Saturday 30 December 2023

We have the chance to destroy the SNP in 2024 take it.


Unless something very odd happens in the next year we will have Keir Starmer as Prime Minister and a Labour Government in 12 months’ time. I’m not remotely on the Left, but nor do I vote tribally. I have voted Labour before. I have voted Liberal Democrat. Everyone should think about how to use their vote to obtain the result they want. In the case of Pro UK Scots this is grasping our chance to do as much damage as possible to the SNP.

Previously with the SNP winning nearly all of the seats in Scotland I have feared a Labour victory at a General Election. Ed Miliband would have been in Nicola Sturgeon’s pocket. Jeremy Corbyn would have been in her corner cheering on the destruction of his hated United Kingdom. I didn’t see how Labour could avoid forming a government without SNP support. The price of that support would be a second independence referendum, which would be a coin toss at best.

Now everything has changed. Labour can win half or more of the Scottish seats and win an overall majority at Westminster. From a Pro UK perspective, I would far rather Labour won a large majority than we end up with a minority. Above all I don’t want Keir Starmer depending on the SNP for votes. But that eventuality is now highly unlikely. The more seats Labour wins from the SNP in Scotland makes it still less likely. The logic therefore has changed.

It isn’t up to me what happens at the coming General Election. I will probably vote Conservative as the Conservatives have the best chance of winning the seat where I live. I have mixed feelings about tactical voting. Some people cannot bear to vote for a party they disagree with and that’s reasonable. I understand why political parties oppose tactical voting as it stops them building support in a constituency. It all feels like one way traffic for Conservatives as they lend their support to Labour, but don’t get any in return. It is anyway swing that decides elections rather than tactical voting.

Forget all that. This is the year we can change Scottish politics for ever. Everyone must do what they can to take advantage of this opportunity. Scottish nationalism has dominated since 2007. If the SNP loses more than half of its seats at Westminster it will amount to a decisive defeat not only for the SNP but for the goal of Scottish independence. We can then reasonably conclude that there will never in the foreseeable future be a second referendum and that no one living today will see an independent Scotland. That is the prize on offer for you putting a cross on a ballot paper.

We can then look forward to a change of government at Holyrood that might be able to investigate and punish the SNP’s corruption. We can have normal politics based on Left/Right issues and who runs the country best rather than secession. We get Scotland back from the nationalists. That is what you can do. That is what you can help happen if you use your vote sensibly. If I lived somewhere where Labour had the best chance of beating the SNP and that means everywhere in the Central Belt, I would certainly vote Labour.

I’m not a Labour supporter. But I am a democrat. I think even Conservatives can admit that the present government has ruled poorly since 2019. Democracy is above all about kicking out a government that governs badly, otherwise you deserve bad government. This is more important than ideology.

There is no question that the Conservatives have been a terrible government.

We left the EU, but we didn’t completely leave it because we left Northern Ireland behind, and this meant that Britain too had to continue to adhere to EU rules and regulations.

We merely replaced legal migration from the EU with legal migration from the rest of the world, but lost our right to live and work in the EU. It is a poor exchange.

The correct response to the pandemic would have been to make a distinction between everyone who was seriously at risk from Covid and everyone else who had to be careful but keep working. If you could sensibly work from home do so, but otherwise you had to go to work or else get no more than you would have done on benefits. The government should have warned people truthfully of the risks of catching a disease that might kill one percent of the population, but it should have then left it up to each of us to decide how to respond to that risk. I am certain this response would have saved lives. Lockdown cost lives. It was ridiculous that people who had an almost zero risk of dying from Covid were paid nearly their whole salary to stay at home and do nothing.

From then on, we have had Boris Johnson’s resignation and the absurdity of Liz Truss being elected Conservative leader only to be forced to resign too and be replaced by the man she defeated. I can think of nothing more undemocratic in British history. If a party doesn’t deserve defeat after all this, what would it take for it to do so? The problem is that Labour is liable to be worse.

People join the Labour Party because they want socialism. It may be that they are willing to compromise on this ideal, which makes them social democrats, but they still think that socialism is the ideal to be worked towards. This is the essence of the problem with Labour. Socialism doesn’t work. The only way to make it work is to change human nature either coercively (Soviet Union etc) or subversively (political correctness, woke etc).

Free market economics is the only route to prosperity, but a feature of capitalism is that it is unfair. People study hard and work hard because they want to improve their lifestyle, but you logically cannot improve your lifestyle if it is the same as everyone else’s. People who do worse than others object to this essential feature of capitalism and think that it can be improved by equality or worse equity, but all this does is destroy the free market and make capitalism worse at creating wealth.

The argument for free market capitalism is so basic and obvious that it continues to astonish me that everyone doesn’t support it. But the problem we have in the UK is that neither of the main parties are offering us free market capitalism. Each is offering a mixture of capitalism, social democracy and decline. No one has offered anything else since Margaret Thatcher.

But there is still hope.

A period in opposition might lead the Conservative Party to rediscover that it believes in free markets, low taxes and freedom.

A Labour government might remind people once more that socialism does not work and we might finally learn this lesson.

Labour might rule more competently than the present Conservative government. There are a lot of Labour MPs who have not been ministers. Some of them might do a good job despite their ideology.

There are areas that Labour is better able to fix than the Conservatives. Labour might be able to do something about the NHS and Welfare State. It can do so without being continually attacked for being wicked Tories. Healthcare is incomparably better in most other first world countries and it’s still free. Welfare for too many has become a lifestyle rather a safety net. Labour invented both the NHS and the Welfare State, and I think only Labour can improve them.

Labour might be able to find a way to make devolution equal so that every UK citizen has the same degree of devolution. But to do so it must be honest about how devolution has fuelled nationalism both in Scotland and in Wales. This means ceasing to listen to Gordon Brown who cannot admit the flaw in his original project.

The Labour/Lib Dem objection in the 1980s and 1990s (polite Scottish society) that it was unfair that Scotland voted Labour but got a Tory government was a nationalist argument and therefore it gave rocket fuel to the SNP.

I am open to any alternative to the present arrangement, but no nation state can long endure if it continues to think of its parts as also being nation states with the ability to secede at will. The United States resolved this issue in the 1860s by making clear that its parts had federal power but were not nation states. The UK could do the same, but only on condition that in the same way secession is not an option and that the parts of the UK are not nation states either. We must dispense with the notion that the UK is a country made up of countries or perish. We are one nation indivisible or else you should vote for the SNP, Plaid Cymru or Sinn Féin.

We have at the moment Scotland pretending to be a nation state in order to justify itself becoming a nation state. Above all it necessary for Labour to make clear that Scotland voted for a devolved parliament and against a sovereign parliament. We have played along with the fiction that Scotland is independent while not being independent for too long. No more embassies. No more attending international meetings. No more pretending that Scotland is a country like France when it is not and hasn’t been since 1707. Don’t appease Scottish nationalism. Oppose it, or else lose in the end.

Labour is going to need to spend less and earn more. That would appear unlikely but at some point, a Labour chancellor is going to realise that the increase in public spending in the past decades and the size of our debt is unsustainable. Again, perhaps a Labour Prime Minister can be more honest about spending choices or else the market will force him to be honest.

If the bond market ceases to lend at a reasonable rate of interest our life style will go down the toilet no matter who we vote for. In this sense it is true that our government is the bond market. We are two trillion in debt.

The one thing that a Labour Prime Minister could do that would do the most good would be to encourage British women to have more children. This is the root of our dependence on migration. We have an aging population that believes it is entitled to be looked after from cradle to grave, but it depends on importing the people we didn’t give birth to. Provide women with free childcare or pay them to stay at home looking after their babies. Pay them a fortune if necessary to do this.

Legal migration is the problem. Successive governments have believed they needed to import vast numbers. Illegal migration can only be tackled like any other form of criminality by deterrence. If there is a very small chance of being caught and a high reward for committing a crime, it is rational to be a criminal. The same goes for illegal migrants. The risk of coming to Britain in a small boat are small, the chance of being deported almost non existent and the reward is a lifestyle far better than you could have at home. It is rational to make the trip.

To stop this behaviour, it is not necessary and almost certainly it is pointless to send people to Rwanda. You just need to make the UK no more attractive than France.

Again, perhaps Labour will be able to tackle internationally what has become an existential problem for Western Europe. We cannot allow everyone in the world who is worse off than us to come and live here. If we did what is distinctive about Europe our nation states, our history our culture and indeed our economy will in time cease to exist. If you import enough non-Europeans into Europe, there comes a point when you cease to have Europe. This is self-evident.

It is not up to me who wins the next election. I have been extremely disappointed with the Conservative government, but I am still a Conservative who believes in a small state, free markets and low taxes. I don’t expect much from Labour. Indeed, I think even what is considered to be the best Labour government under Atlee was a disaster that put Britain on the path of decline. The NHS and Welfare state were a catastrophe for British prosperity and did more long-term damage than anything else I can think of in our history.

But it is always better to look forward with hope to a change in government. It may make things worse, but it may not. Labour like every government has a chance to improve our country and I hope that it does.

Above all else let us use the next year to destroy the SNP, which for nearly twenty years has been the greatest threat to existence of the UK in all our history. If voting Labour is necessary for that then do it willingly and be grateful for the chance.


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Friday 29 December 2023

Did we kill everything we value?


For a while we had something called New atheism fighting against what remained of Christianity in the West. It resembled nothing so much as Richard Dawkins going into the tomb of Lazarus and giving the corpse a kick. It was very careful of course not to go into anyone else’s tomb and give the corpse there a kick lest it become a corpse itself.

New Atheism resembled very much old atheism. Christianity has been in decline since the middle of the nineteenth century when it faced a pincer movement from people like David Friedrich Strauss (who investigated the historical Jesus and stripped him of everything divine), and Charles Darwin. The New Testament unlike other religious texts was analysed sentence by sentence and criticised very ably.

The result was a better understanding of the texts, but also a sense that every sentence could be doubted and was anything other than divinely inspired. Again, this was only done to certain sacred texts, others remain hardly criticised, even hardly analysed partly for the reason above, but more because the original texts were destroyed, and all variation eliminated.

Modern science began to have an explanation for the origin of humanity and then for everything else. Dawkins could reduce us to a selfish gene, God became a big bang and everything else was atoms and electrons. When science explained everything why bother with Christianity?

The social pressure to conform to Christianity collapsed in the 1960s with the sexual revolution.  No one believed it was necessary to get married before you had sex, which for the first time had become possible with the invention of the pill. But if you didn’t believe one rule of Christianity why believe that it was necessary to go to church? So, the only people left in churches are people who grew up before the 1960s and they are getting fewer by the year.

There has been a slight fightback from people who are sometimes called New theists, who recognise the importance of Christianity for Western culture. This is obviously true, but the New theists resemble nothing so much as the old atheists in that they may be grateful to historical Christianity, but they still don’t think it is true.

This is the problem. Christianity only built Western culture because people thought it was true. If you build your house on foundations that are lies and nonsense don’t be surprised when it falls down.

The search for the historical Jesus was valuable. Only the ill-informed think that the basic historical narrative of the New Testament was made up. But it is not enough to justify the bother of searching.

If Jesus was the equivalent of Socrates, then his teachings might be studied in universities in the way that Plato and Aristotle are studied. But you cannot build a civilisation on that. There are no churches devoted to Socrates. His birthday is not celebrated. His death is not marked.

The reason there is any interest in Jesus at all is because he was believed to be the son of God and because he died and rose again on the third day. Without the divine and without the miracles you would have no theology departments, you would have no cathedrals and you probably would not have Europe.

Prior to the arrival of Christianity, we had in Europe various forms of paganism, but they proved themselves singularly unable to resist monotheism. If we had remained pagan, we would not have been able to resist Islam coming through Spain and Turkey and it doubtless would have spread everywhere in Europe and rendered the distinction between North Africa, the Middle East and Europe insignificant. The only thing that stopped this happening was Christianity. But it stopped it only because Christians thought that what they believed was true. Truth in the end is everything. A culture founded on falsehood will not stand anymore than a house divided.

So we can reasonably say that everything that distinguishes Europe from our neighbours is due to Christianity, but that could still be the case even if the central issues of Christianity were false. What I mean by the central issues are the divinity of Christ and his resurrection. Christianity can survive the loss of this verse or that verse. If all of the letters of Paul were shown to be medieval forgeries it would hardly touch anything important. But if it could be shown that Jesus was not God and did not rise again, then you have no Christianity at all.

Worse you have nothing of value. A Jewish teacher who got into trouble and was crucified who was not what he said he was and who was misrepresented by his followers. If Jesus did not rise from the grave it would have been better by far if no one had written about him and his life had been forgotten for in that case his life story would be the biggest fraud in history.

I cannot prove miracles. No one can. In this the Christian is in exactly the same position as the atheist. But I can follow the logic and if you follow it you will see where this leads.

The fundamental problem with the concept of God is that everywhere I look I see no God. In all of astronomy, physics and chemistry there is no God. So, if I want to find out about God where do I begin? Science isn’t going to help me.

The problem is God’s transcendence. God is eternal. God is all powerful. God is everywhere. But I am temporal, powerless and only here. How do I connect me with God?

This is the same problem with other monotheistic faiths. There is a gap that cannot be transcended between God and man.

In Christianity it is the divine nature of Jesus that allows him to transcend both his human nature and his divine nature and by bridging it allows us to transcend it too.

God becoming man living and dying like the rest of us is what closes the breech between God and man that metaphorically occurred in the Fall.

So, if you deny the divine nature of Jesus, what you are really doing is denying the possibility of revelation. If God exists at all it is as a first cause, big bang, radically unknowable and not interfering with the world in any way. God may as well drop out of the equation.

If the revelation given to us in the New Testament is false, I don’t see how we can expect another one or a better one. If you think that Jesus cannot tell you about God and record it in the New Testament, who else is going to do be able to do it?

There is no better revelation. It may be that Moses talked to a burning bush, but the stories we have about this were not written by eyewitnesses. Indeed, it is hard to think of anything in the Old Testament that can reasonably be described as a witness statement that came soon after the event.

The same goes for every other sacred text I know of.  We have more and better sources for the New Testament than any other sacred text. Again, I have to be a little careful, but the evidence for some texts is incomparably better than for others.

So, if you reject the revelation of the New Testament, which has better sources than any other sacred text and which purports to be based on eyewitness testimony, you have really given up on revelation. The concept of the divine ceases to have any meaning for you. There is no God and even if there were we couldn’t know anything about him.

The problem with thinking that a human being could transcend the boundary between God and man is what would distinguish this human being from every other human being who cannot.

If you think that monotheism is incompatible with the Trinity, the problem becomes that you have to account for how Abraham, Isaiah or other prophets have the qualities that might be described as divine that enable them to gain a connection with God that is unavailable to the rest of us. How could they know? How could they prophesise? God does not dictate to me. I see no burning bushes. What sets the prophet apart from the human if it is not a connection with the divine that we lack? Once you accept that the prophet is touched by the divine, then it is a short step to Blessed Virgin and a short step after that to the Incarnation. It turns out that without those steps we have no revelation at all.

If your prophet remains wholly human, how can he reveal more than Abraham or Isaiah? How indeed can he presume to touch the face of God let alone tell us what God revealed from the beginning of time unchanged and unchangeable. The person who could do that could a mere person, just another in a long line of prophets.

But in modernity we have rejected all revelation. There is nothing to reveal.

So, we have arrived at atheism, because we refuse to believe the revelation that God became man died and rose again. Well, we have already given up on the foundations of Western civilisation that depended on some poor suckers in ancient times believing lies and nonsense. What else did we give up?

What we give up is the most basic evidence of our senses. We gave up Christianity for science because we think that truth should be determined by experiment mathematics and reason.

What is your most basic experience?

My experience is that I can make a free choice and that I am a quite different substance from a chair and a table. I cannot help believing that I can freely choose everything I do every day. Even if I were in prison I could choose to stand up or sit down, close my eyes or open them. This is so fundamental to my being that I cannot cease to believe it even if intellectually I do.

My experience of observing the world is that I am different from what I observe. The self that observes the tree in the street feels quite different from the tree. The tree is a thing. I am not a thing.

This is fundamental to our whole concept of morality. Selves are treated differently from things. I can usually break or destroy a thing and not get into serious trouble, but if I break or destroy another self I will go to prison.

The whole of literature depends on the idea that there is a concept of love that motivates human beings to find other human beings. Love is not the same as desire nor is it the same as lust. Every fiction, every song, every film depends on love really being something else again, something higher deeper and more profound than merely animals procreating.

So too we have stories of people being altruistic, of caring for their country and being willing to die for it of genuinely doing good for the sake of others. Everything we admire about the conduct of others depends on there genuinely being unselfish actions.

But none of these things can have any meaning at all if science is correct about describing the world.

If there is only matter, there can be no genuine freedom. There may in that case be the illusion of freedom as sort of trick played on us by the big bang that makes us think that we are free when really, we are not.

If there is only matter, then I am not really distinct from the tree that I observe. I am just a more complicated sort of tree that provides itself with the illusion that it observes and has a self. In fact, in principle, I am no different from a very powerful computer with excellent artificial intelligence.

But if I smash that computer while it is composing a new volume of the works of Shakespeare all I smash is atoms and electrons. So why should that be murder? The whole concept of our law and our morality depends both on our being different from things and also having a genuine choice. If this is not true, then law becomes lies and nonsense just as much as Christianity.

Why should I blame this collection of atoms for “killing” another collection of atoms, when it was all determined by atoms bouncing into electrons and was in no way a free choice?

There can be no genuinely selfless act if I am merely a biological machine that seeks to perpetuate itself selfishly. Love becomes an illusion designed to make us find partners with whom to have sex with.  In which case it makes sense for a man to be unfaithful and to have sex with as many mistresses as possible, not least because the reason he married his wife (love) turned out to be a lie.

I may pretend to be moral, but there can be no genuine altruism in a world ruled by genes atoms and DNA. My good deed in that case will be reduced to hope that it will lead people to be kind to me. Society then becomes merely mutual self-interest, like chimpanzees pulling nits from each other, because that is what it is to be a chimpanzee.

This may all be true. I honestly don’t know. If it were true that we were all merely matter, it would make for me the whole of the universe a sort of trick. If my freedom and sense of self is just an illusion and I am just a sort of computer that deceives itself into thinking it is different from mere things, then I’m not at all sure that the universe is worth anything. I find this concept to be a sort of horror that would leave me wanting to spend my whole life screaming at the futility of it all.

My most basic observations tell me that I am free and a self and this leads me to believe that there is something other than matter. This is my science. This is my bedrock. From this I deduce that there is a substance that makes up a person that is quite different from matter. Call it spirit.

Well, when the matter that makes up my body dies, could it be that the thing that makes up my essence doesn’t die. There is something elusive about me that I experience every day that is not my body. If it is real, why does it depend on matter? Why does it indeed depend on my body.

If there is something about me that has free choice and is different from things, then everything in my life, such as love, morality respect for other people, law makes sense. If not all of those things are illusions at best.

So, your rejection of Christianity means that you have not only lost Western civilisation, you have lost everything else you value too. This is what the debate is really about. What we take for granted about life, that we are free, that life has value, that the each individual is unique and special, these also depend on Christianity.

Once you accept that you have a real self that is genuinely free, that you are an individual distinct from the rest of the world then you discover something that is not mere matter. It is all we know of the divine. It is the key to being able to accept revelation, because the revelation accords with our own experience as spiritual beings.

Once you see yourself as you are as a combination of body and spirit then you are already very close to Jesus and very close indeed to God, because your own makeup mirrors the Incarnation and enables you to understand and accept it. It provides you with the revelation and enables you to view it as the truth.

The tragedy of the atheist is that he is right. Richard Dawkins is just a selfish gene. He failed to discover his spiritual nature in his lifetime and so dies with his body.

But once you discover the divine in your everyday choices and your distinction from matter then it is possible to revisit the story of the divine meeting the human which distinguishes Christianity from other monotheisms. Once you realise that that your life doesn’t depend on your body, then you have already explained the empty tomb.


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Wednesday 27 December 2023

I can't tell you anything about either


There were two major events that happened in Scotland last year, but I can’t write about either of them. I take seriously the law and do not set out to break it deliberately. You can if you like. You will probably get away with it. There are millions of people on Twitter/X who will say things they ought not to. There will be enough to get the topic trending. But I won’t.

If a journalist writes something he ought not in Scotland, his boss is likely to get a phone call from someone senior in the SNP or the Scottish Government. If he breaks the law, he might get a visit from a police officer. None of this concerns you if you have a couple of hundred followers, because no one much notices what you say and anyway there are too many of you to catch. But even people with few followers and little influence sometimes get caught out making a comment that gets them into trouble. So, I try not to do that. I’d advise you to do the same.

But self-censorship is just as much a case of censorship as one of those men who used to cut the best bits from films. He could see them, but you couldn’t.

I don’t know how other people write. I think we all have different methods. Some people do methodical research and carefully construct each sentence. I get up have an idea write as quickly as I can whatever comes into my head, check through once and post it.

Self-censorship and the feeling that I dare not write something is the most stultifying limit on writing. There are ways round it of course as I learned in the past year. There can be a creativity in this. But it is hardly the ideal way to get at the truth.

But this goes way beyond Scotland and our peculiar laws that prevent us commenting on current cases and which prevent us naming individuals widely known to have been doing what they ought not. It may be an open secret in Holyrood, but don’t you dare tell ordinary Scots.

The issue is not so much that you are likely to go to prison or be fined for saying or writing something forbidden. You would have to be a complete idiot for that to happen or else a fanatic. The issue is more the reputational damage that can happen in almost an instant and the loss of your position in society.

Laurence Fox lost his livelihood for speaking honestly and openly on Question Time. You may agree or disagree with Fox’s opinions, but some of them are widely shared. He ought not to have lost his job as an actor because he freely expressed an opinion. It is completely contrary to our living in a free society that he did.

Later Fox made a rather crude joke about a journalist with whom he disagreed. Dan Wootton sniggered as I suspect most viewers did. Wooton lost his job and had to cease writing for the Daily Mail. Fox was cancelled again despite apologising. Calvin Robinson lost his job merely for supporting both.

So, you may well think that you can get away with saying whatever you want on Twitter/X or Facebook, and you may well be right, but if you have a certain type of job or if you are unlucky, you may find yourself in the same position as Fox, Wootton and Robinson.

The reason why forces such as the Scottish Government, the BBC and the leftwing establishment want to limit our ability to speak freely and to impose self-censorship on what we say and write is that they fear that the truth is not only obvious when spoken freely but that everyone agrees with it.

The SNP is corrupt. I can’t prove it in a court of law, because the SNP has kept everything carefully secret and hidden. But the smell of corruption is everywhere. I may not be able to find the carcass of the dead cow hidden somewhere on the farm, but I can smell it. If everyone could speak freely, we would find it in about five minutes, so don’t let them speak freely.

So too on all of the topics that are controversial from legal and illegal immigration, how to deal with gender dysphoria while keeping male bodies out of women’s spaces, to huge numbers of jihadists threatening a second Holocaust in Israel, there is implicit and explicit censorship.

Dare to say that you would like to limit migration to the tens of thousands as was Conservative policy relatively recently and you will be called far right by the BBC. But this is a view that has consistently been held by the overwhelming majority of the British electorate since democracy began.

Dare to doubt that it is possible for a man to become a woman and you will certainly be called transphobic.

Dare to be concerned about the anti-Israeli demonstrations in London and elsewhere and you will certainly be called Islamophobic.  

Being called any of those things may not matter to you, because you have a couple of hundred followers on Twitter/X, but being called anyone of them is enough to get you sacked as a journalist, a civil servant, a teacher and any number of other jobs.

But just as the fact that we can’t speak freely means that corruption continues in Scotland, so to it means that we are not allowed to change politically things that need to be changed.

Newspapers are largely full of bland opinion, because the journalists don’t dare be controversial. The Conservative Party has mainly merged into the Labour Party. The former does not offer free markets and capitalism, the latter does not offer socialism. What is left is mere wet mush with an officer class telling us what to do and telling us to do as we are told much as it did between 1914 and 1918. Rory Stewart is the perfect example. How dare you not agree with me and listen to your betters.

Posh twits with a sense of entitlement to run things because of who they are has been our problem since time began.

But the country is getting worse. We are getting poorer. We are living beyond our means. We have lost control of our borders and without borders eventually we have no country.

But you can walk down the street in London calling for the destruction of Israel from the river to the sea and no one will limit your free speech, you can say that calling for the genocide of the Jews depends on context, but you can be sacked for sniggering at the word “shagging”.

This is a deliberate and long-term attempt by the Left to apply a different standard to its own opinions, while condemning and cancelling everyone who disagrees. This is the point of critical race theory. This is the ultimate goal of what used to be called political correctness. Only the Left is correct and if that is the case only one viewpoint and eventually one party is allowed.

This is why free speech and daring to say what you believe matters.  Find a way to tell your story even when they try to stop you.

Scotland became very close to permanent one party rule, but we have a chance to overthrow it next year. The UK will pretend to change government, but the same figures behind the scenes will still be in charge. The next task is to overthrow them.

But they will use everything in their power to stay in charge. This is why they hate free speech while pretending it is still a British value. This is why they cancel you for saying shag, but won’t cancel you for hoping for Shoah.

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Monday 25 December 2023

My old man bought a huge campervan


My old man bought a huge campervan
But didn’t dilly dally there to pay
Off went the van wiv our loot packed in it
I stayed behind wiv a no cock French bit
But she ticked and tribled, tribled and tickled
Lost me job and left here in the gloam
Well you can’t trust a special like the old time coppers
When you need them not to search your home.


Last Christmas you bought me a van
But the very next day you gave it to mum
This year, to save me from fears
I'll give you up to the special

Last Christmas you gave me a fridge
But the very next day they took it away
This year, to save me from smears
I'll grass you up to the special.

One untruth and twice a lie
I keep my freedom, but you still catch it by and by
Tell me hubby, will you recognize me?
After 10 years if I’m still here to see.

Happy Christmas, I wrapped it up and flung it
With a clang the iron bounced as head it hit
Now I know what a fool you’ve been
But if you sing to the cops, I’ll grass you up again

Last Christmas you gave me a phone
But the very next day it burned all away
This year so it’s you that disappears
I’ll inform on you to the special

Last Christmas you gave me a jag
But the very next year you’ll be an old lag
This year, to save me from sneers
I'll snitch you up to the special

A crowded shower, friends with lusting eyes
No hiding for you it just adds to the spice
I found you weren’t someone to rely on
when hiding the camper and now it’s gone

I was a saint with a following and a fire in my heart
We lived under cover but now you depart
Oh, oh, now I’ve found a real fall guy
Tell them about me? You’d better not try.

Last Christmas you gave me a pen
But the very next day you leaked again
This year, to keep from streets queer
I'll rat on you to the special

Last Christmas you gave me some pots
But the very next day I’m in all your plots
This year, to save me from jeers
I'll turn you in to the special

In the bleak midwinter
Bra tycoons still Mone
Someone threw an Iron
Hit Hubby like a stone

Hums bin hawing
Shags on slags on slags
In the bleak midwinter
Taxes only grow


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Saturday 23 December 2023

Everything that is wrong about Christmas


About a year ago I stopped writing for a while. It was a combination of things. My mother died after a long battle with vascular dementia. She had looked after me and latterly I had returned the favour. That is how it should be. The hardest thing is to watch someone’s mind deteriorate. It happens so gradually that you hardly notice. In the end simple tasks become difficult.

She didn’t last three weeks in the hospital when she had a stroke, and I couldn’t care for her any longer. There was no ambulance to take her. Instead, I had to drive her in the middle of the night. Don’t go to a hospital if you can help it.

A few months later I went on holiday and came back to find the pipes had burst in an unusually cold spell. So, a year ago I was in a hotel room wondering what next? I didn’t feel much like writing and anyway access to the internet was poor and I had to share the only laptop with my husband.

But despite not living in my home the year has steadily improved. My house will soon be fixed and better than it was before. I’ve been able to find new inspiration and although loss doesn’t go away the pain lessens. Everyone has misfortune, everyone has to deal with loss whether in the form of relationship breakup, friends moving away or the loss of parents. The sure and certain hope is that it gets better. Never despair. I promise you it always gets better.

I don’t do anything much at Christmas. I decided a long time ago that I disliked what I was supposed to do, so I simply ceased doing it. This year my husband is in a place called Tantan in Morocco researching camel dung or some such thing that is important to him. The Internet connection is terrible and unfortunately, he cannot find someone else to pay because unfortunately when he first arrived in Scotland, he didn’t have the foresight to join the SNP in order to campaign to break up someone else’s country while keeping his own intact.

I’m also not much of a churchgoer. I believe in Christianity both intellectually and emotionally. My faith however came about because of my studies rather than my childhood. It was a choice based on reading Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky and a few other authors. I found church boring as a child and have never quite overcome that feeling. I agree with Milton on this

“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly.

God does not need your praise and it is presumptuous to offer it.  “What a wonderful king you are” is insulting coming from me who am in no position to judge nor indeed to understand. Everything about Christianity is beyond our powers to understand. This is why it requires faith. To reject it because you don’t understand is to miss the point.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” is how we ought to respond to the Christian message, but it is not a bargain.  God doesn’t exact day labour. His yoke is mild. You gain no merit points or wages by going to Church every week, nor indeed by being a doer of the word.

I dislike most of all how Christmas has ceased to have anything to do with Christianity. It has been taken over by agnosticism, atheism and people of other faiths. Christians don’t have Hannukah parties where we light the menorah, nor do we fast during Ramadan and have parties afterwards during Eid. I would very much prefer that those who don’t believe didn’t wear Santa hats and Christmas jumpers. It’s a sort of mockery.

The best way to respect other faiths is to accept that we genuinely differ and that we disagree about something important. Neither Judaism, nor Islam nor any other faith believes that God became man on Christmas day and that he died on the cross and rose again on the third day. But if these things did not happen then Christmas, is an empty festival.

“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” There is nothing to celebrate. There is no good news.

It’s only because Christians did believe in the Incarnation and the resurrection of Jesus that the stories that are so familiar were collected and the tradition of marking the birth of Jesus began.

We live in a free society. You don’t have to believe in Christianity to give presents, eat turkey and pull crackers on the 25th of December, but you will excuse me if I don’t take therefore take part. I wish all genuine Christians refused to take part. That way we could leave Christmas for the atheists the agnostics the Muslims and the Hindus.

It is easy, but I think rather stupid to respond to the modern world by rejecting Christianity. It is stupid because it is precisely the rejection of Christianity that has left us with an emptiness that is filled with critical race theory, transgenderism, decolonisation and everything else that is being used to attack what Christians for two millennia protected.

It means that we have an opponent with a strong faith and the willingness to fight for it and die for it up against people who no longer believe in anything let alone themselves.

It is stupid above all because it does not plausibly account for the fact that something happened Bethlehem two thousand years ago and that this was recorded by people who believed that it really happened. The people who wrote about these things were not liars, nor were they charlatans. It doesn’t mean that God was born on Christmas day. It doesn’t mean that he died and was resurrected, but there is no question whatsoever that large numbers of people did believe that these events occurred because they thought reliable witnesses recorded what happened.

You have to account for those witnesses. They were all willing to die for their faith and many did. You don’t do that if you know that the gospels were a sort of novel. Something startling happened to record the birth of a poor Jewish boy. Something even more startling happened for his death to be recorded. Why was this crucifixion remembered when thousands of others were forgotten.

If you reject Christianity, you have to account for the New Testament and plausibly explain why it was written and why it went on to be read by more people than any other book. It’s not enough to say these people made it up or were deluded. It’s not a good enough explanation.

Doubt is part of faith. There can be no proof of miracles. All we have is a sure and certain hope. It is this faith that built Europe. It is this faith that defended our borders when nothing else would have been enough. It is I believe the collapse of this faith that will mean that Europe and Western society may not last another hundred years. So, by all means talk about sky fairies. By all means dismiss the Christmas story as a fairytale. But if you do don’t be surprised when your great grandchildren will have another story which they are not allowed to dismiss and another belief system that they are not allowed to reject, and it will be your fault.

So, I won’t be marking Christmas, but I will be grateful for a year which has at times been difficult, but which has shown me once more hope is the response to life’s troubles.

This year I discovered new friends and continued to interact with many valued friends who I may never meet in person. Your responses to my articles have made all the difference. These presents have been more valuable to me than frankincense and myrrh.

Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be

I am fortunate to be where I am right now, because you have made me feel valued. I like to write. It gives me some purpose. It gives me the freedom to think and speak and be listened to.  Thank you everyone who reads and shares. You make an enormous difference to me.

Who can find a such readers? For their price is far above rubies.

Happy Christmas

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Thursday 21 December 2023

Lovers of Scotland need to unite to get rid of the SNP


I spent five years living in Cambridge and there were lots of things I liked about it. The standard of education was higher than anywhere else I have been. I have never been in a place where the concentration of really bright, interesting people was so high. I could get on a train and be in the centre of London in an hour. I could get anywhere else within a few more. It was easier to fly abroad as I was nearer to major London airports. It was easier to get to the continent by ferry. Restaurants and pubs were usually better than in Scotland and there was a wider variety of shops and entertainment. But I wouldn’t choose to live there again.

Despite SNP mismanagement I wouldn’t choose to live elsewhere than Scotland. It’s not just a matter that I am from here. It’s a matter of choice.

From Aberdeenshire in the Summer, I can drive to Skye or Sutherland or Glencoe and get back in a day. It’s a long way, but it’s perfectly possible. Get up early enough and I can be back before dark.

There is a beach that stretches almost all the way from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh with a few gaps where there are cliffs and rivers. This beach is invariably empty even in the summer. There may be some dog walkers or there may be nobody.

Anywhere I want to go to there will be space to park and I rarely if ever come across a crowd. If you live in a small town or village, it won’t feel as if there are lots of others packed into a tiny space beside you and within a short distance there is real countryside.

This for me is what I love about Scotland. For most of us there is not urban sprawl. You leave a city and there is countryside. We don’t even in the more populous parts of Scotland have villages every two or three miles. Rather they are spaced out with nothing much in between.

The weather in Scotland is not as cold as people think. If you read nineteenth century fiction it was colder in the south of England, then than it is in the north of Scotland now. We don’t get much snow and it is rarely cold enough to freeze the lochs let alone the rivers. But the cold in Scotland feels colder because of the combination of wind and moisture. Eastern Europeans feel it to be colder here than winters in Warsaw. At least it feels colder.

It rarely gets hot in the summer. Quite often a day in July can feel like November, but I don’t much like it when it gets really hot, and I’ve often been grateful when there is a heat wave in England that Aberdeenshire is exempted.

So of course, I don’t hate Scotland as the Scottish nationalists continually tell me. Being critical of the SNP is not hating Scotland. If it were, then lovers of Scotland would only have one party we could vote for, which would very quickly mean that Scottish patriotism became Scottish tyranny which would be a funny way to love Scotland.

Loving Scotland also does not mean that a Scot has to desire independence. Scotland historically was a kingdom, but it was the king that had sovereignty. The people were not politically independent. They didn’t have a vote and they didn’t have a say. There is a tendency in Scottish nationalism to read into the past their present ideas. But these ideas would have been strange to Scots prior to 1707. “Should we have a referendum on independence?” you might ask one of Robert the Bruce’s soldiers, but he wouldn’t understand you even if he spoke a form of English. He would have no concept of democracy at all let alone of a referendum. His loyalty would have been to his king, and he would not have had a concept of a nation in the modern sense of the word at all.

So, throughout history few Scots have desired political independence for Scotland. The idea didn’t occur to Scots living in the nineteenth century even as they read Walter Scott and built monuments to Wallace. There was no need for a Scottish form of nationalism during 1848 when everyone else in Europe developed theirs nor later when German and Italian nationalism emerged, nor indeed after the Russian revolution and First World War when nationalism was discovered in the wreckage of the empire.

Scottish nationalism was a tiny fringe until it briefly flickered in the 1970s almost went out in the 1980s and first won an election in 2007. So, no. The vast majority of Scots in history did not support political independence, though we all felt Scottish. So, if you question our love of Scotland and our Scottishness, you equally need to question theirs. This would mean that you would have no Scottish history as you would have no Scots.

Loving Scotland and wanting what is best for Scotland has never been about seeking political independence either because we had no political rights at all prior to 1707 or because we were content with the arrangement that had unified the crowns and then united the kingdom politically. That is until less than twenty years ago.

Scottish nationalism that was not sparked when other European nationalisms caught fire for that very reason was not enough to win the referendum in 2014. It looks now this year to be returning to its historical position of the “ray of sunshine” on one of our blustery summer days that then goes behind a cloud.

It will be for history to tell what happened this year. Perhaps when everyone involved is dead, we will be able to search through the archives and find out what really happened in the years between 2007 and 2023 or perhaps the evidence will be on a WhatsApp account that was deleted and a mobile phone that was lost.

I can’t tell you what happened in what may be a pivotal year in Scottish history, partly because I don’t really know and partly because I am not allowed to comment. I may as well be Blind Harry trying to tell you about what William Wallace did two hundred years earlier. “Look for it only in fairytales, for it is no more than a dream remembered.”

But the moment has certainly passed. Pickett has failed to capture Cemetery Hill and he no longer has a division. So too the hopes of the SNP have faded like those of the separatists at Gettysburg and have been buried in the same cemetery.

The SNP was Scottish nationalism’s army, but Scots no longer want the SNP because we have seen, whether we believe in political independence or not, that it is corrupt and incompetent and that SNP politicians are in it for themselves. But without an army how do you fight for independence? Not yet, but soon the whole force will surrender at Appomattox.

For now, I think there is a strange coming together of independence supporters who have recognised that the SNP has been a disaster not only for Scottish nationalism, but a disaster for Scotland and those of us whose love of Scotland like most Scots in history did not depend on a desire for separation but was based not on politics but a love of living here.

We can agree whatever our ultimate goal that the task is to get rid of the SNP then form a new government that just might give us all a “new birth of freedom”, and which would have the power to investigate what happened really happened not just this year, but since 2007.

In the meantime, Scots of all political views can perhaps unite in our love of the land and our love of living here and our desire to make Scotland better for all Scots no matter how we differ otherwise.

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Sunday 17 December 2023

Holocaust denial has gone mainstream


I went to Edinburgh University in 1985. It was only the second time I had been to the city.  At that time, it was only forty years since the end of the Second World War. It seems extraordinary that it is almost forty years ago from now.  

Many things have changed. Everyone smoked. Everyone went to the pub. It was cheap. I was on a student grant supplemented by benefits in the holidays and the occasional job, but if you were reasonably careful going out wasn’t a problem. But what has changed most is the demographics of Scotland and the attitudes.

In 1985 everyone at university was white. There were hardly any foreign students. The only people from ethnic minorities I met ran shops or takeaways.

Scottish nationalism barely existed in 1985. No one talked about it. The idea that Scotland might become independent didn’t occur to us.

There was casual racism, but no one had heard of the concept of Islamophobia. We weren’t scared of the pleasant owners of corner shops. We had no more fear or hatred of Islam than we had of Hinduism.

For the same reason antisemitism did not exist. The old-style antisemitism that you come across in prewar novels had been destroyed by the films of the Holocaust and by the understanding that such attitudes had contributed to the deaths of 6 million Jews.

The continued battle between Israel and Palestine was incredibly distant back then. We ignored the Troubles in Northern Ireland as best we could, let alone the Middle East. No one went on marches about Palestine. We wanted higher grants. I didn’t once see either a Palestinian or Israeli flag. This was a conflict you read about in newspapers and books if at all.

For this reason, the Holocaust was not controversial. It was something you knew about because of TV series like the World at War and various other documentaries. I don’t remember it being taught in school. Everyone who was educated knew at least the basics and accepted them.

There was an arts cinema in Edinburgh where you could go in the afternoon for 50 pence. I was already a film fanatic and so I would go very often.

It was completely uncontroversial that this cinema would show Claude Lanzmann’s 9-hour documentary Shoah. I learned the Hebrew word for the first time.

People with all political viewpoints went to see this film. There were no demonstrations outside. No comparisons were made with the deaths of anyone else or any other genocides.

I watched Shoah not long ago. It is a completely shattering experience. It’s entirely witness testimony. People filmed on camera telling what they saw and what they did.

The Holocaust was not contested in 1985. It was politically neutral. It didn’t matter who you were or who you voted for. It didn’t matter what if anything you thought about Israel. It is this that has changed in the last forty years.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is no longer far away, it is right here right now. It’s partly due to the Internet and social media, but the real difference is that the people who now go on marches did not exist in 1985. The Left was concerned with getting rid of Thatcher. Islamism was still to emerge.

The Middle East conflict from 1948 until 1985 had been a largely secular battle. The PLO and the Arab states that fought against Israel were motivated primarily by Arab nationalism rather than Islam.

The PLO’s form of terrorism was not at that time suicide bombing. The terrorists wanted to survive. This is why they hijacked planes. They didn’t talk about Jihad. If they took hostages, they didn’t chop their heads off. They didn’t fly planes into buildings.

It was I think Iran that turned the Israeli Palestine struggle and the wider fight with the West into one between Islam and Judaism and then Islam and Christianity. It is this too that means where previously in Edinburgh in 1985 there were no demonstrations, nor indeed in London now there are hundreds of thousands many of whom are motivated by their religious beliefs.

It is this above all that has made the Holocaust controversial and a political matter. Previously there were a tiny number of extreme right wingers who denied the Holocaust because they were concerned that the reputation of the Hitler and the Nazis would be damaged. It is for the same reason that the Nazis themselves tried to hide the Holocaust from history. Now we have a different form of Holocaust denial, but which is motivated also by political reasons.

Palestinian nationalism contests the Holocaust by relativising it. It quite deliberately uses the history of the Holocaust to exaggerate the suffering of the Palestinians and to justify present day attacks on the Jews. Thus, by comparing the Warsaw Ghetto to Gaza or the accidental deaths of civilians in warfare to Auschwitz or indeed by describing the whole Israel Palestine conflict as Jews committing genocide against Palestinians, the goal is to minimise as far as possible the Holocaust. But this is precisely what a few extremist Holocaust deniers have done because they support the Nazis.

Worse while attempting to minimise the Holocaust Palestinian nationalists support an organisation Hamas that wishes to recreate the Holocaust only this time with more efficiency and with more enjoyment. The reason is that Palestinian nationalism is motivated now by Islamism and the supposed Muslim duty to take back land that was once part of the Dar al-Islam [house of Islam] and which is now ruled by Jews.

The Left in 1985 was still mainly interested in replacing capitalism with socialism, but the embrace of critical race theory and its hierarchy of victimhood, means that the Left is mainly interested now with replacing Jews with Palestinians all the way from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.

Here we have a new form of a Holocaust denial. It depends on context. People are allowed to support genocide against Jews if it is part of the righteous struggle of the Palestinians against oppressors and colonisers. On this basis the Germans could have justified the Holocaust by saying that the Jews colonised Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages when they were kicked out of Paris in 1182, England in 1290 and Spain in 1492.

In 1985 Islamism barely existed and critical race theory was not a part of mainstream education. Now they are both everywhere, and the combination is literally explosive.

It is bad enough that a film like Shoah would today be relativised and minimised. Why are you upset about Treblinka, something much worse is happening in Gaza and it’s happening now? No what’s infinitely worse is that instead of a few far-right extremists Holocaust denial has gone mainstream to the extent that vast numbers in Britain support Hamas who think that the only mistake the Nazis made was that they did not kill enough Jews and who view it as their religious duty to finish the job.

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Saturday 16 December 2023

Please Scotland can I have some more?


A few weeks ago, a light came on my dashboard and suddenly my car wouldn’t accelerate. I just about managed to drive it to a garage I’d found online, and it needed a new throttle. So, there was an unexpected bill for £600. A few days later a tyre burst, that was another £70, then I found I’d strayed into a bus lane that was another £60, then this month’s fuel bill arrived and the council tax. I’m sure I’m no different from lots of others. I’m better off than many Scots and worse off than some. But the last couple of years have been a struggle for most of us.

I have a reasonably good job. I feel rather about it rather like Basil Fawlty’s relationship with all things Teutonic. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it. But I’ve recently become stingier not because of where I’m from which I also feel Teutonic about, but because like a lot of Scots on middle incomes who thought we were doing pretty well a few years ago things have become harder.

No, it’s not at all like the deprivation suffered in some parts of Scotland, but lots of things that many of us took for granted like buying a new car when the old one finally breaks begin to look out of reach.

When the Scottish Government talks of making us buy a heat pump many of wonder where we are going to get the £10 - £15 thousand to pay for it. When many of wonder about going away for a couple of weeks to Tenerife we begin to realise it would be better to save the money. I used to go round the supermarket not thinking about the prices. Now I go to the yellow cans in Asda to save a few pence here and there.

It is for this reason that we all begin to resent how the SNP wastes public money and makes life harder for ordinary people who not that long ago felt well off.

I have the impression that Humza Yousaf and his colleagues just don’t get it. They are all earning vastly more than the rest of us. They use public money to go to a meeting somewhere nice and warm. It doesn’t matter to them if they have to pay 20 p extra for every can and bottle, they buy and then have the hassle to return it. It doesn’t matter to them if cans of beer and bottles of wine suddenly become more expensive because they decided to have a minimum unit price to save us from ourselves. But it has begun to matter to us.

Scotland is better off than many parts of the UK. We also get more public money from the centre than some poorer parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But somehow, it’s never enough for the SNP. Now Humza Yousaf wants to charge us more for living in Scotland.

The problem is that there is a whole chunk of the Scottish population who don’t pay tax. There are a few very wealthy people who either made their money from business or work as doctors. But most of us earn somewhere in the middle.

The middle income means that the idea of spending £25,000 for an electric car let alone £95,000 looks impossible. I’d need a mortgage to buy a car. The prospect becomes still less likely if I have to pay more tax to the SNP.

It makes sense for some things to be paid for by government. Schools and healthcare and a safety net for the poorest. But public spending across the UK and particularly in Scotland has increased way beyond what is reasonable.

The issue of tax is really an issue of whether I should have the ability to spend my money on what I want to spend it on or whether the government should forcibly remove my money in order to spend it on what it wants to spend it on.

It might be reasonable if a third of my money went on tax, because the government is better able to take care of schools and hospitals, but in Scotland the figure is closer to 50%. Now Humza Yousaf says please Scotland can I have some more?

But it won’t be the rich who pay most of this bill. There are not enough of them. If you are a doctor, you can just as easily move to England. If you run your own very successful business, you can probably run it just as well from Manchester. If you are a highly successful banker in Edinburgh, you can move to London. The rest of us can’t easily move.

The people in the middle might be able to get a job elsewhere, but most of us will stick with what we’ve got for good reason. We are stuck behind Humza’s wall just as much as the East Germans. So, he can tax us as much as he wants. We can’t easily escape, and he doesn’t need watchtowers and dogs to keep us as his taxpayers.

I wouldn’t resent paying Humza’s tax if I thought that it would make the lives of the poorest better. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit more if I thought I’d have greater access to better healthcare. I wouldn’t mind paying more if I thought the standard of Scottish schools and universities would improve. But they won’t. All of these things are incomparably worse under the SNP.

Michael Matheson is symptomatic of the SNP government. Because it’s someone else’s money he’s not bothered how much he spends on holiday in Morocco. This is the whole problem with public money. While we are all careful about our own money if you need to put in an order for a new ship or a new iron smelter or a free trip to the middle east, you don’t much care how much it costs because its someone else’s money. I will have business class thank you because I’m Humza Yousaf and I’m worth it. This is why public spending is always wasteful.

If I need a packet of paracetamol, I can find one in the supermarket for 40 p, instead I can persuade a doctor to give me free paracetamol every month. But the cost of this paracetamol taking into account the meeting with the doctor and the administrative costs of the pharmacy is vastly more than 40 p. It’s not free paracetamol. Instead, it’s more expensive, but we call it free. This illustrates quite ably why Scotland is struggling economically.

Instead of raising taxes which are already too high in Scotland, the SNP first needs to concentrate only on devolved matters. Every paper on a reserved matter like independence costs Scottish taxpayers and we gain no benefit from it.

SNP politicians need to cease spending public money on issues that are best dealt with at the UK level like climate change and foreign affairs. They need to cease wasting public money on ferries that are never built.

Scottish education and healthcare would benefit not so much from more public money as better use of the money they already have. The salaries of public sector workers like me need to be restrained, because Scotland has a huge number of public sector workers and if taxes rise to cover the cost of all our salaries the pay rise will be consumed by the tax rise anyway.

I’m doing better than many and worse than some. But I am much more careful with my money than I used to be. I think that goes for many Scots. It will become the defining issue on which we vote.

Humza Yousaf is forcing us to pay more for worse services and have less of our own money to spend when many of us feel we have less anyway. Why should we have to pay for SNP incompetence?


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