Boris is back and don’t we know it. The blunderpuss of British politics just couldn’t help himself last week when he rushed to make a point to Keir Starmer at PMQs that he would be announcing the next stage of the lockdown management in a televised address to the nation. The civil service were not ready to publish plans and messaging strategy in four days, but that didn’t stop Boris. Message-testing was through a select focus group of right-leaning journalists; just an average representative sample population! The televised address was lifted straight from a Yes Prime Minister scene. Full of contradictory rhetoric: manna from heavenRead More →

For the first time in the 94 years of publishing the Scots Independent, there is no printed edition. Issue 1094 was only published online due to our printers being in lockdown. However frustrating this appears for us, especially with the beautiful cover illustration by Andrew Barr, we played our part in stopping non-essential work. The mainstream press has continued to print encouraging readers to risk travel to newsagents and supermarkets. The freedom of the press is important but when our global community has responded to novel Covid 19 by digitising our communication as much as possible, perhaps those papers need to reflect on their profit-seeking.Read More →

A recent event for public relations professionals heard from three political journalists covering a tabloid, a quality broadsheet and the BBC. Their personal details are unimportant: we focus too much on personality and forget to listen to what others are actually saying, whether their argument is grounded or contestable. After 90 minutes of question and analysis, a realisation struck on how Holyrood-centric the discussion was focused. A London metropolitan-centric viewpoint has become easy to identify, label and rail against; but are we in danger of being caught in a bubble of tartan proportions? Scant mention of the asymmetric devolution mess that the UK created underRead More →

There is endless commentary which questions ‘where are we going next?’ in the independence campaign. Invariably it involves second-guessing the First Minister’s strategy or pre-empting the UK Government’s response to further demands for an independence referendum, especially in light of the Prime Minister’s firm refusal to the First Minister’s request for a Section 30 Order. For some, that refusal was a litmus test for more one-sided actions such as a consultative referendum, civil disobedience, unilateral declaration of independence or even more extreme measures. Whilst all of these suggestions strike a chord with the majority of independence supporters, they are the sort of measures which willRead More →

Amid much bravado and authority, Nigel Farage dictated terms for his Brexit Party’s engagement in the General Election on 12 December. Boris’s Deal was in effect May’s Deal and was unacceptable. Support No Deal or we’ll stand against you in all 632 GB seats, Farage telt Boris. Fast forward two weeks and Boris has effectively called Farage’s bluff; and the Essex stockbroker capitulated. Now the Brexit Party will only fight non-Tories in the most blatant electoral pact since… the Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru agreed a deal last week! In Scotland, the removal of Brexit Party candidates is likely to give the Tories aRead More →

Forty years after the initial Claim of Right for Scotland was signed and triggered the Scottish Constitutional Convention which in turn led to the re-establishment of a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers, 50 cultural heavyweights have united to publish a “manifesto for independence” –a prospectus of “guiding principles” on independence for Scotland.  The manifesto concludes: “It is our belief that the best option now open to the Scottish people is for Scotland to become an independent country. The alternative is to accept that Scotland’s fate would remain in the hands of others and that the Scottish people would relinquish their right to decide their own destiny.”   Read More →

Article 155.3 of the 1985 Act of Accession of Spain and Portugal was the Treaty law sub article that was supposed to guarantee that MEPs from the sub states of Scotland and Northern Ireland would never have to start doing too much defensive work for the fish that actually swam and insufficient work for our peoples in the political mainstream. It was the Treaty law that recognised the simple fact that our sub states didn’t have, and could never get, enough MEPs to do the two jobs of representing our peoples and defending our fishing interests in a Parliiament full of MEPs from landlocked places,Read More →

Well the dust is settling on the European elections and after effect for all parties is rippling through them. The new no-members, no-policies Brexit Party has failed to take a parliamentary by-election in a seat they romped home at European level, which suggests voters are clear that Farage is great for a protest vote but no one wants him or his party in Westminster. Labour’s humbling in Scotland to an all-time low in share of the vote has at least forced out arch-Brexiteer/Unionist Neil Findlay, and made his boss do a U-turn to support a second EU referendum and to Remain. A long realisation thatRead More →

Well that was conference. Not one but two independence campaigns are off and running this week. The SNP’s Yes.Scot and the Scottish Independence Convention’s Voices for Scotland. The big bang of the Scottish Growth Commission report proved to be less disruptive and more constructive; when all sides claim everything is hunky-dory in going forward now, then you know the art of compromise is alive and kicking. Whilst it was a fascinating pre-debate exchange of views over the past year or so, there’s nothing like an impending election to remind you just how far this is from voters’ minds.  Somehow, the minutiae of when an independentRead More →

It’s not long ago that a Leader column in the Scots Independent talked about Theresa May as akin to Harry Houdini. No matter how much she got tied in knots and chains, she somehow wriggles out. The last few weeks are a case in point. Just as commentators and opponents (both within the Conservatives and outwith) were predicting she would be out the door of Number 10 by Christmas, so the departure point was postponed to the first vote on her Deal. Well that has come and gone. Despite the biggest Commons defeat on any topic by a post-War government, Mrs May has arisen toRead More →