensive. Not everyone has the resources, time and money, for that. As I have said before, an overwhelming problem people face is integration: how to put information into a coherent model that accurately represents real-world systems. This is virtually impossible without layers of mediation, definition and summaries.

            Plus, media in the UK is censored, even if the main newspapers have a cosy relationship with the D-notice Committee. Moreover, a lot of covert state and corporate propaganda is covertly injected into the media and arts spaces, which we tend only to find out about decades later, if at all. And there is a great deal of self-censorship; if you don’t look at Al Jazeera, where would you find out about the Labour Files (apart from places like MediaLens)? See Propaganda Model and all that. And the rich and powerful appear to benefit disproportionately from UK libel laws.

            As for bullying, in her campaign Liz Truss threatened the world with nuclear weapons. As bullying goes, it tends to put other examples in the shade.

            And saying that others should blame themselves *is* laying the blame on them, *is* saying they are blameworthy, *does* amount to blaming them. Did you get your Sophistry degree from some diploma mill?

          3. 221022 says:

            No, the fault lies in your narrative, which casts those who experience structural disadvantage as the passive victims of the system and thereby denies them agency. Such narratives are classic instruments of oppression, all the more effective for being self-applied by the oppressed themselves as an outcome of their colonisation.

            Certainly, there are gatekeepers who would regulate our access to – or ‘privatise’ – information, but this can be subverted. Gatekeepers – and would-be gatekeepers of both the ‘right’ and ‘left’ – are forever complaining about ‘misinformation’ and ‘fake news’, as more and more of us by-pass their channels.

            (By the way: your old lecturer sounds like the archetypal gatekeeper, claiming access to arcane knowledge that lies beyond the ken of the general public. That’s a classic authoritarian strategy of ‘teachers’.)

            (And are you saying it was alright to bully Liz Truss because she was nothing but a bully herself?)

            (And which of the D-notices that have been issued since the introduction of the voluntary scheme in 1912 would you disagree with?)

          4. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, I never claimed people who were disadvantaged were passive. In information terms, they are active nodes in a network, receiving, processing, creating, disseminating information; but information suppression exists for classes our system, while a few nodes have vast amplification. In complexity terms, people are interactive agents in a complex adaptive system (as social systems are), but again, with great disparities over freedom of action and influence.

            My old lecturer was encouraging us to seek out, discuss and publish information, and was highly critical of the secret state with its draconian official secrecy and undercover political policing (and his descriptions of these have been borne out through many subsequent investigations and disclosures), so the opposite of a gatekeeper. If anything, he was critical of those in academia who did not publicise what they knew.

            I am saying that your characterisation of Truss as bullied rather than bully seems an odd choice, although only you will know your motivations for that. Perhaps you sympathise, having been ejected from office (village idiot? pub bore?) by similar means.

            I think most people would consider it reasonable that wartime censorship will be more strict than peacetime, although the British Empire has been fighting wars almost every year, and recently far more covert ones than in the past. The Falklands War was widely recognised as one of the most secretive non-covert wars in British history. Ian Cobain has quite a lot to say about the family of D-notices (including DX and DA) in The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation. They are thought be used to suppress stories that are ‘politically awkward’, embarrassing to the intelligence services, and could be quite wide-ranging, a form of backdoor censorship. Of course, sometimes newspaper personnel were too inebriated to always follow the dictates of the secret state, and the occasional Snowden-style revelation burst from the presses. The modern DSMA system continues to have no legal basis, as far as I know, but apparently journalists face prosecution and media outlets other sanctions. Self-censorship is conditioned and selected for. How utterly predictable of you to side with the British imperial secret state. Why do you hate open and transparent government so much?

          5. 221022 says:

            We are indeed ‘active nodes in a network, receiving, processing, creating, disseminating information’ and our various networks are indeed ‘complex adaptive systems’ in which we are interactive agents; that’s a nice way of putting it. I’d only add that the inequalities inherent in those systems/networks and the conflicts that arise from those inequalities are the instability that drives the adaptivity of those systems/networks.

            Given what you’ve already said about you old lecturer, I’m hardly surprised that s/he spun you a conspiracy theory about a hidden secret state of which s/he had privileged knowledge. Again, it’s a classic authoritarian strategy of teachers who present themselves as gatekeepers of arcane (‘unpublished’) knowledge.

            Did I not characterise Liz as bullied as well as a bully? You have a worrying penchant for seeing things in black-and-white, either/or, dichotomous terms. Bullies are often both, and the fact that someone’s a bully still doesn’t theby justify their being bullied. The Parliamentary Conservative Party’s bullying of her still needs to be called out, don’t you think?

          6. SleepingDog says:

            @Lord Parakeet the Cacophonist, Al Jazeera’s latest edition of The Listening Post covers a lot of these issues, billionaire Elon Musk’s amateur geopolitical influencing, the potential merger between Fox and News Corps which could spread the most reactionary side of the patriarchal Murdoch dynasty, the UK media bias against the Labour movement, and a short segment on Liz Truss:
            How bizarre that you must think the official UK Undercover Policing Inquiry both a conspiracy theory and non-secretive in scope, nature and practice. You also seem to fail to understand the meaning of ‘arcane’. Still, the power of networks is that faulty fringe nodes can easily be routed around, and that of complex adaptive systems is in developing new modes of interaction with always-reactionary agents.

          7. 221022 says:

            And it doesn’t concern you that Al Jazeera peddles Qatari propaganda? Are you perhaps cherry-picking? (There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that, by the way; like I said at the outset of our current wee excursion, everybody can and should do shop around for their information.)

            And didn’t you say that your old lecture laid claim to arcane knowledge (knowledge that’s known or knowable only to a few people like her/him); namely, the ‘many things of great public interest known to academic specialists and similar researchers that were sometimes published in obscure journals or expensive textbooks, but were unknown to the general public’ and, more specifically, ‘the secret state with its draconian official secrecy and undercover political policing’? Sounds to me like s/he was peddling you a conspiracy theory that depended on some arcane knowledge he claimed of hidden things. By what special gift did he claim such knowledge of that secret state with its secret policing?

  9. James Dow says:

    One things for sure, The Mother Of All Parliaments has raised her petticoats to reveal a pound a trick whore.

    1. dave says:

      Hullo James. The problem we have, apart from your comment, is F.M. Sturgeon’s worrying about the English parliament instead of declaring independence for Scotland. Her declaration a few weeks ago that she is British tells the whole story.

      While she, CEO Murrell of the NU-S.N.P. (her husband), Ian Blackford and their MP’s are drawing their huge salaries plus non-taxable expenses from the English Gov’t the rest of we Scots are basically starving and or are about to freeze. It’s time for the NU-S.N.P. membership to them out in the same way Liz Truss was dealt with.

      1. dave says:

        Last paragraph should read FORCE them out in the same way Liz Truss was dealt with.

        1. 221022 says:

          And have the SNP effectively elect her successor as First Minister? No thanks! I’d rather we had a general election, wouldn’t you? After all, that would (at least in your dreams) give Alba the chance to present the ‘true facts’ to the genuine Scottish people, form the next Scottish government, and pursue its programme for independence.

          1. dave says:

            You and the other dreamers led by Ms. Sturgeon will never get a G.E. from the English Tories. You must be dreaming in technicolor. Are you really that uninformed? At least your heroine Sturgeon has a valid reason to delay declaring independence for the umpteenth time.
            You would rather have Ms. Sturgeon as your leader? you must be saft in the heid.

          2. 221023 says:

            Why would the Scottish government need ‘the English Tories’ to call a general election to the Scottish parliament?

  10. dave says:

    Headline in Oct 22, 2022 English owned National. Ian Blackford preparing for a General Election.
    Where is the Preparation for Independence? 9 years and zero.
    As I’ve been posting all along with many other Alba and ISP members including other true Independence groups ‘we will never ever’ get our independence with the NU-S.N.P.’s leadership of F.M. Sturgeon, CEO Murrell and Ian Blackford. Time for a gut check by all NU-S.N.P. supporters if they do want independence or stay poor while their executives above live on their money. Wake up. Either get rid of your British executive or get out of the way and we true independistas will get the job done.

    1. 221022 says:

      I think your problem is with the SNP and its remarkable electorial success rather than with its current leadership, dave. After all, leaders come and go, but it’s the party that’s determined by majority the policies that have proven so popular with the electorate.

      I know that you put the almost equally remarkable unpopularity of Alba down to misinformation. So, why is Alba failing to get ‘the true facts’ across in its public campaigns? Does it need to up its game? And do you think the tenor and content of your posts to this blog are really helping to up its game?

      1. dave says:

        221022. You don’t get it. the English Labour Branch at Holyrood conned the Scottish Electorate but where are they now? The NU-S.N.P. are following in the same footsteps and will have the same fate. Alba is gaining more support every day. More and more of the NU-S.N.P.s are moving to Alba.

        Alba is just over a year old and has one purpose in mind: independence for the Scotland. None of our leaders are British like your Ms. Sturgeon.

        1. 221023 says:

          How long? You’re currently polling only 2-3%, despite your candidates having ample opportunity to get the ‘true facts’ across to the ‘conned’ electorate. How long until Alba rises to become the party of government in Scotland and sends the English homeward to think again?

    2. James Dow says:

      Dave, it’s all about the land, OUR LAND and the removal of the devious constraint that were entwined around her beautiful form in 1707. With the exception of a few Scottish vested interest elites the rest of the nation was in rebellion not wishing to give up their nations sovereignty, riots had to be put down by the powers of the day. We are temporary, our land is forever she can only exist with dignity as a Sovereign Nation AGAIN. It is every Scots responsibility and indeed obligation to their birthright to see it done.

      1707 The speaker of the House of Commons
      “We have catched Scotland and we will bind her tight”

      1. 221024 says:

        It’s not about OUR LAND, dave; it’s about our autonomy, the ability of each and every one of us to decide how s/he’s going to live he/his own life. Making the government in Edinburgh independent of the government in London does nothing to advance that cause.

        Honest to God, man, all this ‘OUR LAND’/’b*st*rd*n English’/’Scots wha hae’ nonsense is like a promo for an auld Corries’ album.

        1. James Dow says:

          Well now Mr 221026 you feel you can insult me from afar, not only me but my nation’s historic regalia as I wear a full military uniform. You are a coward and a keyboard warrior as you have plainly demonstrated because one thing is for sure you wouldn’t insult me to my face without painful consequences. And I don’t care what age you are or how tough you think you are the consequences would be the same.

          1. Okay. This exchange needs to end or it will be ended.

          2. 221026 says:

            Nae bother, Mike. James’s last post and dave’s anglophobia says aa that needs to be said about thon auld-farrant kin o nationalism. My wark here’s duin. I leave the baith o them alane nou.

      2. dave says:

        Hullo James. Yes, you are 100% correct. The biggest stumbling block is the NU-S.N.P. F.M. Sturgeon, who openly declared that she is British, her husband, unelected CEO Murrell and Ian Blackford who said a few weeks ago how he is enjoying the life at Westminster. These are as you properly say the ‘vested interest elites’ who enjoy their huge salaries and non-taxable expense accounts leaving the vast majority of Scots scrambling just to put food on the table. The NU-S.N.P. in accordance with the English gov’t are running a blackout of just how rich Scotland is economically (with our huge resources), culture and history. This started in 1707. The recent NU-S.N.P. conference did zero to advance independence. The ‘dug and cuddy’ show by Ian Blackford imitating Liz Mis Truss t while providing a guid laugh did nothing for our independence.
        The financial ‘paper’ was useless, too many pages, and most people would not understand the graphs nor the way it was written. Also, since England collects all our taxes and revenues, not forgetting that most of our exports go through England there is no way that Ms. Sturgeon’s numbers mean anything. Why? England refuses to give those numbers.

        I researched Scotland’s financial condition after are our narrow loss in 2014. My financial report was about 2 paragraphs long and presented in a way that any Scot would understand. I followed with our Scottish history and culture, again easy to read and understand.

        I tried to contact F.M. Sturgeon to discuss my report by she refused, through her snippy assistant. I tried again with the same result. and was told to send it to S.N.P. HQ in Edinburgh which I did. I was also told not to try to contact the F.M. again. that was about 4 years ago, and the report was buried. That’s when I left the NU-S.N.P.

        I joined ALBA the minute Alex Salmond accepted the leadership as he is a 100% committed independista as I am.
        Yes, you are right it’s about the land and our independence to look after it.

      3. dave says:

        Hullo again James. When I went to Murrayburn there was a Jimmy Dow in the class. Any relation?

        1. James Dow says:

          Hello again Dave, no relationship to that other Jimmy Dow. You are dead right about the clear and reader friendly manner in which the whole financial status of an independent Scotland should be presented. Scots require no padding or fluff around the matter, they are intelligent enough to make the correct decisions for themselves and their nation. The facts would show plain enough that Scotland should have been a Sovereign nation a long time ago. I have no comprehension how anybody claiming to be Scottish could oppose their nations Sovereignty, their very fibre should be screaming for it. We are a distinctive people with all the historic and cultural markers that designate our status as a people, NO Scot has any requirement for a secondary identity such as British which is a wholly political construct that attempts to blend Scots into the blandness of the Anglophile. Actually its quite humorous when you consider no such homogeneous people exist, but distinctive Scots do. Another humorous observation what and where is this country that English politicians always refer too? surely they only mean England when using the descriptive term “ my country “ “our country” “ your country” because Scotland is certainly no part of THEIR country. It can’t be the UK because it is also not a country.
          I am in Australia Dave having emigrated in 1952. I once returned HOME as a piper in the Rats of Tobruk Memorial Pipes and Drums to play in the 2005 Military Tattoo, an incredible experience, I cried a bit but then we Scots are very melancholic the condition matches our soul.

          1. 221024 says:

            So, you’ve not been a Scot since 1952, and the only participation you’ve had in our civic life since was nearly 20 years ago, as part of that British militaristic extravaganza that’s held (to our shame) every year on the esplanade of Disneyburgh Castle? FFS!

          2. dave says:

            For 221024 re: your pathetic comments to James Dow. You are not a Scot 221042. A Scot is always Scottish no matter wherever he or she lives. If you were a Scot you would know that. I’d say you are American faking to be a Scot. Your grammer and use of words are American although your posts make no sense. You’ve never been to Scotland. Yes, you do copy Scots poems from wikipedia to give the impression that you are a Scot but that doesn’t work. Go ahead reply in Scots.

          3. 221025 says:

            No, dave; nowadays, a ‘Scot’ is anyone who participates in the civic life of the imagined community of ‘Scotland’, which is a purely legal entity, irrespective of the language s/he speaks, the place s/he was born, her/his ancestral or cultural inheritance. Nationality has b*gg*r all to do with race or ethnicity; it hasnae since Hitler’s time.

            From what James tells us, he’s been an Australian for the past 70 years.

          4. James Dow says:

            From the first moment I drew breath I had the privilege of it being life giving Scottish air. Wherever a Scot is in the world no matter how long Scotland is always HOME, I have travelled around the world on occasions and when asked about my origin the reply is Scotland, I have never thought of or called myself Australian. It is not a matter of time or place it is a matter of blood and heritage which is the determining factor. On your reckoning if I had lived in China instead of OZ I would be Chinese.
            I am as Scottish as any that have gone before, any that are, and any that might follow. My poem for you below.
            The Returning
            Only is Scotland am I whole
            Reunited with my soul
            For the boy could be taken
            And his soul forsaken
            To patiently await
            His final fate
            Scotland forever tattooed on his heart
            From the very last breath right back to the start.
            James Dow
            As they say Scots are poet warriors.
            I have marched down Princes St Edinburgh, my birthplace, attired in the regalia of my nation playing national tunes of my nation on the national instrument of my nation and feeling quite Scottish about the whole event. I can’t think of anything more Scottish to top that.

          5. 221026 says:

            Sorry, James, but nationality hasn’t been about ‘blood and heritage’ since Hitler’s time; it’s now, thankfully, about participation in the civic life of an imagined community. You can dress as a clown and march dewy-eyed along Princes Street to the strains of British imperialist triumphalism and self-identify as ‘Scottish’ as much as you like; unless you at the very least vote and pay your taxes in Scotland, then you’re not a Scot. At most, you’re an ex-Scot.

  11. dave says:

    To: James Dow. Hullo James. Great poem. I too am frae Auld Reekie. I was born doon Leith Walk and grew up in Sighthill and then Liberton.
    I’ve got to run now but will post later. You can take the Scotsman out of Scotland bu’ ye canny tak Scotland oot o a Scotsman.

    1. dave says:

      To James Dow. lang may yer lum reek. I’ll be posting on Succession James.

      Aw the best,

    2. James Dow says:

      Hello again Dave, I am from Stockbridge. As a four year old I fell into the Inverleith pond off the model yacht landing, which as It turned out was no bad thing as it immediately qualified me as a true lad from Stockaree having been baptised and anointed in the waters of the Inverleith pond. I’m glad it happened by accident because I’m not sure I would have offered myself up so freely for the ceremony considering it occurred during a cold November.

      Divide and conquer its the English way
      Then you are made to pay and pay
      Pretty soon they’ll have the clothes of your backs
      Then will return for your shoes and your dacks
      One thing is clear for it couldn’t be clearer
      Your in the hands of an expert shearer
      The Empires wealth from the many to the few
      At this the English have earned their due
      If Scotland can’t learn from historic example
      Then on their heids they deserve a good trample
      James Dow

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