Saturday 29 April 2023

The SNP scandal goes deeper and further back


There were two moments when the SNP might have won independence. Alex Salmond had a chance in 2014 and Nicola Sturgeon had a chance in 2016. On both occasions Scotland might have ended up with a leader who would later be questioned on his or her honesty.

The reason that the Scottish Government is minded to remove jury trials from rape cases and to remove the verdict of not proven too is because it thinks that too many men are assisted by juries and perhaps also by the not proven verdict.

But there is a fundamental reason why convictions for rape and sexual assault are lower than for murder, burglary, fraud, and other crimes. While the evidence for murder is most frequently objective, a dead body, forensic evidence or witnesses, there is often in rape and sexual assault cases no objective evidence at all.

The crimes that Alex Salmond was accused of took place if they took place at all years earlier. The women involved did not complain to the police at the time (we may assume). The alleged crimes took place in private. There were no witnesses other than Salmond and the person who accused him. This is a wholly different sort of evidence to that of the typical murder.

What would be the consequence of replacing a jury with a judge. Well, the judge might be the sort of activist who thinks that rape and sexual assault convictions are too low. When faced with one woman witness accusing a man of rape the judge might (other things being equal) be inclined to believe the woman rather than the man in order to increase the conviction rate. Men could therefore expect to be convicted of rape or sexual assault even if there were no other evidence apart from the witness testimony of the accuser, unless that testimony was somehow unconvincing.

Salmond wasn’t accused by just one woman. He was accused by nine and originally ten. What then would have been the consequence if there had been a judge at his trial rather than a jury?

Yet it is possible that the jury sensed something during that trial, which made it think that it simply wasn’t possible to convict Salmond and that the testimony of nine women was not enough to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I have always wondered if the jury could sense that the whole investigation into Salmond smelled of persecution and corruption.

We don’t know what happened in Bute House when Salmond was First Minister. It is hard to believe that nothing happened. But it is also possible to believe that it was just that Salmond was acquitted. But assuming that Salmond and others who were acquitted from rape and sexual assault cases were justly acquitted, then the consequence of appointing a judge intent on convicting more people charged with sexual offences, would be to convict more innocent men. Is that what justice means in SNP Scotland?

But we can be absolutely sure of two things. If Alex Salmond has become leader of an independent Scotland by winning the referendum in 2014, he would never have been investigated, let alone charged with any offence. The reason there were not even rumours of misbehaviour in Bute House was because of SNP secrecy. The reason why there was an investigation was because we had a new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. We still don’t know what she knew about Salmond’s behaviour. We don’t know whether she was involved in gathering the witnesses, or what indeed what if anything she did behind the scenes while her predecessor went to trial.

So, if Salmond had won in 2014, we would have had someone who later went to trial as our leader. If Sturgeon had obtained independence in 2016, we would never have found out about the mobile home, the pots and pans, the luxury pens, the lack of auditors or the fridge.

The moment of maximum opportunity for Sturgeon was just after the Brexit referendum. If she was going to push a unilateral strategy of obtaining independence that was the moment to do it. Countries do not have to obtain independence by means of a legal referendum, few indeed do so. If Sturgeon had orchestrated a vote for independence in order to remain in the EU in the Scottish Parliament, or if she had manufactured some sort of election to the Scottish Parliament as a plebiscite on remaining in the EU, there is every chance she would have won. With momentum it would have mattered very little if such a vote was illegal.

Of course, there would have been dangers. The SNP’s lack of a plan of how to deal with the familiar issues of borders, currency and requiring a subsidy from London, would have been exposed. Spain and other countries concerned about secession might have objected. But in the febrile mood of the summer of 2016 if Sturgeon had reached out to the EU and perhaps even Obama then she might have gained support.

The likely end point of this would have been that Brexit would never have happened. Faced with rebellion in Scotland and perhaps also Northern Ireland, the UK would have backed down on leaving the EU solving many of the SNP’s problems. The break up of the UK could have been like the break up of Czechoslovakia.

So right now, Nicola Sturgeon could be president of Scotland. But if that counterfactual had happened, we would have as our leader someone who was completely untouchable not merely regarding what she might have done to get rid of Alex Salmond, but also regarding the corruption, secrecy and autocracy which is now being revealed.

Sturgeon was running a government where she could tell colleagues to hand over their mobile phones and have their emails investigated. She could tell colleagues to essentially shut up about that, don’t investigate, don’t ask. She was running a party, where official roles, with official duties as defined by the Electoral Commission, were essentially fronts for the real people who were exercising the role. This is why the SNP could end up owning a campervan, while the person who ought to have paid for it didn’t know he was paying for it.

The SNP’s credibility and trust has been destroyed. We an reflect on 2014 and 2016 as times when we might have ended up with an essentially criminal organisation ruling over us.

We have already had one former First Minister investigated by the police. We don’t yet know if we will have another. But no reasonable Scot can trust the SNP as it now is. The danger of voting for the SNP and with it Scottish independence is not so much that a third First Minister would be investigated by the police, but that he would be a criminal and we would know nothing about it, because the police would not dare to investigate.

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Mr Yousaf goes to London


When Humza Yousaf went to London and asked Rishi Sunak for a second independence referendum it would have been amusing if Sunak had said my dear Humza just because it’s you, I am going to grant your request. The date you wanted was 19th October 2023, wasn’t it?

It would have been an interesting campaign if the SNP Westminster group had lost the £1 million pounds and more that it would lose if it cannot get its accounts audited in time. Who knows how much the SNP overall will lose if it can’t appoint auditors in time also. Still there might be enough in the kitty to put an advert or two in the West Highland Free Press and the Stornoway Gazette.

It would have been interesting too to find out who would have led the Leave the UK campaign as I don’t think Sunak would have been so foolish as to allow another Yes/No referendum. Perhaps Nicola Sturgeon could have made a comeback, only what if there were a TV debate and she found herself unable to attend because she had to answer some other questions. Stirling may have important associations with the cause of Scottish independence, but Cornton Vale might not be the best backdrop from which to broadcast.

Alex Salmond might be persuaded to make a comeback, but it might be almost as awkward to have someone who has previously been the subject of a police investigation leading as having someone who might be presently the subject of a police investigation. It rather gives the impression that people who lead campaigns for Scottish independence are liable to be subject to police investigations.

So, it looks as if it would have to be Humza Yousaf who would lead the leave campaign and that of course would be right and proper given that he is the leader of the largest Leave Party the SNP.

But unfortunately, the SNP does not appear to have a plan for Scottish independence, beyond it being something that it wants. We still don’t know how an independent Scotland would deal with the border with England if it chose to join the EU. We don’t know how long it would take it to join the EU and we don’t know how long we would continue to use the pound unofficially, when it might become a Scottish pound and when that would become the Euro. In fact we know almost as little about the SNP’s plan for independence as we know about the motorhome (and why it was bought), the jewellery, the pots and pans and the fridge.

But at least we can all take a certain comfort from the words of Colin Beattie, the SNP’s former Treasurer who was questioned by the police and released without charge. Asked about whether recent events were the worst thing that a happened to him he replied “No, I was in Beirut actually, while I was under artillery fire. That was worse.”

Humza Yousaf can then take comfort in his campaign for Scottish independence that being in Scotland is at least not as bad as being in Beirut. There is no danger yet of being abducted by Jihadist groups and chained to a radiator. We are fortunate in Scotland to have avoided armed interventions from the Israelis and the Americans. We don’t yet have refugee camps. It could be worse. We could have actually voted for independence in 2014.

I have the impression that Mr Yousaf, apart perhaps from Ms. Forbes who would make George Washington look dishonest, is by SNP standards fairly honest. The reason for his honesty is that he genuinely didn’t know about the motorhome, didn’t know about the lack of auditors, didn’t know about the pots and pans nor indeed about the fridge. Somehow like Mr Smith going to Washington (1939) he has ended up like some innocent abroad not knowing anything at all while all around him is cunning and corruption.

Humza Yousaf didn’t know that Nicola Sturgeon had threatened to seize people’s mobile phones and check their emails. It was all news to him when he somehow or other took charge and discovered the motorhome. He didn't know about the lack of auditors, even though Blackford and Flynn knew. No one thought to tell the poor sap Humza, because he was always and only a token, to make the SNP seem just a bit less nationalistic and to attract a certain demographic.

But now your campaign for independence is actually going to be led by someone who knows nothing about anything. Right in the middle of your campaign who knows what might happen. If we found out about jewellery, pots and pans a fridge and threats to seize mobile phones in last weeks Sunday Mail, what will we find out next week?

In 2014 the independence campaign could have been completely destroyed if there had been a leak even suggesting what was later alleged about Alex Salmond. Imagine in 2023 if we had such a campaign, what might we find out this week or next week or just before the vote?

But Humza Yousaf has to ask for a second referendum just the same, even though it is completely obvious that neither the SNP nor Yousaf actually wants one any time soon. He has to ask for the referendum because if he didn’t the SNP supporters would cease joining and cease giving their hard earned so that the SNP can buy still more mobile homes.

Sturgeon still tells us that nothing that has happened since her resignation had anything to do with it. Yousaf tells us that he wants a second referendum when we know he doesn’t at least not now. Blackford tells us that he told Flynn about the lack of auditors when Flynn took over, Flynn says he found out later in February, but no one told Humza though Flynn supported Humza’s leadership bid.

These people are so used to lying that they have lost all sight of what truth is. It is this that is at the root of all the scandals that we have found out about and all the scandals that we are likely to find out about in the next few weeks and months. It is this that forces Yousaf to deny that the SNP is a criminal organisation and admit that he is surprised when colleagues are arrested. It is this that makes Scotland not quite as bad as being under artillery fire in Beirut.

If only you were Scottish Sadiq, you could wear a tartan tie just like me.


Monday 24 April 2023

It's time Diane Abbot was kicked out of the Labour Party


Racism in the modern western world has become the unforgivable sin. Diane Abbot wrote a letter to the Observer and swiftly had the whip removed from her. She later apologised and claimed somehow that the letter misrepresented her thoughts. It read

Tomiwa Owolade claims that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from ‘racism’. They undoubtedly experience prejudice. This is similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable. It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote. And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.

Race is complex. We ought to be able to write about it in a way that reflects this complexity. There clearly is a difference between racism based on skin colour and other forms of racism. Irish people, Irish travellers and white British people are indistinguishable in terms of what they look like. They are all descended from the same or similar mixture of ancestors. But they may experience hatred because of who they are and their belonging to an identifiable group.

An Irish person can be identified by a name or an accent an Irish traveller by a lifestyle. Both in Britain and the USA people from Ireland have been treated as inferior not because of how they look but because of who they are.

This is similar to the way in which some Scottish people, including many SNP supporters treat English people who have moved to Scotland. It’s also similar to how some people in the Central Belt treat people who are either Protestant or Catholic.

We can debate whether this is racism. After all everyone involved is the same race. But it hardly matters to the victim if he is hated because he is Irish, a Protestant, English or a Scot. What matters is the hatred. Call it what you will.

Being hated because of the colour of your skin is different from being hated because you are Jewish. A black person walking down the street in London is visibly black. A Jewish person may be indistinguishable from everyone else. He may of course wear clothes that identify his Jewishness.

It is true that a Jewish person may not have had to sit at the back of the bus in the South prior to Civil Rights. It is true that Jewish people did not face the same discrimination in South Africa during apartheid as black people did. But this just shows that racism is complex.

Jewish people do not all look the same. It is racist to suppose that they do. There are Jewish people who look Middle Eastern, there are Jewish people who look European and there are Jewish people who look African and from other races too, but this does not mean that hatred of Jewish people or anti-Semitism is not a form of racism.

Jewish people in the USA, the UK and other countries faced racism not because of what they believed but because of what they were. It may not always have been possible to tell by looking at someone whether they were a Jew, but as Gregory Peck demonstrated in Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) merely by adopting a Jewish identity he found himself unable to stay at certain hotels, unable to get certain jobs and unable to access certain services. If this isn’t racism what is?

Throughout recorded history there is one group of people who has been subjected to more deadly racism than any other. It is the Jewish people.

Deadly racism against Jews did not begin with the Nazis. There were massacres of Jews in the Middle Ages. Jews were expelled from countless countries including England. There were continual pogroms in the areas where Jews settled in Eastern Europe and finally 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

Diane Abbot wants to put black women like her at the top of the hierarchy of racism. But black people have not been systematically murdered throughout history because of who they are. It is true that the transatlantic slave trade involved the deaths of many black people, and many suffered and died as slaves afterwards. The Middle Eastern slave trade also involved the castration of many black people. But the idea of slavery was not to kill those enslaved. A dead slave is worth nothing to its owner. The idea was to keep slaves alive as long as possible and for those slaves to give birth to new people who also would be slaves. The fact that there are black people in the USA and the Caribbean today shows that there was no attempt at genocide. Quite the reverse.

The massacres, pogroms and finally the Holocaust had a wholly different idea. The idea was to eliminate the Jewish people. The method of determining who was and who was not a Jew was based on ancestry. The Nazis certainly thought that Jews were a race, and it was because they were a race the Nazis wanted to eliminate them. How then can anti-Semitism not be a form of racism?

Today Jewish people are still faced with the threat of extermination. Organisations like Hamas, the Iranian Government and others would prefer that Israel ceased to exist and that few if any Jews lived in what is now the state of Israel. The Jewish people living there today would either be expelled or massacred. The same old story all over again.  Many people on the far left of the Labour Party in Britain sympathise with these aims.

Racism is complex. Not all racism is based on appearance or even skin colour. There are people who identify as black who are indistinguishable from southern Europeans or people from the Middle East. Jewishness is complex, but the vast majority of Jews believe they can trace their ancestry to a people who were first written about in the Tanach [Old Testament].

It is because of this ancestry or race that they have been subjected to more racism than any other group of human beings. How dare Diane Abbot compare it to people with red hair.


Saturday 22 April 2023

The SNP is up to its axles in dung


We all must take seriously the warning from Police Scotland not to discuss people who have been arrested. As soon as this happens such persons become unpersons. Their names may not be mentioned like יהוה‎ [YHWH] in the Bible. We mustn’t put in the vowels, so that in time we even forget whether it was Potur Marrol or Pator Merril. Better just to leave it as Ptr Mrrl for safety’s sake. Just as it’s safer to be writing about Ncl Strgn.

But in time writing about the SNP will require us to write in Hebrew without vowels otherwise the Plc [Pilucu or Paleci depending on dialect] will think me contemptible. Because as arrests mount up, we will have to first cease talking about Ncl Strgn, then n Blckfrd and finally we won’t dare invoke the name of Stphn Flnn. I am happy to write using the Hebrew alphabet, but I fear it might be even more confusing than Seirbheis Phoilis na h-Alba, though I suspect there are probably more Hebrew speakers in Alba than those who can explain how Poileas can become Phoilis.

I have been reduced to writing about the Nippylungenlied. But the problem is not that the Nippylungens lied so much as the whole of the SNP is built on lies from top to bottom.

The leader of the SNP at Wstmnstr as recently as 16th January 2023 said that the next General Election ought to be a de facto referendum on independence. If the SNP plus friends and enemies, i.e., Alba, Scottish Greens and small extremist socialist parties won just one vote more than 50% then it would immediately start negotiations with the British Government on independence.

Some variants on this theme were mentioned by others involving civil disobedience, unilateral declarations of independence, revolution like the Americans in 1776 and refighting the Battles of Stirling Bridge, Bannockburn and Culloden.

We can assume that these people were telling the truth back in January. But we now discover that

Stuphin Flonn, who replaced Blockfard as Wostmanstar leader, is mapping out a general election strategy in which independence will be put on the back burner in favour of domestic issues.

Sorry for the paranoia about mentioning unmentionables.

But what this means is that someone who just a very short while ago was intent on going into the next General Election with a single-issue manifesto which would have had a one line sentence about it being a plebiscite on independence, now thinks the exact same General Election can be fought without mentioning independence at all.

But this goes to the root of the whole problem with the SNP. Every single one of these people spends his whole life hiding the truth and saying things that he doesn’t mean.

Stuphin Flonn will be campaigning for independence, even if he tells everyone during the General Election that independence has nothing to do with him. If the SNP does terribly, he will tell us that the election says nothing about independence, but if the SNP with friends and enemies turned out to get more than 50% it would suddenly be a mandate for immediate negotiations.

But this is not merely stuphid it is dushonast.

These two words explain everything about why we are where we are with the SNP at present.

Nucelu Stargoun resigns for a reason that has nothing whatsoever to do with the reason she gives. She pretends to be impartial but tells everyone to vote for Hamzu Yeusof and the whole party attacks Kotu Farbsu because she told the truth.

The poor deluded SNP members do what they are told and instead of picking the one person who might actually clean up the mess, they choose the one who will make the mess worse because he is useless. They then complain that they wouldn’t have done so if they had known what they knew after someone nameless was arrested and want the whole thing rerun.

But this is what the SNP is trying to do to the rest of us. The General Election won’t be about independence unless we get more than 50% of the vote and then it will retrospectively be a single line manifesto that allows us to begin negotiations and indeed do what we want.

Since the unmentionable was arrested, we have had another unmentionable arrested and we have discovered Nucelu Stargoun telling everyone who supposedly is in charge of the SNP to shut up about finances, don’t investigate, don’t even talk about the issue, because there is nothing to see here.

There begins to be something of a pattern here. There are essentially only two SNP strategies. There are secrets and there are lies.

We don’t really have a clue quite how much Scottish Government money was spent on two ships that look as if they will never be built. If I worked at a ship building company and I wanted to continue working, I would do everything in my power to build the ship otherwise I wouldn’t be working for a ship building company, but rather for a scrap metal merchant. But none of us know how these incredibly expensive non-ships ended up rusting, because all we have ever heard about the issue is secrets and lies.

So too none of us have any clue where all the money that was given to the Scottish Government during Covid ended up. Nor how despite receiving higher funding per head than the other parts of the UK the Scottish NHS performs worse than anywhere else. This too is because all we ever hear about the Scottish healthcare and indeed education is secrets and lies.

No one including the present SNP leader knew that there were no auditors since last September except a few insiders more inside than the present leader. No one has a clue how a motorhome ended up outside the home of the mother of one of the unmentionables. No one has a clue why the SNP would want to buy such a motorhome and no one has a clue whether there might be other motorhomes at the homes of relations of other unmentionables or a super yacht with the ability to perform like a submarine hidden in Loch Ness. It's apparently a monster.

No one really knows anything about Scottish politics and still less about the SNP, because we are not even allowed to pronounce the names of those involved without changing the vowels.

The SNP has become a jimmy riddle, wrapped in the mist, inside an enema. It stinks, because everyone involved is standing on rotting foundations held up by secrets and lies buried in a midden. It’s the unmentionable in pursuit of the unethical because as each of the arrested becomes unmentionable, we are wrapped deeper still in the secrets and the lies, wading in the SNP dunghill.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

A fairytale that has nothing to do with Scotland. Part 9

Part 8

Once upon a time there was a wandering minstrel called Jake von der Yate and he sang a song of how King Alan once had slain a dragon and bathed in the blood that it shed, but a leaf from a rowan tree fell on his back, which made this spot weak and vulnerable, while the rest of him could not be touched.

Jake sang again of how Alan arrived at the court of Paul, who was lonely because he desired a fierce warrior maiden called Nancy, but he was scared because Nancy set each of her suitors a set of tasks and if Paul failed, he would die.

But Alan had a cloak that made him invisible or change into any shape he wanted, and he used it to pretend to be Paul when he defeated Nancy in each of the tasks and he used it again when Paul found that he could not subdue his warrior maiden on their wedding night and Alan had to take his place.

There were two queens in the court now, Nancy and Alan’s wife Mona. One day on the way to church after Alan had abdicated Nancy told Mona to walk behind her because Alan was a vassal. Mona refused. She had been queen when Nancy had been but a little girl.

Now that Nancy was queen Alan was no longer welcome at court. Nancy removed him from her speed dial, but she was jealous not only because the peasants loved Alan more than her, but because Mona had shown her the ring and the belt that Alan had taken from Nancy when he pretended to be Paul on their wedding night.

Nancy wanted revenge. She sends Ivan the Swine to find out where Alan is vulnerable, and he tricked Mona into revealing the spot on Alan’s back.

Jake continued to sing of how Ivan the Swine threw a spear but despite ten witnesses telling Nancy that Alan was doomed and dead and justly so because he hadn’t asked her permission, somehow Alan’s love of stroking cats had turned him into a pussy and this was only the first of the lives that he had lost.

Alan and Mona swore revenge but were sent into exile to Albania and there just weren’t enough Albanians to challenge the power of Queen Nancy and King Paul.

But Jake had become famous with his song and had earned more than any other minstrel not only in this kingdom but in any other kingdom. Jake was richer than Queen Nancy and in fact there was only one person richer in the kingdom than Jake and that was Agnes Grey.

Agnes had seen that the various sacred wells in the kingdom were distant from each other and when people had far to go, they needed transport. They also needed protection from marauding blue skins with woad and pictures on their skin. They had defeated legions, but they didn’t defeat Agnes who coached her actors on the stage that the show must always go on and the wells must be reached no matter how far to go.

Nancy began to have portraits painted where she resembled various saints. She liked to think of herself as blessed even virginal despite the loss of her ring and belt whether at the hands of Paul or Alan. It was right and proper that she should be painted in front of a shape that resembled a halo, after all she did have a halo. Hadn’t she saved the kingdom from the plague of covetousness, even if she had sometimes coveted herself a litter with slaves that would make a nice home when on the move, or some jewellery made by Orcs costing a thousand ducats for one necklace, or a house in Lusitania that was guaranteed not to sink no matter what because it was on dry land and had been paid for by peasants.

But what Nancy really coveted was to turn water into wine and so she decreed that Nancy could become Nathan and Paul could become Paula and there was no need for a doctor to say anything about the transition, because no doctor had said water couldn’t be turned into wine and if He could perform miracles so could She.

But both Jake and Agnes could see the problem with allowing Nancy to become a boy. If you went into Marx and Sverdlovsk to buy a dress, you didn’t want to have Paul in the same changing room just because he now said he was Paula. The Pen Is mightier than the sword, but it is still a sword after all if not a spear if it is long enough.

There was something of a turf war. Jake had allowed some young singers to sing his story called those who were nibbling lied. But they had all turned against Jake and condemned him for standing on the same old turf and not being willing to believe in miracles.

When Jake read about a “Pen Is mightier than the sword” being allowed to mix with poor maidens held in the castle dungeon, he sang a new song to Agnes. Nancy must be stopped.

Both Jake and Agnes decided to give a sum of ducats (quadrillions) that was more than anyone in the kingdom could count to discover all that they could about Nancy.

Nancy took revenge on Agnes by telling lies about her, but it was too late, the investigation was beginning and with the ducats that they had spent Jake and Agnes could hire Shylock at home, Hercules the Parrot and Nancy drew the conclusion that it was time to abdicate.

Nancy thought that the Heddlu were all ruled by her and anyway Ivan the Swine had hidden the treasure obtained by nibbling the peasants in the Rhine. But he lied. He thought it wasn’t necessary to go so far and decided there was nowhere as Bonnie as roaming in the gloaming with a lassie by his side.

The Head Loo were able to flush Bonnie and guess what they found in the Rhine.

Paul had singing lessons from the Head Loo and they being from a nation of singers his singing improved so much that he began to sound like a canary. But there was someone who could Beat even He. Ivan the Swine had told the one who beat he who could not be beaten where the nibbling treasure was hidden. He had ordered the treasure to be sunk so deep that even the Head Loo could not flush it out.

But the Head Loo wasn’t merely a Head Loo it was from Cymru, and bonnie banks were no challenge whatsoever for a flush that could put out Brecon Beacons in a second.

“Should I stay or should I go now” sang Nancy.

“If I go there will be trouble

And if I stay it will be double”


She gathered her slaves and her mobile litter and set off for Albania. She would plead for help from King Alan. After all wasn’t he her first love.

King Alan was now a blue nose due to dipping it in woad. At ill a moment as it is possible to imagine Ivan the Swine chose to steal Alan’s child which both he and Mona had received unexpectedly at an unreasonably old age. The Head Loo discover the child’s missing head just as they discovered the nibbling treasure missing the treasure. It’s been converted into a solid gold litter. It’s literally under her.

The Never Even Consulted along with Ivan the Swine and Nancy retreat all under one banner to the hall of the Huns.

Jake von der Yate plays his fiddle as the hall is set alight. Pieces of the ceiling come close to her and she asks King Hārūn to shield her from the fiery debris, but he is as useless with his shield as he is with his sword.

It’s over. It’s twilight of the Gods for Nancy and the Never Even Consulted. It’s goats damn the rungs because they cannot climb the ladder.

Jake plays a tune by Todd Siegfried Wagoner on his fiddle and Agnes coaches him to play still sweeter in their victory as the flames envelop Nancy and all she strove for turns to ashes.

Part 10

Tuesday 18 April 2023

All Scottish nationalists are to blame for Sturgeon


The series of scandals enveloping the SNP will quite soon be portrayed as a rogue leader driving an honest party and still more honest movement up to the top of the hill and then over a cliff. But this is not the case. The scandal is not primarily about why Sturgeon suddenly resigned. Nor is it about accounting. Nor is it about motor homes. It is about truth.

In Scotland we lost the sense of shared truth sometime around 2013 or 2014. The SNP of my youth was no better nor worse than any other party. It had a few MPs, not much power or influence and little hope of ever obtaining its goal. But it was more or less honest.

Sometime during the independence referendum however, it began to put forward a view of Scotland’s independent future that was so distinct from what the rest of us believed that there was no longer a shared truth in Scotland. It became like debating astronomy with a people who believed human sacrifice was necessary for the sun to rise. There is nothing to discuss.

There is an idea going around the “Yes Movement” that it was the leadership that betrayed the honest workers taking Scotland towards independence. But even the name “Yes Movement” is a lie. No one thinks that a second referendum would have a Yes/No question. If you cannot even be honest about your name, what else can you be honest about?

The rebels in Alba or who sympathise with Alba and who are perhaps trying to bring down the SNP from within were equally dishonest in 2014. Salmond’s future as First Minister and leader of the Yes campaign depended just as much on the SNP’s omerta as Sturgeon. The creator of Wings over Scotland who has provided so much useful inside information and frankly good journalism in recent weeks and months, also produced the Wee Blue Book, which did an excellent job of persuading people to vote Yes, but which had a predictive value somewhat less than human sacrifice in relation to the sun rising.

The whole of the SNP in the years following the referendum were willing to sign up to the principle that they had to agree with the leadership about everything and that any disputes were internal disputes that were not to be shared with the voters. In 2015 it was decided no MPs shall “publicly criticise a group decision, policy or another member of the group”. Secrecy and internal party discipline was not some aberration of Sturgeon, it was something everyone agreed with so long as independence was on the horizon.  

So now we find out Ian Blackford and Stephen Flynn may have known that the SNP’s auditors left in September 2022, but Humza Yousaf only found out when he became leader and about the SNP’s motorhome too. But this whole story depends on the secrecy that is inherent in the SNP being so much the norm that the leader of the party in Westminster would not dream of telling the probable new SNP leader crucial information that he needed to know. This is to assume that Yousaf really did not know anything.

So too when we hear Nicola Sturgeon shut down debate about the party’s finances, this is just part of the same omerta that everyone had signed up to. Don’t damage the party by asking too many questions, don’t damage the cause. Everyone claps in unison.

But it goes deeper I think than this. The lack of shared truth in Scotland involves us every year being given official government figures (GERS) that are then described by expert economists not only in Scotland but in the UK generally as showing that Scotland runs a deficit, only to be told by Scottish nationalists and the SNP that the Scottish Government’s own figures tell us nothing about how a future independent Scotland’s finances would be. It’s the same debate with someone who believes human sacrifice causes the sun to rise. It's not possible to discuss rationally as the only rational thing to do is escape being the sacrifice.

So too at every election in Scotland we were told that next year there would be an independence referendum. Sometimes we were even provided with a date. Then we were told that the next General Election would be a de facto referendum, or perhaps the next Holyrood Election. But then some MPs began to fear they would lose their seats so that was no good. But why would that matter if your goal was not to have seats at Westminster?

Now it all looks like a scam.

Did Nicola Sturgeon ever really intend there to be a second independence referendum? I certainly believed her each time she said that she wanted one. I believed she wanted independence in 2014 just like Salmond certainly did. But at some point, in the years since 2014 talk of referendums looked more and more like a ruse.

Sturgeon must have known that the UK Government would not grant her a legal referendum, yet she pretended for years that one was imminent. She kept us all in campaign mode, ready to begin the next battle at a moment’s notice. She didn’t give Scotland a moment to rest and recover. She gave us continual uncertainty, bad for business and bad for our minds. Was the whole thing a con? Did she do all that just to stay in power with all the control and wealth that goes with it?

But if Scottish nationalists feel cheated, if they wonder where their donations, hope and enthusiasm went, then they must accept responsibility, because they created the modern SNP.

It is no use blaming Sturgeon she is a creature of Scottish nationalism. She is a creature of us not having a shared truth in Scotland.

We have poor journalism in Scotland, unwilling or unable to investigate the truth, because it was intimidated in 2014. Mobs would turn out to shout down Pro UK speakers, crowds would turn up outside the BBC because a journalist dared ask Salmond a difficult question. As the SNP’s grip became tighter journalists would know that their career would falter or end if they displeased Sturgeon, if they presented GERS as objective truth, or proved something damaging to the SNP. Sarah got herself exiled to the United States for less.

So, we found out nothing about Salmond in 2014. We found out nothing about what Sturgeon did or what she knew when there was a parliamentary inquiry. We knew nothing about SNP finances, where £600,000 went or when the auditors left. We knew nothing about the motorhome. We knew nothing because Scottish nationalists from top to bottom created a secret society that allowed all of this to happen. You can call this society Scotland.

Sunday 16 April 2023

A fairytale that has nothing to do with Scotland. Part 8

Part 7

Once upon a time former Queen Nancy and former King Paul moved from the Butter Palace to GlassUdders where they hoped to be able to continue to suck on the teats which had provided them so much milk and honey hitherto.

Newly crowned King Hārūn immediately performed a cleansing ritual on the Butter Palace. He sang

I got a palace named Rama Dana Dana Dana Ding Dong

It’s everything to me

I'll never set it free

For it’s mine, all mine

There would be no more butter in the Butter Palace, but for the present the change of name was kept from the peasants.

Unfortunately, Hārūn discovered usurpers everywhere. Princess Cordelia was telling everyone that it was unfair that she was not Queen as no one had known the true story about Nancy and Paul. Princess Regan was once more trying to bring back the Old Pretender King Alan. There would once more be butter and lubrication in the Palace.

Unfortunately, the Heddlu had turned up one morning at the Glassudders. It was fortunate that Nancy was fully dressed otherwise she might have frighted the Heddlu horses.  Paul after gaining sustenance from the Glass Udder, which was Green and engraved “because you gave me a pay rise when I was working for someone else, though really I only ever worked for you”, went to discuss plumbing with Headloo and learned a great deal about ballcocks and cock washers, rings, and cocks and bulls.

At the same time the Headloo discovered an enormous litter at the King Mother’s. It wasn’t as if either Paul or the King Mother had been littering, rather it wasn’t about dropping instead of carrying. Nearby there were also one hundred peasants whose job it was to carry the litter when Queen Nancy was due to survey her kingdom. It was so big that it had beds and even a latrine that unfortunately was rather unpleasant for the peasant underneath, but who treated it as a privilege to serve Queen Nancy even in this way.

Paul had wanted to surprise Nancy about the litter. He certainly surprised Hārūn who knew nothing about the litter nor the rather large number of ducats that had been spent on a moveable home which had never been used.

Worse the rulers of Sasainn had forbidden peasants to carry Kings and Queens around without being paid and demanded they got ducats.

Hārūn even more unfortunately discovered that he knew almost nothing about the Kingdom. He discovered that the sums had not been checked by the chief teacher, which was dreadful as how could any King or Queen learn about sums if they were not checked and corrected. But both Nancy and Paul had deemed it demeaning to be checked by a mere teacher and so had developed sums that were not always according to the rules and sometimes gave answers that others might not have got.

But subjective arithmetic was about the rights of diverse thinking. Just as Nancy might feel that she was really a King, so she might feel that 10 + 11 = 19. It was oppressive and discriminatory to make everyone conform to rules that had been made up by white people from Sasainn and so Paul and Nancy had devised their own ways of doing sums and they were better by far than Sasainn sums.

But the teacher who was supposed to listen to Paul’s sums had resigned because he could not accept that either 2+2 might = 5 or that a boy could be a girl. He thought the whole way of doing sums was contradictory.

Nancy told the Never Even Consulted committee that she had checked the sums herself and there was no need to worry as everything was fine. The kingdom had vast numbers of ducats as the peasants loved them. But she didn’t tell those Never Even Consulted about the teacher who refused to listen to Paul’s sums, and she didn’t tell them about the litter and the moveable feast that would happen when she was carried by the peasants shoulder high through the kingdom, because one never reveals that one knows about a birthday surprise or an anniversary surprise.

Meanwhile desperate to divert attention from the litter and the chat about plumbing King Hārūn decided the thing to do was to imitate Nancy as much as possible in her method of doing sums. In his kingdom boys could become girls just as 2+2 could equal 5 if he willed it.

The nasty Sasainn had told Nancy that she neither could change the rules of arithmetic, nor could she make boys into girls. Richie Richi thought counting was too important to make up as you went along otherwise, he might turn out to be Richie Poorie. For the same reason boys couldn’t just decide to be girls without proper counting otherwise we’d lose track of how many boys there were and how many girls. What if all the girls became boys. What would that do to the birth-rate? We’d all be Arthur even if we wanted Martha and how would we pull our swords out of stones or put them in for that matter?

Meanwhile there were ever more reasons to divert attention. The galleys that had painted windows but couldn’t float and were desperately needed to replace the galleys that had sunk due to the wicked Sasainn enforcing the rule that galley slaves had to be paid. How had the kingdom paid so much but not gained any galleys? Where had the ducats gone?

The blacksmith who made all those tuagh-chathas and somehow was able to turn rocks into something as sharp and hard as Stalin how had he paid only 5 ducats for all those smiddys and where anyway were the Pikes? Don’t panic we could always use wooden ones.

But then Hārūn discovered that the Never Even Consulted could sometimes record and could sometimes leak almost as badly as the Head Loo.

There was Nancy telling everyone not to worry, not to question, not to even suggest that there might be anything wrong with the sums. Did Nancy know at the time that she told the Never Even Consulted that there really were problems with the sums and that the teacher was beginning to complain that he was not listened too. That would look rather like trying to stop the Never Even Consulted from finding out the truth. That would be almost as naughty as Paul’s problems with the plumbing, the cocks and the bulls. From the Head Loo might come all sorts, leaving the mobile litter with lots of stools, but nowhere to sit down. Not even a throne. 

"Let this cup pass from me" said Nancy it has stools in it.  

Part 9

Saturday 15 April 2023

Humza's useless gender court challenge


Humza Yousaf’s decision to spend perhaps half a million pounds challenging the UK Government over its blocking of the SNP’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill looks odd because the SNP itself admitted that the bill depends on the UK Equality Act 2010. The reason that it is important who can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and in what way is that having a GRC provides the holder with rights under the Equalities Act and prevents them being discriminated against on the grounds of transgender.

We know that the Scottish Parliament is a devolved parliament. That after all is what Scots explicitly voted for when it was set up. It is also what we voted to retain when we turned down the offer of a non-devolved parliament in 2014. We already know that the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate on reserved issues. This is what the Supreme Court told us last year in its decision regarding allowing the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum. It cannot. But the principle of the Scottish Parliament being not allowed to legislate on an issue that would affect the other parts of the UK is essentially the same.

But it obviously would affect how the Equalities Act was applied if people in Scotland could obtain a GRC without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and could obtain one at 16 with a minimum of questioning and no proof whatsoever that the person was indeed transgender.

A Scot with a GRC obtained in this way would be able to go into a woman only space anywhere else in the UK and could sue for discrimination if denied a service only open to women. The fact that the Scotland Act has a section 35 that allows the UK Government to block Scottish bills that affect UK legislation means that this too is what we voted for. It is therefore not undemocratic. It is a feature of having a devolved parliament.

But there is another reason why Yousaf’s legal challenge looks odd. Not only will it be expensive, it will be pointless.

The UK Government looks as if it is about to change the Equalities Act in a way that will make the rights connected with being a woman or a man sex based. It is for this reason that Rishi Sunak has recently said that people with penises cannot be women.

If this is true, then Rishi Sunak’s government must change the Equalities Act. This act allows transgender people to change their birth certificates and allows them in most cases to be treated as if they really were the gender they had transitioned to. For this reason, if there were a women’s only short list it would be discriminatory to exclude a transwoman even if s/he had a penis.

But if being a woman is defined in the equalities act biologically and objectively as being the female sex, then this will make Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill pointless.

At the moment we allow a distinction between sex and gender. This transwoman is male, but s/he is a woman. It is on the basis of transitioning from being a man to being a woman that s/he is deemed in law to actually be a woman just like every other woman.

We have then male women and female women. But if Rishi Sunak makes the Equalities Act say that only female women can go into women’s changing rooms, only female women can be rape crisis counsellors and only female women can be discriminated against if they are not allowed into a women’s space or a women’s job, then transwomen will gain nothing from having a GRC.

Once you admit that women cannot have penises, then essentially the whole transgender argument collapses. Women’s rights from that moment will only apply to female women, transwomen will no longer be allowed to take part in women’s sport, do women’s jobs or expect indeed to be treated as women at all.

What will be left for transgender people will be that they won’t be allowed to be discriminated against because they are transgender. That is right and proper. It is none of the rest of our business how someone identifies. Let him identify as a woman if he pleases. But it will no longer be discriminatory to fail to treat a transwoman as an actual woman.

But this undercuts the Gender Recognition Reform Bill because it makes the process of obtaining a GRC pointless. If it no longer offers you the key to the door of women’s spaces, if it no longer lets you take part in women’s sport or do women’s jobs, what really does it do? Nothing much. It allows you to say that I am a transwoman, which will prevent you being discriminated against because you are trans, but it you don’t need a GRC to prevent such discrimination now any more than you need a certificate to say you are a homosexual. The Equalities Act says you cannot discriminate against transpeople, having a GRC has nothing to do with it.

It is the Equalities Act that is the root of the problem with transgender, because it suggested that you literally could change sex and change the sex you were born with by changing your birth certificate. Having done that, you would in nearly all circumstances be treated as a woman even if you had a penis. Anyone who said you ought not to be in the women’s changing room, the women’s toilets or a woman’s job could in most circumstances be charged with discrimination.

But if women cannot have penises and we decide who is really a woman or a man objectively, then in essence transwomen will be treated as men, because they are male, and transmen will be treated as women because they are female. We will allow people to transition if they choose, but their sex and indeed their gender will be determined by their bodies rather than their minds. What you want to be will drop out of the equation, leaving what you are.

This really destroys the whole trans argument, because it allows us to say to a confused boy who thinks he is a girl, that he is male and there is nothing he can do to change this. It allows us to say to a confused girl who thinks that she is a boy that even if you cut your breasts off and have surgery to give you an imitation penis, you will never really be a man.

It allows us to say transwomen are men. You will not get access to women’s spaces even if you cut your penis off. You will always be a man. It makes transitioning unattractive.

We cannot sensibly have one part of the UK saying that this person with a penis is really a woman, while another part says s/he is really a man. The Equalities Act is UK legislation, without it the Gender Recognition Reform Bill gives trans people pieces of paper that are worth nothing. Worse changing the Equalities Act to make it based on objective sex completely undermines the purpose of the SNP bill which makes spending hundreds of thousands to unblock it an empty gesture. Almost as empty as trying to become what you never can be.


Thursday 13 April 2023

This is the way the SNP ends not with a bang but a whimper


I read today a Scottish journalist describing how the recent SNP scandals were ruining Scotland’s reputation and how surprising it was that the Nicola Sturgeon we all relied upon during the pandemic to give us useful information and sensible advice is now sunk so low. To which I would like to respond where have you been living?

On the one hand the events since Sturgeon’s resignation have been astonishing. No one I think even Sturgeon could have guessed in January of this year what would have happened by April. But on the other hand, the last few weeks follow on as a matter of course from the way the SNP has been running Scotland since 2007.

It’s also worth remembering that in a way nothing much has happened yet. It’s perfectly possible to imagine the following.

1 The police decide that Peter Murrell has answered all their questions satisfactorily and decide that there is no case against him or anyone else. He is free to live his live with no stain on his reputation.

2 Humza Yousaf remains leader of the SNP. Although some had questioned the legitimacy of his election, the fact is that he did win and what SNP members would have done if they had known about the police raid on Sturgeon’s house is beside the point.

3 Nicola Sturgeon’s reason for resigning must be accepted as what she told us, because no other explanation is proved.

4 The SNP’s accounts are audited, and we are provided with an explanation for the previous firm of auditors leaving that is perfectly acceptable.

5 The explanation for a five-tonne mobile home parked outside Peter Murrell’s mother’s house is provided. I bought it as an anniversary present for Nicola he says. I’ve always known that she wanted to travel.

These or something like them are still perfectly plausible outcomes. After all we have been here before.

If Alex Salmond was an American, there is little doubt that he would have been treated like Harvey Weinstein. There were more witnesses against Salmond. They were civil servants and party members who it is reasonable to assume were credible. The case went to court because the Procurator Fiscal thought there was a good chance it would succeed. We have never heard a convincing reason for why it failed. Perhaps the case was hurried because of Covid, perhaps someone bungled. Perhaps the witnesses were not credible in some way. Anyway, the jury who always knows best as they were there decided to acquit. The rest of us must accept the verdict.

But later when Sturgeon was put before the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints it was likewise reasonable to assume that she would have to at least resign. If Sturgeon were an American, she would not have been allowed to continue as if nothing had happened. It cannot be that what both Salmond said and what Sturgeon said was true. Yet both got off and both were able to continue in politics. Who is to say that the same won’t happen again?

This is why what has happened in the first few months of this year is not a surprise and also why it might be nothing much. This is the way the SNP ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

The problem with the SNP and what it has done to Scotland began when Alex Salmond became First Minister in 2007. He soon after rebranded the Scottish Executive as the Scottish Government and was allowed to get away with it. He then caused the whole of the Scottish Civil Service to go native. Instead of having an objective, fair and impartial check on Salmond as we have in the other parts of the UK, we ended up with people paid for by the UK who were working to destroy it. They were either so keen to help the SNP by the promise of future rewards or so scared by threats that they became like Salmond’s courtiers.

Salmond began behaving like Henry VIII. He would rather like Donald Trump stroke a cat if he fancied it and for the most part the cat was keen enough to be stroked. But it meant that sometimes Salmond grabbed what he ought to have left alone, because he thought he could grab any cat he pleased. Eventually the claws came out, but more often than not they did not. This is why Donald Trump thought that he could grab what he pleased, because for the most part he could. This is also why Harvey Weinstein thought he could persuade by offering movie parts. Because for the most part he could.

But just as in the court of Henry VIII no one dared complain so no one dared complain about Salmond. He was necessary. He was the key to victory. Everyone looked the other way.

But when Sturgeon started although much changed in Bute House if anything Bute House became still more like a court with an absolute monarch than it was before.

Don’t ask about the finances Sturgeon tells the SNP NEC. Off with his head. It’s like the end of the Godfather when Michael Corleone tells his wife don’t ask about his business, then says she can ask once, but lies to her.

This is our problem. SNP MPs, MSPs and supporters have gone along with this running of Scotland since 2007, because they think it is worth it. Sturgeon and Salmond might have been secretive and authoritarian, but without them how were we going to get to independence.

There is honest, kind, decent Kate Forbes. Well apparently, she was a finance minister with almost no actual control over her brief. Instead, any important decision was taken by either Sturgeon or Murrell. But this way of running things has been going on for years and neither Kate Forbes, nor Humza Yousaf nor anyone else spoke up about it. Not one civil servant leaked anything seriously damaging about the SNP and it seems a senior civil servant was running Humza Yousaf’s campaign at the behest of Sturgeon to make sure no one else might win.

People like Joanna Cherry are obviously intelligent, decent, and honest, yet they remain in party which looks ever more corrupt. Why? Because the SNP is necessary to achieve independence and it will be worth it.

I think the SNP may well be much more corrupt than what we have seen come out yet. The SNP has a problem, not only is it being attacked from without, there is now a Trojan horse inside the citadel which is sick of Sturgeon pretending to take Scotland to independence, but not doing anything to make it happen. This horse is really Pegasus (think about it) and it is much more dangerous because it has inside information.

It will take the defeat of the SNP at a General Election to begin the process of finding out what has been happening and cleansing it. Better still if the SNP is defeated at Holyrood and we have a different party or set of parties in charge, we might be able to have a forensic investigation not merely into the accounts, but into everything else that has been kept secret.

But it is just as likely that at some point soon the scandal drifts to an end with a whimper. Nothing much happens. There are no criminal offences, and no one is even reprimanded. Everything I know about Scotland since 2007 tells me that this is at least a possible alternative. If I am pessimistic, it is the most likely conclusion to the scandal. It is after all how all previous SNP scandals have ended.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Have SNP hopes been towed away too?


How do we take advantage of the series of scandals that are beginning to overwhelm the SNP? Sit back and watch. Don’t get too excited. There is no doubt more to come. Look forward for the first time in a decade to the next General Election but don’t make a fool of yourself by saying too much.

There are two factors that will determine the result of the General Election in Scotland. They are the overall level of support for Labour in the UK and how much the SNP has been damaged by the departure of Sturgeon, the appointment of Yousaf and the various scandals that are now taking place.

The task is not repeat not primarily about what Pro UK voters will do. We will do the same as we have been doing since 2015. The task is to encourage SNP voters who formerly voted Labour to do so again. In few if any cases will SNP voters choose to vote Tory or Lib Dem, though perhaps some Tartan Tories may do so in rural areas.

The best that Conservatives and Lib Dems can hope for is to retain the seats they have and if they are really lucky add one or two. If they did that it would be a major success.

Labour on the other hand is now just behind the SNP and it wouldn’t take much for it to win twenty seats.

If that were to happen, then the SNP’s dominance of Scottish politics since 2014 would be over. We would be back to Left-Right politics and the SNP would no longer have the numbers to push for a second independence referendum. At that point at least in the short to medium term it would be game over.

Once independence becomes a distant possibility at best then even independence supporters will vote on domestic issues along Left-Right lines rather than constitutional issues. If that happens in the next Holyrood election, then there will no longer be an independence supporting majority. There will be no route to independence. No way forward. No mobile home to take anyone anywhere.

What is the one thing that could stop all of this happening? It is what Douglas Ross suggested at the weekend. Tories should vote for Labour in the Central Belt. Labour should vote Tory or Lib Dem in rural Scotland.

From this SNP voters conclude that Labour and the Tories are interchangeable so they might as well continue voting SNP.

The Conservative Party in London is being thick to complain about Ross stating the obvious in Scotland. But there are also good reasons why political parties have to at least pretend to discourage voting for their opponent. How can the Conservatives ever improve their position in Scotland if Conservative voters are told to vote for someone else? How do you ever move from third, to second, to first, if tactical voting tells people to vote for the party that came second last time? The Conservative Party in the UK will be running an anti-Labour campaign, which is liable to be undermined by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives is telling people to vote Labour. If Ross thinks it’s a good idea to have Labour MPs in Glasgow, why not in Surrey?

Scotland is different. Our main aim is to stop the SNP. But Ross is also being thick for saying explicitly what does not need to be said. Pro UK people already know full well to vote for the candidate who has the best chance of defeating the SNP. A relatively small number of tactical voters can make a difference in some seats. But not everyone is willing to vote tactically.  Many Labour voters in particular won’t vote Tory in principle.

We probably have about as many Pro UK tactical voters as we are going to get. So, there is no need to bang on about it like Ross. Doing so is going to lose more SNP voters switching to Labour than it gains anti-SNP tactical voters.

I fear that selfishly this is what is behind Ross’s enthusiasm for Conservatives voting Labour. It could be a sort of double bluff to discourage SNP voters switching to Labour. If so, it is Ross that needs to think about putting country before party.

We must hope that independence supporters switch to other independence parties. Voting for small socialist parties, the Scottish Greens or Alba if it stands will split the independence vote just like it has been splitting the Pro UK vote for the past decade.

The best I think we can do is to not think too much about tactics. Some people will vote tactically others won’t. It makes sense for Labour not to campaign too hard where it can’t win, and it makes sense for the Conservatives and Lib Dems to do the same. But beyond that better by far for them to be seen to compete against each other.

The most important thing of all is that the next General Election should be about Labour versus the Conservatives, rather than Scottish independence. Our task is to dig out and publicise the scandals that will continue to embarrass the SNP and to use mockery to make it look ridiculous. The more jokes we have about mobile homes and digging for treasure in the back garden, the more likely that Humza Yousaf and his colleagues will be seen as clowns.

If the SNP are both foolish and irrelevant and if the steady trickle of scandal (drip, drip, crash bang wallop as a gold-plated Rolls Royce is discovered hiding in Grotty Ferry) continues then the SNP will not be able to recover as it has done previously. The more that is written about SNP scandals the better. It means everything else is ignored.

I personally will be voting for the candidate best able to defeat the SNP in my constituency. I advise everyone to do the same. But you knew that already. There is no need for any of us to go on about it.