THE CLOWN

BORIS THE CLOWN

An article from regular Yours for Scotland columnist Mia.

Many of us never believed UK governments were ever subjected to serious democratic scrutiny.  But after watching in disbelief the depths the establishment plunged to shield from scrutiny a corrupt Scottish government and civil service, I think it is safe to say that many of us have reached now the irreversible conclusion that functional and effective democratic scrutiny is not possible in Scotland for as long as we remain in the UK.

After observing repetitive patterns of behaviour in what passes for democratic proceedings both in Scotland and at UK level, it seems to me that instead of democratic scrutiny what we might have is what looks like staged performances disguised as “parliamentary committees,” where villains are given free rein to impersonate incoherent clowns and escape scrutiny.

The scope of this clown act appears to go beyond disguising unpreparedness.  It is being used to slow down uncomfortable questioning, block scrutiny and fool taxpayers into believing what they are paying for is an effective democratic tool, rather than the illusion of one.

The clown act appears to have taken the UK parliamentary committees by storm.  In Scotland, after 300 years of being laughed at, I suspect it is a tad more difficult for voters to show leniency towards political clowns.  That might be the reason why performances up here tend to go for something with more class, hence the high functioning amnesiac act.

In essence, the main characters in both acts appear to be very similar.  Both set outs have such parallelism that one would be forgiven for thinking both were thought out by the same mind.

The main characters appear to include a leading actor as the villain, which would pretend to be either a clown or an amnesiac. There is also a main supporting actor as the overprotective chairperson, usually of the same political inclination as the villain, whose task is to ensure the most uncomfortable questions are blocked out and the villain gets an easy ride.

Then there are a few secondary characters who feed the villain easy questions to create the illusion the villain is willingly cooperating with the questioning. Then we have the detective, which is a dreamer who joins in thinking they will have the opportunity to scrutinise the villain properly, but soon realises that despite having carefully produced intelligent and interesting questions to ask, the villain and the chairperson will find a way to block any meaningful answer to those questions.

The last main character are the unsuspecting victims.  These will be us taxpayers fooled into believing the scene is an effective democratic tool and who will be presented with the bill for the whole act plus all damages caused by all the villain’s flops off-stage too.

Performances in Scotland seem more heavy-handed than those at UK level.  If the chairperson is not perceived as strong enough to contain the uncomfortable questioning, then time is not wasted.  There is a very rapid entry on stage of a few extras acting as damage control agents who threaten everybody else with prosecution if the questioning becomes too efficient.  That sends the performance prematurely into the end scene terminating the performance.

The most important character in both acts is the detective.  Remove the detective with the real questions the victim wants answers to, and the whole charade flops because the villain, the extras and the chairperson on their own would never manage to fool victims into believing the act is anything other than a whitewash.

On the 17th November we had the most recent example of a clown act.  I am referring to the part of the Westminster Liaison Committee where Johnson was asked questions by our wonderful Angus McNeil.

I call it a clown act because as soon as Mr McNeil starts his questioning you can clearly see Johnson adopting a childish and foolish attitude, stammering exaggeratedly to derail the thread of questioning and to exasperate McNeil.  He also keeps an irritating smirk on his face throughout showing he is doing it on purpose.

If you wish to watch the questioning by Mr McNeil, you can do so by visiting the parliament live tv website.  This comes with a warning mind.  The performance of Johnson is infuriating and you may feel the uncontrollable urge to throw things at the screen to make it stop.

The link for the whole session is below

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/1d832424-61f6-4656-9363-fbf0a23c9683

Mr McNeil starts his questions approximately at minute 16:43:14.

After watching this individual standing as the UK PM delivering incoherent grunts, fake stuttering and babbling noises as his response to the serious questions put forward by Mr McNeil, I could not stop wondering why on earth our Scottish nationalist MPs are wasting their talent and our time endorsing this clown act with their participation on it.

A few seconds into the questioning by Mr McNeil it was already evident that both the PM and the chairperson were working together to derail his questioning.  Looking at the way Johnson and the Chairman conducted themselves during Mr McNeil’s interventions, it was also evident that if it wasn’t for Mr McNeil’s determination to ask and the quality of his questions, nobody watching Johnson during those 6 min of video would have ever taken that committee as a serious democratic tool.  They would see it as a farce. Mr McNeil was the detective figure giving credibility to the charade.

Interesting and very well presented as Mr McNeil’s questions were and lovely as it was to hear his naturally nice accent compared to the unnaturally sounding “plum in the mouth” posh accent of many of those sitting around that table, nothing was ever going to change by playing along with this clown game.  Scotland is not further forward and the clown impersonator walked out of that chamber in the same way he got in: with his teflon cover intact. 

I wonder therefore, why talented SNP MPs like Mr McNeill are helping a rotten British establishment to fool taxpayers into believing such corruption still allows a functioning democracy. Because it clearly does not.  That committee was a farce.

I do not understand why they do not walk away and leave the whole charade to fall apart under the weight of its own corruption, because from where I am standing, it seems the only sensible thing to do if we ever wish to restore democracy in Scotland.

During those 6 minutes of questioning by Mr McNeil, what we see is a man clearly unfit to be PM, but yet catapulted to the post by a political establishment who has no democratic mandate to act on behalf of NI, Wales or Scotland.  There is clearly no democratic restraint of any kind.

Unfit for the post of PM he may be, but the man feels his feet under the table safe enough to be at perfect ease insulting Scotland’s taxpayers’ intelligence with patronising comments.

Why do we have to continue putting up with this?

This clown impersonator tells us that the deal with New Zealand could increase our exports for 100 million.  He then asks Mr McNeil “are you turning your nose at that?”.  Well, I don’t know Mr McNeil, but I most certainly am, actually. My nose was so twisted when hearing it for first time that it was almost out of joint. As far as I am concerned he could have told us that it would increase it by a trillion and still we would be none the wiser.  The word “increase” is a relative word which only has any meaning when compared to something and within a particular time frame.  If the increase in exports with this trade deal is 100 million in 10 years compared to having no deal at all, then the deal is rubbish.  New Zealand imported goods from the UK for value of around a bn per year from 2012 to 2020.  But if the increase is of 100 million per month in goods exports compared with what we already had with New Zealand as part of the EU trade deals, then we are talking of a good deal.

But information is power, so one can guess that the whole purpose of the clown act is precisely to stop us getting any worthwhile information that may help us to scrutinise how badly this government is serving our interests.

And if our MPs cannot get the information they seek to protect our interests and this charade is not helping Scotland in any way, what are our MPs wasting theirs and our time for by keeping us in this union?

The pinnacle of the clown act was of course using the opportunity given by Mr McNeil mentioning a totally inoffensive word in Gaelic to launch a calculated double attack on him.  The clown impersonator embarked on an exaggerated and totally out of place rant. I did not hear the chairperson warning him or making any move to stop him wasting everybody’s time with his rant, like he did repeatedly with Mr McNeil when he was frantically trying to get a cogent answer to his questions.

Many have said the clown impersonator had misheard the Gaelic word and that is why he reacted in the way he did.  I don’t think for even a second that he misheard or misunderstood anything at all.  I am sure he enjoyed a taste of our fabulous Scotch whisky more than once to the sound of that beautiful word.  I think his aim was always to derail the thread of uncomfortable questions Mr McNeil was clearly on track of asking.  I think this pretend clown realised immediately that disclosing the figure of the 100 million left him totally exposed to even more uncomfortable questions regarding the trade deal which he did not have the balls to answer.  As it was clear Mr McNeil had come well prepared with the figures, Johnson took the cowards’ shortcut: to shut down that line of questioning by launching a rant on a totally unrelated matter.  Isn’t that what they call “a dead cat”?

But he did something else.  By launching that misplaced rant on hearing the Gaelic word, he was also making the very subtle point that in this union of non-equals, if you want to be understood at all times, you can only use English because if you use anything else, no matter how well known the word is, you and the electorate who elected you to represent them will be giving everybody else a licence to be misinterpreted and treated with contempt.

What I saw on that was an opportunistic attempt to undermine any other language that is not English, so I found that part of the clown act particularly ghastly and offensive.

Scotland’s languages should be respected in equal measure as English, so after 6 years of SNP majorities in Westminster, why are they not?

This insulting performance is not what taxpayers in Scotland expect from a PM.  Scottish taxpayers expect to be respected by educated answers to pertinent questions made by their representatives.  Allowing farces like this to continue is not the type of mature and corrective response Scottish voters expect from the chairperson in that committee either.

The working class in Scotland has to work very hard to put food on the table.  Us working class people see money taken directly from our salaries to pay buffoons in character like the PM or the sycophant chairperson who was trying to keep Mr McNeil on a leash while giving the PM free rein.

The money that is taken from our salaries is used to pay farcical committees like this one or the even more embarrassing farce we had in Holyrood recently.  What Scottish taxpayers expect in exchange is for time and moneywasting farces like this to be stopped immediately and for all those involved in it to start behaving like they deserve the salaries we taxpayers have to pay them and not like actors on a staged performance.

We also expect a proper chairperson, not useful idiots determined to interrupt the flow of questions from one of our elected members of parliament to give respite to a clown impersonator or a pretend amnesiac with no intention of dignify taxpayers who pay their salaries with cogent answers.

So, what is it exactly that we are paying our MPs and actually the FM to do? To be the supporting characters in a clown or amnesiac impersonator’s act designed to help a corrupt establishment to avoid scrutiny, or to actually represent us, represent our interests and to deliver the democratic mandates we have entrusted the SNP with for the last 7 years?

We thought we were paying them to do the latter.

How is perpetuating contempt for democracy endorsing farces like this helping to deliver the democratic mandates the SNP was entrusted with?

Seven years of wait demonstrate this strategy is not working so why wasn’t it changed?

How can our MPs ever represent us properly in a place where obtaining answers to serious questions is impossible because the system has been set up to deliberately avoid meaningful answers to ever be produced?

They clearly cannot, so what are they still doing there?

What exactly do we want a nationalist FM and a majority of SNP MPs for if all what they are prepared to do is to continue legitimising farcical performances a corrupt and self-serving establishment creates to obfuscate, avoid scrutiny and protect its own interests above those of the people of Scotland?

For nothing. if that is all what they are prepared to do we are better off voting for somebody else.

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Special Announcement

Craig Murray is due to be released next Tuesday on the 30th November 2021 from Saughton Jail at around 10am where he has been wrongly imprisoned for several months as a political prisoner in the corrupt state that Scotland has become.

The very least we can all do is be there to meet and cheer him to demonstrate our determination to defend freedom of speech in Scotland.

Craig will address the rally and it will be videoed so that it can be shared with media across the World.

If you can be there please make the effort. I am in the USA so will not be there in person but I will be raising a toast to him and perhaps sharing any video at the St Andrews Night Dinner I am hosting in Clearwater, Florida.

49 thoughts on “THE CLOWN

  1. A stoater of a post Mia. People in Scotland may go and vote but we have NEVER had democracy in Scotland. Not before the UK union or currently during the U.K. Union. Hopefully post UK Union a true democracy will flourish in Scotland but that will nevef happen with Sturgeon and her gang in charge

    Liked by 13 people

  2. Well said Mia, I also believe that our MP’s should walk out of the House of Commons, sadly many of them are now so embedded at Westminster that its very unlikely to happen.

    As for the clown and the detective, this scenario has been played out at Holyrood as well recently via the inquiry in which Sturgeon answered easy questions which she either batted away or failed to answer, and the two SNP MSPs, one the chair of the inquiry semi-managed the outcome, no one was sacked nor even reprimanded and the Scottish taxpayer was left to pick up the bill.

    Liked by 13 people

  3. SNP MP’s are currently giving legitimacy to a body that is keeping Scotland a prisoner and ignoring legal mandates for a vote on independence. They are therefore complicit in Scotland’s subjugation and irrelevance. This is not rhetoric, it is bare fact. The longer they confer this legitimacy, the less interest the international community will take in Scotland’s plight. Why should anybody in the EU or elsewhere have concern for Scotland when Scotland’s own leader and representatives are in ‘business as usual’ mode?

    Kenny MacAskill has now taken a minimalist stance on attending Parliament but ironically needs its platform to say things that are otherwise blacked out in the Scottish media and ignored by the Scottish Parliament.

    If the SNP were serious about independence (yes, I know) they would be staging walkouts whenever Scotland’s representatives are treated with contumely. Blackford was actually ordered out of the Commons by Bercow, but that got lost in the noise and it inadvertently turned out to be the most effective thing he has done.

    Further walkouts would highlight how Scotland is ignored in the UK parliament, creating a conversation about complete withdrawal.

    Another great post Mia, thanks.

    Liked by 10 people

      1. “I am an English/Scot”

        This seems like saying, in terms of national identity, “I am a German/Dane”.

        Perhaps you mean, linguistically/culturally, “I am an Anglicised Scot”?

        Liked by 5 people

      2. Alf, isnt an Anglicised Scot someone born in Scotland who spent most of their life in England, the other way round would make them a Scoticised Angle surely?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Anne

        I think you may mean ‘Anglo-Scot’.

        Most Scots are Anglicised to some extent given we are only taught English in schools and the indigenous ‘native’ Scots language is not taught or given authority; the 2011 census told us there were only 1.6 million Scots language speakers left in Scotland out of a population of now 5.6m+. Next year’s census will likely tell us the Scots language numbers have fallen further. Language is very important as a determinant of independence because, along with culture, it provides the basis of national consciousness and national identity.
        https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/paper-two-the-determinants-of-independence/

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Great article and one that highlights again the need for an urgent shift to ALBA from the SNP. Lets think about the red line events that opened our eyes so we can try to shift the wheeshtforindy YES voters as we ourselves were shifted. Project Awareness. For me, the speech Sturgeon gave in January 2020 was unaccountable: the UKIP UKG was on the ropes, Scotland was at a precipice and had Sturgeon stood up for Scotland we could easily have had the same deal as NI, leading to inevitable and smooth independence within ten years. She got on her hands and knees. Kompromat or traitor? Surely not that much of an idiot? Then there is the proclamation that we are no more a country that Catalonia – we need Westminster permission – not only does this FM not exercise our rights she actively seeks to remove them. Then there is the obsession with trans rights and all things woke – her intended future career path I assume.

    There are a few areas where I feel every conversation with Sturgeon and her crew can be forced to ring the YES alarm bells:
    Frame questions that would require the use of the word “woman” in a normal person – expose her extremism
    Challenge her on Scotlands status as a country – publicly ask her on why she has ignored violations of the Treaty of Union and the Claim of Right. Be ready to challenge on each violation.
    Ask her why she promised to protect Scotland in Brexit and then did nothing – when she trots out her denials then ask her what she did. Let YES see she did nothing, knows she did nothing and will continue to do nothing.

    This has to be visible to SNP voters – is it crazy for us to crowd fund bill boards citing the ToU and Claim of Right violations? Feels like an ALBA election campaign?

    Liked by 12 people

    1. I seem to remember a video clip in which she laughed off the idea of ending the Treaty of Union, in much the same way as Boris would have done. I think it was at a WI meeting. Can’t find the clip on YouTube now, perhaps it has been redacted 🙂

      Has to be a forelock tugging exercise without an end-date for Nicola, but never mind, there are lots of photo-ops to fill in the time.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Marionl99, for me Sturgeons speech in Jan 2020 was the last straw. Any person listening to that speech properly could see that Sturgeon not only would never deliver independence but she didn’t seem all that bothered about not doing so.

      She is more interested in promoting herself.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. ‘So, what is it exactly that we are paying our MPs and actually the FM to do? To be the supporting characters in a clown or amnesiac impersonator’s act designed to help a corrupt establishment to avoid scrutiny, or to actually represent us, represent our interests and to deliver the democratic mandates we have entrusted the SNP with for the last 7 years?’ – It would seem to be the former having read that Pete Wishart MP has invited Nicola to attend before a WM Scottish Affairs Committee and I quote ‘It would also be a chance for members of the Committee and the First Minister to discuss the working relationship between the two governments, and what improvements could be made to formal and informal dialogue channels.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Great article. Given that a UKGE could happen at anytime in the next two years, it is essential that this time is effectively used to determine exactly why I or anybody else seeking independence should vote for the SNP candidates. Unless this is clearly defined then I am unsure why I would vote again for a SNP to “sit” at Westminster. If the SNP candidates/MPs do not have a clear strategy to deliver indy then unless there is an alternative indy candidate/party I may not vote at all.
    Most of the Holyrood SNP MSPs are a “waste of space” and incapable of any “independent” (sic!) thought.

    Liked by 8 people

  7. What I don’t understand is why the Scots watching Boris speak see and hear a rambling idiot yet the English see a “cheekie chappie” worth voting for.

    How does that happen???

    Liked by 7 people

    1. “How does that happen???”

      The explanation probably lies in our quite different National Cultures and where our Language plays a critical part.

      As Mia highlights, in any colonialism project the main divide between the ruling hierarchy and the native is inevitably cultural and linguistic, language forming the basis of culture, which influences the way we think and act. Our Scots culture and language(s) is what gives us our Scottish ‘national consciousness’, without which there would be no desire for independence (Fanon).

      Hence the reason the Scots langage isnae taucht tae ony Scots bairn in schuils – the British state does not want us to develop far less promote our ‘national consciousness’, which after centuries of Anglicisation leaves us, as with any colonised people, with only ‘a rusted tongue and a moribund culture’. The racism Mia alludes to, which is always prevalent in any colonial relationship, reflects this cultural and linguistic divide.

      https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/06/27/paper-one-in-the-10-part-baird-series/

      Liked by 8 people

    2. I’ve often wondered that too, Clootie. I think that it’s something to do with our ancient hard-wired behaviour that came from our primate ancestors where deference was automatically given to the alpha leaders. Alphas did not have to fight for resources while those of lesser status would often have to wait to eat what was left. In monkey troops alpha animals will even take food out of the unprotesting mouths of their inferiors. Biologists will explain this behaviour as having the evolutionary benefit of avoiding conflict in the group, so the meek acceptance of the lesser animals is necessary for the survival and cohesion of the species at the cost of those unlucky individuals further down the order.

      However, that’s for the apes. No one would advocate that human society should behave that way yet still that ancestral ape behaviour would seem to exercise a primal influence in modern human society. Hence the baffling tendency of too many humans to ascribe automatically to members of the elite, qualities that the rest of us cannot see. Human society still seems to be bedevilled by the extraordinary desire of some to defer to those endowed with inherited status. Excusing or overlooking the actual unworthiness of those elite recipients (like royalty or other celebrities) seems to be a rationalisation of their own unthinking deference to such as Boris Johnson – so Boris has to be seen as a scamp rather than a scoundrel and gets a free pass.

      Sometimes I’ve found, that the only way to interpret the often maddeningly irrational behaviour of humans in groups is to look back at our evolutionary history. It can help explain why elites are so good at manipulating those they rule: it’s not that they are so clever or cunning, it’s just that our ancient social behaviour makes it easy for them. Critical thinking is willingly abandoned to the comfortable cohesion of the group.

      (Why in this, Scottish society seems not so self-deluded as the English electorate – well, Professor Baird might have some ideas about that.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, jgedd, colonialism works by controlling a peoples culture, in which language is a critical aspect. Scots are still fed what the folk singer Dick Gaughan called “an illusion of culture”; rather like a supposed treaty-based union which disnae exist in practice/politically. Its there as Determinant 1, and for good reason!

        Liked by 3 people

  8. This is off-topic, but, that’s a very-interesting farewell message that Rev Stuart Campbell has just posted on Wings. I think it will spoil a few people’s tea tonight.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. When a nation, an ancient nation, finds itself in a position whereby it is unable, due to a lack of available democratic means to annul a trade treaty with a foreign state, such as the treaty of 1707 between Scotland and England, it might be reasonably assumed by the casual observer that the nation lacking the democratic means to change the status-quo had also relinquished the ancient sovereignty it possessed prior to the voluntary signing of the said trade treaty. (Signed, as we know, by a minuscule handful of unelected Scottish worthies and associated mendicants.).

    The actuality of the matter is, of course: Scotland didn’t relinquish its sovereignty as a concomitant to the signing of the 1707 trade treaty with England thus Scottish sovereignty remains extant and every bit as potent today as it ever was. Further, it is Scotland’s democratically elected representatives to the British parliament who are the physical manifestation of that sovereignty and whom by dint of their election have been entrusted with and have agreed to uphold our sovereignty. On becoming aware of all that, the now befuddled casual observer would surely wonder why it was then that Scotland’s elected MPs, particularly the dominant number affiliated to the nominal party of independence, don’t just up and walk out of the union, as it would plainly be their sovereign entitlement to do so.

    With the above in mind, Is it not therefore, high-time for those of us who want to see the reassertion of our ancient sovereignty, to wrest the union telescope away from England’s grasp, find the Scottish end of that instrument and critically train it on on our elected representatives, i.e. the physical manifestation of our all-important sovereignty. This in order to ascertain exactly what the collective role of our elected representatives is and has been in the continued “success” of what Mia rightly characterizes above as being akin to an elaborate theatrical hoax.

    The appearance of Scotland’s name so far down the bill, not to mention the dearth of column inches generated in the media regarding our players performances when viewed through the correct end of the telescope, would, I’m sure, convince the many of their bit-player status and prompt the question as to why hey’re in Westminster at all, when a stage many times bigger awaits them for the taking in Edinburgh.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That’s all the treaty was, a trade agreement, which has morphed into colonial enslavement and exploitation through ongoing cultural imperialism of the dominant alliance ‘partner’. As the Scottish Sovereignty Research Group has stated, a majority of the sovereign Scots representative MPs may withdraw from the UK treaty-based alliance. The SNP is continuing to undermine Scottish sovereignty when they should be asserting it.

      https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/08/08/determinants-of-independence-constitution/?like_comment=17959

      Liked by 7 people

    1. Scotland’s universities are a hoot too; last time I looked at Glasgow Uni’s accounts there were well over 100 staff there on salaries above £100,000 and a principal on over £300,000. Scotland has 19 universities, which probably means a couple of thousand x £100k+ salaries.

      If we aggregate all of Scotland’s public/semi-public sector bodies today – Scotgov/Holyrood, UKGov, councils, NHS, justice, military, education, quangoland, agencies etc. there are probably more than 20,000 ‘elite’ folks on £100k+, which eats up around £2 billion+ of Holyrood’s budget every year, plus some UKGov budget. That’s a lot of taxpayer candy for a mediocre meritocracy. Private school fees are expensive, mind, and that’s where elites are mainly sourced from.

      (Report looking at the social background of people that hold positions of power and influence in Scotland)
      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elitist-scotland

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Jim4indy: she will laugh on the other side of her face if the Union dissolves and the English parliament starts to really get stuck into us via the Treaty. They know its worth.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. ‘Working class’ is a bourgeois platitude designed to make the lower class feel better about themselves. It also assumes that the lower class are too stupid to figure out a blatent contradiction. Mostly, they are. Thankfully, Darren McGarvie’s is not stupid and calls himself lower class. He doesn’t use it as a term of delusional endearment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who could thole it in truth. The thought of its use alone would make a man shiver, the thought of it.

      It is a word for use by pretentious fuds.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “‘Working class’ is a bourgeois platitude designed to make the lower class feel better about themselves”

      Well, it may be as much a platitude as you like, but in my opinion describes a hell of a lot better what most of us are than the term “lower class”. We are working class for two reasons, firstly because we have to work to earn money to put food on the table and a roof over our heads,. Secondly, because it is our work what keeps the economy moving. If not, there would not have been any need for furlough. There is nothing “low” about us. If we all stopped working at the same time, the whole thing, including the “upper class” parasites standing on our shoulders would fall to the ground.

      I detest the term “lower class”. To me it has the connotation that people who are not born rich are somewhat less intelligent, less capable, less careful and less resourceful than those who are born into wealth. That connotation does not define the working class. Frankly, looking at some of the posh characters who seat and sat in the house of commons, the UK cabinet, the house of lords or heaven forbid, those attending the royal saraos, I think the term “lower” class is definitely a misnomer. If we judge by the recklessness of their actions and the stupidity of their words alone, the intellect, ethics and character of many of those sitting in those places is indeed of much lower class than those of the average working class Scot.

      Liked by 6 people

  12. Excellent article from Mia. I’m afraid I always need someone to translate Johnson’s mumblings. No wonder the world laughs at him along with the idiots who appear to show him respect. ( I did not enjoy seeing Angus, seemingly at ease, performing within that odious charade.)

    Liked by 4 people

  13. From Wings Over Scotland:

    “I am willing to bet anyone in the UK any amount of money of their choosing that there will NOT be a second independence referendum in Scotland while Nicola Sturgeon is First Minister.”

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Alf Baird probably knows about this already, taken from the “Brussels Times”.

    “Flemish ports should prepare for the possible independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom, Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon said on Monday following a meeting in Edinburgh with the Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon.”

    The only snag is, NS won’t deliver Indy… 😦 But it’s nice to know the foreigners still think we’re nice. 🙂

    https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/194842/flemish-ports-should-prepare-for-possible-scottish-independence-says-jambon/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the article Graf. From this it seems that EU nations still have little idea of Scots sovereignty or Scotland’s treaty-based alliance with England, which either party may end. The SNP leadership should have made clear Scotland’s constitutional position to the international community.

      Unfortunately, the SNP leadership also ignored party members on the aspect of developing essential direct seaborne trade links to the EU as a response to Brexit, or to facilitate trade more generally. Roy Pedersen’s motion to the 2019 SNP conference on a Scottish Maritime Policy was passed and was expected to be implemented. That included tendering of direct Scotland-EU ferry connections and development of a new Scottish Gateway ferry & cruise port on the site of the old power station at Cockenzie to ensure such services can be sustained in the long term. The SNP leadership refused to do anything with that policy, voted for by party members, much like they refuse to do anything with successive Scotland majorities voted in by the people.

      We may see a new Scotland-Continent ferry service shortly, but as with much in Scotland it will not necessarily be as good as it could be, as discussed here: https://www.barrheadboy.com/through-a-scottish-prism-21-11-2021/

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Alf Baird is very interesting when he writes and talks about transport, but he is a Constitutional fantasist. The 1707 Treaty of Union created a new country by virtue of Article I which states: ” That the two kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the First Day of May [1707] and forever after, be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain” The subsequent 24 articles are entirely in accordance with the treaty being an “incorporating” union.
    The idea that the 1707 Union is a “treaty-based alliance with England, which either party may end ” is ludicrous. I say that as someone who has supported Scottish Independence all my life and who campiagned for and voted YES in 2014.

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    1. William: I usually have much to agree with, in Alf’s work, but I also believe that the Treaty was very much more than a mere trade agreement. We will have to take it to the UN and the international court; we will have to repudiate it on the grounds that England has never behaved like a partner in a Union, rather than that no Union exists. It patently does, I’m afraid. In contract law, if one partner behaves in a way that negates the bipartite nature of the contract, the other one is legally entitled to withdraw from the contract. The same applies to a Treaty. It is an international contract between two states – in our case, Scotland and England who were each independent at the signing. They lost their statehood, but not their nationhood, when the UK of GB was created out of the Treaty.

      Just as in contract law, consent by omission is possible, so it could be in an international treaty context, and many Scottish administrations have actively colluded in our subordinate status. However, a plebiscitary election and a desire to resile the Treaty should be enough to ensure our independence if England refuses to accept our position on this. That it will be England and not the UK – which is a separate entity, a third party – which will be our immediate opponent has never been argued in law because it has always been accepted that the UK is England and vice versa. That is not the case in international and constitutional law. The Acts of Union did nothing more than translate the international nature of the Treaty into domestic law; they did not overthrow the international law; and they did not man that Scotland had been subsumed, although English interests want us to believe that, as do Unionist interests in Scotland. The original Union had two partners, but England subsequently overrode almost every Article of Union, acting ultra vires and against the law, both domestic and international. That is what Crawford and Boyle evaded in their Report of 2013 when they claimed that Scotland had been subsumed by England, while England continued. The Treaty specifically and clearly demolishes that argument. The Treaty is crucial to our independence and the negotiations that will follow. Any Scottish administration that has any hope of freeing us from the Union needs to get every last word and sentence of that Treaty under its belt. You can safely bet your bottom dollar that England, aka the UK, will have.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. William Ross

      Undesirable treaty-based alliances are invariably ended, one way or another. As are corporate alliances that are no longer considered to be in shareholders interests, especially agreements involving continued bad faith, as we see in UKGBNI dealings with Scotland. The UKGBNI may perhaps be considered an incorporation (merger) but for the fact the ‘shareholders’ in the case of Scots at least remain a distinct sovereign people/entity; I assume you know what ‘sovereign’ means?

      Many of the articles in the ToU do actually set out rules for a common trading arrangement, as in any ‘single market’ – which the NI protocols now breach.

      The use of the term ‘forever after’ in treaties is not unusual, I gather it means ‘for the foreseeable future’; its not so much the wording of the treaty that matters but whether or not the arrangement continues to meet the interests of the parties to it, and their desire and ability to end it, or renegotiate it, as the case may be.

      You appear to be trying to say that the sovereign Scottish people are unable to withdraw from their own treaty-based alliance with England? Are you saying that Scotland was incorporated (merged) ‘forever after’? If so, then how do you propose Scotland becomes independent?

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Lorna

    Thanks for your response. I am glad that you agree with me that the 1707 Treaty is not a mere “trade agreement”. In some ways I agree with you and in some not. For instance, you state: “They [Scotland and England] lost their statehood, but not their nationhood, when the UK of GB was created out of the Treaty.” I agree with that. Scotland the nation did not die with the Treaty and there are provisions in the Treaty (for instance private law/court system/church) which protect Scottish national rights. (But who has the right to vindicate them?) On the other hand, I think that you are wrong to suppose that either Scotland or England now survive from 1707 as independent actors in international law who can, say, go to International courts. My theory is that Scotland is presently sovereign in the Union. That is to say that it is like a minority shareholder (A) in a joint venture company called Britain whose majority shareholder is England (B). Britain is the sovereign player in international law but Shareholder A has rights in the joint venture company (JVC) The latter would include the protections over church, law, courts but also the right to secede which has developed as a convention under Britain’s constitutional law. Thus a Scottish referendum or, even, a plebiscitary election can be a route to Scottish independence.

    We must always bear in mind that the UK is in constitutional terms a politico-legal state whose constitution evolves through convention. Also the 1707 Treaty was a creature of its time and it dealt with very urgent issues such as the Protestant Succession, access to English markets, and frankly, Scottish poverty.

    Regards

    William

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    1. Yes, William, I do agree that it is the UK that is the third party here, but you cannot dismantle the Union without referring to the agency of both Scotland and England. You can argue that the Union is what it is, but what it is is almost solely down to England. Yes, Scots participated in the Empire, but the Scots were never at the forefront of that Empire. What Crawford and Boyle argued was that Scotland had been subsumed, but you can arrive at that conclusion only by assuming that the Union was a takeover. It was not, and all the evidence for its not being a takeover (by England) is contained within the Treaty itself and all the actings around the Treaty in 1707, before 1707 and after 1707. Queen Anne, the monarch, and last of the Stuart dynasty, operated as two monarchs. She has never been Queen of the UK, only of Scotland and England in her separate capacities. So much of what is taken as legal and constitutional is not at all. If you read all the actings around the Treaty and her own words, you soon realise that two nation states were involved and two nations now remain within the state of the UK of GB. England is no more the nation state that Scotland is. Like everything else that would help Scotland, very few are willing to put their heads above the parapet.

      Two who did, and we cannot say where their politics lay or lie, were the late Professor David Walker and Ian Campbell, of Liverpool. Both these men chiselled right into the heart of the Treaty on Scotland’s behalf and they are in total opposition to Crawford and Boyle and to the perceived reality of the Union. Both warned against Scotland ever renegotiating the Treaty as a domestic Act. Both warned against accepting the English jurists’ version of the Treaty. Both believed, based on all the evidence, that the Treaty is still extant and will require to be resiled if we want independence and to be negotiated in any break-up of the UK because so much still rests on it. They also believe, based on evidence, that both Scotland and England survive within the UK – they must, because the international status of the Treaty still exists, and the constitutionality of the present UK rests on the Treaty; it cannot be subsumed by domestic law – and that independence would do no more than re-instate their former independent statehood. Illegality in the UK is endemic on almost every aspect of governance now. It is simply the case that we do not challenge those illegalities, not that they do not exist. That does not mean that we should wait a hundred years to have it all sorted out. We would be perfectly entitled to declare independence after a plebiscitary election so long as that was part the basis of the election manifesto. The SNP has had several opportunities to do exactly this, but the gradualists and the ‘wokerati’ combined, have thwarted and wasted every opportunity. The GRA reform has been a godsend to the gradualist camp, and vice versa. The fundamentalist wing has all but gone, decamped to ALBA and other parties.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. Professor Alf Baird

    Thanks for your response. You are quite wrong to consider the 1707 Treaty to be an “alliance” The fact that the 1707 Treaty speaks so much about the Union’s ‘internal market” in no way indicates that the Treaty is fundamentally about “trade”. Without “internal” market rules, there cannot be an incorporating union, which is what we have.

    Scotland can indeed secede from the UK as a “minority shareholder” through either a referendum or an election. This right to secede is not express in the 1707 Treaty but has evolved by constitutional convention. I use the word “sovereign” to mean that Scotland has national rights under the Union but these are politico-legal in nature. The 2014 referendum derived from this politico-legal situation. A clear majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament supported the party [then!] of independence. Cameron could not ignore this.

    I cannot agree with your analysis

    William

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is right and proper. Debate is what this blog comment page is all about. I think you both agree that Scotland could become independent using a plebiscite election. I suggest we all concentrate on this point of clear unity.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. William: read the Treaty closely. No one could imagine that Scotland was intended to be a junior partner – except the conniving English politicians of the day and their jurists who misinterpreted (deliberately?) the Articles. I had written a very detailed analysis of all of this but it disappeared into the WordPress ether. Let me just say that you are very, very mistaken in much of what you have written. Just because you don’t challenge something, does not make it right. The UK is a profoundly illegal entity, existing solely for the benefit of England.

      Liked by 3 people

  18. Iain

    Thanks for this. I do not agree with you on everything but I think that you are doing a magnificent job on the awful GRA and on the shocking failure of democracy in the SNP. I enjoy the blog and also your podcast appearances.

    K Regards

    William

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Lorna

    Thanks for your further response.

    I cannot agree with much of what you write.

    Scots were very much at the forefront of the British Empire, there is no getting away from it.

    A brief review of (admittedly not very heavy weight sources) indicate that Queen Anne was the monarch of a united Britain after 1707, even though I do not see the issue as being hugely important.

    If Crawford & Boyle (I have not read their work) argue that Scotland was subsumed into England, then I would say that this is inaccurate and contrary to the terms of the 1707 Union which expressly creates a new “united” Kingdom, which is a merger in corporate terms.

    I have not read Walker & Campbell either but they would be appear to be right in finding that both Scotland and England survive the Union as nations but not states. If Scotland were ever to vote to secede from the Union I cannot see great relevance in the 1707 Treaty as it would represent the past and would only need elimination by an Act of Westminster which would create two new entities, Scotland and the UK Remaining. Indy Scotland would be an entirely new state but the same nation as in 1707 (and 1807 and 1907).

    The 1707 Treaty does not speak to whose constitutional law should govern in the UK, but it has to be one system or the other. You cannot have both the sovereignty of the Queen in Parliament (England) and the sovereignty of the people (Scotland). It is plain that English constitutional law had to govern, and that is what we have had for 300 years.

    I am not convinced that the UK is awash in illegalities unless any amendment in the 1707 Union is deemed to be illegal. What are you thinking of precisely?

    Kind Regards

    William

    Like

  20. William Ross

    Your union ‘incorporation’ argument is predominantly a unionist narrative, as Lorna mentions.

    In addition, your argument that Scotland benefitted from the British empire is also a long-established unionist narrative and myth, and requires more careful analysis.

    Scotland was steadily emptied of 3-4 million people after the union, and most left due to poverty, unemployment, poor housing, indentured and given incentives by the British state to get out. At the same time a meritocracy was being imported into Scotland from the ‘core nation’, the latter an ongoing feature. These are features of colonialism. A rather narrow industrial specialisation in Scotland was primarily designed to serve the ‘core nation’s’ economic needs and left Scotland under-developed and uncompetitive, as is still the case. You may wish to read up on Hechter’s ‘Internal Colonialism’ theory and studies.

    Much of the Scots nobility/elite, as Tom Devine, Billy Kay and others have written, rapidly cast off their culture and language after the 1603 union of the crowns. That cultural shift arguably eased and helped facilitate the same elites to subsequently sell their nation thereby enslaving its people in 1706-7. What was left of indigenous Scots nobility after Culloden was largely removed. You may say the Scots nobility prospered from the empire, as they generally have from the union, though it is questionable how Scottish (culturally) this elite was, or Scotland’s meritocracy even today.

    At least we agree on the main matter, independence via plebiscite election, though not via a referendum; however I would be content for the current elected nationalist majorities to pull the plug on a mankit union as per the SSRG proposal, though I expect you would not agree with that analysis either.

    Liked by 4 people

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