This week’s guest is Gil Paterson who has held senior office within the SNP for many years and who recently retired as a MSP FROM Holyrood. One of the most modest and genuine people in politics I get to reveal some of his contributions to the Independence fight which will surprise people. He has been a very close friend of mine for a great many years. He concludes my series of “pals” interviews that have featured over recent weeks.

32 thoughts on “WEDNESDAY PRISM SHOW 14.07.21

  1. Gil, the native people of the Highlands are being priced out of the places of their own birth and are rapidly being replaced by people with more money than them. For the Highlands read all of rural Scotland. People who can make money off the sale of their houses elsewhere, overwhelmingly though not exclusively, England. That might not fit with your principles but it is a fact. If the franchise is made in Scotland but still leads to an effective veto for people who are entering Scotland for a life of privilege courtesy of a disparity in house prices then we will still have a situation where we remain under the control of England/UK and the native people of ALL our non urban areas are effectively being replaced, at a rapid rate, by people with more money than them. That leads to futher pressure on the local people in our cities, who are often poor themselves. Emigration and displacement continue and nothing is being done to alleviate the problem. The recent house building program exacerbated it. The vast majority of the homes were for sale and went to the highest bidder. The highest bids overwhelmingly came from England. A tiny fraction of those houses went to local people. Those houses for rent were often competed for by a pool of people that stretched massively beyond the areas where the houses were built. Alleviating local housing shortages was what the money was spent on in the first place and yet IT CREATED PRIVILEGE AMONGST THOSE ENTERING A COMMUNITY AND MADE IT HARDER FOR LOCAL PEOPLE TO LIVE IN THEIR HOME AREA. It is the policy of the ghetto that is being followed here. The result of demand primarily from the south but from commercial property enterprises as well means that house prices in Scotland are far beyond what the vast majority of local people can afford and affordable rented accommodation is pitifully insufficient to meet demand. Every new house in Scotland has the potential to exacerbate this problem because the bids from areas around the UK with higher house values and from commercial enterprises exacerbate this problem. Southern Europe is no longer the option for some of this demand to be met. Hundreds of settlements around Scotland have been completely or partially depopulated of their native populations over the past few decades and this process is accelerating.

    What is happening in Scotland today amounts to a crime against the Scottish people yet it appears to provide the current Scottish Governments, pencil in hand, with an opportunity to fill out its virtue signalling ticklist. Oh look how nice and welcoming we are as our local poorer population leave their areas in order to survive (so that more privileged people can replace them. The relatively simple act of moving creates that privilege!)? How many injustices do our native population culturally and materially need to endure at the hands of those officials both elected and their paid employees ( being paid many multiples more than the people taxed to pay them with pensions again multiples better than the common folk will ever receive) before the people say enough is enough? The truth of the matter is that the common people have already said that enough is enough and yet nothing happens. They are powerless and have no representation. What tactics will Scotland’s (colonial?)ruling classes, and I most definitely include Holyrood in that, then employ to continue to control a population which is already per head the amongst most incarcerated in Europe?

    It feels like the end game for many of us here in Scotland and maybe it is. Maybe it is. I think the Gil Patersons of this world need to get a grip because just outside the front door of his stable life, comfortable theories and good pension this pressure will end up in the intensification of our oppression and inevitable, eventual disappearance.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say Obair. It also seems to me that it would only take some fairly minor regulation to to solve the worst of it. No one is even trying – no one with the power to do so.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. That is it exactly Contrary. Sufficient affordable homes for people in the areas they live and the in-migration of people with cash to spend would be beneficial to our rural areas. It has surely gone on long enough now to go beyond simple neglect.

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    2. You are absolutely correct Aberfeldy about people in the Highlands being priced out of housing as an influx of predominately English flood into the area.

      Something like 50,000 people, again predominately from England have been flooding into the country year on year. In 2014 over 72% of those resident in Scotland to vote, but born and and translocated from elsewhere voted No in the referendum

      The plantation of Scotland and the destruction of its culture, is well underway. Just like Ireland before us.

      Peasants in our own land. And meanwhile Sturgeon whistles whilst our country and its chance of independence burns.

      Liked by 6 people

    3. I think this local example perfectly demonstrates how wrong the “free movement of people” within the EU is. The same thing happens all across Europe – rich Germans moving to the desirable parts of Greece for example, displacing locals and leaving the homes empty. This leads to school closures and other things that reduce community cohesion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You make a very good point, Tom. The economic consequences for the vast majority of the populations of the EU states, and others worldwide, are simply not taken into account. We have to remember that the middle class has always, traditionally, been the colonizing class everywhere and at all times. As I stated in another thread, when you study middle-class behaviours, it becomes transparent how they affect all of us negatively, because they are, generally speaking, more on the unenlightened self-interest spectrum than those of the less well-heeled, particularly in recent times. You’d think that the free movement of people would be concentrated in the working-class out of necessity, but it is actually more middle-class – out of unenlightened self-interest in all the countries of the EU, and that having a kick-on effect on house prices and land for those who live there. It is, indeed, a problem that few want to look at because what could be nicer than having a wee pied-de-terre in France or Spain, or, nowadays, a Balkan country, for example? It’s something we would all be happy to have, but we do not think about the indigenous inhabitants who cannot afford the prices we would be willing to pay. A fundamental problem, really.

        Liked by 5 people

    4. Obair I responded to your comment btl on YT and I agree with every word you posted , PEOPLE please wake up this is not about disrespecting people (new Scots) this is about respecting the future prospects of our children and grandchildren

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  2. Another great one, thanks! I’m really enjoying your Pals Prism Series, Iain; they are giving me a good range of viewpoints, and insight into who people are, and all sorts. I was disagreeing with Gil there as much as you were! 😀 – I liked him though, and he’s obviously dedicated to independence, and sounds a very competent organiser. The excuses for defending Sturgeon/the SNP were not convincing, though – very wishy washy, so I hope he listens to this interview himself, and realises he’s not even convinced himself.

    I’m missing the Sunday Prism Show mind you, and Mr B Boy’s presentation style; I do hope he’s going to step back into the fray, and soon. I think the two of you have started up a fresh new way of presentation for pro-Indy people, not a tired old rerun of the 2014 debate or repeating the cry to convince the mythical soft noes (in reality it’s all of soft yes, don’t knows and soft noes that make up the *swing vote* so anyone saying ‘what about the soft noes’ sends me into a frothing rage). I think it’s that you are talking about a good variety of subjects and exploring more of the nuance of opinion on pro-Indy subjects that makes feel that it’s a fresh approach.

    O/T. Some things on some Twitter threads got me thinking there – then your mention (on Twitter) of the SNP troll farm might answer my bemusement on the attitude of replies to this subject that’s brought up now and then. I’ve noted more mentions, lately, of Nikla’s, alleged, secret love affair with a high ranking foreign national. Totally unfounded gossip of course. Alongside Peter’s proclivity for other types of private entertainment and the sham marriage of convenience they have (for gaining power) – but let’s put aside the astonishing levels of hypocrisy even for a politician, and address this issue – the issue being that the somewhat too smooth and certain responses – to the hints that Ms Sturgeon is having a secret affair with a high ranking foreign national – appear to be designed to tamp down the speculation – it being ‘none of our business’.

    Personally I don’t care about anyone’s sexuality, or if they’re in a marriage of convenience, or if they want to keep everything secret – that’s absolutely fine. And that’s basically what responses to hints of secret goings-on and super injunctions tweets are about: it’s none of our business – which sounds all very reasonable – if we were talking about ORDINARY folk.

    1) it’s not someone’s sexuality that’s of interest, or their sham marriage.
    2) why are these responses so well formed about gossip that hasn’t ever been reported?
    3) it’s not a private matter.

    I suspect the SNP troll farm is already trying to counter the outrage that might erupt if the news & reports ever got out – or rather, to focus everyone on the gossip aspect. I’m not particularly interested in gossip of famous people on any day – but this isn’t about being invasive into someone’s private life: I find it VERY worrying that someone in power could be causing a serious security breach.

    The points are: this is the FM, a position of power and influence, holding a SECRET affair – secret is relevant because that is when it’s most likely a problem for national security – with a VERY HIGH RANKING FOREIGN national. Is no one thinking yet – em, does that maybe not make our FM someone you REALLY don’t want to have knowing any state secrets? No wonder she/her was cut out of any Brexit talks – and Westminster doesn’t even pay lip service involving her or listening to her. She’s MADE the position an empty administrative position. No wonder she spends all her time tinkering around with social engineering, that must be all she’s allowed to do.

    The security services are either playing some serious politicking or are incompetent – she/her should NOT still be in post if she can’t hold back from sleeping with foreign officials while still FM. Those are general concerns that anyone should have about their country’s security (and while we still rely on England’s, it’s our concern too) – from the point of view of independence movement, she must be the WORST person we could have at the head – in thrall to the security services (no wonder things like land reform have been halted without a peep eh?) and can’t be trusted by anyone else in power, she’ll never be invited to any real talks, and she’s never going to make a stand on anything against the establishment (though she does appear to indistinguishable from it anyway).

    If you want to be the leader of a nation – you have to restrict your activities to those that can’t be interpreted to likely breach national security – or you stand down; that’s the ‘right thing to do’.

    For independence, let’s NOT model our security services on any of the British ones, and let’s not have the American ones embedded (and likely in charge, and uncaring if the FM is a real liability just so they can control her).

    I know this is a big secret and unfounded innuendo etc, but I’m thinking we need to start discussions – to allow people to form their own opinions on the matter – on subjects that the troll farm are likely to batter us with (eyes on the prize, anyone? Wheesht) soon enough. I don’t find any of it amusing or entertaining – my level of trust for that woman couldn’t get any lower – this a serious betrayal of everyone, the entire nation; I couldn’t care less if it’s a woman she’s having an affair with: but I DO care if it’s a high-ranking foreign official she’s having an affair with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very interesting points made here. I had not considered the ‘national security’ aspect of this and the way the UK state might look upon it with regard to FMs ability to do the job.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting discussion Iain, in mair weys than ane. A spell in any unionist parliament (Holyrood or Westminster) seems to drive all zest for Scotland’s national liberation right out of SNP MSPs/MPs.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Iain, none of my comments getting through. Have I overstepped the mark or something? No offence intended, if I have.


    1. Lorncal…I know how you feel… I get that a lot, & I read Ian’s blog because I really enjoy it & like hat he has to say, so I am never really negative. UNTIL today, If those in the actual SNP government are of the same mindset as Gil. Then he was right when he said he would be deid before I DEPENDENCE ever came our way.. My own kids in their 50’s will be deid also, maybe even the grandkids.. It seems there is always an excuse to NOT go for INDY, but one thing I do know, Scotland will NEVER win INDY through a referendum.. NO way will that shower down in WM ever allow that to happen.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Likeable, hardworking and experienced though Gil obviously is, radical political thinking isn’t his defining feature.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Gil says he doesn’t see people as “different” but only sees the person but the problem is that isn’t reciprocated by a lot of English incomers in rural Scotland who seem to see Scots as a lesser species. My experience of a lot of them is that they have a neo-colonial view of Scotland and don’t see us as a country. There are English residents here who would vote yes but, as the figures show, they are a tiny minority. No other country allows the indigenous to be out voted by incomers from a neighbouring country in constitutional votes. The problem is that we can’t bestow citizenship. Most countries would limit the franchise to citizens but, with us, it’s a circular argument. We can’t do that until we leave the union and we can’t leave the union because non-Scots are becoming a physical block to us leaving. We’re going to have to take our case to the UN and then strike a deal with them on the franchise. They will be sympathetic to the rights of the indigenous. A commentator on a previous thread said that English residents on Skye were trying to inhibit Gaelic teaching. That sort of attitude chimes with my experience. The UN frowns on persons from the “Administrative Power” i.e. England voting on a constitutional vote of this sort and with good reason. A set period of residency won’t work either as they don’t change their attitudes whether they appeared here last year or 40 years ago. They would stamp our culture and languages into the ground. People living in urban Scotland sometimes don’t grasp the seriousness of the situation. If Alf Baird’s figures are correct, the next census will show that there are over 900,000 of them. We’re not here to give them a “better life” at our expense.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Gil’s remark was virtue-signalling. It probably does define his attitude when it comes to people from another country. However, the implication is, that if you see a need to have some modification of the franchise it marks you as xenophobic. It is actually not about ethnicity but economic disparity. With a comfortable lifestyle which also enables you to make choices perhaps you are happily unaffected by the lack of choice which is the lot of those who are asset poor.

      Recently, we have seen commenters trundle out the comment ‘blood and soil nationalist’ to define those who question the wisdom of continuing with the open-ended franchise we had last time. Funnily enough, this comment was one of many used to brand the independence movement by the unionist opposition. I wonder why those who purport to support independence are happy to use the same insults as the opposition?

      In her comment, lorncal correctly defines what the problem is by referring to the international situation where those who live in more affluent areas are able to sell up and move to more scenic areas to live the country idyll and at the same time release some of that locked-up capital by buying where house prices are cheaper. ( This also advantages them over the local population since these places are often more remote, lacking in transport and lacking in employment opportunity none of which causes problems for these incomers with their extra capital.)

      Instead of trying to distract by pretending it is just about intolerant nationalism it would help if the critics realised that it is about economic disadvantage. Saying that it is not about colonizing since Scotland is not a colony is to miss the point entirely. It is about using economic advantage arising from unequal economic situations, exacerbated when the country from whom the incomers hail is unfairly advantaged by the Westminster governments’ policies in favour of (mainly) the SE of England. As lorncal says, the middle class have always been colonizers.

      I wonder why the ones keen to paint their so-called ‘fellow’ indy supporters as ‘blood and soil nationalists’ choose to simplify and vilify while seemingly missing what is the main purpose of independence which is to build a fairer and more equal Scotland? That would require removing the economic dominance of England, of course. Perhaps that is what scares them? Let’s keep allowing the privileged middle class to pour into our attractive country areas and keep the open-ended franchise. Then things will never change. Gil, and the SNP I’m sure, would be happy with that.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. You’re right, I’m afraid, Paul. Most of the in-coming people from England consider themselves superior to the local Highlanders. Ridiculous since the majority contribute little or nothing to the community. But what is worse is the fact that our young people can’t afford the inflated house prices. Something has to be done about this soon as we’re witnessing the Clearances once more.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. A very good program, again. Gil’s thought process… I just find it ‘head in the sand’ stuff.

    When it comes to discrimination, its a well known phrase, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. In Scotland, you can’t be, what you can’t hear. How many will know not to apply for jobs when they hear that English accent… in the car park, at reception, at the interview stage?

    We’ve been very good at using the term British to describe the English Parliament of Westminster – lets stop doing that. It’s an English dominated parliament, that serves England first, second and third (and it doesn’t even do that well).

    English nationalists have been hiding behind the term British for long enough.

    In 2013 an Englishman and I were discussing the Indyref… why can’t I get a vote, he asked. Because its not self detemination if you allow people from another country (specially the one currently doing all the asset stripping) in on the vote – they will vote from their own countries bias.

    That doesn’t change, just because he buys a house here next week.

    Ultimately I think we have a large number of Indy supporters who are not willing to ‘get it over the line’. That final push scares them, they would rather keep dreaming.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. O/t but I’m sure of interest @ForwomenScot have tweeted that Marion Millar’s court case on Tuesday 20th has been postponed. I know a few of you were thinking of attending the gathering outside the court. Since a lot of people were travelling from afar, another gathering is to be arranged at Glasgow Green – details to be released in due course.

    Poor Marion, she must have thought the end was in sight but alas no.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The punishment is the process. For guilty and innocent alike. It sickens me to see some Scots, so called, revel in these injustices.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. PP: there may well be a genuine reason for postponing the court case; it has always happened. However, if they thought a large protest by women was afoot, I wouldn’t put it past them to try and avoid that.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. Nice to see the recent release of schemers set in 1980s Dundee with all of the vernacular celebration of my home town.

    I’m trying to identify who actually paid for the production but it looks like a Polish film company which goes to show our language and cultural traditions might be appreciated throughout Europe but not within these isles which probably explains the lack of marketing.

    Anyway, I just bought the film which I’m told is a Dundee version of Trainspotting.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Why should a English family that moved here with greater wealth I cured through the financial devision created by England have a say in my grandsons future Scotland is his inheritance not theirs no incomers should be allowed to vote.

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  11. I have been following the discussions (and arguments) on social media regarding the franchise with interest and have to admit my mind has changed somewhat over the last few weeks. Let me tell you why I was dead against changing the franchise at first – simply because I wasn’t born in Scotland. My dad is a Scot and so that for me has always made me Scottish, no matter that he happened to be in England when he was discharged from the Army and met my mum. I’ve never considered myself any other nationality and, having lived most of my childhood and all of my adult life in Scotland (East Lothian & Ayrshire) I was unimpressed to discover many of my social media friends and followers were now of the view that I shouldn’t be allowed a vote in a second referendum as I wasn’t a born Scot. This particularly rankled given I have been a YES activist since I was 16.

    I’ve been reading the arguments for and against, and today I have to admit I might have swayed somewhat, and it has something to do with an earlier poster’s comments about the Clearances.

    I am on Skye at the moment, I’ve been coming here for nearly 25 years, and obviously there have been a lot of changes in that time. There has always been the issue of incomers buying up holiday homes but over the past view years there has been a tendency for people to build huge new builds which are then empty for most of the year, with the owners perhaps spending only a few weeks a year in them – how does this contribute to the local economy? Also, some of the house designs are, well, not in the vernacular let’s say. They occupy huge plots and just look totally out of place.

    The more traditional properties are on sale for outrageous amounts of money, and everywhere you look people have put up these “Pods” or “Wigwams” as short term holiday accommodation. They are everywhere.

    There is evidence of the clearances here wherever you go, yet as is highlighted above, the clearances are happening all over again – not just on Skye but all over Scotland. Why struggle in expensive England when you can sell your £1m house, buy something twice the size in glorious Scotland for £300,000 and enjoy our superior NHS, free University tuition for your children and free prescriptions for all the family?

    And when we vote for a constitutional change, yes of course you can vote No, why would you want anything to change?

    So, should there be a qualifying residential period? Well, I would say yes, and I always thought ten years was a sensible length of time. But today I realised that if we did happen to get another indyref in, say, 2024 that would be 10 years since Scotland voted No. Many people could have been tempted to move here because of that No vote, assuming it was highly unlikely that there would be another one soon (Once in a generation ?) . So now I’m starting to think, maybe 10 years isn’t long enough – and remember a week or two back, I was adamant that the franchise should be kept the same as in 2014.

    HOWEVER – I have also realised that all this upset and aggro and friends falling out shouldn’t be happening at all because we don’t need a referendum, in fact we should be avoiding it. Nicola Sturgeon is the only person dead set on having another one, or should that be, not having one.

    We should be going to the UN and telling the Treaty of Union has been breached by England and we are declaring ourselves independent. Nicola.can ask Johnson all she wants – Scotland should just leave, then no one can be accused of taking anyone’s vote away from them. Problem solved!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Indeed, MM, another referendum has been a huge relief to the SNP leadership because they could spin it out almost indefinitely. You know, this gullibility is mirrored in the insanity of the trans issue: both require intelligent people to be comatose in order to be fed the propaganda; and so many, in each case, oblige with gusto.

    They won the election, our primary source democracy and legitimacy for any government, and the Treaty route was always going to be the ay because a referendum needs to be won after getting. Resiling the Treaty is within the grasp of the SG, as the people’s representatives, right now. Why don’t they do that? Because they are not interested in independence. I believe that they have quite deliberately allowed Scotland to be sold to the highest bidder. It would be in keeping with our history: most of our ills have always been home-grown; most of those who would harm us are also home-grown; and most of those who would sell us out are another home-grown product.

    The more I look back at the Salmond affair, the more I see that a number of those in the leadership camp had an axe to grind. None of them have really been in support of independence. Just devolution and an incremental creep. Salmond would not have stood still as they have done. All the things you suggest would horrify them because they are positive steps which they simply do not want to take and will not take – unless they are forced. They must all be sent home to think again: the leadership foot-draggers; the wokerati; and the backside lickers. Nothing less than a clean-out of the party will suffice, to allow it to return to its roots and to join forces with all the other pro independence parties. A possibility? I think so

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Iain I have great respect for you and everything you do in pushing independence , however the glowing reference you gave in your intro to Gil Paterson was IMO not reflected in his performance in your interview

    If Mr Paterson is indicative of the current hierarchy of the SNP it is NO surprise hat we are not independent and have little prospect of being so for some time
    I found his attitude condescending and reeking of know it all

    Liked by 1 person

  14. As I have said Iain I am grateful and respectful of everything you and BB,SC, GB,AW,GSM,Jeggit and lots of others do to keep promoting INDY, I have never been a member of ANY political party because I favour the Billy Connolly mantra , I have also said frequently that yourself and others maintain there are still good people in the SNP but I honestly cannot agree with that , but there again there are NO obvious good people in the whole of the SP

    I cannot reconcile or believe that the combined office bearers within the SNP are so willing to go along with the perverted deviant policies and wants of a mini tyrant without having to look to their consciences find some integrity and honesty and EXPOSE the corruption and lies of this monster , it is unbelievable and reprehensible that if as you say there are still good people within the SNP that they would willingly comply and agree with the direction of travel this tyrant is forcing Scotland and Scots to suffer

    Liked by 2 people

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