A Question of Independence!

There are many who call themselves British I however am not one of them therefore you can imagine my surprise to wake to find ‘one nation one Britain’ trending. Are you kidding me? How dear these pompous arses eradicate my country and my identity. I am not and never will be British. This is a ploy by Westminster to eradicate the identity of every nation of the UK so that England remains ruler of the state and there are those in Scotland who would be only too happy for this to happen.

The ones who constantly talk the country down.

Scotland is a country, not a state and certainly not a region of England, although many would like it to be. Scotland is in my soul. I often wonder what William Wallace or Robert the Bruce would think if they happened on Scotland today. Invaded by England, or those coming from England to set up home, raise a family and make a living, new Scots as we like to call them. But are they? Is Scotland in their blood the way it is in mine? When it comes down to a referendum how would they vote? I am guessing some would vote for Scotland to be an independent country, however, I am of the belief that most would not care a jot for the country in which they reside as long as they are able to make a decent living, buy a cheaper house in which to raise their family.

Last evening, I saw a tweet of someone wishing to go to London as they could get better care and another in answer to the tweet that they were thinking of going to Liverpool as it was like Scotland. Does this sound like people who would fight for this country, no, it is sounds like someone who has made Scotland their home because it suited them at the time? Or someone from Scotland leaving because the country does not suit their needs.

There are many incomers to Scotland that are diehard Scots and would vote yes in a referendum but there are those who couldn’t care less because they know nothing of Scotland or her history. They know nothing of the clans, or the genocide of the Highland Clearances. To be fair though, there are Scots who also know nothing of these things.

I believe when it comes to the question of independence it should be a question for those born in Scotland, or those of Scottish descent. If the shoe were on the other foot and it were England who were wanting to succeed, would Scots living in England be given the vote? Would other foreign nationals? Were Europeans given a vote on the EU referendum? No, of course not, therefore why should the world and its mother have a say on our independence? Of course, there will be those who say, well I live here I should get to vote. Living here does not in my opinion give you the entitlement to vote on the constitution. I am not anti-English, or Anti foreign nationals, you are welcome here. I just believe that when it comes to a question on whether Scotland should be an independent country the answer should come from Scots.

I know this will be an unpopular opinion and quite frankly, I don’t care.

“We’re here for the biggest comeback since Lazarus”.

It would seem the people of Scotland only have pride in their country when the national team are playing. Any other time there are those who would talk it down.

Last nights scenes were one of joy as the national team held England to a nil, nil draw and boy were we celebrating. It seemed like the whole of Scotland were watching the game. My heart swelled with pride as the ‘Tartan Army’ descended on London. Swaths of people emerged from Kings Cross station singing at the top of their voices. It was a good job they were not there to attend a wedding as singing and dancing is banned. Throughout the day and night drunken Scots were watched by bewildered English folk.  Yes, that is what happiness looks like. Shot from an upstairs flat a small group of Scots could be seen such was their joy that the young couple ended up joining them and a good time was had by all. The Scots unable to gather at Trafalgar Square wound up in Leicester Square where they bathed in a fountain of bubbles. Friday saw more fans arrive, this time from Edinburgh’s Waverly Station. The pouring rain did not dampen their spirits as the joyous festivities continued throughout the day. Back home fans gathered in Glasgow Green basking in glorious sunshine, their spirits just as high as their counterparts in London; all enjoying the day and what was to come later.

Even before the match had started the cocky English pundits had written Scotland off, such was their arrogance. As the match unfolded a collective holding of our breath ensued, afraid to breath until it was over. The intensity increasing as each minute passed. Half time, you would have though we would have taken time to breath out, not a chance, we still had the second half to go. Scotland were the better side. Whatever pep talk had been given after Monday’s disaster seemed to have worked.

People took to social media to inform those having a fly look how intense it was, TikTok awash with images from ‘Braveheart’. As pride swelled in our team’s performance. The pundits who had written Scotland off had gone quiet, a nil, nil draw, we will take that. And of course, the chorus of ‘you didn’t win’ from the disappointed English. Well, neither did you. Scots came with a party atmosphere; I can only imagine what that atmosphere was like for those travelling home. If only we could transfer this atmosphere into pride for our country. Singing the national anthem at the top of our voices is one thing but putting it into action is another. I await the ultimate win over England, well to be specific, Westminster, that of independence, however, we must win an even bigger battle and that is over the SNP and their reluctance for independence.

End note: I cannot take credit for the title, I saw it on a sign and thought it was brilliant.

I Pledge Allegiance?

According to ‘The Times Article’ NHS staff in Scotland are being invited to sign a pledge and wear a badge to show support for gay, lesbian, and transgender people. I have no problem at all with NHS staff wearing badges what I do have a problem with is the signing of a pledge. Are you kidding me? What wording is in this pledge and why does the Scottish Health Service and Scottish Government deem this to be necessary? I thought the whole point of the NHS was to treat those who are sick. Since when did the National Health Service get involved in pledges?

Participation in the scheme will be monitored, why? Why monitor those who take part and what will happen to those who do not, of course it has been said that those not taking part will not be monitored, really? It won’t take a genius to work out who has signed the pledge and who hasn’t. Those who are taking part will adorn an enamel, rainbow-themed badge to show their willingness to speak up and challenge intolerance. What are they saying, those who do not take the pledge and wear the badge would not speak up?

Having staff decide to wear a badge is a good thing, however, the sinister side of me wonders why the pledge and why the monitoring. Would it be a case of those who have signed the pledge being promoted over those who have not? The pledge is entirely voluntary according to the Scottish government, but what happens to those who choose not to sign?

Seems to me…

I don’t know if anyone else in the ‘yes movement’ has noticed but groups that were set up during and after the 2014 referendum that were all inclusive now seem to be very hostile to, well those who support Scottish independence.  Apparently certain groups do not like anyone to criticise the SNP and woe betide anyone who dares to criticise the ‘Queen’ herself, Nicola Sturgeon. Seems you can only be part of these groups if you swear allegiance to the Scottish National Party, their leaders, members, and supporters. And may God strike you down dead if you do not.

2018 AUOB march

I was alerted to this when someone shared my ‘the harsh reality of betrayal’ article on facebook. Imagine my surprise when the picture I had chosen to go along with the article came across my own news feed and imagine my shock to read that someone had commented that it was shite. Oh, dear I must have hit a nerve, imagine having another point of view. Of course, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, there were those in that group who were openly debating the article and agreeing with my take on where I see the SNP.

For too long supporters of the SNP have rode the wave of success championing the first minister and all her cronies, blinded by their loyal faith to someone whom it would seem does not have their best interests at heart. What have the SNP managed to achieve for Scotland? Okay, the baby box, which is cute and all but what else is there? Education used to be revered in this country, the cry of ‘we are the best educated in Europe’ could we say that now? Education has taken a real dip; you only have to talk to parents to know there is a real worry over what children are being taught. Although I know of some parents who are perfectly fine with it, others fear for the future given the shambles over exams, or the lack of them. I imagine the SNP faithful will come back with all sorts of excuses, but the fact remains there are certain young people whose future looks bleak. And then there is the hate crime bill, about to be enacted, there is a real fear of falling foul of this bill through no fault of your own. The right to freedom of speech is under threat and don’t get me started on the rights of women to air their views.

I remember the days where everyone was on the same page, where politics were set aside, and the focus was on independence. It would seem new facebook groups are being set up, this time to accommodate those who are not welcomed to air their views on the SNP SUPPORTING pages who masquerade as being for Scottish independence. If you want independence and are not afflicted with any party, or heaven forbid you are a supporter of Alba you best hightail it out of any SNP supporting group, and woe betide if you find an article you have written but not posted you had better run for cover because the spontaneous combustion of those who live, and breath SNP and Nicola Sturgeon will not be a pretty sight.

I shall await the outcome if this article makes it onto one of these pages and if they say this is shite, well, I don’t care, I shall be somewhere in the corner of the internet laughing at them and if that makes me a bad independence supporter – well I don’t care.

The Public and Private View of the G7 Summit

The great and the good descended on Cornwall for the G7 Summit and some would say it has been an interesting 24 hours.

From official pictures of socially distanced politicians, some of whom take informing the public of a deadly disease that is rife around the world and how we all must ‘abide by the rules’.

Very seriously indeed.

 What rules are in place for the millionaire and billionaires? Certainly not the same rules which apply to the rest of us. Publicly they look to be abiding by their own draconian laws, yet privately there seems to be something amiss. Like a garden party where no one is socially distancing, and all are smiling and happy.

Talking of happiness her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11 asked during a photo-op if they were “Supposed to look like they were enjoying themselves.” Which begs the question why the leaders of the world with so much power would not enjoy themselves?

God alone knows what will be discussed during this summit but whatever it is you can almost guarantee it will be ways in which to take what they can from the public and put into the hands their powerful greedy billionaire friends.

The Harsh Reality of Betrayal!

I thought Scotland, renowned on the world stage and looked on with affection would continue to thrive. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe it would be brought this low by a party trusted by half the population. Now here we are, afraid to speak our mind for fear of falling fowl of draconian laws that are about to be brought in by the very party I and many others would have trusted with our lives.

I often thought it would be Westminster who would bring the people of Scotland to our knees, and I always believed we would stand and fight like we did back when Thatcher used Scotland as her very own playground. The first part of the United Kingdom to come under the cosh of the poll tax. Seemed we were made of sterner stuff back then. Protests were protests and people had a backbone. Now here we are with a government most trusted to deliver independence who have delivered nothing but the harsh reality of betrayal.

Even now there are those who support Nicola Sturgeon and still believe that she will deliver independence or at least a referendum. They believe the array of MPs and MSPs who line up almost daily to remind them of who is boss in the independence stakes and denounce any other party who dare to challenge that authority.

I am sick to death watching certain politicians who rose to fame during the 2014 referendum, who secured themselves a cushy job in Westminster and have yet to do anything other than winge and moan about how unfair it all is.  To be honest I wonder why half of them are down there. What have they achieved? We were closer to independence back in 2014 and have moved further and further away from achieving it. The gravy train is still parked in the station at Westminster only returning to Scotland when it is needed to ferry potential candidates around, once the vote is secured it returns to Westminster with, the trough full, and noses at the ready.

The SNP MPs’ and MSPs have taken the people of Scotland for mugs, promise the world and deliver nothing. Some have helped deliver their own agenda’s and that is fine I do not have a problem with that. It is when it takes precedence over what they were sent to Westminster and indeed Holyrood to do. Yet, they seem uncomfortable when those who put them in power have the audacity to question their commitment. Heaven forbid you ask coherent questions; questioning has some running for the block button. Or in some cases being downright arrogant in their response. Pete Wishart blocked me but to be fair to Mr Wishart, I think he may have taken offence to being accused of coming across as a sad little man. However, I have no idea why the likes of Angus Robertson or John Nicholson have reached for the block button and to be honest I do not care, it saves me seeing what they are tweeting about now.

Today I have a feeling SNP MPs and MSPs will be out in force to rebuke the latest scandal to hit the Scottish National Party, that of the missing SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND  POUNDS ringfenced for independence.

There has been countless resignations, the latest of which Joanna Cherry, who was given a mandate from party members. Regarding her resignation, she said: “A number of factors have prevented me from fulfilling the mandate party members gave me to improve transparency & scrutiny & uphold the party’s constitution.” Joanna is not the only one to air concern, Douglas Chapman MP announced his resignation as national treasurer of the party, saying on twitter that “Despite having a resounding mandate from members to introduce more transparency into the party’s finances, I have not received the support or financial information to carry out the fiduciary duties of national treasurer.”

Coming to the party’s defence Kirsten Oswald: “I am disappointed by Douglas decision and as business convener, I fundamentally disagree with his assessment of the support and financial information available to him.”

Seems to me that the SNP have a crisis on their hands when you have resignation after resignation of well-respected politicians and the complete ignoring of the mandates given to them by the members to carry out their duties. Clearly there is a problem of transparency regarding the SNP finances. It does not take a genius to realise that all is not well within the SNP. When a complaint is made to Police Scotland regarding the party’s finances although not yet being investigated at present.  When those having given money ringfenced for independence discover it is no longer there and is indeed being refunded to those who ask, you have to wonder, where is that money being taken from?

Time for the hierarchy of the SNP to resign, time for those still members of the SNP to waken up and demand these resignations. If they do not do that, then the alleged corruption will continue until such time as the Scottish National Party will be confined to the history books as the party who took Scotland to the verge of independence then lost it all.

Yesterday for the first time, I was ashamed to be Scottish!

Yesterday gave us a taste of what is to come. The Millar case is just the first. I expect more to be brought forward in the non-too distant future. Right now, I suspect there are those with a grievance against women trolling through twitter looking for anything that may be deemed offensive. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think Scotland would fall this far. Nor did I ever believe our rights and freedoms would be taken so quickly. Now we are playing catch up. Women took to twitter, angry at the decision by Police Scotland to charge Millar. As the case is now live, I will not go into it. However, I will give an overview of where we are as I see it.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall once said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It is not what we say, it is how others interpret it, however, if those reading then become offended by it, then we have a problem. When did offending someone become a criminal act?

Salman Rushdie said this: “If you’re offended, it’s your problem.”

The definition of offended is this: to feel annoyed, upset, resentful, hurt, angry. I understand people may feel all these emotions, but it should not give them the right to criminalise others for holding an opinion. If done deliberately then yes but if you are offended by let us say, a ribbon hanging from a tree which may look to some as being a noose and to others a loop, yet it is just a ribbon hanging from a tree.

Scotland is in danger of becoming a place where people are afraid to say anything for fear of their words or indeed social media posts being misinterpreted by those with ill intent towards a group and used to further their own agenda.

I remember a decade ago my first encounter with someone who was transitioning. I remember thinking, good for you, be yourself. However, it soon became apparent this individual’s hurt feelings could end up in someone else being hurt, physically. Whatever had occurred involved a politician whom I gathered had not listened to the grievance which had been allowed to fester into a downright dislike of all politicians. I remember sympathising at the time and wanting to do more to help. That was however, until this individual expressed a wish to go after not only the politician in question but their family, “Guilt by association.” I remember thinking at the time that this was a very hurt man who just wanted help to transition and was going about it all wrong. I never got to find out what happened, if indeed he managed to find himself, or herself. I am happy to report that I have met lovely people who are transitioning into the persons they should have been. I have no problem with transgender. I do believe people can be born into the wrong body. What I do have a problem with, is the belief that everyone must bow down to their way of thinking. Today that is never going to happen. And may do more harm than good. You cannot bully people into thinking as you do. By using the law as a weapon against people may cause resentment and push the causes back years.

There is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not. Trying to curtail freedom of expression and freedom of speech is not the way to go. I have seen things posted online from both sides, yesterday a student from a university in London posted pictures of guns with threats of violence. Yet it seems the law may favour one side over the other. Laws should be equal to everyone. People should have the right to express themselves and yes others have the right to feel offended but what happens when this is used as a weapon to silence people? What happens when those with a grievance use the law to shut down freedom of speech, or have a particular side second guess themselves while the other side continue their attack.

What happens then?

The Scotland I know, and love has gone, freedom of speech and freedom of expression no longer exists in this country, yesterday for the first time ever, I was ashamed to be Scottish.

The King and Queen of England

The subtle encroachment of the Monarchy’s takeover of Scotland began a few years back when the then in favour, Prince Harry was given the title the Earl of Dumbarton and recently Prince Edward became the latest Duke of Edinburgh upon the death of his father. And I am quite sure Prince William has a few Scottish Titles also. Republican Scots could just about stomach this, however, it is the steady increase of all things Royal that has me slightly nauseated. Scots, as far as I am aware, are indifferent to the Royals, on many an occasion some poor sap of a journalist was sent on a tour to find somewhere in Scotland where a street party was taking place for one of the Queen’s many jubilee; in fact, before their wedding Harry and Meghan had to make do with a group of tourists as no Scot could be found within a mile radius of where the Royal Party were appearing.

 I believed my coverage of William and Kate’s trip to Scotland was finished last week, however, when their tour crosses over into politics that, I also have a slight problem with, as explained by Alex Salmond.

“…What on earth Prince William thought he was doing having a confab with Gordon Brown, just as Gordon set up his latest campaign for the union. Now don’t get me wrong, the former Prime Minister is entitled to publish as many vows, and he’s also perfectly entitled to meet Prince William as there’s any other citizens who’s invited to do so. But we’d be very foolish indeed not to read the tea leaves in this sort of thing.”

Perhaps we should give Prince William and Brown a pass here, I mean they could be discussing the price of curtains. It is worrying though that a few days after Brown’s latest campaign to save the union he should be invited to have a wee chat with ‘future’ King Will but what they discussed is anyone’s guess.

Alex continued: “In the run up to 2014, we were extremely keen as people would, we think, proper and respectful to keep the monarchy, the Head of State out of politics.”

It could be argued that the Queen did for the most part keep quiet, until asked to intervene by the then Prime Minister Cameron upon which she made the statement about ‘thinking very carefully’ in regards to independence. The fact that the Monarchy seem to be making their presence felt in Scotland tells us how worried they have become of the people rejecting, not only the union, but the Monarchy also. This could go one of two ways, by imposing their will on a population who have been indifferent to them in the past could lead to an outright dislike. Having two of the most privileged people prancing around the towns and streets of Scotland when many are struggling to survive could be interpreted as downright arrogant, or the indifference to them will continue. Scots both old and new have far too much going to worry about, than two people who are destined to become the King and Queen of England.

“Are we there yet?”

When I was young, which was many, many moons ago, I would climb into the back of my father’s Hillman Minx, with my brother and sister either side of me, yes, I was the youngest therefore, I was pushed to the middle, but I did get a good view of the road ahead. With dad in the driving seat and mum in the passenger we would set off, excited for the day ahead. Dad would have consulted a huge road map, which he had lain on the dining room table and had in his mind which roads he would take to get to our destination, only, we never took that route, the road always had winds and turns but we did get there in the end. That is how I saw the road to independence; we were taking a little detour but would eventually get there.

The past seven years have had their ups and downs, well mostly downs but I was still hopeful for the most part that we were indeed on our way to a free Scotland. Like many who joined the SNP after the referendum of 2014 I had hoped to see us move forward and a date set. That of course did not happen, what happened was the hijacking of the independence movement by an unscrupulous party masquerading as supporters of independence and the constant answer of ‘nearly’ when asked, are we there yet.

We are now one week into the new term and already the question of independence has been put onto the backburner, the carrots have been boiled and put in the GRA and Hate Crime stew and of course the ‘bothvotessnp’ crowd are realising they have once again been had by this government backed up by their chums in the Green Party.

Like excited children we ask ‘are we there yet’ knowing at some point we will pull into the car park and smile and dance as the car is unloaded and we get to enjoy the day. There is no such joy for supporters as we witness our dream of living in an independent country ripped apart before our very eyes and the question of ‘are we there yet’ go unanswered for the foreseeable future.

Time to get your pots and pans out, time to bang the drum and let Sturgeon and her cronies know that we will not be silenced. The time for independence is now, time to take the fight to the SNP, time to let them know that the twelfth of never is not a suitable date for a referendum. It is time for Sturgeon and her cronies to get with the program or get out of the way. The people of Scotland will not be dragged out of the European Union. That happened under the watch of the SNP, and yes, we do deserve better, better than the absolute rubbish being served up to a population who are about to realise the tsunami that is coming our way. Thatcherism will be nothing compared to what is coming. Sturgeonism is Thatcherism on steroids.  

In other words, we are the ‘Royal Family’, born to rule, and we are going to make sure you know you love us!

I remember back in 2014 at the height of the campaign the Queen when asked for her thoughts on independence said she hoped voters would “Think very carefully about the future.” And how she purred like a kitten on being told of the result of the referendum. I have a feeling her majesty may still be purring, however, just to make sure the people of Scotland continue to ‘think very carefully about the future she is to lead a charm offensive to save the union.

“Operation, save the union. The Queen will lead a Royal charm offensive to encourage Scotland to resist demands of nationalists for independence and William and Kate are expected to play a key role.”

Did no one tell the palace that her Majesty need not concern herself, that her precious union is safe in the hands of Sturgeon, that the carrots worked a treat and the people had been tricked once more. Therefore, there was no need for the Duke of Cambridge to come to bear his soul.

“Scotland is incredibly important to me and Scotland will always have a special place in my heart.” Towering over everyone, the Prince began. ” I’ve been coming to Scotland since I was a small boy. As I grew up, I saw how my grandmother relishes every minute she spends here, and my father is never happier than walking among the hills.”

I am sure the Royals wish to keep it that way, last thing they need is a Republic of Scotland.

“My childhood was full of holidays, having fun in the fresh air, swimming in lochs, family barbecues with my grandfather in command and yes, the odd midge.”

How very endearing to mention the little blighters, our beloved midges, perhaps someone briefed him to mention the bugs, we would like that.  

“I spent four very happy and formative years studying at St Andrew’s the town and the students left me alone to get on the student life, allowing me to share their freedoms and their pubs.”

Yes, mention pubs, Scots like their pubs, I can just see them now. Smiling happily as they search for something we Scots would identify with.  

“I did training as a pilot in Inverness as well as enjoying the camaraderie of my colleagues it was a privilege to see the majestic sights of Scotland from the air.”

Oh god, someone help me, I am feeling quite nauseated now!

“In short Scotland is the source of some of my happiest memories but also my saddest. I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning, and in the dark days of grief that followed.”

I do have empathy, for that must have been the worst pain for any child.

“I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors as a result the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep and yet alongside this painful memory is one of great joy because it was here in Scotland 20 years ago this year that I first met Catherine.”

Where did I put my fiddle?

“Needless to say the time where you meet your future wife holds a very special place in your heart. George, Charlotte, and Louis already know how dear Scotland is to both of us and they’re starting to build their own happy memories here too. We have no doubt they will grasp sharing our love and connection to Scotland from the Highlands to the central belt from the islands to the borders…”

In other words, we are the ‘Royal Family’, born to rule, and we are going to make sure you know you love us.